Many of Galway's landmark features, from the GBC Restaurant to the bells of St Nicholas' Church, will form the backdrop for "Old Galway Town", a new Christmas single to be released tomorrow.
Galway's first Christmas song is the most recent recording from vocalist Michelle Lally who has the unique distinction of having performed for two US Presidents at the White House, Barack Obama and George W Bush.
It is Michelle's first time working with songwriters Johnny B Broderick and Ciaran Cannon, while the production is supported by the Town Hall Theatre as part of its cultural outreach programme.
Michelle Lally says it is the perfect song for this Christmas.
"Johnny B and Ciaran approached me earlier this year and asked if I would be interested in working with them on "Old Galway Town". The moment I heard it I was committed. For me it's the perfect song for a Christmas that comes at the end of a very challenging year, one where we didn't have many opportunities to meet with friends and family," she says.
"It's a song about looking to our past and all the memories that we have made, while being grateful for our present, grateful to have loved ones who are really precious to us at this special time of year. The fact that the song is set to the sights and sounds of Galway city, a place very close to my heart, makes it even more attractive and I know that it will resonate with Galwegians around the world. To have the support of our Town Hall Theatre, Galway's premier cultural space, really means a lot to us."
This is not the first time that lyricist Johnny B Broderick and musician Ciaran Cannon have collaborated on a songwriting project. Their work also features on Sean Keane's recent album with the RTE Concert Orchestra.
A little magic
Johnny B says the words for "Old Galway Town" had been sitting in a notebook for nearly a year.
"I wanted to ensure that they eventually saw the light of day in a recording. Ciaran and I worked on it for a few weeks and we were happy with the outcome. To have someone of Michelle's talent working with us makes this songwriting experience all the more special.
"This is Galway's first ever Christmas song and we hope it will be reverberating around the airwaves for years to come, a song that is dear to Galwegians and Irish people in general, a song that makes them glad to be part of a very large worldwide community," said Johnny B.
The song was recorded in Middlewalk Studios in Co Tipperary and features multi-instrumentalist Peter Maher who also produced, and played piano, accordion and bass, while Enda Dempsey played guitar. The children's choir of Bullaun NS also feature and were recorded at school by principal Fergal Connaire, another very experienced musician.
Ciaran Cannon says the addition of childrens' voices from Bullaun NS was a special moment.
'They added a little magic to the recording. For me one of the most abiding memories of a Galway Christmas is the wonderful music of Joe Gaynor, playing his accordion outside what is now the Treasure Chest.
"As a child I would sit on the windowsill of Moon's and listen to him.So in writing the music for “Old Galway Town” I wanted to include an accordion in the mix and sent some ideas to Peter. His beautiful playing pays homage to our memories of Joe, Galway's first busker", said Ciaran.
For more information visit twww.facebook.com/oldgalwaytown and the single will be available from this Friday morning on all download and streaming channels.