"Voices and Poetry of Ireland" - Various Artists

Book and CD

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Full Track Listing:
Disc One:

The Mother by Padraic Pearse – Bertie Ahern (0:53) A Glass of Beer by James Stephens – Robert Ballagh (0:44) They Mystery by Amergin – Patrick Bergin (1:13) Pangur Ban by Anonymous – Maeve Binchy (1:25) Danny by J.M Synge – Charlie Bird (1:29) Nuala by Brendan Kennelly – Tara Blaze (0:47) Mirror in February by Thomas Kinsella – Luka Bloom (1:27) God’s Laughter by Brendan Kennelly – Bono (1:23) A Little Boy in the Morning by Francis Ledwidge – John Bowman (0:43) Four Voices without an Instrument by Medbh McGuckian – Paul Brady (1:13) Father and Son by F.R. Higgins – Pierce Brosnan (2:11) A Christmas Childhood by Patrick Kavanagh – Vincent Browne (2:16) To L.L. by Oscar Wilde – Gabriel Byrne (3:13) Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney – Gay Byrne (1:26) The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats – Liam Clancy (1:55) The Friction of Feet in Time by Michael Coady – Paddy Cole (1:37) Never Give all the Heart by W.B. Yeats – Andrea Corr (0:35) First Annual Report by Gerry Corr – Sharon Corr (1:55) The Man from God Knows Where by Florence Wilson – Phil Coulter (3:42) The Bells of Shandon by Francis Sylvester Mahony – John Creedon (1:44) The Fisherman by W.B. Yeats – Anthony Cronin (1:37) An Old Woman of the Roads by Padraic Colum – Jeananne Crowley (1:18) Shades of Ranelagh by Macdara Woods – Bill Cullen (1:28) The Christmas Rose by C. Day Lewis – Dana (1:32) Duffy’s Circus by Paul Muldoon – Ian Dempsey (0:51) My Land by Thomas Davis – Dermot Desmond (0:52) Winter Birds by Moya Cannon – Theo Dorgan (1:29) Death of an Irishwoman by Michael Hartnett – Theo Dorgan (0:54) Nude by Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill – Anne Doyle (1:23) Pity the Islanders, Lucht an Oileain by David Quin – Danny Doyle (3:42) Ode by Arthur O’Shauhnessy – Ronnie Drew (1:16) Someone by Dennis O’Driscoll – Joe Duffy (1:27) To My Daughter Betty, the Gift of God by Thomas Kettle – Myles Dungan (0:57) from The Paddiad or The Devil as a Patron of Irish Letters by Patrick Kavanagh – Eamon Dunphy (1:16)

Disc Two:

The Lovers by Anthony Cronin – Paul Durcan (2:05) July in Bettystown by Gerard Fanning – Dave Fanning (0:24) Dublin Made Me by Donagh MacDonagh – Colin Farrell (1:23) Night Feed by Eavan Roland by Marian Finucane (1:11) Biddy Mulligan, The Pride of the Coombe by Seamus Kavanagh – Brenda Fricker (1:53) From the Ballad of Reading Gaol by Oscar Wilde – Gavin Friday (2:44) The Rain Stick by Seamus Heaney – Sir James Galway (1:04) Bagpipe Music by Louis MacNeice – Bob Geldof (2:08) Speaking to My Father by Theo Dorgan – Des Geraghty (2:44) Emotions by Rory Gleeson – Brendan Glesson (0:33) She Moved Through the Fair by Padraic Colum – Larry Gogan (1:00) Seals at High Island by Richard Murphy – Adrian Hardiman (2:08) Sunday’s Well by Vona Groarke – Mary Harney (1:03) Christy Brown Came to Town by Richard Harris – Richard Harris (5:09) How to Be My Heart by Pat Boran – Shay Healy (1:16) What Then? by W.B. Yeats – Seamus Heaney (1:12) Dark Rosaleen by Owen Roe MacWard – Michael D. Higgins (3:35) Claudy by James Simmons – John Hume (2:28) I Grabbed an Education by Patrick Kavanagh – Neil Jordan (0:50) All of These People by Michael Longley – Fergal Keane (0:55) Stony Grey Soil by Patrick Kavanagh – Frank Kelly (1:43) Ulster Names by John Hewitt – Gerry Kelly (2:35) The Singer’s House by Seamus Heaney – John Kelly (1:19) The Tree Speaks by Cathal O Searcaigh – Brian Kennedy (2:02) The Fiddler of Dooney by W.B. Yeats – Senator Edward M Kennedy (0:47) To a Child by Patrick Kavanagh – Sister Stanislaus Kennedy (0:33) My Father by John B. Keane – Brendan Kennelly (1:26) Antarctica by Derek Mahon – Pat Kenny (1:07) Thems Your Mammy’s Pills by Leland Bardwell – Marian Keyes (2:16) Omos do John Millington Synge by Mairtin O Direain – Mick Lally (1:03) There are Days by John Mantague – Desmond Lynam (0:42) The Sunlight on the Garden by Louis MacNeice – John Lynch (0:56) To a May Baby by Winifred M. Letts – Ciaran MacMathuna (0:51) I Will Go With My Father by Joseph Campbell – Jimmy Magee (1:17) Requiem for the Croppies by Seamus Heaney – Tommy Makem (1:10)

Disc Three:

The Country Fiddler by John Montague – Paddy Moloney (1:38) Christ Goodbye by Padraic Fiacc – Eamon McCann (1:13) Literary History by Rita Kelly – Charlie McCreevy (2:16) The Game of Your Life by Gabriel Fitzmaurixe – Paul McGrath (0:44) Shapes and Shadows by Derek Mahon – Paul McGuinness (1:47) The People I Grew Up With Were Afraid by Michael Gorman- Pauline McLynn (1:12) Solstice by Gerry Dawe – Van Morrison (0:52) The Village Schoolmaster by Oliver Goldsmith – Mike Murphy (1:26) Fontenoy by Emily Lawless – Kevin Myers (2:23) The View from Under the Table by Paula Meehan – Christina Noble (2:55) A Kind of Trust by Brendan Kennelly – Michael Noonan (1:33) The Jackeen’s Lament for the Blaskets by Brendan Behan – Senator David Norris (1:00) A Woman Untouched by Frank McGuinness – Miriam O’Callaghan (2:47) Pride by Paul Williams – Sinead O’Connor (0:45) Poem from a Three Year Old by Brendan Kennelly – Daniel O’Donnell (2:01) Plaisir D’Amour by Patrick Galvin – Ardal O’Hanlon (2:49) Schoolfriends by Susan Connolly – Dierdre O’Kane (1:33) Ship of Death by Kerry Hardie – Olivia O’Leary (0:53) The Boys of Barr na Sraide by Sigerson Clifford – Micheal O Muircheartaigh (2:08) The Ballad of Father Gilligan by W.B. Yeats – Milo O’Shea (2:23) Canticle by John F. Deane – Morgan O’Sullivan (0:49) CeaseFire by Michael Longley – Fintan O’Toole (0:58) The Fairies by William Allingham – Maureen Potter (1:52) Bewleys Oriental Cafe by Paul Durcan – Deirdre Purcell (2:20) Swineherd by Eilean Ni Chuilleanan – Niall Quinn (0:45) A Disused Shed in Co Wexford by Drek Mahon – Ruairi Quinn (3:32) The Did-You-Come-Yets of the Western World by Rita Ann Higgins – Gerry Ryan (1:52) Peter Street by Peter Sirr – Jim Sheridan (1:17) A Drover by Padraic Colum – Dick Spring (1:11) Everything is Going to Be All Right by Derek Mahon – Niall Toibin (0:39) I See His Blood Upon the Rose by Joseph Mary Plunkett – Sile De Valera (0:38) The Aluminium Box by Frank Ormsby – Ted Walsh (1:09) Beannacht by John O’Donoghue – Kathleen Watkins (1:13) Anseo by Paul Muldoon – Bill Whelan (1:33) The Planter’s Daughter by Austin Clarke – Terry Wogan (0:35)

Background Information

This book project was put together to benefit Focus Ireland, a group in Ireland which aims to combat homelessness, and to advance the rights of homeless people in Ireland. The concept was to release a book of Irish poetry, and to release an accompany CD which featured many Irish celebrities reading the poems collected in the book. Each poem in the book is read by someone on the contained three audio CDs. Bono does not contribute a poem to the anthology, but can be found on the audio discs reading “God’s Laughter” by Brendan Kennelly on the first CD.

Others on the discs are politicians, movie stars, and other Irish names of note. There are a couple of immediate U2 connections. On the second disc, long time U2 collaborator Gavin Friday is reading “From the Ballad of Reading Gaol” by Oscar Wilde. And on the third disc, U2’s manager Paul McGuinness contributes a reading of “Shapes and Shadows” by Derek Mahon. Other U2 collaborators and friends such as Andrea Corr, Sinead O’Connor, Bob Geldof and others also appear doing readings.

In 1991, poet Kennelly published a book called “The Book of Judas” and many of the themes explored the same ground as “Achtung Baby”. At the time the similarities in the two works lead The Sunday Press to ask Bono to review “The Book of Judas” and Kennelly to review the release of “Achtung Baby”. This was years before Bono read Kennelly’s poem on this collection. Bono has also quoted Kennelly a number of times in speaking occasions.

The book was a hard cover book with a slip cover. The inside covers have three plastic slipcases in which the 3-CDs are contained. The front cover on some initial copies is stickered to say “Includes 3 CDs with recordings by: Maeve Binchy, Bono, Pierce Brosnan, Bob Geldof and many more”. The book itself is 208 pages in length. The initial version of the album came with a blue cover. A 2004 reprint of the book, released October 4, 2004, featured a pink cover instead.

In 2005 another edition of the book was published, this time by Sourcebooks, on March 1, 2004. This book was hardcover as well, but contains a number of photos from around Ireland on the front cover. The book is edited down to 112 pages, and only one CD is included with a limited selection of poems from the original book. Bono’s reading of “God’s Laughter” is one of the poems that has made the editing cuts and appears on this compilation.

Liner Notes

God’s Laughter: Written by Brendan Kennelly. Read by Bono.
Bono is the lead singler of the Irish rock group U2. U2 released their first album in 1980 and have since sold over 100 million albums worldwide, winning 14 Grammy’s, and six Brit Awards along the way. Bono lives in Dublin with his wife and four children.

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