Hogan's Alley

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tommy Makem - RIP

Yesterday we lost the great Tommy Makem. Tommy and the Clancy Brothers revived Irish music in America in the 60's. Previously Irish music was identified as the maudlin Danny Boy and Mother McCrea type of early 20th century music hall crap aimed at the homesick Irish audiences in America. Tommy and the Clancys let us understand that there was a full array of glorious tunes that emerged over the centuries.

This clip features Tommy telling a story and singing a song from Northern Ireland. I choose to remember his great good humor, exemplified by this piece.

His strong baritone, with its pronounced vibrato, enabled him to convey both joy and sorrow with his voice. Follow some of the other links from YouTube, particularly the one called Roddy McCorley for a fuller sample of the group's songbook.