I never heard of Ronnie Drew before this song, is that a bad thing? Couldn’t tell you anything about him still, guess I have to go check out Wikipedia. I will guess that he’s someone big in Ireland, based on a) his name, and b) the folks who joined in on this song.
So the Wikipedia page for the song lists a whole bunch of people contributing, but the main groups mentioned are U2, The Dubliners, Kila and A Band Of Bowsies. Yep, still not helping. Look at the individual names, I’ve heard of Chris de Burgh, Andrea Corr (technically I’ve heard of The Corrs), Gavin Friday of course, Shane MacGowan (yeah, I knew it was him when I heard the song), and Sinead O’Connor. That’s maybe a fifth of the names listed. Apparently my knowledge of Irish musicians isn’t very deep. Not that I’m ashamed of that, why should I know Irish musicians? I barely know too many US musicians. Yeah, I’m a little obsessed with U2.
Okay, so now to look up Ronnie Drew. Folk musician, singer, actor. The Irish Rover sounds familiar, but that could really come from anything. So nope, going to have to admit once again that I don’t know him or his music. It’s one of those things that I might have heard something of his growing up, based on where I’m from and the kind of music they played on the radio there, but I can’t be sure unless I hear it.
So the song. It’s fun, it’s interesting, it’s nice. I recognize Bono’s voice and Shane MacGowan, of course. The rest of them could be anyone. But the point of it is to be a charity song, and to be a tribute to Ronnie Drew of course. And I think in that it succeeds. Seems like it was meant to raise money for cancer research, I assume it did the job. Yet again I don’t know the history behind it, so good job everybody (read that in the style of Professor Farnsworth).
I guess that the music is led by Edge, at least the guitar at the start. Assuming that Larry and Adam were involved too, since the credit goes to U2. Mild reference to Streets in the lyrics, but I don’t know who wrote what, so I can’t credit that to Bono for sure.
I like the words at the end, can’t quite understand them but it’s an interesting way of finishing off the song. MacGowan of course, I have no idea what the deal with him is, I don’t want to cast any aspersions. He used to sound good, now he sounds quite off. Enjoyable sound, but let’s face it unintelligible.
Okay, just went and watched the video from a tv performance. That was amazing. That was a really passionate and fun performance, and you ought to go watch if you haven’t seen it already. Bono takes center stage of course, Edge is there leading things as I thought, Larry is drumming (although it appears there are three drummers, don’t know how they do that), and Adam is seen a couple of times hiding somewhere in the back. Sinead looks odd, she seems to be nervous or something, watching Bono the whole time for her cue. For the rest, I have no idea who most of them are.
My rating for The Ballad Of Ronnie Drew: 6 / 10