Friday, February 05, 2010

"Celtic Soul" A Black History Moment from Ireland

Black people and Irish people go way back in American history. Together we invented tap dancing, hated the British, and spawned the great author Alex Haley, he of Roots fame. (Don't believe me that Alex Haley had Irish roots? Read this.)

But publicly these days, one doesn't hear much about Blacks and Irish sharing anything in common or really having any reason to connect. So I was tickled pink to discover that my new favorite band, The Script is a trio of Irish lads, inspired by Black American music.

From the group's official bio:

[Band members,] Danny and Mark met in their early teens in the run down James Street area of Dublin, near the Guinness brewery, gravitating to each other through a shared obsession with music, and in particular a love of American black music. "At that time, MTV only came on in Dublin after midnight, it was the fuzzy channel, and for my generation black culture was just a wave through us all," explains Mark. "It wasn't about gangs and guns; it was fashion and fun, singing and dancing."

"One day I heard Stevie Wonder singing and the hairs on the back of my neck went up," says Danny. "I didn't even know people could sing like that, I'd never heard the acrobatics of it before." ...

"Irish people have soul," according to Danny. "It comes from generations of pain, and generations of understanding emotion to be able to physically get that in a solid sound."

"Soul is not a black thing or a white thing, it's a human thing," insists Mark.

So I wonder, was it the Black sound of this Celtic Soul music that attracted me the first time? Hmmm. Maybe. What do you think of The Script?

Here's my favorite song of theirs so far. Enjoy. (Not the real video, but the real song)



mama k said...

That's the whole premise of the film, The Commitments, right? A truly uplifting film -

Here's a classic NYTimes article on the subject - "Happy St. Patrick's Day, Shaquille O'Neal":

Lauren said...

I like this song as well. I saw their video the other day on vh1. I meant to look them up but never got around to it. It's interesting to see where they get their inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Cool band, love the sound. Mama K is right about The Commitments. Now that's GREAT music. I'll have to pull the movie out now.

LT said...

Mama K,

I loved that movie, and thanks for the link!

I heard them on the radio one day and raced home to look them up based on one lyric I remembered. go figure.

See Mama' K's answer:)

tammy said...

Have you heard of Horse, the Scottish singer? She is heavily influenced by Patti Labelle and other Black American artists, as well as traditional Scots music. Check her out at