Home»Beyond the Valley»Traditional Irish Folk Song in Honor of Those We Have Lost to Coronavirus. – Daoirí Farrell: The Parting Glass

Traditional Irish Folk Song in Honor of Those We Have Lost to Coronavirus. – Daoirí Farrell: The Parting Glass

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Within days of Ireland’s lockdown, BBC Folk Award winner and RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards nominee Daoirí Farrell set up a corner of his kitchen as a makeshift stage and began live streaming. There was no plan to make this a regular event but with close to 2k comments and 50k views on Facebook alone in the ensuing days, and requests coming in from across the world for another concert the next week, Daoirí began performing for his fans every Sunday evening.

Daoirí called them The Corner Sessions – which included hand-sanitizing reminders, limerick competitions, regular updates on Daoirí’s goldfish, Rocky-themed workouts, Covid-Corner signs made by Daoirí’s father Dessie, and amazing live performances from Daoirí’s personal catalog. His girlfriend Catriona was quickly enlisted to field questions and pass requests between songs. Daoirí now releases his first single recorded during the pandemic, entitled “The Lockdown,” where he has recorded a poignant and beautiful a cappella version of Irish traditional “The Parting Glass” in honor of all of those who have lost their lives to Covid-19. This stirring performance is combined with a version of “When the Breakers Go Back On Full Time,” previously recorded by Frank Harte and Dónal Lunny, which recounts the longing of strikers for better days, and in that way parallels the lockdown experience for workers around the world during this extended period of social isolation and shuttered local businesses.

Daoirí’s take on “The Parting Glass” is a showcase of his powerful voice and subtle vibrato, where we can imagine the rich history of this timeless song as it echoes through the ages – as both a bittersweet commemoration of what has been lost, and a sobering acknowledgement of what will need to be done to rebuild our shattered world in the days to come.

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