Irish Music and America
This Emmy Award winning musical documentary is powered by wonderful, intimate original performances, and an insightful narration by Emmylou Harris. It premiered on The Disney Channel, was a great viewership draw, and was very warmly embraced by the press.
Irish Music and America lyrically tells the emotional story of how the Irish came to America, bringing their music with them, and forever changing what we think of as traditional American music. It captures the haunting beauty of the Irish countryside, and the lasting sense of longing that many Irish American immigrants felt throughout their life.
Performers include Bono (singing an original song that appears only in this film), The Everly Brothers, Christy Moore, Mary Black, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Hothouse Flowers, Elvis Costello, Richard Thompson, The Clancy Brothers, Ricky Skaggs, Aaron Neville and many more.
Many of the performers reflect on the Irish experience and the music it continues to inspire, as do such notable American observers as Pete Seeger and Elmer Bernstein. The Everly Brothers, for instance, perform a song that demonstrates how they incorporated the traditional harmonics of Irish balladry into the foundations of rock and roll. In this and many other moments, this beautiful film challenges us to re-hear the music of America.
There are many emotional highlights. Christy Moore and Donal Lunny give a wrenching rendition of A Fairytale in New York, while we also hear a song drawn from the pages of actual letters written between a 19th Century immigrant and his family back home in the Irish town of Kilkelly. Tracing the course of the family's history over several decades, this song unforgettably illuminates what it meant to immigrate in a time before air travel. The Irish folk roots of several landmark songs -- including Bob Dylan's With God on Our Side -- are lovingly traced.
This documentary was drawn from a 5-hour series, and there is a great deal of additional performance and documentary material available for use in a video special edition, or in a DVD package.
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