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STILL ON TOP
on 1 January 2012
You can always rest assured that Christy Moore will not fail to deliver on his usual high standards both in his song choice and delivery and Folk Tale is no exception. The opening song, Tyrone Boys, whilst I did not recognise it by its title, turns out to be a great reworking both in lyrics and tempo of the song entitled The Other Side which initially was released on the Unfinished Revolution album of 1987. (The political references have been altered slightly). The only verse which remains virtually untouched is the final one which deals with emigration from Ireland, a topic as relevant in today's economic climate as it was in the mid 1980s. Other songs that I would be familiar with are the closing numbers God Woman, Tiles and Slabs and the title track Folk Tale which were initially released on his 1996 album Grafitti Tongue. Farmer Michael Hayes is from the Planxty back catalogue although it is new to me. Easter Snow has previously appeared on his 1991 Collection 81 to 91. The remaining 5 tracks appear to be new. Of these the one which affects the most is On Morecambe Bay, the story of the awful fate of the Chinese cockle pickers who perished in the advancing tides at Morecambe Bay a few years ago. There are two 'novelty songs' included which are My Little Honda 50 & Weekend In Amsterdam. Whilst these grab the attention much more immediately, they are also the two that will wane quicker. This is not to diminish their worth or appeal, it is simply that after the first few listening, the jokes become a little tired. In true folk tradition, the latter (Weekend in Amsterdam) is to the tune of another folk standard. (The Craic Was 90 in The Isle of Man), but what does it matter. (Bob Dylan, whom I would regard as possibly the finest song writer of our times, had in the early 1960s particularly, used traditional and Irish folk airs for many of his songs, for example With God On Our Side which was a reworking of The Patriot Game / Ramblin Gamblin Willie to the tune of Brennan on The Moor etc etc).
If you enjoy good music, superbly delivered and with something relevant to say both socially and politically, you can always rely on Christy Moore to deliver the goods. This new release is no let down and can mix it with the best of his past releases. Yes there are a few reworked songs from past albums, (Tyrone Boys is such an extensive re-working and re writing that it could almost be regarded as a new song) but as with his last recording 'Listen' these are very much worthwhile.