On ‘claiming’ a song

The Lake Isle of Innisfree is a 12-line poem written by W. B. Yeats about a small island in Lough Gill, Sligo.

The Isle of Innisfree is a song written by Irishman Dick Farrelly which was recorded by many artists, including Bing Crosby and was chosen by director John Ford as the main musical theme for The 1952 film The Quiet Man.

There is absolutely no connection between them bar the similarity in the title. The Isle in Farrelly’s song represents Ireland as a whole and hence has nothing to do with the small island in the middle of a lake in Co. Sligo.

Yet the way that Sandy Kelly delivers the vocal on this version of the song – when she clenches her fist and delivers the last few lines on a stage full of Sligo people, you would swear otherwise. You see a great singer can convince an audience a song means whatever he/she wants it to mean, even if that is something that wasn’t in the author’s mind when he wrote it. And this is exactly what Sandy does here when she ‘claims’ it for Sligo.

I’ll always remember the month of February 2019 for this gig. And so it is fitting on the last day of the month that I’m happy to share a link to a YouTube playlist which features videos of almost all the performances from what was a special night for many of us.

PS – here are the answers to yesterday’s blog – and bear in mind that this was a very subjective quiz (as evidenced by many of the answers I got).

1 – The intro reminded me of the intro to Every Breath You Take (The Police) – it’s faster but the sound and notes are very similar.

2 – The melody of the verse is almost identical to the melody of the verse in When You’re Looking Like That (Westlife)

3 – And the third line of the song – “you look happy” is almost identical (melodically and lyrically) to Ed Sheeran’s line “you look happier” in his song Happier.


One thought on “On ‘claiming’ a song

  1. Beautiful 🎶 musical introduction/arrangement of ‘Isle of Innisfree’, stunning delivery by you Sandy, what a glorious finale to Sligo’s finest 🌃 night in Dublin town! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

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