"Ordinary man" : Christy Moore and the Irish contemporary ballad

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

Abstract

The ballad’s longevity and endurance as a vital form of cultural resistance to prevailing orthodoxies, hegemonies, and power abuses are highlighted by the performances and recordings of contemporary Irish singer Christy Moore. As he recalls in his show-closing song “If I Get an Encore,” he was “bitten by the ballad bug” in his formative years, and has continued throughout his long career to boost the popularity of a currently rather neglected and unfashionable form of Anglophone popular culture. In this essay I will analyze and discuss five examples of Moore’s characteristic fusion of traditional ballads, classic modern ballads—such as those of Woody Guthrie and Ewan MacColl—contemporary ballads, and self-penned songs of protest and social critique. The selected ballads include “Ninety Miles to Dublin Town,” written in support of hunger-striking prisoners in Northern Ireland, “Viva La Quinta Brigada,” a tribute to Irishmen who joined the resistance against Franco in the Spanish Civil War, and “Minds Locked Shut,” Moore’s ballad about the Bloody Sunday events of 1972. The singer’s distinctive vocal interpretation reconciles the idealist, documentary, and social facets of the ballad tradition in the persona of the “ordinary man,” to reference one of the most popular protest songs in Moore’s repertoire. Moore’s work will be discussed in the light of the above three components of cultural evaluation proposed by the eminent cultural critic, Raymond Williams.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMusic and Politics
VolumeXI
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Fingerprint

Ballad
Song
Singers
Repertoire
Raymond Williams
Documentary
Dublin
Popular Protest
Evaluation
Cultural Critics
Hunger
Spanish Civil War
Fusion
Prisoners
Idealist
Abuse
Encore
Persona
Formative Years
Protest

Cite this

@article{e1857148d9ee4a8cb15fc3cdb37deddf,
title = "{"}Ordinary man{"} : Christy Moore and the Irish contemporary ballad",
abstract = "The ballad’s longevity and endurance as a vital form of cultural resistance to prevailing orthodoxies, hegemonies, and power abuses are highlighted by the performances and recordings of contemporary Irish singer Christy Moore. As he recalls in his show-closing song “If I Get an Encore,” he was “bitten by the ballad bug” in his formative years, and has continued throughout his long career to boost the popularity of a currently rather neglected and unfashionable form of Anglophone popular culture. In this essay I will analyze and discuss five examples of Moore’s characteristic fusion of traditional ballads, classic modern ballads—such as those of Woody Guthrie and Ewan MacColl—contemporary ballads, and self-penned songs of protest and social critique. The selected ballads include “Ninety Miles to Dublin Town,” written in support of hunger-striking prisoners in Northern Ireland, “Viva La Quinta Brigada,” a tribute to Irishmen who joined the resistance against Franco in the Spanish Civil War, and “Minds Locked Shut,” Moore’s ballad about the Bloody Sunday events of 1972. The singer’s distinctive vocal interpretation reconciles the idealist, documentary, and social facets of the ballad tradition in the persona of the “ordinary man,” to reference one of the most popular protest songs in Moore’s repertoire. Moore’s work will be discussed in the light of the above three components of cultural evaluation proposed by the eminent cultural critic, Raymond Williams.",
author = "Mike INGHAM",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.3998/mp.9460447.0011.203",
language = "English",
volume = "XI",
journal = "Music and Politics",
issn = "1938-7687",
number = "2",

}

"Ordinary man" : Christy Moore and the Irish contemporary ballad. / INGHAM, Mike.

In: Music and Politics, Vol. XI, No. 2, 01.01.2017.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

TY - JOUR

T1 - "Ordinary man" : Christy Moore and the Irish contemporary ballad

AU - INGHAM, Mike

PY - 2017/1/1

Y1 - 2017/1/1

N2 - The ballad’s longevity and endurance as a vital form of cultural resistance to prevailing orthodoxies, hegemonies, and power abuses are highlighted by the performances and recordings of contemporary Irish singer Christy Moore. As he recalls in his show-closing song “If I Get an Encore,” he was “bitten by the ballad bug” in his formative years, and has continued throughout his long career to boost the popularity of a currently rather neglected and unfashionable form of Anglophone popular culture. In this essay I will analyze and discuss five examples of Moore’s characteristic fusion of traditional ballads, classic modern ballads—such as those of Woody Guthrie and Ewan MacColl—contemporary ballads, and self-penned songs of protest and social critique. The selected ballads include “Ninety Miles to Dublin Town,” written in support of hunger-striking prisoners in Northern Ireland, “Viva La Quinta Brigada,” a tribute to Irishmen who joined the resistance against Franco in the Spanish Civil War, and “Minds Locked Shut,” Moore’s ballad about the Bloody Sunday events of 1972. The singer’s distinctive vocal interpretation reconciles the idealist, documentary, and social facets of the ballad tradition in the persona of the “ordinary man,” to reference one of the most popular protest songs in Moore’s repertoire. Moore’s work will be discussed in the light of the above three components of cultural evaluation proposed by the eminent cultural critic, Raymond Williams.

AB - The ballad’s longevity and endurance as a vital form of cultural resistance to prevailing orthodoxies, hegemonies, and power abuses are highlighted by the performances and recordings of contemporary Irish singer Christy Moore. As he recalls in his show-closing song “If I Get an Encore,” he was “bitten by the ballad bug” in his formative years, and has continued throughout his long career to boost the popularity of a currently rather neglected and unfashionable form of Anglophone popular culture. In this essay I will analyze and discuss five examples of Moore’s characteristic fusion of traditional ballads, classic modern ballads—such as those of Woody Guthrie and Ewan MacColl—contemporary ballads, and self-penned songs of protest and social critique. The selected ballads include “Ninety Miles to Dublin Town,” written in support of hunger-striking prisoners in Northern Ireland, “Viva La Quinta Brigada,” a tribute to Irishmen who joined the resistance against Franco in the Spanish Civil War, and “Minds Locked Shut,” Moore’s ballad about the Bloody Sunday events of 1972. The singer’s distinctive vocal interpretation reconciles the idealist, documentary, and social facets of the ballad tradition in the persona of the “ordinary man,” to reference one of the most popular protest songs in Moore’s repertoire. Moore’s work will be discussed in the light of the above three components of cultural evaluation proposed by the eminent cultural critic, Raymond Williams.

UR - http://commons.ln.edu.hk/sw_master/3607

U2 - 10.3998/mp.9460447.0011.203

DO - 10.3998/mp.9460447.0011.203

M3 - Journal Article (refereed)

VL - XI

JO - Music and Politics

JF - Music and Politics

SN - 1938-7687

IS - 2

ER -