Analysis

Friday 1 August 2014

STORY OF A SONG

Published 30/09/2006|00:11

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* Written by Pete St John in 1979, 'The Fields of Athenry' was popularised through the recordings of Paddy Reilly in the early 1980s.

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* The ballad charted twice - in 1983 and 1985 - but failed to go to number one despite remaining in the charts for months each time.

* It has been suggested that the origins of the song date back to the 1880s, but St John has insisted that it is his creation, having written both the music and lyrics.

* 'The Fields of Athenry' appears on numerous compilation albums. Sales of five million are estimated.

* The song is associated with the Munster, London Irish and Irish rugby union teams, and Celtic FC. 'The Fields of Anfield Road' is sung by Liverpool supporters to the same tune, but with suitably adapted lyrics referencing their history and stadium. The fans of Rangers sing the song 'A Father's Advice' to the same tune.

* Loyalists have also adapted the song, with the main line changed to "Low lie, the fields of Ballynafeigh".

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