Christy Moore,
Collection, Part II
(Columbia, 1997)

The amazing Christy Moore has come a long way since he first sang in public at a talent contest in 1965. On his journey to the present he was in Planxty (once described as "the political wing of Sinn Fein") and Moving Hearts, two groups bursting with musical talent.

This album was my first introduction to Christy's music. Boasting 17 tracks, it was the eighth that caught my attention straight away: "The Rose of Tralee" (not the traditional version, although he does sing a bit of it at the end). Christy tried to get it onto a few of his previous albums, but just couldn't get the song recorded right. Well, not surprising really, as it's 13 minutes long. This tells the story of how he meets the Rose of Tralee, with loads of irrelevant humorous stuff thrown in as well.

"Viva La Quinta Brigada" is another favorite of mine. In my opinion, the best verse has to be "Bob Hillard was a Church of Ireland pastor, from Killarney across the Pyrenees he came, from Derry came a brave young Christian Brother, side by side they fought and died in Spain." These two people recognised a wrong, and both tried to stop it. This is what we need in Ireland, more coming together and less division.

With a sort of country feel to it, "If I Get an Encore" is about Christy's musical career. "If I get an encore I go home feelin' like a king" and this is probably true for the man -- with hundreds, sometimes thousands of people all wanting to hear his music, what a wonderful feeling that must be. This tries to capture that feeling and doesn't do a bad job of it.

Collection, Part II has a bit of everything, political songs like "El Salvador" and "Viva La Quinta Brigada," slow songs like "The Curragh of Kildare" and "Sonny," and funny songs like "The Rose of Tralee" and "Lawless." There are other songs that don't fit into any of these categories.

Christy Moore is a legend, and hopefully he will keep doing small, accessible gigs and providing us with his wonderful music. He has done so much for folk music, and for music in general.

- Rambles
written by Ryan O'Sullivan
published 10 October 2003

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