THERE IS a Galway connection to Christy's new album, coming straight at the beginning with 'Mandolin Mountain', written by the late, great songwriter and musician Tony Small.
A trek through the highlands becomes a metaphor for the creative process and the joy and consolation of music, it is delivered with great sensitivity and judgment. The jaunty 'The Tuam Beat' follows, celebrating the north Galway town's musical tradition. Insanely catchy, it is the closest Christy has come to doing a pop song.
Lily is a collection mellow and gentle in tone, but uncompromising in content. There is deep anger evident, despite the restraint, in 'Oblivious': "The men and women of 1916/Risked their lives for a national dream...all that they dreamt and died for/has been squandered by scoundrels and fools." It is a tension which allows the song rise above sloganeering, to become a meaningful statement.
The finest moment may be Christy's take on Peter Gabriel's 'Wallflower'. Although written about the sufferings of Chilean political prisoners in Pinochet's gaols, it is hard not to think of it equally applying to Bobby Sands and the H-Block blanket men, whose situation Christy championed - it is the 35th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strikes this year. Indeed, when Christy, and others join together to intone, "Though you may disappear/you're not forgotten here..." it is a hairs on the back of the neck moment.
Christy Moore plays The Connemara Coast Hotel on Thursday June 23.