Christy Moore's songs of social and political commentary come from instinct. A desire to entertain an audience remains his primary motivation.
Folksinger Christy Moore is often associated with radical left wing causes such as the H-Block hunger strike and the miners’ strike in the United Kingdom(UK). Two days after Nicky Kelly was released from Portlaoise Prison for a crime he says he did not commit, he was on stage with Christy Moore in Dublin’s Wexford Inn.
Christy Moore uses a portable Indian organ to help figure out melodies and chords and he is working on as song ‘Clyde's Bonny Banks’ about the Blantyre mining disaster in Scotland. He is hoping to perform this song at a Liberty Hall benefit concert to raise funds for the families of the striking miners in the UK.
The singer songwriter says he supports causes without getting into the politics behind them.
I tend to follow my heart more than any political ideology. I wouldn’t even say I have political ideology.
Audiences come to his concerts to be entertained. His primary motivation is to entertain them rather than persuade them of a political viewpoint that comes from a performance.
I don’t go on a stage to put forward a political point of view I go forward onto a stage to entertain people.
Christy Moore talks about how he came to write the song ‘Lisdoonvarna’, which he first performed in Belturbet, County Cavan the week before he was to go on stage before Rory Gallagher at the Lisdoonvarna Folk Festival in 1983.
He had would have to make an impression on 10,000 Rory Gallagher fans and get them to listen to him for an hour.
So I said I’d better write something and that will give me a chance to kind of get through to the people that are there and maybe get through to them to listen to the rest of me set.
Initially thinking 'Lisdoonvarna' would be a one off he found people were shouting for him to play the song at gigs. He revived and rewrote the song so he could sing it at concerts and it constantly undergoes slight changes here and there.
This episode of ‘Exhibit A’ was broadcast on 29 November 1984. The reporter is Eamonn McCann.