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Christy Moore
Christy-liverpool-philh-oct-08-crop.jpg
Christy Moore in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, October 2008
Background information
Birth name Christopher Andrew Moore
Born (1945-05-07) 7 May 1945 (age 77)
Origin Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland
Genres Folk, traditional Irish
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bodhrán
Years active 1969–present
Associated acts Planxty, Moving Hearts, The Dubliners, Luka Bloom

Christopher Andrew "Christy" Moore (born 7 May 1945) is an Irish folk singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is one of the founding members of Planxty and Moving Hearts. His first album, Paddy on the Road was recorded with Dominic Behan in 1969. In 2007, he was named as Ireland's greatest living musician in RTÉ's People of the Year Awards.

Early life

Moore was born in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland and attended Newbridge College. He was originally a bank employee who wanted to express himself using traditional music. During a bank strike in 1966, which lasted twelve weeks, he went to England, as many striking officials did, but didn't return when the strike was settled. "I had a wild and wonderful time in England, with no bank manager looking over my shoulder," he said. Doing general labouring work, he frequented the folk clubs and the Irish music pubs where he met Seamus Ennis, Margaret Barry, Luke Kelly, Martin Byrnes and many other traditional musicians. When Irish singing trio The Grehan Sisters, with whom Moore was previously acquainted, moved to the north of England from Dublin in 1967, they assisted Moore to get a higher profile by giving him contacts and support slots on their concerts.

Musical career

1973 brought his first major release, Prosperous, which brought together the four musicians who shortly thereafter formed Planxty: Liam O'Flynn, Andy Irvine and Dónal Lunny. For a time they called themselves "CLAD", an acronym of their names, but soon decided on Planxty.

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 with Lunny and five other musicians in 1980. In 1987 he appeared on Gay Byrne's The Late Late Show performing with The Dubliners for their 25th anniversary. In 2000, he published his autobiography, One Voice.

Moore's earlier lifestyle 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 reduced 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" caused Moore to recall the Galway drinking scene with local musicians Mickey Finn, Pete Galligan, Corky and Terry Smith.

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

In December 2011, Moore released the album Folk Tale. His next album Where I Come From was released in November 2013 and features a new protest song called "Arthur's Day". The album peaked at number three in the Irish album charts. On the road was released in November 2017, while his most recent album Magic Nights was released in November 2019.

Banned songs

"They Never Came Home" is a song about the Stardust fire of 1981 where 48 people died. The song was recorded on the Ordinary Man album and was released on the B-side of a single in 1985. The song achieved notoriety when Moore was taken to court over claims in the song prejudical to an ongoing court case determining compensation. For instance, the song claimed, "hundreds of children are injured and maimed, and all just because the fire exits were chained". Mr Justice Murphy ordered the Ordinary Man album to be withdrawn from the shops, and costs were awarded against Moore. "Another Song is Born" was recorded for the album's re-release. "They Never Came Home" later appeared on his box set and on the album Where I come from.

Musical style

His solo style includes driving rhythms on guitar and bodhrán as well as slower ballads.

Family

Moore's brother Barry, whose stage name is Luka Bloom, 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.

Memorable events

Desert Island Discs

In June 2007, Moore was a guest on the BBC radio programme Desert Island Discs. He selected mainly Irish folk music that had inspired him and spoke of personal and political issues that had shaped his life.

Penguin book of Irish poetry

In 2010 Christy Moore's song "Lisdoonvarna" which he wrote gained entry in The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry.

Oxegen

On Sunday 10 July 2011 Moore joined Coldplay on stage at the 2011 Oxegen Festival performing the song "Ride On".

Discography

Filmography

Video

  • Christy (1995) 54 mins – Christy reflects on life and career.

DVDs

  • Christy Moore Uncovered (2001) 104 mins – features collaborations with Jimmy MacCarthy, Wally Page, Shane MacGowan, Sinéad O'Connor and John Spillane.
  • Live 2004 (Planxty DVD) 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.
  • Christy Moore's Come All You Dreamers – Live at Barrowland (2009) – Filmed in Barrowland in Glasgow featuring Declan Sinnott.
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