Christy Moore
Overview
 
Christopher Andrew "Christy" Moore (born 7 May 1945) is a popular Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 folk singer
Folk Singer
Folk Singer is a 1964 album by Muddy Waters. Waters plays acoustic guitar, backed by Willie Dixon on string bass, Clifton James on drums, and Buddy Guy on acoustic guitar...

, songwriter, and guitarist
Guitarist
A guitarist is a musician who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar while singing.- Versatility :The guitarist controls an extremely...

. He is well known as one of the founding members of Planxty
Planxty
Planxty is an Irish folk music band formed in the 1970s, consisting initially of Christy Moore , Dónal Lunny , Andy Irvine , and Liam O'Flynn...

 and Moving Hearts
Moving Hearts
Moving Hearts is an Irish folk-rock band formed in 1981. They followed in the footsteps of Horslips in combining Irish traditional music with rock and roll, and also added elements of jazz to their sound.-Career:...

. His first album, Paddy on the Road (a minor release of 500, although made available again on CD through his website and at gigs in 2010) was recorded with Dominic Behan
Dominic Behan
Dominic Behan was an Irish songwriter, short story writer, novelist and playwright who wrote in both Irish and English. He was also a committed socialist and Irish Republican...

 (brother of Brendan
Brendan Behan
Brendan Francis Behan was an Irish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright who wrote in both Irish and English. He was also an Irish republican and a volunteer in the Irish Republican Army.-Early life:...

) in 1969. In 2007, he was named as Ireland's greatest living musician in RTÉ
RTE
RTÉ is the abbreviation for Raidió Teilifís Éireann, the public broadcasting service of the Republic of Ireland.RTE may also refer to:* Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 25th Prime Minister of Turkey...

's People of the Year Awards
People of the Year Awards
The People Of The Year Awards is an annual show in Ireland organised by the Rehab Group, televised by RTÉ television and hosted by Gráinne Seoige....

.
Moore was born in Newbridge, County Kildare
Newbridge, County Kildare
The earliest known mention of Newbridge was by traveller and bookseller John Dunton in 1698, though he does not refer to any settlement other than at Ballymany....

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

.
Encyclopedia
Christopher Andrew "Christy" Moore (born 7 May 1945) is a popular Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

 folk singer
Folk Singer
Folk Singer is a 1964 album by Muddy Waters. Waters plays acoustic guitar, backed by Willie Dixon on string bass, Clifton James on drums, and Buddy Guy on acoustic guitar...

, songwriter, and guitarist
Guitarist
A guitarist is a musician who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar while singing.- Versatility :The guitarist controls an extremely...

. He is well known as one of the founding members of Planxty
Planxty
Planxty is an Irish folk music band formed in the 1970s, consisting initially of Christy Moore , Dónal Lunny , Andy Irvine , and Liam O'Flynn...

 and Moving Hearts
Moving Hearts
Moving Hearts is an Irish folk-rock band formed in 1981. They followed in the footsteps of Horslips in combining Irish traditional music with rock and roll, and also added elements of jazz to their sound.-Career:...

. His first album, Paddy on the Road (a minor release of 500, although made available again on CD through his website and at gigs in 2010) was recorded with Dominic Behan
Dominic Behan
Dominic Behan was an Irish songwriter, short story writer, novelist and playwright who wrote in both Irish and English. He was also a committed socialist and Irish Republican...

 (brother of Brendan
Brendan Behan
Brendan Francis Behan was an Irish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright who wrote in both Irish and English. He was also an Irish republican and a volunteer in the Irish Republican Army.-Early life:...

) in 1969. In 2007, he was named as Ireland's greatest living musician in RTÉ
RTE
RTÉ is the abbreviation for Raidió Teilifís Éireann, the public broadcasting service of the Republic of Ireland.RTE may also refer to:* Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, 25th Prime Minister of Turkey...

's People of the Year Awards
People of the Year Awards
The People Of The Year Awards is an annual show in Ireland organised by the Rehab Group, televised by RTÉ television and hosted by Gráinne Seoige....

.

Early life

Moore was born in Newbridge, County Kildare
Newbridge, County Kildare
The earliest known mention of Newbridge was by traveller and bookseller John Dunton in 1698, though he does not refer to any settlement other than at Ballymany....

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. He was originally a bank employee who wanted to express himself using traditional music. A bank strike in 1966, which lasted six months (and effectively paralysed Irish commercial life for the duration), resulted in Moore spending considerable time practising music. When the strike ended, Moore had already decided where his passion in life arose, and left the bank for good.

Musical career

1972 brought his first major release, Prosperous (named after the village of Prosperous, County Kildare
Prosperous, County Kildare
Prosperous is a village in north County Kildare, Ireland. It is within the townland of Curryhills, at the junction of the R403 and R408 regional roads, about from Dublin. Its population of 1,939 makes it the 14th largest town in County Kildare....

, where the album was recorded), which brought together the four musicians who shortly thereafter formed Planxty
Planxty
Planxty is an Irish folk music band formed in the 1970s, consisting initially of Christy Moore , Dónal Lunny , Andy Irvine , and Liam O'Flynn...

: Liam Óg O'Flynn
Liam O'Flynn
Liam O'Flynn is a master uilleann piper and prominent Irish folk musician. In addition to an impressive solo career and his work with the Irish traditional group Planxty, O'Flynn has recorded with many prominent international musical artists, including Mark Knopfler, the Everly Brothers, Enya,...

, Andy Irvine
Andy Irvine (musician)
Andrew Kennedy 'Andy' Irvine is a folk musician, singer, and songwriter, and a founding member of the popular band Planxty. He is an accomplished player of the mandolin, bouzouki, mandola, guitar-bouzouki, harmonica and hurdy-gurdy....

, and Dónal Lunny
Dónal Lunny
Dónal Lunny is an Irish folk musician. Lunny has been at the forefront of the evolution of traditional Irish music for more than thirty-five years and has participated within the renaissance of traditional Irish music in that time period...

. For a time they called themselves "CLAD", an acronym of their names, but soon decided on Planxty
Planxty
Planxty is an Irish folk music band formed in the 1970s, consisting initially of Christy Moore , Dónal Lunny , Andy Irvine , and Liam O'Flynn...

.

After leaving Planxty in 1975, Moore continued on his solo career, reforming his old band on occasion (which he has been doing ever since). He also formed the band Moving Hearts
Moving Hearts
Moving Hearts is an Irish folk-rock band formed in 1981. They followed in the footsteps of Horslips in combining Irish traditional music with rock and roll, and also added elements of jazz to their sound.-Career:...

 with Lunny and five other musicians in 1980. In 2000 he published his autobiography, One Voice.

Moore's earlier years of heavy drinking, sleeping dysfunctional hours, continual travelling, and often eating takeaway foods resulted in a decline in health, and several operations. Moore's battle with alcohol, and subsequent heart operations have taken their toll. At the end of the 1990s, Moore was requested to reduce his workload for medical reasons.

Some of Moore's songs are heavily influenced by drink and the effects of drink. His song "Delirium Tremens" being a good example.
Listening to Johnny Mulhern's song "Hard Cases" causes Moore, in his website chat, to recall the Galway drinking scene with local musicians  Mickey Finn
Mickey Finn (Irish fiddler)
Mickey Finn was a traditional Irish fiddler. He was fixture in Galway's traditional music scene during the 1970s and 1980s, playing with artists such as Mary Coughlan, Mick Lally, and Christy Moore.-Early life:...

, Pete Galligan, Corky and Terry Smith.

On April 17, 2009 Christy Moore released his first new studio album in four years, titled 'Listen' and it was promoted through a series of live gigs.

Political and social commentary

Moore is best known for his political and social commentary, which reflects a leftwing Irish Republican perspective, this despite the fact that his mother was a Fine Gael
Fine Gael
Fine Gael is a centre-right to centrist political party in the Republic of Ireland. It is the single largest party in Ireland in the Oireachtas, in local government, and in terms of Members of the European Parliament. The party has a membership of over 35,000...

 county councillor and parliamentary candidate in Kildare. He supported the republican H-Block protestors in the 1970s and 1980s with the album H-Block in 1978, the launch of which was raided by the police, and The Spirit of Freedom. He has also recorded songs by the hunger striker Bobby Sands
Bobby Sands
Robert Gerard "Bobby" Sands was an Irish volunteer of the Provisional Irish Republican Army and member of the United Kingdom Parliament who died on hunger strike while imprisoned in HM Prison Maze....

. However, in 1987 he ceased supporting the military activities of the IRA
Provisional Irish Republican Army
The Provisional Irish Republican Army is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation whose aim was to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and bring about a socialist republic within a united Ireland by force of arms and political persuasion...

 as a result of the Enniskillen bombing
Remembrance Day Bombing
The Remembrance Day bombing took place on 8 November 1987 in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland...

.

Individual political songs he has performed throughout his career include Mick Hanly's 'On the Blanket' about the protests of republican prisoners, his own 'Viva la Quinta Brigada' about Irish volunteers in the Spanish Civil War and his own 'Minds Locked Shut' about Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday (1972)
Bloody Sunday —sometimes called the Bogside Massacre—was an incident on 30 January 1972 in the Bogside area of Derry, Northern Ireland, in which twenty-six unarmed civil rights protesters and bystanders were shot by soldiers of the British Army...

 in Derry.

Moore has endorsed a long list of left wing support causes, ranging from El Salvador to Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson
Mary Therese Winifred Robinson served as the seventh, and first female, President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from 1997 to 2002. She first rose to prominence as an academic, barrister, campaigner and member of the Irish Senate...

 in the 1990 Presidential Election. At Glastonbury Festival in 2005 he sang about the Palestinian solidarity activist Rachel Corrie
Rachel Corrie
Rachel Aliene Corrie was an American member of the International Solidarity Movement . She was killed in the Gaza Strip by an Israel Defence Forces bulldozer when she was standing or kneeling in front of a local Palestinian's home, thus acting as a human shield, attempting to prevent the IDF from...

.

With typical Moore social consciousness, he opened the festival marking Ballymun
Ballymun
Ballymun is an area on Dublin's Northside close to Dublin Airport, Ireland. It is infamous for the Ballymun flats, which became a symbol of poverty, drugs, alienation from the state and social problems in Ireland from the 1970s...

's inception as Dublin's first Fairtrade Town on 23 November 2006. Ballymun
Ballymun
Ballymun is an area on Dublin's Northside close to Dublin Airport, Ireland. It is infamous for the Ballymun flats, which became a symbol of poverty, drugs, alienation from the state and social problems in Ireland from the 1970s...

, once synonymous with social deprivation and drug problems, is currently the largest urban regeneration project in northern Europe.

Allusions in his songs

  • The former Bishop of Galway, Eamon Casey
    Eamon Casey
    Eamon Casey is Roman Catholic Bishop Emeritus of Galway and Kilmacduagh, Ireland.-Priest and bishop:...

    , is the subject of Martin Egan's song 'Casey' often performed by Moore.
  • In 2005, his popular release "Don't Forget Your Shovel" (written by Christie Hennessey) was referenced in a number 1 UK single "The JCB Song" by Nizlopi
    Nizlopi
    Nizlopi were a two-piece band, from 1993–2010, with Luke Concannon on vocals, guitar, and bodhrán, and John Parker on double bass, human beatbox, and providing backing vocals. They were based in Leamington Spa, England. Prior to attending Trinity Catholic Technology College, Luke and John...

    : "And the engine rattles my bum like berserk. While we're singin, 'Don't forget your shovel if you want to go to work!'" It was further referenced in the video for the same song; as the line is sung, the characters in the JCB pass a shop called "Christie's Shovels".
  • In his song "If I Get an Encore" he compares Tulsk to hell
    Hell
    In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

    ,"Mountbellew
    Mountbellew
    Mountbellew or Mountbellew Bridge is a village in County Galway, Ireland. It lies mostly within the townland of Treanrevagh on the N63 national primary road....

     was like purgatory but Tulsk was just like being in hell". Its a reference to a row that broke during one of his gigs in a Tulsk venue.

Musical style

His solo style includes driving rhythms on guitar
Guitar
The guitar is a plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various woods and strung with animal gut or, more recently, with...

 and bodhrán
Bodhrán
The bodhrán is an Irish frame drum ranging from 25 to 65 cm in diameter, with most drums measuring 35 to 45 cm . The sides of the drum are 9 to 20 cm deep. A goatskin head is tacked to one side...

 as well as slower ballads.

Family

Moore's brother Barry, whose stage name is Luka Bloom
Luka Bloom
Luka Bloom is an Irish folk-rock singer-songwriter. He is the younger brother of Irish folk singer Christy Moore.-Early life:...

, is also a successful singer-songwriter. His nephew, Conor Byrne, is also an accomplished traditional flautist and tin whistle player, with Christy appearing on his Wind Dancer album.

An Góilín Surprise

On Friday 6 October 2006 Christy paid a surprise visit to the legendary An Góilín
An Góilín
An Góilín Traditional Singer's Club is a traditional singing club in Dublin, Ireland. Founded in 1979 by Dónal de Barra and his brother-in-law, Tim Dennehy, the club serves as a meeting place for those who want to sing and listen to traditional songs...

 traditional singers' club in Dublin. There, before fifty or so people, Christy took out his guitar (instruments are rarely used in An Góilín
An Góilín
An Góilín Traditional Singer's Club is a traditional singing club in Dublin, Ireland. Founded in 1979 by Dónal de Barra and his brother-in-law, Tim Dennehy, the club serves as a meeting place for those who want to sing and listen to traditional songs...

, it being a singers' refuge) and sang songs reflective of the Irish language
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

 and socially radical culture of the club such as Na Conghailigh, about the deaths of Tomás and Seán Ó Conghaile off Conamara, and Viva la Quinta Brigada, about the role of the Irish fighting with the socialists in the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

.

Desert Island Discs

In June 2007, Christy was guest on Desert Island Discs
Desert Island Discs
Desert Island Discs is a BBC Radio 4 programme first broadcast on 29 January 1942. It is the second longest-running radio programme , and is the longest-running factual programme in the history of radio...

, a BBC programme that is often considered an accolade. He selected mainly Irish folk music that had inspired him and spoke frankly of personal and political issues that had shaped his life.

Detention Incident, 2004

In October 2004, a story in several news agencies revealed how Moore had been stopped and detained by customs officers at the Welsh port of Holyhead. The article claimed the singer was stopped in his van with his driver, taken into an office and questioned over the lyrics of his songs. The following day in response to the Irish Times article, Moore released a statement saying: "My driver and I were stopped and held for two hours at Holyhead last Monday, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002
Terrorism Act 2000
The Terrorism Act 2000 is the first of a number of general Terrorism Acts passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It superseded and repealed the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1989 and the Northern Ireland Act 1996...

. My driver and I were held separately in two interrogation rooms. I found the whole experience threatening. I was questioned about the contents of my briefcase."
Despite initial reports to the contrary, the singer's van, which was full of musical equipment, was not searched.
"I was questioned about lyrics of songs and I was asked a lot of personal questions about members of my family and my children and about my home. At no time was I given any explanation as to why I was being held and interrogated in this manner", he added.
He said the fact that Irish people are still being treated this way on their way to Britain is very "saddening".
"I had hoped to deal with this matter out of the public domain. But seeing as it has become a news item, I feel the need to offer my side of the story. I found the whole affair quite frightening."

Oxegen

On Sunday 10 July 2011 Christy joined Chris Martin
Chris Martin
Christopher Anthony John "Chris" Martin is an English song-writer, who is the lead vocalist, pianist and rhythm guitarist of the band Coldplay. He is married to actress Gwyneth Paltrow.-Early life:...

  from Coldplay
Coldplay
Coldplay are a British alternative rock band formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London. After they formed Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as a bassist and they changed their name to Starfish. Will Champion joined as a...

 on stage at Oxegen
Oxegen
Oxegen is an annual music festival in Ireland held since 2004, sponsored by Heineken. As of 2007, 2008, 2009, the festival has been cited as Ireland's biggest music festival. And by 2009, the festival is cited as the greenest festival, being a 100% carbon neutral event in Ireland. It was previously...

 performing the song Ride On
Ride On
Ride On is an album by Irish folk singer Christy Moore, released in 1984, and is widely regarded as one of his best. It contains one of his most popular songs, the title track...

.

Solo

  • Paddy on the Road
    Paddy on the Road
    Paddy on the Road is the debut album by Irish folk musician Christy Moore, released in 1969. The album was produced and co-written by Dominic Behan.Although issued on a major label , only 500 copies were pressed of the original 1969 issue....

     (1969)
  • Prosperous (1972)
  • Whatever Tickles Your Fancy
    Whatever Tickles Your Fancy
    Whatever Tickles Your Fancy is the third solo album by Irish folk musician Christy Moore, released in 1975.Since his last album Properous in 1972, Christy had recorded three albums with Planxty. He left Planxty soon after, only to realise he had no profile as a solo artist in Ireland...

     (1975)
  • Christy Moore (1976)
  • The Iron Behind the Velvet
    The Iron Behind the Velvet
    The Iron Behind the Velvet was recorded by Christy Moore after the first breakup of Planxty. It features his brother Barry Moore on guitar & vocals as well as Planxty's Andy Irvine on mandolin, bouzouki, vocals and more...

     (1978)
  • Live in Dublin
    Live in Dublin (Christy Moore album)
    Live in Dublin is a live album by Irish singer/songwriter Christy Moore.We recorded this album in April 1978, when we did gigs at The Meeting Place, Pat Dowling's of Prosperous, Trinity College and the Grapevine Arts centre in North Great George's St. One number ' Clydes Bonnie Banks was recorded...

     (1978)
  • H Block (1980)
  • Christy Moore and Friends (1981)
  • The Time Has Come (1983)
  • Ride On (1984)
  • Ordinary Man (1985)
  • The Spirit of Freedom (1986)
  • Unfinished Revolution
    Unfinished Revolution
    Unfinished Revolution is an album by Irish singer Christy Moore, released in 1987.-Track listing:# "Biko Drum" - 3:51# "Natives" - 3:46# "Metropolitan Avenue" - 3:36...

     (1987)
  • Voyage (1989)
  • Smoke and Strong Whiskey
    Smoke and Strong Whiskey
    Smoke and Strong Whiskey is an album by Irish folk singer Christy Moore, released in 1991.-Track listing:All tracks composed by Christy Moore; except where indicated# "Welcome to the Cabaret" - 3:50...

     (1991)
  • King Puck (1993)
  • Live at the Point
    Live at the Point (1994 Christy Moore album)
    Live at the Point is a live album by Irish folk singer Christy Moore, released in 1994. The album was recorded at the Point Theatre in Dublin over a course of a number of concerts in 1994.-Track listing:...

     (1994)
  • Graffiti Tongue (1996)
  • Traveller (1999)
  • This is the Day
    This is the Day (Christy Moore)
    This is the Day is an album released by Irish folk singer/songwriter Christy Moore in 2001.It contains a tribute to Veronica Guerin, an Irish journalist who was murdered in 1996 by drug dealers. Moore also covers the song "Victor Jara", a tribute to the Chilean folk singer with lyric's by Adrian...

     (2001)
  • Live at Vicar Street (2002)
  • Burning Times
    Burning Times (album)
    Burning Times is an album by Irish folk singer Christy Moore. The album is dedicated to Rachel Corrie, an American activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003...

     (2005)
  • Live at The Point 2006 (2006)
  • Listen (2009)
  • Folk Tale (2011)

With Planxty

  • Planxty
    Planxty (album)
    Planxty is the first album by the Irish folk group Planxty, released in 1973. Because of its dark cover, it is sometimes referred to as "the Black Album."...

     (1972)
  • The Well Below the Valley
    The Well Below the Valley (album)
    The Well Below the Valley is the second album by the Irish folk group Planxty. It was released in 1973 and takes its title from the sixth song on the album, "The Well Below the Valley".-Track listing:#"Cúnla"#"Pat Reiley"...

     (1973)
  • Cold Blow And The Rainy Night
    Cold Blow and the Rainy Night (album)
    Cold Blow and the Rainy Night is the third album by the Irish folk group Planxty. The record was released in 1974 and takes its title from the third song on the album, Cold Blow and the Rainy Night.-Track listing:#"Johnny Cope"...

     (1974)
  • After The Break
    After the Break
    After The Break is a studio album by the Irish folk music band Planxty released in 1979. Now available to download from most major online retailers as well as on CD.- Track listing:#"The Good Ship Kangaroo"...

     (1979)
  • The Woman I Loved So Well
    The Woman I Loved So Well
    The Woman I Loved So Well is a studio album by Planxty released in 1980. Now available to download from most major online retailers as well as on CD.- Track listing:# "True Love Knows No Season"# "Out On The Ocean / Tiocfaidh Tu Abhaile Liom"...

     (1980)
  • Words and Music (1983)
  • Planxty Live 2004 (2004)

With Moving Hearts

  • Moving Hearts (1981)
  • Dark End Of The Street (1982)

Compilation albums

  • High Kings of Tara (Christy Moore, Planxty,..) (1980)
  • Nice 'n Easy (1984)
  • Aris (Planxty) (1984)
  • Christy Moore (Compilation USA) (1988)
  • The Christy Moore Collection 1981–1991 (1991)
  • Christy Moore Collection Part 2 (1997)
  • The Box Set 1964 2004 (2004)

DVDS

  • Christy Moore Uncovered (2001) 104 mins - features collaborations with Jimmy MacCarthy, Wally Page, Shane McGowan, Sinéad O'Connor
    Sinéad O'Connor
    Sinéad Marie Bernadette O'Connor is an Irish singer-songwriter. She rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra and achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a cover of the song "Nothing Compares 2 U"....

     and John Spillane
    John Spillane
    John Spillane is a singer-songwriter from Cork, Ireland. He graduated from University College Cork with a degree in Irish and in English.-Background:Spillane grew up in the Cork suburb of Bishopstown, in a large family of boys...

    .
  • Planxty Live 2004 The reunion of the hugely popular and influential group after a 20 year hiatus.
  • Christy Moore Live In Dublin 2006 (2006) 143 mins - First time a live solo concert has been recorded and released outside CD format. Filmed over 4 nights in December 2005 and January 2006.

External links

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