Manage episode 275272973 series 2711022
Few names from the Tan War 100 years ago are as well known that of Kevin Barry.
His torture and execution by the British at the age of 18 generated huge national and international attention.
His name evokes a deep rooted emotional connection to a young man who heroically fought for Irish freedom and lost his life at the end of a hangman’s rope.
The song was written a few months after his death.
No one knows who wrote the lyrics but there are few songs of Ireland’s long struggle for freedom that have been played as frequently or successfully capture the heartfelt passion of that struggle as ‘Kevin Barry’.
In times past it has been sung by almost every Irish folk group, including the Clancy Brothers and The Wolfe Tones.
International singers have also recorded it.
Leonard Cohen who we heard at the top of this podcast was one.
Next Sunday, November 1st, will mark the centenary of the execution of Kevin Barry.
In recent weeks two books have been published reminding us of the Kevin Barry story.