Irish folk music inspires people all over the world. These original pub tunes have turned into a form of popular music in its own way. Numerous groups such as The Pogues have contributed to Irish folk’s popularity, but they are all just a tribute to a small group from Ireland, which once introduced this type of music to the world.
The Dubliners are a legend of Irish folk. They travelled the world for decades and delighted their audiences with authentic music from the Green Island. The band had great songs on their repertoire and a lot of joie de vivre along with some culinary delights of Ireland. So, The Dubliners acted as musical ambassadors for their homeland and whetted the appetite for Irish folk music.
At first glance, happiness and melancholy appear to be opposites, but both are deeply rooted in Irish music. The Dubliners knew how to combine these two opposites in their songs; thus, their music went straight to hearts, legs, and ears. If you are enthusiastic about Irish music, you simply can’t miss The Dubliners’ songs. Most of the fans knew the band as older men with long beards, but there is much more than meets the eye.
A Gifted Live Band
The Dubliners founded the band in 1962. At that time, they were still called the Ronnie Drew Folk Group. According to some sources, the group started playing in a pub, which is said to have been the O’Donoghue’s Pub in Dublin. There they made their first appearance in front of a live audience, for which they played traditional rebel songs. The lyrics of their songs were directed against the English occupation as the resistance has a long tradition in Ireland. Their joy and passion for playing quickly set The Dubliners apart from the rest. They amazed everyone with funny, melancholic, and unconventional songs. And so, The Dubliners set out to conquer the world.
A performance in Scotland brought them the attention of an independent record label in 1963. The head of Transatlantic Records was enthusiastic and offered the group a record deal. In 1964, The Dubliners were in the studio for the first time and recorded their first songs. In 1967, a breakthrough followed, which kickstarted their decade-spanning career. From then on, they toured the world, celebrated chart successes, received gold records as well as countless prizes. But the excessive touring life soon took a toll. One band member collapsed on the open stage in 1974 and died years later due to a blood clot.
After a few changes in the line-up, the band decided to leave the rough times of the 1960s and 1970s behind. A collaboration with The Pogues also introduced The Dubliners to a younger audience. Together, the bands re-recorded the classic Irish Rover and landed on the charts yet again. This collaboration marked the beginning of a new phase in the band’s career. They went on tour again, made new records, and spread Irish folk around the planet. This phase of The Dubliners’ career lasted until 2012, when the last founding member of the band, Barney McKenna, died. The remaining members decided not to continue the band and after 50 years, an illustrious career came to an end.