Dervish (band)

Dervish (band)

Eurovision Song Contest, 2007
Background information
Origin County Sligo, Ireland
Genres Traditional, folk
Years active 1989-present
Labels Proper Music Distribution, Whirling Discs, Kells Music
Catherine "Cathy" Jordan - Vocals, bodhrán and bones
Brian McDonagh - Mandola
Thomas "Tom" Morrow - Fiddle
Michael Holmes - Bouzouki
Shane Mitchell - Accordion
Liam Kelly - Flute, whistles
Past members
Martin McGinley (founding member) , Shane McAleer

Dervish are a traditional Irish music group from County Sligo, Ireland. They were formed in 1989 by Liam Kelly, Shane Mitchell, Martin McGinley, Brian McDonagh and Michael Holmes. The band was originally formed to record an album of local music which was later released as “The Boys of Sligo”. They later formed Dervish. The name was chosen as it relates to groups of spiritual people who are enraptured by music.



In 1991 the band were joined by Roscommon-born singer Cathy Jordan and all-Ireland champion fiddle player Shane McAleer. Dervish’s first album, “Harmony Hill”, was released in 1992 to critical success. In 1994 their second album, “Playing with Fire”, was released and reached number 1 in the Irish Folk Music and international World/Roots music charts. In 1996 Dervish released “At the End of the Day”, which won the Hot Press Folk Album of the Year Award.

Their fourth album, “Live in Palma”, was recorded in front of a live audience at Palma de Majorca's Theatre Principal in April 1997 and received critical acclaim. In the same year the readers of Irish Music Magazine awarded Dervish Best Overall Trad/Folk Band of the Year. In 1998 Shane McAleer left the band and was replaced by well-known Sligo musician, Séamus O'Dowd and All-Ireland Champion fiddle player Tom Morrow from County Leitrim. The seven piece line-up were now Cathy Jordan (vocals, bodhrán, bones), Tom Morrow (fiddle, viola), Shane Mitchell (accordion), Liam Kelly (flute, low whistle), Séamus O'Dowd (guitars, harmonica), Michael Holmes (bouzouki) and Brian McDonagh (mandola, mandolin). Dervish's fifth album, “Midsummer's Night”, released in 1999, was voted Irish Trad Album of the Year.

In 2001 Dervish released “Decade”, a compilation of tracks from their first five albums. In 2003 they released “Spirit”, followed by “A Healing Heart” in 2006.

In 2003 Sligo City Council bestowed the Freedom of the Borough of Sligo on the band for their international artistic achievements and their dedication to and promotion of their local heritage.

In 2005 The Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Mr Bertie Ahern invited Dervish to accompany him on an Irish trade mission to China. In 2006 Dervish accompanied Irish President Mary McAleese on her State Visits to Latvia and Lithuania and performed a special concert in the Great Hall of Latvia Society House in Riga for President McAleese and President Vike-Freiberga of Latvia. On 24 May they will give a concert in Vilnius in honour of President Adamkus of Lithuania.

On November 14, 2006, the Irish national broadcaster RTÉ announced that Dervish were to perform the Irish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2007.[1] Dervish finished last with five points, awarded to them from the Albanian back up jury due to a failed televote, for their performance of "They Can't Stop The Spring".[2]

In October 2007 Dervish released “Travelling Show”, partly produced by John Reynolds.


  • The Boys of Sligo (1989)
  1. The Donegal Set
  2. The Dolphin/The Clapton Jigs
  3. Thos Byrnes/The Man Of Aran
  4. Jackson's/The Cliffs of Glencolumbkile
  5. The Sligo Set
  6. The Raphoe/The Chestnut Tree
  7. The Boys Of Sligo/Monaghan Twig
  8. The World's End Set
  9. Eddie Kelly's Jigs
  10. Unknown/Return From Camden Town
  11. The Key Of The Convent/Tommy People's
  12. The Dancing Bear/Oreaga
  13. Walsh's Fancy/The Congress/Spoil The Dance
  • Harmony Hill (1993)
  1. Apples in Winter
  2. Hills of Greenmore
  3. Fields of Milltown
  4. Bellaghy Fair
  5. The Ploughman
  6. The Green Mountain
  7. Welcome Poor Paddy
  8. Jig C Jig
  9. The Fair Maid
  10. Virginia Set
  11. A Stor Mo Chroi
  12. Slides and Reels
  • Playing with fire (1995)
  1. Buckley's Fancy
  2. Molly And Johnny
  3. Last Nights Fun
  4. Wheels Of The World
  5. Maire Mor
  6. I Buried My Wife
  7. The Hungry Rock
  8. Cailin Rua
  9. Ash Plant Set
  10. Peigin Mo Chroi
  11. The Game Of Love
  12. Willie Lennox
  13. Let Down The Blade
  • At the End Of The Day (1996)
  1. Touching Cloth
  2. Ar Eirinn Ni Neosfainn
  3. Jim Coleman's Set
  4. An Spailpin Fanach
  5. Packie Duignan's
  6. Lone Shanakyle
  7. Drag Her Round The Road
  8. Peata Beag
  9. Trip To Sligo
  10. Sheila Nee Iyer
  11. Kilavill Set
  12. I Courted A Wee Girl
  13. Josefin's Waltz
  14. Eileen McMahon
  • Live in Palma (1997)
  1. Packie Duigan's
  2. Spailpin Fanach
  3. Slow Reels
  4. Sheila Nee Iyer
  5. The Trip To Sligo
  6. The Hungry Rock
  7. Ar Eirinn Ni Neosfainn
  8. Molly and Johnny
  9. The Green Mountain
  10. I Courted A Wee Girl
  11. Round The Road
  12. Maire Mhor
  13. I Buried Me Wife
  14. Hills Of Greanmore
  15. Worlds End
  16. Peata Beag
  17. Pheigin Mo Chroi
  18. Jim Coleman's
  19. Happy Birthday
  20. Lough Eirn's Shore
  21. Killavil Jigs
  22. Allellu Na Gamhna
  • Midsummer Night (1999)
  1. Midsummer's Night
  2. Sean Bhain
  3. Tenpenny Bit
  4. Sweet Viledee
  5. Palmer's Gate
  6. Erin Gra mo Chroi
  7. Lark on the Strand
  8. Cairns Hill
  9. Maid Father's Garden
  10. Abbeyfeale Set
  11. An T-Uil
  12. Bold Doherty
  13. Out on the Road
  14. Red Haired Mary
  • Decade (2001)
  1. The Kilavill Set
  2. Molly and Johnny
  3. The Lark on the Strand
  4. The Hills of Greanmore
  5. The Worlds End
  6. Apples in Winter
  7. Peigín mo chroí
  8. Josefin's Waltz
  9. An Spailpín Fánach
  10. The Hungry Rock
  11. The Banks of the Sweet Viledee
  12. Palmer's Gate
  13. Ar Éirinn Ní Neosfainn Cé Hí
  14. Jim Coleman's
  • Spirit (2003)
  1. John Blessings
  2. An Rógaire Dubh/Na Ceannabháin Bhána/Páidín O Raifeartaí
  3. Father Jack
  4. The Fair-Haired Boy
  5. Siesta Set
  6. The Soldier Laddie
  7. Beauties of Autumn
  8. The Lag's Song
  9. Boots of Spanish Leather
  10. O'Raghailligh’s Grave
  11. Swallows Tail
  12. The Cocks Are Crowing
  13. Whelans (Jigs) Trounsdells Cross

A Healing Heart (2005)

  1. I Courted a Wee Girl / Josefin's Waltz
  2. A Stór Mo Croí
  3. Boots of Spanish Leather
  4. Willie Lennox
  5. Erin Grá mo Chroi
  6. Ar Éirinn Ní Neosfainn Cé Hí
  7. The Fairhaired Boy
  8. Lone Shanakyle
  9. I Hope You Still Dance
  10. Josefin's Waltz
  • Travelling Show (2007)
  1. Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves
  2. The Coolea Jigs
  3. My Bride and I
  4. The Cat Went A-Hunting
  5. The Bealtine Set
  6. Grainne
  7. Heading Home
  8. The Queen and The Soldier
  9. The Masters Return
  10. Lord Levett
  11. The Jolly Tinker
  12. Crucan Na bPaiste

External links


Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Brian Kennedy
with "Every Song Is a Cry for Love"
Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Dustin the Turkey
with "Irelande Douze Pointe"

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