Ed Sheeran performed the Irish classic “Raglan Road” for BBC Two's "Jools' Annual Hootenanny 2021" New Year's Eve program to help ring in 2022.
Ed Sheeran was joined by fellow British singer-songwriter Joy Crookes in what the British variety show described as "a beautifully spontaneous duet."
Have a look at Ed Sheeran and Joy Crookes performing "Raglan Road" here:
“Raglan Road” was first published as a poem entitled “Dark Haired Miriam Ran Away” in 1946 by Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh. It was later put to music by Luke Kelly of The Dubliners at Kavanagh’s request one fateful night at The Bailey pub in Dublin.
Though British, Sheeran, whose grandparents are from Belfast and Wexford, has previously said that he comes “from an Irish family” and that he “spent most of my childhood summers and birthdays and Christmases in Ireland listening to trad music bands.”
It's no surprise then that this wasn’t Grammy-winner Sheeran’s first time giving “Raglan Road” a go - you can see a clip of him performing it in here in Dublin's Croke Park in 2015:
Despite Sheeran's well-documented affinity for Irish music, his latest performance of "Raglan Road" has been met with some strong opinions on Irish Twitter.
Twitter user "Dublin Virginian" accused Sheeran of "murdering" Raglan Road:
Padraig Burke user compared Sheeran's treatment of "Raglan Road" to the infamously bad restoration of a historic portrait:
Jack Boag said Sheeran's "butchering" of the Irish song was a fitting way to close out 2021:
Ed Sheeran butchering Raglan Road on the Hootenanny is arguably the most appropriate way to see out 2021— Jack Boag (@JKDBoag) January 1, 2022
Alright, we laughed at this one from William Cass:
The Luke Kelly statue is actually vandalising itself after Ed Sheeran covered Raglan Road.— William Cass (@WCassotto) January 1, 2022
Iain Crowley has a feeling Kelly and Kavanagh wouldn't be too pleased:
Ronan Keating's Fairytale of New York suddenly seems brilliant. Ould Ed Sheeran had great intentions, but by God Raglan Road.. Patrick Kavannagh and Luke Kelly will be spinning pic.twitter.com/WAJRY26u2x— Iain Crowley (@iain_crowley) January 1, 2022
Josef O'Shea, however, makes a good point here:
I'll never get the "nobody should sing Raglan Road but Luke Kelly" thing. It's a classic Irish pub ballad - meant to be murdered #EdSheeran— Josef O'Shea (@josefoshea) January 1, 2022
And here, Irish Twitter user Stephen puts it all into perspective:
Whether he’s your cup tea or not, the fact Ed Sheeran chose to sing Raglan Road on #joolsannualhootenanny #hootenanny again highlights the scope and influence of traditional Irish music and poetry #patrickkavanagh 🇮🇪— Stephen M (@headofthetown) January 1, 2022
What did you think of Ed Sheeran's performance of "Raglan Road?" Let us know in the comments!