Songs You May Have Missed #664

Clannad: “Theme from Harry’s Game” (1982)

“Everything that is and was will cease to be” is the message of a song that the Irish family band was commissioned to write for an English TV miniseries that touched on the futility of political violence.

It became the first Irish-language song to chart in the UK (#5) won an Igor Novello award and featured in several Hollywood movies, including Patriot Games.

At the peak of the global success the song brought them, singer Moya Brennan related, they were asked what it was like to write a hit song. Their answer: “Oh come on, be serious, if you were trying to write a hit song would you have written it in Gaelic?”

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Songs You May Have Missed #585


Clannad: “Down by the Sally Gardens” (Live) (1979)

William Butler Yeats wrote this as a poem, inspired by an older song, “You Rambling Boys of Pleasure”. It was set to music by Herbert Hughes.

Clannad is a family folk group comprised of three siblings and two uncles. They also spawned the solo career of another sibling whose fame eclipsed their own–Enya.

This song drips with the melancholy of unrequited love that is a hallmark of so many Irish traditional songs.

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