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The Clancy Brothers: “Finnegan’s Wake”

Editor’s note: The Daily Music Break often re-posts music from earlier in the site’s run. This great video originally posted on April 10, 2012. 


The Clancy Brothers, who played with Tommy Makem until 1969, were great talkers as well as great singers. About half of the above version of Finnegan’s Wake is a reading by Tommy Clancy from the James Joyce novel that is based on the same story: A man revives at his own wake when whiskey thrown by one mourner at another hits him.

Perhaps I’m thinking this way because Easter just passed, but there seems to be a religious subtext:

The corpse revives! See how he raises!
Timothy rising from the bed,
Says,”Whirl your whiskey around like blazes
Thanum an Dhul! Do you thunk I’m dead?”

The clip, by the way, is from the old David Frost show. Here are a later version of the same routine and the lyrics. Information about the influential Irish band is available at the group’s Facebook page and at more than one site.

Here are The Irish RoverThe Drunken Sailor, Rocky Road to Dublin and Beer, Beer, Beer.