Saturday, December 8, 2012


"I'll Live 'Til I Die"; A Celebration of the Life and Songs of Delia Murphy
On Friday, 30 November, we were treated to a three-person tribute to Delia Murphy who was known as The Queen of Connemara and who was a pioneering figure in Irish folk music. The programme highlighted the pivotal role Delia played in the development of Irish folk songs, in particular the Irish ballad. Carmen Cullen,* who is Delia's niece, Márín O'Donovan,** and Gerry Anderson*** have performed this tribute throughout Ireland since 2009, and as this year is the 41st anniversary of Delia's death, they are making a special effort to bring back memories of her to people who remember her, as well as attracting new interest in her as a unique woman and artiste who brought the traditional Irish ballad back to popularity.

Delia Murphy is still remembered as a household name. She was Ireland's premier popular singer between 1930 and 1960. Recently, Phil Coulter described her as one of Ireland's most important singers of the last century. Delia recorded and performed extensively in Ireland and abroad. Some of her best known songs, still remembered today, are "The Spinning Wheel" and "If I were a Blackbird."

Liam Clancy attributed the success of Irish ballads today to Delia’s concerts, recordings, and radio broadcasts as well as acknowledged her as the first lady of Irish popular song.

The evening was a great success, and funds were raised for this year's charity, Pieta House Cork in aid of suicide prevention.

*Carmen Cullen: Head of English in a large Dublin second-level school for more than twenty years Carmen is now a fulltime writer. She has published four collections of poetry and her book Class Acts, plays and workshop material for schools is currently on the Applied Leaving Cert’ course. She completed her MA in Creative Writing in Trinity College in 2008 Her novel Two Sisters Singing from which her reading for the show takes place was published by The Book Republic, Maverick House, was launched in The Mermaid Theatre Bray on 13th. June 2012.

**Márín O'Donovan: A professional actress and belonging to a famous theatrical family, Maureen trained with her father's company, the late Frank O'Donovan (Batty Brennan in The Riordan's. Márín has played in theatres al over Ireland and has sung professionally with many of the Big Bands such as The Niall Kearns Dance Orchestra. She has appeared in countless films, Becoming Jane and H for Jacinta, to mention two and many TV productions and is filming at the moment with TG4 on an Unsolved Murders series. Her latest role was opposite Sean Penn in his new film, This Must Be the Place.

***Gerry Anderson: Gerry is a music teacher, song writer and composer. He is also guitarist for the Irish Italian group, Oltre Mara. The band was born to play pieces of traditional music from southern Italy and keep in touch with and be sensitive to, Irish cultural elements. "Oltremara's" target is to make Mediterranean's musical and folk patrimony known abroad and create a cultural fusion
with both Irish and other's dance and musical traditions. The possibility of cultural
exchange is integral to Oltre Mara’s vision and is the back bone to every musical and
dance performance. The members have met in Ireland by chance and all of them come
from different musical and dance backgrounds.

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