The song "Skibbereen," or "Dear Old Skibbereen" is perhaps the best-known Irish song on the theme of the Great Famine in Ireland which happened in the late 1840s. Skibbereen is the name of a town about 20 miles west of my hometown of Clonakilty, in West Cork, and the scene of some of the country's most significant losses during those miserable years. The song is a conversation between a father and a son about what happened in Skibbereen, and how the family were evicted from their homes and forced to emigrate to the United States.
On May 25, 2019, a new memorial was unveiled and dedicated to victims of the famine on Deer Island in Boston Harbor.
In this audio article, we use the verses of "Skibbereen" to underscore the history of the famine in Ireland, and some of the tragic circumstances that led to the unveiling of this monument in Boston.
Versions of "Skibbereen" used are below.
(Title, Artist, Album)
"Skibbereen," Barbara Dunne, Classic Irish Melodies
"Skibbereen," Sinead O'Connor, Long Journey Home
"Skibbereen," Don Stiffe with Kathleen Boyle, The Ballads (RTE)
"Skibbereen," Sean Keane, Sean Songs
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