Sean Tyrrell,
Cry of a Dreamer
(Longwalk, 1994)

Sean Tyrrell has a distinctive voice and a very obvious love of music that comes across to great effect on this 14-track CD, Cry of a Dreamer.

He opens with Johnny Mulhern's classic "Matty" that most listeners will be familiar with from the singing of Christy Moore. Listen to Tyrrell and hear a new song thanks to his unique delivery.

My absolute favourite track on the album is another song that was made popular by other singers. "Coast of Malabar" is one of the great love songs from the traditional canon. I first heard it from Makem & Clancy and I loved it. Then the Cork maestro Jimmy Crowley version gave me a new favourite. Now Tyrrell has reawakened a beautiful song. He sings it that little bit slower than the others and it sounds even more romantic. As I listen, I can imagine sailors from my own homeport of Wexford sailing in clipper ships to India and perhaps falling in love with the "little dark-eyed maiden." If you need one song to justify the purchase, this is it.

Tyrrell also gives a new life to that fantastic old standard "Isle of Inishfree." Not that he confines his immense talent to reviving classics; "House of Delight" by David Callinan is a new song to me and it is a delight -- no pun intended. The same writer is responsible for another beautiful song called "November Rain."

Tyrrell returns to Mulhern for the fabulous mini-epic "Blue Green Bangle." This is the quintessential story-song including a love affair, mining, loss, the Irish sense of superstition, travellers and acceptance all in 3:33, with a great tune to boot.

In the albums that I have heard by Sean Tyrrell, he displays a great love of poetry and a real flair for putting poetic works to music. On this CD he takes three works by John Boyle O'Reilly and gives us a beautiful trilogy. The title track of the album, "Cry of a Dreamer," comes from one of these poems and the lines tell us much about the poet and the performer: "a dreamer he lives forever and a toiler he will die in a day." Long live the dreamer!

The final track on this excellent collection has a title and sentiment that echoes the 20th century but was written over a century before the "troubles" of that century. The words for "The 12th of July -- Lament for the Children" were written by John Frazier, who died in 1852. As he wrote, "let the orange lily be your badge, both united flourish, but cannot give the orange growth and cease the green to nourish."

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 2 October 2004

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