The Dubliners and me…
Well, how to begin? Maybe I’ll start by briefly introducing myself.
My name is Marc and although I am German born I always felt a strong
affection for Ireland, the country, its people, their history and culture and especially their music,
I first listened to Irish folk music as a teenager and later, after a rather
spontaneous decision to learn how to play the guitar some eight years ago or so, I’ve been collecting, preparing, playing
and singing the songs myself.
The ones of you that might have red what Martin Dardis wrote about his motivation
to build up this website will know that his aim was to provide a central place where one could find almost every Irish folk
song imaginable and to preserve this precious heritage for the upcoming generations.
I share this noble intention and was therefore very eager and proud
when I got the chance to contribute to this great work by providing several missing songs and the associated chords out of
my personal collection.
Okay, that’s all very nice you’ll probably say now, but what the
hell has all this to do with the title of this abstract?
Well, some time ago when I sent him over a bunch of new Dubliner’s
Songs for the site, Martin asked me if I was willing to write some kind of review about what the band and their songs mean
to me and my own attitude towards music, because he supposed I was fan of them just like him.
Probably like many of you, the Dubliners are one of the first things
that come into my mind when I think about Irish folk music. That’s no wonder of course, if one takes a look on the more
than forty albums they have recorded in their over forty years career, surprisingly without ever writing any song themselves,
as I myself hadn’t known for many years but just assumed.
Anyhow I had to think about Martin’s request for a while at first. Actually
I had regarded myself as a great Wolfe Tones’, Clancy Brothers’ and Corries’ fan -the last ones are Scottish,
I know, nevertheless awesome.
But if you had asked me some time ago for my opinion about the Dubliners I
probably would just have answered something like “Yeah, they’re alright, but none of my favourites”.
So why this?
Now, just as the Dubliners are the first thing to come into my thoughts concerning
Irish folk music, the first I’d connect with them is the name of Luke Kelly- also no wonder for all he has contributed
to the popularity of Irish music, may he rest in peace and enjoy himself playing now together with Ronnie Drew!
But, to be honest, myself, I’ve never been the biggest fan of
his very unique voice- all his admirers out there may forgive me this heresy…
Nevertheless I owe him probably a lot because it was in fact a cassette
copy of one of their very old albums (I unfortunately forgot which one) being the first piece of Irish music I’ve ever
listened to consciously in my life and which has likely been the basis for my later enthusiasm (many thanks to my old mate
Per, who once recommended it to me).
In December 2007 I finally saw them playing life in concert. Actually
I went there without great expectations, but mostly because we don’t often get the possibility to see big Irish bands
over here and besides this because I thought that it was just some kind of must as a folk fan to see the Dubliners at least
Today I am very glad I went there for it was absolutely fantastic to
see which great show this gang of senior citizens, as they would probably call themselves, performed there on stage
and in which way they inspired hundreds of Germans of various ages to join them in song, finally culminating in A Nation
Once Again. In this context, one should know that over here we sadly don’t have a living tradition in our own folk
music and so this is not at all self-evident.
After this kind of revelation, I finally began to deal more with them
and their music. My today’s medium of choice for this is called YouTube. With a tiny bit of insistence you can find
there almost everything you are looking for. And of course, you will find there thousands of videos connected to the Dubliners,
most of them being musical ones. There I first got aware how much they had really done and which broad spectrum of great and
lovely songs they had covered. Many of these now belong to my personal favourites, like Three Score And Ten, Dicey Riley,
Donegal Danny and Rose of Allendale.
Just some weeks ago I had the chance for another smashing concert of
them and so I think I can come now to the following conclusion:
Yes, I am a great Dubliner’s fan! Thank you guys for your music
and for giving it to Ireland and the world! I hope you will carry on for many more years!
Erin Go Bragh!
Marc Patrick Fahrbach, January 2009