Thursday 19 April 2018

Poor 'Paddy', loved by many, but can't get on the radio

Paddy Clancy

IT'S Ireland's most recorded song, but it's unlikely you've ever heard it on the national airwaves.

And as a result, Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte is to be asked to make RTE and other Irish broadcasters give a specific percentage of airtime to Irish music.

The move comes as a song about emigrants has been recorded by more singers than any other single Irish song -- yet it gets hardly any airtime on Ireland's national radio stations.

Singer-songwriter Gerry Carney composed Paddy in 2009 and recorded it the following year as a lament for the emigrants of the Fifties and Sixties. Now a total of 11 top country singers have recorded it and included in their stage repertoire. They include Mike Denver, Robert Mizzell, Patrick Feeney and Shaun Loughrey. The latest addition to the queue is Patrick O'Sullivan, who won TG4's talent show Glor na Tire.

Country music industry sources say it's rare that a song is recorded within such a short time by more than two or three singers. One entrepreneur said: "It's phenomenal what's happening to Paddy."

But the "phenomenon" doesn't include airplay on Irish national stations.

Meanwhile, BBC broadcaster Bob Brolly has played Paddy, and Gerry Carney is due on stage with him at a fund-raising event at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham next Sunday, July 15.

Noel Cusack of Chart Music, who released Gerry's record, said it's nearly impossible to get Ireland's national radio stations to play Irish country music.

Now, Mr Cusack has teamed up with folk singer and writer Danny Carthy to persuade RTE and other national broadcasters to play at least 30 per cent Irish-produced music.

They want Minister Rabbitte to introduce legislation.

Mr Cusack said: "Other countries support their own music. In France, broadcasters are required by law to play 30 per cent French- produced music."

Gerry Carney wrote Paddy in memory of his uncle PJ Kelly, who was killed at the age of 21 while working on a building site in England in 1965.

Chorus of Paddy (words: Gerry Carney):

"P is for powerful when put to the test

A is for always doing your best

D is for doing if it can be done

And D is for drinking when work it was done

Y is for yearning to see home again

Proud to be Irish and hard working men

Paddy, remember, though your day is done

You're the rock that England stands on."

Sunday Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News