The velvet tones of a Cork barman singing "Bright Blue Rose" as he works behind the bar went viral and who's surprised! 

Barman John Horgan’s strong voice is clearly heard as he effortlessly sings behind the Crossroads Bar, in Knockvilla, County Cork, with just a CD to be heard faintly in the background. The video was posted by local Tony Sheehan in February 2015 and now has more than 1 million views

Pulling pints, splashing spirits, and giving change – the barman didn’t even break his stride. Apparently, the pub had just had a trad session, and Horgan, who regularly sings, decided to give his patrons a few bars. 

♫♫ Pure Talent ♫♫ John Horgan from Crossroads Bar, Knockavilla, Co. Cork, singing “Bright Blue Rose” as he works behind the bar :) Filmed by Tony Sheehan.

Posted by Galway Bars & Restaurants on Friday, November 11, 2016

The video of Horgan singing in 2015 quickly went viral and after its release, he was invited to sing on stages around Ireland. He was even invited to sing at the rugby stadium in Limerick, Thomond Park before a Munster V Connacht match.

However, the sweetest tale of his music career thus far was in 2017 when he sang his own bride down the aisle.

"Bright Blue Rose"

The song Horgan sings, “Bright Blue Rose,” was written by Jimmy McCarthy and made famous by Christy Moore and Mary Black. Released in 1987, it has since become one of the most beloved songs in Irish music history.

The song tells the story of a woman who is searching for love and meaning in her life. She is described as a "butterfly with broken wings" who is searching for a "bright blue rose" that represents the perfect love she is longing for. The lyrics are both poetic and romantic, and they speak to the universal human experience of longing and searching for something greater.

McCarthy's lyrics are set to a simple yet powerful melody that is both haunting and uplifting. The song's message of hope and the idea that true love is worth searching for is one that resonates with many people, regardless of their background or culture.

Mary Black sings “Bright Blue Rose” here:

* Originally published in February 2016, updated in May 2023.