Presented by Mary Black, Ireland’s Favourite Folk Song airs on RTÉ One on Sunday 19th May at 7.30pm. This week’s episode features another two of the top ten songs, the world renowned Danny Boy and the centuries old ballad The Parting Glass.
Both of these songs have made a significant impact on Ireland’s cultural identity worldwide.
Danny Boy has long been the unofficial anthem of the Irish Diaspora and it’s one of the most recorded songs of all time. Popular in its own right for 300 years old, The Parting Glass was reintroduced to audiences by The Clancy Brother’s recording in 1959 and popularised further afield by its use in Hollywood movies and in the video game Assassin’s Creed.
The programme features a range of personalities, historians and musicians who share their stories, knowledge and passion for the particular songs they are getting behind.
Hotelier and Broadcaster Francis Brennan champions Danny Boy, the song most closely associated with the Irish living abroad. This is something Francis has experienced first-hand on his many travels where he has heard it sung in countries all over the world. He talks of how it brings people together and evokes great feelings of nostalgia for those far from home.
For Comedian and actor Pat Shortt, The Parting Glass reminds him of the 80’s and his time in Art College where he heard the song first and sparked his love of folk music. But it also evokes memories of loss and sadness for him when most of his group of friends were emigrating.
A bespoke performance of each song is available to watch on rte.ie/culture, with background information and history on each song. And of course, that’s where you can also cast your votes! Get voting, there’s still time to get your vote in.
The contributors for Programme 4 are:
Angela Byrne – Historian in residence at EPIC
Francis Brennan – Hotelier & Broadcaster
Luka Bloom -Singer/Songwriter
Pat Shortt- Actor & Comedian
Ralph McTell -Singer/ Songwriter
Kirsten Mate Maher – Rose of Tralee, 2018
Aoife Whelan -UCD