This rare footage of legendary Irish folk singer Luke Kelly performing "The Hot Asphalt" at the Fleadh Cheoil, in 1964 is a true gem. This captivating moment in time, captured and aired by the BBC, offers a glimpse into the early career of a remarkable artist, the origin of a beloved song, and the vibrant atmosphere of the Fleadh Cheoil, in Clones, County Monaghan.

Luke Kelly, born on November 17, 1940, was a towering figure in the Irish folk music scene. As a founding member of the iconic folk group The Dubliners, he left an indelible mark on the genre.

By 1964, when the Fleadh Cheoil performance took place, Luke Kelly, a founding member of the iconic folk group The Dubliners was on the rise. His distinct voice, characterized by its rich timbre and emotional depth, resonated with audiences, turning him into a cherished figure within Ireland and beyond. He was known not only for his vocal prowess but also for his passion for social justice, which often found expression in his music.

"The Hot Asphalt" is a traditional Irish folk song, the origins of which can be traced back through generations of storytelling and musical tradition. The song humorously recounts the escapades of a group of Irish laborers traveling to London to work on the roads and the misadventures they encounter along the way. Its catchy melody and witty lyrics made it a favorite among folk enthusiasts and a staple of Irish music gatherings.

The song's widespread recognition can be attributed to the Dubliners' rendition, with Luke Kelly's magnetic voice giving it a new life. 

The Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, often simply referred to as Fleadh Cheoil, is an annual Irish music festival showcasing traditional music, song, and dance. This year, for the second year in a row, the Fleadh is taking place in Mullingar, County Westmeath and is expected to attract 600k visitors over the week of festivities. In 1964, the event took place in Ennis, County Clare, and was a bustling hub of cultural exchange and celebration.