Christy Moore

born on 7/5/1945 in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland

Christy Moore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Christy Moore

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.[1]

Early life

Moore was born in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland. 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 didnt 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, Mairtin Byrnes and many other traditional musicians.[2]

Musical career

1972 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.[2]

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.[2]

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 reduced his workload for medical reasons.[2]

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.[3]

In December 2011, Moore released the album Folk Tale. His most recent 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 3 in the Irish album charts.[4]

Political and social commentary

Moore is best known for his political and social commentary which reflects a left-wing, Irish republican perspective, despite the fact that his mother was a Fine Gael county councillor and parliamentary candidate in Kildare.[5] He supported the republican H-Block protestors with the album H-Block in 1978, the launch of which was raided by the police, and The Spirit of Freedom.[6] He has also recorded songs by the hunger striker Bobby Sands, including "Back Home In Derry" which is based on Gordon Lightfoot's song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". He ceased supporting the military activities of the IRA in 1987 as a result of the Enniskillen bombing.[7]

Political songs he has performed throughout his career include Mick Hanly's 'On the Blanket' about the protests of republican prisoners, 'Viva la Quinta Brigada' about Irish volunteers in the Spanish Civil War and 'Minds Locked Shut' about Bloody Sunday in Derry.

Moore has endorsed a long list of leftist support causes, ranging from El Salvador to Mary Robinson in the 1990 Presidential Election.[2] At the Glastonbury Festival in 2005, he sang about the Palestinian solidarity activist Rachel Corrie.

With typical Moore social consciousness, he opened the festival marking Ballymun's inception as Dublin's first Fairtrade Town on 23 November 2006. Ballymun, 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, is the subject of Martin Egan's song 'Casey' often performed by Moore.
  • In 2005, "Don't Forget Your Shovel" (written by Christie Hennessy) was referenced in a number 1 UK single "The JCB Song" by Nizlopi: "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 "If I Get an Encore" he compares Tulsk to hell,"Mountbellew was like purgatory but Tulsk was just like being in hell", a reference to a row that broke during one of his gigs in Tulsk.

Musical style

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


Moore's brother Barry, whose stage name is Luka Bloom, is also a successful singer-songwriter.[8] His nephew, Conor Byrne, is also an accomplished traditional flautist and tin whistle player, with Christy appearing on his Wind Dancer album.[9]

Memorable events

Detention incident, 2004

In October 2004, Moore was stopped and detained by Special Branch officers at the Welsh port of Holyhead, taken into an office and questioned about the lyrics of his songs.[10][11] The following day, he 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. 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."[12]

An Góilín Surprise

On 6 October 2006, Moore paid a surprise visit to the An Góilín traditional singers' club in Dublin. There, before fifty or so people, Moore took out his guitar (instruments are rarely used in An Góilín, it being a singers' refuge) and sang songs reflective of the Irish language 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 against the fascists in the Spanish Civil War.

Desert Island Discs

In June 2007, Moore was a guest on the BBC radio programme Desert Island Discs.[13] 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.[14]


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



  • Paddy on the Road (1969)
  • Prosperous (1972)
  • Whatever Tickles Your Fancy (1975)
  • Christy Moore (1976)
  • The Iron Behind the Velvet (1978)
  • Live in Dublin (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 (1987)
  • Voyage (1989)
  • Smoke and Strong Whiskey (1991)
  • King Puck (1993)
  • Live at the Point (1994)
  • Graffiti Tongue (1996)
  • Traveller (1999)
  • This is the Day (2001)
  • Live at Vicar Street (2002)
  • Burning Times (2005)
  • Live at The Point 2006 (2006)
  • Listen (2009)
  • Folk Tale (2011)

With Planxty

  • Planxty (1972)
  • The Well Below the Valley (1973)
  • Cold Blow And The Rainy Night (1974)
  • After The Break (1979)
  • The Woman I Loved So Well (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)
  • Where I Come From (2013)


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


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


  1. Rehab Press Room. Retrieved on 2008-09-22.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Moore, Christy (2000). One Voice, London: Lir/Hodder and Stoughton.
  3. Listen Its Christy Moore. Irish Music Magazine (2009-03-30). Retrieved on 2009-04-18.
  5. Elections Ireland
  6. H-Block
  7. 14:15 - 15:00 (2007-06-17). Desert Island Discs - Castaway : Christy Moore. BBC. Retrieved on 2012-04-17.
  8. Article in Hot Press mentioning that Christy and Luka Bloom are brothers
  9. Christy Moore (2008-10-26). Retrieved on 2009-04-17.
  10. Melia, Paul, Christy Moore 'frightened' by detention at Holyhead,, 2004-10-22. URL accessed on 2009-10-22.
  11. Irish singer's port quiz anger,, 2004-10-22. URL accessed on 2009-10-22.
  13. BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs,, 2007-06-17. URL accessed on 2007-06-17.

External links

  • Christy Moore's home page
  • Review of a Christy Moore concert in Nottingham November 2007
  • Review of a Christy Moore concert in Dublin in 2001
  • Christy Moore The Early Years
  • '4711' is a term Christy coined which refers to his online fanbase.
This page was last modified 08.03.2014 23:59:19

This article uses material from the article Christy Moore from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.