Take a bow... musicians pay tribute to balladeer’s milestone 100th song
CHRISTY MOORE, FOLK SINGING LEGEND
Jimmy Crowley has been a great compañero since we first sang together in The Phoenix Bar many years ago. We did a tour back in the 1970s... Ballydehob, Kilcrohane, Kealkill, Schull, Sherkin Island and Skibbereen. We were hitting the high spots, our bandwagon was an old red Renault 4L, two balladeers and a bundle of songs He taught me Johnny Jump Up out on Sherkin Island, we’ve shared many’s the verse. Jimmy Crowley has been a master collector of songs. Blood & Bandage to the core... Cork’s very own Troubadour.
JOHN SPILLANE, CORK SINGER/SONGWRITER
Big congratulations to Jimmy on reaching his 1,000th song in his iconic Echo Songs of Cork series, testament to his great scholarship and the rich biodiversity of the Cork song tradition. From jolly rollicking ballads like The Good Ship Kangaroo to great, deep, keening Gaelic slow airs such as Carraig Aonair, the lament for the Fastnet drownings, he has covered a wide range of song styles.
I am personally very grateful to him for a musical apprenticeship I spent playing with him in the early 1980s and have been greatly honoured to have some of my songs such as Princes Street and Passage West included in this wonderful column over the years.
Rock on, Jimmy, you good thing.
GERRY KELLY, CORK POPS ORCHESTRA
So blow your breezes; blow farewell to the Asgard, See that lady go O’er the dark rolling sea A few lines from Jimmy’s song My Love Is A Tall Ship have always resonated with me and probably influenced my decision to learn how to sail. I first became aware of the song during the Tall Ships visit to Cork in July, 1991.
Jimmy himself is no mean sailor, and is to be complimented for his Songs of Cork column in The Echo. These ballads, which often refer to historical events, can arouse a historical curiosity and are a great way of passing on information to future generations.
I was amazed to see Jimmy has documented 1,000 songs for The Echo and am delighted he has preserved this legacy for future generations. ‘Fair Winds’, Jimmy!”
PAUL FROST, CORK COMPOSER
Chuireas féin agus Jimmy aithne ar a chéile am éigin insna seachtóidí. An bheirt againn óg istigh sa Phoenix. Bhí suim ag an mbeirt againn insna hamhráin dúchasacha agus roinneas leis go fonnmhar a raibh im cheann díobh, The Boys Of Fair Hill ina measc. Bhí san mar bhunchloch ag an chéad cheirnín a eisigh Jimmy agus Stokers Lodge.
Bhí agus tá an-shuím ag Jimmy in amhráin as Gaeilge, agus go deimhin sa teanga féin. Dhein sé céim sa Ghaeilge i UCC agus chónaigh sé thiar i nGaeltacht Chorca Dhuibhne ar feadh tréimhse. Laoch mór aige ab ea Nioclás Tóibín ó Rinn ó gCuanach a thugas i leith ar cheann des na Folk Festivals luatha. Tá an-chreidiúint ag dul do Jimmy as a bhfuil déanta aige timpeall ar amhráin áitiúla. Seoid is ea é inár measc, seoid nár athraigh riamh. Gura fada buan é.
PEADAR Ó RIADA, COMPOSER AND MUSICIAN
I have known Jimmy since the early ’70s when he was a frequent part of our company around Cúil Aodha. Back then he always would sing local Cork songs. He went on to be very much the voice of a Cork city culture, and has been one of the wonderful brothers of Cork song.
God only knows what corner or cranny he pokes all the songs from, but he does so consistently. I have watched, listened and played his recordings on Raidio na Gaeltachta and was really impressed with his double album Songs From The Beautiful City. This boy has a track record.
I like the fact he was always interested in the sea and he sails the waters of our beautiful city and coast. Long may he continue to navigate the streams and rivers of our native, creative records of note and existence, and keep providing songs for our paper, the Echo.
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