Christy Moore

Christy Moore
Christy Moore

Christy Moore in Liverpool Philharmonic , October 2008.
Background information
Birth name Christopher Andrew Moore
Born 7 May 1945 (1945-05-07) (age 66)
Origin Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland
Genres Folk, traditional Irish, Pop
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, Bodhrán
Years active 1969–present
Associated acts Planxty, Moving Hearts

Christopher Andrew "Christy" Moore (born 7 May 1945) is a popular Irish folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is well known as one of the founding members of Planxty and Moving Hearts. His first album, Paddy on the Road (a minor release of 500, although made available again on CD through his website and at gigs in 2010) was recorded with Dominic Behan (brother of Brendan) in 1969. In 2007, he was named as Ireland's greatest living musician in RTÉ's People of the Year Awards.[1]


Early life

Moore was born in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland. He was originally a bank employee who wanted to express himself using traditional music. A bank strike in 1966, which lasted six months (and effectively paralysed Irish commercial life for the duration), resulted in Moore spending considerable time practising music. When the strike ended, Moore had already decided where his passion in life arose, and left the bank for good.[2]

Musical career

1972 brought his first major release, Prosperous (named after the village of Prosperous, County Kildare, where the album was recorded), which brought together the four musicians who shortly thereafter formed Planxty: Liam Óg O'Flynn, Andy Irvine, and Dónal Lunny. For a time they called themselves "CLAD", an acronym of their names, but soon decided on Planxty.[2]

After leaving Planxty in 1975, Moore continued on his solo career, reforming his old band on occasion (which he has been doing ever since). He also formed the band Moving Hearts with Lunny and five other musicians in 1980. In 2000 he published his autobiography, One Voice.[2]

Moore's earlier years of heavy drinking, sleeping dysfunctional hours, continual travelling, and often eating takeaway foods resulted in a decline in health, and several operations. Moore's battle with alcohol, and subsequent heart operations have taken their toll. At the end of the 1990s, Moore was requested to reduce his workload for medical reasons.[2]

Some of Moore's songs are heavily influenced by drink and the effects of drink. His song "Delirium Tremens" being a good example. Listening to Johnny Mulhern's song "Hard Cases" causes Moore, in his website chat, to recall the Galway drinking scene with local musicians  Mickey Finn, Pete Galligan, Corky and Terry Smith.

On April 17, 2009 Christy Moore released his first new studio album in four years, titled 'Listen' and it was promoted through a series of live gigs.[3]

Political and social commentary

Moore is best known for his political and social commentary, which reflects a leftwing Irish Republican perspective, this despite the fact that his mother was a Fine Gael county councillor and parliamentary candidate in Kildare.[4] He supported the republican H-Block protestors in the 1970s and 1980s with the album H-Block in 1978, the launch of which was raided by the police, and The Spirit of Freedom.[5] He has also recorded songs by the hunger striker Bobby Sands. However, in 1987 he ceased supporting the military activities of the IRA as a result of the Enniskillen bombing.[citation needed]

Individual political songs he has performed throughout his career include Mick Hanly's 'On the Blanket' about the protests of republican prisoners, his own 'Viva la Quinta Brigada' about Irish volunteers in the Spanish Civil War and his own 'Minds Locked Shut' about Bloody Sunday in Derry.

Moore has endorsed a long list of left wing support causes, ranging from El Salvador to Mary Robinson in the 1990 Presidential Election.[2] At Glastonbury Festival in 2005 he sang about the Palestinian solidarity activist Rachel Corrie.

With typical Moore social consciousness, he opened the festival marking Ballymun's inception as Dublin's first Fairtrade Town on 23 November 2006. Ballymun, once synonymous with social deprivation and drug problems, is currently the largest urban regeneration project in northern Europe.

Allusions in his songs

  • The former Bishop of Galway, Eamon Casey, is the subject of Martin Egan's song 'Casey' often performed by Moore.
  • In 2005, his popular release "Don't Forget Your Shovel" (written by Christie Hennessey) was referenced in a number 1 UK single "The JCB Song" by Nizlopi: "And the engine rattles my bum like berserk. While we're singin, 'Don't forget your shovel if you want to go to work!'" It was further referenced in the video for the same song; as the line is sung, the characters in the JCB pass a shop called "Christie's Shovels".
  • In his song "If I Get an Encore" he compares Tulsk to hell,"Mountbellew was like purgatory but Tulsk was just like being in hell". Its a reference to a row that broke during one of his gigs in a Tulsk venue.

Musical style

His solo style includes driving rhythms on guitar and bodhrán as well as slower ballads.


Moore's brother Barry, whose stage name is Luka Bloom, is also a successful singer-songwriter.[6] His nephew, Conor Byrne, is also an accomplished traditional flautist and tin whistle player, with Christy appearing on his Wind Dancer album.[7]

Memorable Events

An Góilín Surprise

On Friday 6 October 2006 Christy paid a surprise visit to the legendary An Góilín traditional singers' club in Dublin. There, before fifty or so people, Christy took out his guitar (instruments are rarely used in An Góilín, it being a singers' refuge) and sang songs reflective of the Irish language and socially radical culture of the club such as Na Conghailigh, about the deaths of Tomás and Seán Ó Conghaile off Conamara, and Viva la Quinta Brigada, about the role of the Irish fighting with the socialists in the Spanish Civil War.

Desert Island Discs

In June 2007, Christy was guest on Desert Island Discs, a BBC programme that is often considered an accolade. He selected mainly Irish folk music that had inspired him and spoke frankly of personal and political issues that had shaped his life.

Detention Incident, 2004

In October 2004, a story in several news agencies revealed how Moore had been stopped and detained by customs officers at the Welsh port of Holyhead.[8][9] The article claimed the singer was stopped in his van with his driver, taken into an office and questioned over the lyrics of his songs. The following day in response to the Irish Times article, Moore released a statement saying: "My driver and I were stopped and held for two hours at Holyhead last Monday, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002. My driver and I were held separately in two interrogation rooms. I found the whole experience threatening. I was questioned about the contents of my briefcase." Despite initial reports to the contrary, the singer's van, which was full of musical equipment, was not searched. "I was questioned about lyrics of songs and I was asked a lot of personal questions about members of my family and my children and about my home. At no time was I given any explanation as to why I was being held and interrogated in this manner", he added. He said the fact that Irish people are still being treated this way on their way to Britain is very "saddening". "I had hoped to deal with this matter out of the public domain. But seeing as it has become a news item, I feel the need to offer my side of the story. I found the whole affair quite frightening."


On Sunday 10 July 2011 Christy joined Chris Martin from Coldplay on stage at Oxegen performing the song Ride On.



  • Paddy on the Road (1969)
  • Prosperous (1972)
  • Whatever Tickles Your Fancy (1975)
  • Christy Moore (1976)
  • The Iron Behind the Velvet (1978)
  • Live in Dublin (1978)
  • H Block (1980)
  • Christy Moore and Friends (1981)
  • The Time Has Come (1983)
  • Ride On (1984)
  • Ordinary Man (1985)
  • The Spirit of Freedom (1986)
  • Unfinished Revolution (1987)
  • Voyage (1989)
  • Smoke and Strong Whiskey (1991)
  • King Puck (1993)
  • Live at the Point (1994)
  • Graffiti Tongue (1996)
  • Traveller (1999)
  • This is the Day (2001)
  • Live at Vicar Street (2002)
  • Burning Times (2005)
  • Live at The Point 2006 (2006)
  • Listen (2009)
  • Folk Tale (2011)

With Planxty

With Moving Hearts

  • Moving Hearts (1981)
  • Dark End Of The Street (1982)

Compilation albums

  • High Kings of Tara (Christy Moore, Planxty,..) (1980)
  • Nice 'n Easy (1984)
  • Aris (Planxty) (1984)
  • Christy Moore (Compilation USA) (1988)
  • The Christy Moore Collection 1981–1991 (1991)
  • Christy Moore Collection Part 2 (1997)
  • The Box Set 1964 2004 (2004)


  • Christy (1995) 54 mins - Christy reflects on life and career.


  • Christy Moore Uncovered (2001) 104 mins - features collaborations with Jimmy MacCarthy, Wally Page, Shane McGowan, Sinéad O'Connor and John Spillane.
  • Planxty Live 2004 The reunion of the hugely popular and influential group after a 20 year hiatus.
  • Christy Moore Live In Dublin 2006 (2006) 143 mins - First time a live solo concert has been recorded and released outside CD format. Filmed over 4 nights in December 2005 and January 2006.


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Christy Moore — Chartplatzierungen (vorläufig) Vorlage:Infobox Chartplatzierungen/Wartung/vorläufige Chartplatzierung Erklärung der Daten Alben[1] …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Christy Moore —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Moore.  Christy Moore …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ordinary Man (Christy Moore album) — Ordinary Man Studio album by Christy Moore Released 1985 …   Wikipedia

  • The Christy Moore Collection 1981-1991 — Infobox Album Name = The Christy Moore Collection 1981 1991 Type = compilation Artist = Christy Moore Released = 1991 Recorded = 1981 1991 Genre = Length = Label = Producer = Reviews = Last album = This album = Next album = The Christy Moore… …   Wikipedia

  • Live at the Point (Christy Moore album) — Infobox Album Name = Live at the Point Type = live Artist = Christy Moore Released = Start date|2006 Recorded = Live at The Point Depot, December 2005 and January 2006 Genre = Folk Length = Label = Producer = Reviews = Last album = Burning Times… …   Wikipedia

  • Live in Dublin (Christy Moore album) — Live in Dublin (1981) is a live album by Irish singer/songwriter Christy Moore. We recorded this album in April 1978, when we did gigs at The Meeting Place, Pat Dowling s of Prosperous, Trinity College and the Grapevine Arts centre in North Great …   Wikipedia

  • This is the Day (Christy Moore) — Infobox Album Name = This is the Day Type = studio Artist = Christy Moore Released = 2001 Recorded = Genre = Folk Length = Label = Producer = Reviews = Last album = This album = Next album = This Is The Day is an album released by Irish folk… …   Wikipedia

  • Ride On (Christy Moore album) — Infobox Album | Name = Ride On Type = Album Artist = Christy Moore Released = 1984 Recorded = March, 1984 Genre = Folk Length = 40:49 Label = Roadrunner Producer = ? Reviews = *Allmusic Rating|4.5|5 [… …   Wikipedia

  • Missing You (Christy Moore song) — Missing You is a folk song written by one of Ireland s best contemporary songwriters Jimmy MacCarthy[1] in the 1980s. This song has been popularized by Christy Moore.[2] References ^ Gifted Songwriter Jimmy MacCarthy . Westmeath Independent …   Wikipedia

  • Christy (given name) — Christy is a given name meaning graceful, beautiful, princess. The name Christie originated from Italy in 1222. Ireland found the name in 1345, and it took on other connotations, such as angel and lovely.[citation needed] It is also short for the …   Wikipedia

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