Mickey MacConnell,
Peter Pan & Me
(Spring, 1991/92; re-issue, 2005)

One of the favourite folk songs of Ireland, especially for Christy Moore, is not an ancient song at all. It was written by an 18-year-old and has become a standard on the set list of any self-respecting singer.

As so often happens, the song becomes better known than the person responsible for it. Now you have a chance not only to hear the song sung by the composer but, in addition, to hear 10 further songs by Mickey MacConnell.

The title track is a wonderful song about those days when a part of Ireland went from depressed by inequality to oppressed by force of arms on all sides. It recalls the idealism of the civil rights marches in Derry and the subsequent decades.

"Enid Blyton" is a superb, satirical song. It may not travel well from the British Isles where the tales of derring-do by the Famous Five may not be so well known. He brings these lovely heroes and heroines up to date in a modern world. He then sings of another child star. "Lament for Judy Garland" is a wonderful tribute.

We get a mini-epic on "The Tinkerman's Daughter" and a comic masterpiece as he tells how too close an acquaintance with politicians can affect your speech in "The Politician's Song." The final track, "The Leaving," is another favourite of mine with its lovely message that is so true to life.

The album is a well-balanced mixture of the comic and sad, but it's always thought-provoking. The production is simple but all the more effective for it. You realize why when you look at the musicians list and find Kieran Goss and Colum Sands among others.

You can hear some of these tracks in their entirety at the website, to help you make up your mind.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 28 May 2005

[ visit the artist's website ]