a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

V/A: Sound Neighbours: Contemporary Music in Northern Ireland

Sound Neighbours: Contemporary Music in Northern Ireland

  • Formats (editor, date)
    CD (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 26/06/2007): 
    093074054420 (SFW CD 40544)
This compilation CD was released by the Smithsonian Institution’s record label to promote Northern Irish music in the USA.

While it features mainly folk and traditional music (Cathal Hayden, Barry Kerr, Tommy Sands, Niall And Cillian Valley, …), The Divine Comedy comes like a surprise! The featured track is ‘Sunrise’, probably chosen for its political message.

The liner notes says: Inspired by Dante for the title of his sometimes one-man band Divine Comedy, Neil Hannon’s ‘Sunrise’ is a ‘hint of blue in the black sky’ and a call of hope and humanity from the inferno of entrenched sectarianism. In 1609 (coincidentally exactly three hundred years after Dante commenced work on Divina Commedia), Derry (from the Irish doire, meaning oak grove) had its name changed to Londonderry by James I of England when he granted the area to London merchants. Deeds as old as this and as recent as the 1987 IRA bombing of Enniskillen (Inis Ceithleann in Irish means Ceithleann’s island) are recalled in this powerful song, where Hannon asks: Who cares where national borders lie / Who cares whose laws you’re governed by / Who cares what name you call a town / Who’ll care when you’re six feet beneath the ground?