Most helpful positive review
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
No Ordinary Man!
on 22 January 2004
This is an astounding collection of Christy's favourite songs, 500 in total, and the stories that go with them, how they sustained and carried him around the world. From the dizzy heights of the Palace cinema in Newbridge, Co. Kildare to the lonely citadel of Carnegie Hall in New York, Christy has performed these songs 5,000 times, each time like the first, never to sing the last. This is an autobiography which dispenses with a traditional life-narrative in favour of an approach that's far more innovative and revealing. It is also one of the few music books you'll read in which the subject eloquently communicates their love of music and illustrates just what it has meant throughout their life. There are some very revealing stories behind the words and music of particular songs and writers. A lot of his material was by unknown authors that he then recreated into his own unique renditions. Included are well-know and much-loved songs from the talents of Bob Dylan, Shane McGowan, Bobby Sands, Woody Guthrie, Pierce Turner, Jimmy Page and Joe Dolan to mention a few.
There are also quite a few references to Derry and the people Christy met and some of the experiences he had during the troubles at the time. His stories are intimate, honest, absorbing and occasionally disturbing and harrowing. He shares the ups and downs of his music career, his personal battles and his family life. His raw energy shines through and his strength and honest outlook are hard to ignore. Christy found that through this 'labour of love' he was able to write about his life through writing about the songs themselves. They are the real words and memories of much more than "An Ordinary Man" who has been on the circuit for nearly four decades. His message to all is "let the music keep your spirits high." Genuine, sincere and full of spirit.