A brilliant guitarist, Paul Quinn from County Clare, has caught the Irish public’s attention this week with his version of Ireland’s National Anthem “Amhrán na bhFiann” (“The Soldier’s Song”).
Played in an acoustic instrumental style his version really is different and beautiful. (See the video below).
It’s a song that we all know the air of, and many can rattle off the lyrics, but do you know the history behind Ireland’s national anthem?
Here are some interesting tidbits:
- The lyrics of “Amhrán na bhFiann” were written in 1907 by Peadar Kearney, an uncle of Brendan Behan, who together with Patrick Heeney composed the music.
- The song consists of three stanzas and a chorus. Ireland's National Anthem is actually just the chorus.
- The song was first published in the newspaper, Irish Freedom, in 1912. The song was not widely known until it was sung during the Easter Rising of 1916 and later at various internment camps.
- The chorus was formally adopted as the Irish National Anthem in 1926, displacing the earlier Fenian anthem, "God Save Ireland."
-A section of the National Anthem (consisting of the first four bars followed by the last five) is also the Presidential Salute.
Here’s Paul Quinn’s stunning acoustic version:
And now for something completely different the Wolf Tones sing the Irish National Anthem:
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