Singing a new song for the GAA

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM - JIM CAR­ROLL

Has the time come for GAA fans to de­com­mis­sion The Rose Of Moon­coin? Should we wave farewell once and for all to Slieve­n­a­mon? When Watt Murphy and Charles Kick­ham first picked up their pens and wrote those songs, they weren’t think­ing of their bal­lads get­ting aired at the end of big days out in Croke Park.

But they’re now the songs that echo around Cro­ker at the end of the fi­nals, though this Tipp­man sadly ac­knowl­edges that Kick­ham’s ode has not been heard as much as the bloody Rose Of Moon­coin in re­cent years.

How­ever, if we are to move on and invest in new county reper­toires, the al­ter­na­tives may not quite be as palat­able as we think. Ev­ery year, you get a clat­ter of songs em­a­nat­ing from the coun­ties con­test­ing the All Ire­lands, such as this year’s of­fer­ing for the Tipp team from Johnny B & The Boo­gie Men. Most of them are down­right aw­ful and for­tu­nately rarely make it beyond Septem­ber. Though most fade away as fast as the an­nual Mayo foot­ball chal­lenge for na­tional hon­ours, some do sur­vive for a few sea­sons.

The only prob­lem is the need for ve­rac­ity. A song such as Jimmy’s Win­ning Matches only works as long as Jim McGuin­ness (above left, pre­sum­ably singing along) is in charge – song­writer Rory Gal­lagher will be hop­ing for a Brian Cody-like reign for the Done­gal man­ager. As we saw in the foot­ball fi­nal, it doesn’t work when Done­gal are Don­aghy’d by Kerry. Back to the draw­ing board.

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