"Late Late Show Tribute to the Dubliners, The" - Various Artists
U2 Related Content:
- "Springhill Mining Disaster" (Live from Dublin, Mar. 16, 1987) - U2 (03:57)
- "The Auld Triangle" (Live from Dublin, Mar. 16, 1987) - Various Members of Tribute Cast (featuring U2) (02:30)
On March 16, 1987 to celebrate 25 years of the Dubliners, RTE television featured a tribute to the group on “The Late Late Show”. The night was filled with performances by some of Irelands finest including The Dubliners themselves. Joining the Dubliners were U2, The Pogues, Christy Moore, Jim McCann, The Fureys, Stockton Wing and Davey Arthur. The evening was televised as part of “The Late Late Show” and also was issued as a home video in VHS format in 1987. Twenty-one years later, a DVD of the evening was finally released on October 31, 2008, and at the same time an audio recording of the evening was released. Also added back into the video was “Dreaming My Dreams” by The Fureys and Davey Arthur which had been cut from the original VHS release.
U2 was present in the studio and performed on two songs. The first was “Springhill Mining Disaster”. The song was written by Peggy Seeger and Ewan McColl based on a 1958 disaster in the small town of Springhill, in Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada. The initial title of the song was “The Ballad of Springhill” but was renamed first as “The Springhill Disaster” in 1972 when it was recorded by The Dubliners on their album “Double Dubliners” and again to “The Springhill Mining Disaster” when the VHS of U2 performing the song was first released. The performance on March 16, 1987 was the first performance by U2 of the song. Bono would explain that he first heard “Springhill Mining Disaster” on a recording by former Dubliner Luke Kelly who had passed away in 1984. He was likely referring to the version found on “Double Dubliners”.
The second song that U2 performs on is “The Auld Triangle”, which here features The Dubliners, as well as all of the other gathered musical guests in the studio that evening. The vocals of the track are lead by Ronnie Drew, and the other members of the cast gather to sing the backing of the song, including all four members of U2. None of the four have individual microphones, so their voices are part of a large cast in the choir.
U2 would perform “Springhill Mining Disaster” at 15 shows on The Joshua Tree tour in 1987 including shows in both North America and Europe. The song was last played in full on October 7, 1987 in Buffalo NY. However, upon announcing the closing show of the U2360° would be held in Moncton, NB, U2 were made aware that the final show was “just down the road” from the Springhill they once sang about. At the last show of the tour, in Moncton, Bono added a verse of “Springhill Mining Disaster” into his performance of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. U2 has also played “The Auld Triangle” live – on July 24, 2009 in Dublin Ireland on the U2360° tour. Bono would also perform the song with Glen Hansard at a concert by Hansard in 2012.
The VHS, as well as the CD and the DVD release were only available in Ireland. The CD featured just the musical performances.