Listen—Christy Moore’s Old and New, Glocal Ireland

Bent Sørensen

Abstract


This article examines the role of popular music in the construction of communal belonging and cultural memory in contemporary Ireland, focusing on a single case, namely that of the former lead singer of Planxty, Christy Moore—ever a politically active songwriter and performer, who was named as “Ireland’s greatest living musician” in RTÉ’s People of the Year Awards in 2007.[1] Moore’s solo album, Listen (2009), by its very title invites his audience to listen to a summation of his influences, his past and his diagnosis of the present. The album refers to history—personal, communal and national—in three different areas: Musical history (that of Ireland at large—“Rory’s Gone”), as well as Christy Moore’s personal role in it (“Barrowland”); Irish immigration and diaspora history (“Duffy’s Cut”); and world political history at large (“The Disappeared/Los Desaparacidos”), and yet it also emphasises the present cultural state and critiques it. The article examines this album as a glocal Irish artefact and cultural text.


[1] Awarded for “decades of exceptional contribution to Irish music,” http://www.rehab.ie/press/article.aspx?id=304.


Keywords


music; song lyrics; cultural memory; globalisation; glocal; cultural texts

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