Christy Moore and Shane MacGowan accompanied by the Benzini Brothers perform the ballad 'Spancil Hill' .

The song was composed by Michael Considine from Spancil Hill (also written ‘Spancilhill’) in County Clare, Born circa 1850 and he emigrated to the United States around 1870 with a plan to work and make enough money to bring over his sweetheart Mary McNamara, ‘Mack the Ranger’s daughter’ in the song, so that they could be married.  

In the ballad, the writer dreams he has travelled to his home place the night before the village’s famous horse fair which is held every year in June. Observing the people who have gathered for the fair which is to be held the following day, he also visits old neighbours and of course his true love Mary. 

At the time the song was written Michael Considine had made his way to California. By 1873 his health was failing, and in the realisation that he would never see Mary again sent the poem home to his nephew in County Clare. 

This episode of ‘The Late Late Show’ was broadcast on 7 October 1994 and was a special programme dedicated to Christy Moore. The presenter is Gay Byrne.