Tommy Sands performs in a joint Israeli-Palestinian demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah against house evictions of Palestinians by Israeli courts.
|Birth name||Tommy Sands|
|Born||19 December 1945|
|Origin||Mayobridge, County Down, Northern Ireland|
|Genres||Irish Folk, Celtic|
|Occupation(s)||Singer-songwriter, radio broadcaster, political activist|
|Instruments||Guitar, Whistle, Banjo, Fiddle, Bodhrán, vocals|
|Associated acts|| The Sands Family ,|
Tommy Sands with Moya and Fionán Sands
|Website|| www.sandfamilyfolk.com |
Tommy Sands (born 19 December 1945),Mayobridge, County Down, Northern Ireland, is a folk singer, songwriter, radio broadcaster, and political activist. He performs with his three siblings as The Sands Family ; solo as Tommy Sands; and with his son and daughter as Tommy Sands with Moya and Fionán Sands. Tommy was the prime songwriter for The Sands Family, one of Ireland's most influential folk groups of the 1960s and '70s.
Tommy Sands has hosted Country Céilí, a radio show on Downtown Radio in Newtownards since 1976.
His song "There Were Roses" has been described as "... certainly one of the best songs ever written about the "Irish Problem"".
In May 2002 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno for his outstanding work as musician and ambassador for peace and understanding. May 18 of each year has been proclaimed Tommy Sands Day in Reno.
Tommy Sands was born on the family farm on the 'Ryan Road'in the townland of Ryan, near Mayobridge, County Down, Northern Ireland. His parents, Mick and Bridie, both came from families of singers, musicians and storytellers and encouraged a love of Irish culture and tradition in their seven children (Mary, the eldest, then Hugh, Ben, Colum, Eugene and Anne. ) . His father Mick (known to all as 'The Chief' ) and six uncles played the fiddle. His mother Bridie, an accordionist, is the daughter of 'Burren poet', Owen Connolly, and her mother was related to the Brontë family. Their Céilidh house on the Ryan Road, in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains, was a focal point for Catholic and Protestant neighbours from nearby farms to enjoy music and craic.
Sands initially attended college to study theology and philosophy, but dropped out and began to walk the 120 miles home to concentrate on his music career. Along the way a car filled with his siblings picked him up to perform at a concert.Colum rolled down the window and said: “We’re going to play at a concert. We’ve got your guitar in the back of the car.” So Tommy joined them. He and they have never looked back! ('Newry Memoirs – Pride of Mayobridge')
The Sands Family (Tommy, Eugene, Ben, Colum and Anne)started public performing in local halls and pubs, then they won a 'Folk Group' contest in "Old Shieling Hotel" in Raheny, Dublin. This led to a three-week booking in New York in early 1971 (or 1970 ) followed by further tours in the USA and Canada. They also performed a Saint Patrick's Day concert appearance in Carnegie Hall.
Their 35-year touring career includes regular tours throughout continental Europe, especially Germany, as well as the UK and Ireland.One notable highlight was performing in Moscow's Luzhniki 'Olympic' Stadium, Tommy was the prime songwriter with the Sands Family, whose repertoire largely consists of their own compositions as well as traditional Irish songs.
During the 1975 'Sands Family' tour of Germany Tommy's brother Eugene was killed in a road accident.'Dino' played banjo and mandolin.
Since the early 2000s the Sands Family have restricted touring to an annual tour of Germany and Ireland.
Tommy Sands' iconic and best known song is "There Were Roses" that recounts how Allan Bell (name changed), a Protestant friend of Sands, was murdered in Newry by republican paramilitaries. In the aftermath loyalist paramilitaries "prowled round the Ryan Road" for a Catholic to kill in retaliation; ironically, the man they selected, Sean O'Malley (name changed), had been a good friend of the Protestant victim and also of Sands. It was first recorded by Robbie O'Connell with Mick Moloney and Jimmy Keane as the title track on their first album. Tommy Sands also recorded his own version as the opening track of his 1985 album Singing of the Times.
The song has also been recorded by Joan Baez, Kathy Mattea, Dolores Keane, Sean Keane, Frank Patterson, Paddy Reilly, Dick Gaughan, The Dubliners, Cara Dillon, Lisa McHugh and many others. It has also been translated into many languages and is currently included in the English language syllabus in German secondary schools.
In Belfast, during the depths of The Troubles in August 1986, Sands organised a "Citizen's Assembly" which included many of Ulster's top artists and literary figures.
In December 2002 Sands persuaded the Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly to record a special 'Christmas musical party' for his weekly radio show. As many Members sang with him on stage David Ervine, the leader of the Loyalists remarked "Tommy Sands is the only man, without a private army, who can intimidate me." The radio show received a special award at the "World Festival of TV and Radio" in New York.
In September 2008 Tommy Sands was invited to perform at the Library of Congress with his daughter Moya and son Fionán, as part of the Rediscover Northern Ireland Program. The event was co-sponsored by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the American Folklife Center.
In June 2010 Sands accepted the invitation of Palestinian and Israeli activists conducting a joint campaign at the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, to come and perform at a rally held to protest Israeli settlers evicting Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah residents and taking over their homes.
|Singing of the Times||1985||Album included both 'Daughters and Sons' and the iconic ballad 'There Were Roses' about the murders of two of his friends.|
|Down by Bendy's Lane: Irish Songs and Stories for Children||1988||Tommy's young children Fionán and Moya, were amongst the performers. Included 'Tell me a story'; 'Art'; 'Neart and Ceart'; 'Fair Rosa'; 'Bonnie wee house of Iveagh'; 'Banana song'; 'Story of Willie Brennan'; 'Down by Bendy's Lane'; 'Ceann Mor'; 'The old sow'; 'Moya is my darling'; 'Night night sleep tight and Einini'.|
|Hedges of County Down||1989||Featured traditional Irish material including 'The hedges of Co Down'; 'The maid of Ballydoo'; 'Lovely Irish maid'; 'Twa corbies'; 'Age of twenty one'; 'Reilly from Co Cavan'; 'Ballynure Ballad'; 'Star of the Co Down'; 'Si do mhaigh mo i'; 'Boys of Mullaghbawn'; 'The Granemore hare'; 'Dunn'; 'Paddy's green shamrock shore'.|
|Beyond the Shadows||1990||Featured his own material including 'The County Down'; 'Shadow of O'Casey'; 'Dresden'; 'We will rise again'; 'Flower of Fiddlers Green'; 'When the boys come rolling home'; '1999'; 'The clown'; 'No sleep tonight'; 'Red wine'; 'Home away from home'; 'Make me want to stay'.|
|The Heart's a Wonder||1995||Included 'The music of healing' (with Pete Seeger); 'Who knows where the wind blows'; 'Sudako' (and the paper cranes); 'The age of uncertainty'; 'Irish Molly-o' (the sash); 'Back to school again'; 'Short cut through the fields' (with Dolores Keane); 'The day we won the All Ireland'; 'I hate to hear people cry'; 'A little bit more'; 'Sailing through the sky'; 'Goodbye love'; 'There's no one leaving'. The Music of Healing, which was co-written with American folk singer Pete Seeger became an anthem for the Northern Ireland "Citizen's Assembly". It was also the first collaboration with cellist Vedran Smailovic from Sarajevo.|
|To Shorten the Winter||2006||Includes Christmas songs 'Like the first time it's Christmas time', 'Down by the Laganside', 'The Bushes of Jerusalem', 'Whiter Shade of Pale', 'Hearts of Love', 'A Christmas Childhood/ a call to hope', 'Welcome here kind stranger', 'Raglan Road', 'Slainte mhaith'/the cat in the attic, 'Let me be your island', 'The mixed marriage', 'Matt Hyland', 'Slan Abhaile'.|
|Where Have All the Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger.||1997||Included both Vedran Smailović and Dolores Keane on the title track.|
|Let the Circle Be Wide||2009||Including 'Young Man's Dream' (Danny Boy), 'The Song Sings On' (Ballad of Tommy Makem), 'The People Have Spoken', 'You Will Never Grow Old', 'Send for Maguire', 'Keep on Singing', 'A Stor Mo Chroi', 'Rovers of Wonder', 'Make Those Dreams Come True', 'Ballyvalley Brae', 'Time for Asking Why', 'Fields of Daisies', 'Rambling Wild and Free', 'Carlingford Bay', 'Let the Circle be Wide',|
|Arising from the Troubles||2011||Including 'Song of Erin', 'A Stone's Throw', 'The Mixed Marriage', 'We'll Sing It All Over', 'Bloody Sunday', 'Have You Seen Joe Cahill', 'The Road to Aughnacloy', 'A Call to Hope', 'You Sold Us Down the River', 'Troubles', 'Bessbrook Lament', 'All the Little Children', 'Sailing Through the Sky', 'A Quiet Man', 'The Music of Healing', 'Carry On', 'Silent No Longer', 'Down by the Lagan Side'|
Sands co-wrote the stage musical, The Shadow of O'Casey with Shivaun O'Casey, the daughter of playwright Seán O'Casey.
Tommy Sands has hosted Country Ceili, a radio show on Downtown Radio in Belfast since 1976(or August 1977 ).
In 2005 he published his autobiography, The Songman – A Journey in Irish Music.
Tommy Sands currently lives in Rostrevor with his French wife Catherine.They have two children, Moya and Fionán, with whom Tommy now performs.
Rostrevor is a village and townland in County Down, Northern Ireland. It lies at the foot of Slieve Martin on the coast of Carlingford Lough, near Warrenpoint. The Kilbroney River flows through the village and Rostrevor Forest is nearby. It is within Newry, Mourne and Down District.
Mayobridge is a village within Newry, County Down, Northern Ireland, lying on the small river Clanrye which divides the townlands of Mayo and Bavan. It is located within the Newry and Mourne District Council area - it had a population of 1,069 people in the 2011 Census. It falls within the parish of Clonallan, and historically within the barony of Upper Iveagh Upper.
The Irish flute is a conical-bore, simple-system wooden flute of the type favoured by classical flautists of the early 19th century, or to a flute of modern manufacture derived from this design. The majority of traditional Irish flute players use a wooden, simple-system flute.
Michael "Mick" Moloney is a traditional Irish musician and scholar.
The Green Fields of America is an ensemble which performs and promotes Irish traditional music in the United States.
"There Were Roses" is an Irish folk song based on a true story. It was written by the Northern Ireland folk singer and songwriter Tommy Sands.
Makem and Clancy was an Irish folk duo popular in the 1970s and 1980s. The group consisted of Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy, who had originally achieved fame as a part of the trailblazing folk group The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in the 1960s. Makem and Clancy sang a combination of traditional Irish music, folks songs from a variety of countries, and newly written pieces, including compositions that Tommy Makem himself wrote. One reporter described their music as "more polished and varied than that used by the Clancy Brothers."
Cormac de Barra is a harpist, singer and television presenter and is part of the Moya Brennan Band.
Paddy Canny (1919–2008) was an Irish fiddle player. In a career that spanned over six decades, Canny was instrumental in popularizing Irish traditional music, both in Ireland and internationally. He gained initial fame in the late 1940s as a founding member of the Tulla Céilí Band, which made its first appearance on RTÉ Radio in 1948 and had positioned itself as the top céilí band in Ireland by the late 1950s. Canny captured the All Ireland fiddle championship in 1953 and was featured on the landmark 1959 recording, All-Ireland Champions: Violin. Although he stopped performing for large audiences in 1965, he returned briefly in the 1990s to record his critically acclaimed solo album, Paddy Canny: Traditional Music from the Legendary East Clare Fiddler.
Hill of Thieves is the fourth solo album by Irish folk singer Cara Dillon. It is her first full-length release on Charcoal Records, the label formed in 2008 with her musical partner and husband Sam Lakeman. The album was recorded and produced by Sam and first became available in October 2008 at their live concerts. It is also the first release since she gave birth to their twin boys Noah and Colm at 26 weeks, after going into labour onstage at the Swindon Arts Centre, UK. It has been the most successful of her first four albums in relation to chart performance, entering at No. 7 in the UK Indie Album Charts
James Keane is an Irish traditional musician and accordion player. The Italian Castagnari company issued and continues a line of signature instruments called keanebox in his honor.
Desmond O'Halloran was an Irish singer and musician. A native of Inishbofin, O'Halloran emigrated to the United Kingdom in the 1950s, where he enjoyed regular success as a singer at the All-Britain championships. Returning to Inishbofin in the mid-1980s, O'Halloran joined the island's céilí band, with whom many visiting musicians would sit in, as well as playing at sessions on the island.
The Sands Family is a Northern Irish musical family band originating from Mayobridge, County Down, Northern Ireland. Their repertoire largely consists of their own compositions as well as traditional Irish songs. The band is considered one of the most influential folk groups. It showcases the famous Northern Irish folk singer-songwriter Tommy Sands as lead singer and songwriter and his brothers Ben Sands, Colum Sands and Eugene Sands and sister Anne Sands. Eugene was killed in a car accident in 1975 and the formation became a 4-member band. Tommy, Colum and Ben Sands have also successful solo careers as singers and musicians.
The Tulla Céilí Band is a noted Irish Céilidh band.
Colum Sands is an Irish singer songwriter who made his first performances and recordings with The Sands Family of County Down. Between his extensive solo appearances he continues to record and perform with his brothers Tommy and Ben and his sister Anne in the family band.
Robbie O'Connell is an Irish singer songwriter who performs solo, as well as with The Greenfields of America. He also appears with Dónal Clancy (cousin), Dan Milner, and fiddler Rose Clancy. He has also toured and recorded with The Clancy Brothers, being their nephew. For over 20 years, he has conducted small cultural tours to Ireland with Celtica Music & Tours and, for more than ten years, WGBH Learning Tours. Married with four grown children, he now spends his time between Bristol, Rhode Island and Waterford.
It Was Great Altogether TSCD680T subtitled The continuing tradition of Irish music in London is the second album in the fourth series of The Voice of the People from Topic Records.
Runa is a Celtic music group. They combine the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland with modern music such as folk and jazz. The band members are based in Philadelphia, Nashville, and Chicago - they come from Ireland, USA and Canada. Their influences include Mary Black, The Chieftains, U2, Solas, Karen Casey, Loreena McKennitt, Wolfstone, Nickel Creek, Sarah McLaughlin, Enya, Moya Brennan, Kate Rusby, Dervish, Gerry O'Beirne, Clannad, Natalie MacMaster, and Amos Lee.
Jimmy Keane is a London-born English musician of Irish origin and a specialist piano accordion player. In addition to his solo career, in the 1980s, he was part of the folk trio Moloney, O'Connell & Keane, then in ensemble Green Fields of America. In the 1990s, he was in Aengus and formed the duo bohola with Pat Broaders. He has recorded and produced a number of albums.
Moloney, O'Connell & Keane is an early 1980s folk trio of traditional Irish music made up of guitarist and singer-songwriter Robbie O'Connell, banjoist and singer Mick Moloney and piano accordion virtuoso Jimmy Keane. The trio released two critically acclaimed albums: There Were Roses in 1985 and the album Kilkelly in 1987 including O'Connell's signature song "Killkelly".
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