Mickey MacConnell
Singer / Songwriter



Only Our Rivers


Peter Pan and Me

Joined up Writing

Live in John B's

Gigs / Videos


Order CDs


My Blog




Peter Pan and Me


1 . Supermarket Wine . A song of the days when I was young, when the sun always seemed to shine, when life and love was wonderful and the world was at our feet.

2 . The Man who was a Boy. This is a strange song. I can't remember what inspired it except perhaps the Danny Kaye song about the Emperor's clothes.

3 . Enid Blyton. This is a song about what happened to Enid Blyton's Famous Five when they grew up. As a child I think that I read everything about them that ever passed through the library in Enniskillen.

4 . Lament for Judy Garland. This was inspired by the musical motif in "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". Unkind persons have described it as the ambulance song.

5 . The Clown. The death of a clown is perhaps in many ways a musical cliche. Anyway, this is my take on the theme written from a Fermanagh point of view.

6 . The Tinkerman's Daughter. Inspired by the poem by Kerry writer, Sigerson Clifford, this came about as a result of a bet. Myself and my wife, Maura, were driving between Listowel and Castleisland and found ourselves in Lyreacrompane. She bet me that I would not be able to put the placename in a song. This was the result.

7 . Peter Pan and Me. The second part of a trilogy of songs about growing up in the North of Ireland. I hope it speaks for itself.

8 . McKeown and I. Co-written with brother Cormac, this song features the wonderful voice of my friend Tom Reid who now lives in London. I have been a lifetime admirer of Tom's singing and this song was a perfect excuse to air it to a wider audience.

9 . The Politician Song. When working as a journalist in Dublin I was forced to endure many painful hours reporting in the national parliament. In those days I had a very good Pitman's shorthand note and I began to notice how many cliches kept coming up again and again. I gathered them together and wrote this song.

10 . Only Our Rivers . Written when I was in my mid teens, this song was originally recorded by Christy Moore in 1971. It has travelled well and has endured beyond all my wildest expectations. It is now almost regarded as an anthem for the dispossed . I'm very proud of it.

11 . The Leaving. Again, co-written with Cormac, this song reflects on the days before the Celtic Tiger when youngsters were leaving the country in droves facing uncertain futures. The Leaving Cert examination seemed a good hook on which to hang the lyrics.

Spring Records Cat. No. SPCD 1026



"For twenty years I have been singing and collecting folk songs and during that time one song became a standard in my repetoire. I was convinced that a rare talent lay behind it. The song is "Only Our Rivers Run Free", a song so powerful,so uncompromising-yet so beautiful. For a long time I had a desire to discover it's source. There must be more I thought. The search proved fruitless.Rumour followed rumour."He's dead these years", some said...."joined some strange religious sect",others said...."sure that's a traditional song", still others said....Who the hell and where the hell was Mickey MacConnell?
One August weekend I found myself attending the annual Fleadh in Listowel. 11o'clock Monday morning, "The Harp and Lion"...desperately contemplating the cure I glanced up to see a bearded, haunted face,clutching a battered old nylon strung guitar.
"I hear you're a singer" the face growled at me.
"I am" I retorted, hoping to frighten the apparition away.
"Then let's have a session", the face said in a soft Fermanagh accent, which eased my fear of it somewhat.
That was when a voice next to me whispered in my ear, "that's yer man who wrote "Only our Rivers" ",
What followed was magic.
Just as I had suspected , the man was a goldmine of songs. The face became a friend. That was 8 years ago and it's taken that long to convince the man to commit his songs to a record.
Finally a plot was hatched and we dragged him kicking and screaming to the lovely village of Rostrevor and delivered him into the very capable hands of Colum Sands and a company of fine musicians. This folks is the result.
In an age of bland ,tuneless, assembly line musac, how refreshing to come across a truly creative imagination.
From the hauntingly beautiful "Lament for Judy Garland" to the bleak desolation of "McKeown and I " ,through the powerful imagery of " The Tinkerman's Daughter ", the journalistic satire of " The politicians Song " and the quiet but desperate anger of "Peter Pan and Me ", the brush strokes are Irish, and the canvas universal
This is not folk music languishing in the past , but a powerful voice of today ....
This is Mickey MacConnell. "

Tom Reid , London . 1992


Next Page