When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
….. the song with the above title has been recorded on more than 200 singles and albums and by many famous singers, including Bing Crosby, Connie Francis, John McCormack and Roger Whittaker. Ireland is a country renowned not only for its folk music but also for its rock stars.
Eire’s An Post’s 2019 set of stamps ‘Great Irish Songs’ issue (top of article and below) highlights the power of the stamp to tell a story. The songs featured, performed by renowned Irish artistes, are Danny Boy (John McCormack); On Raglan Road (Luke Kelly); With or Without You (U2) and Dreams (The Cranberries).
To commemorate the immense impact Irish musicians have had on rock and blues music four stamps issued in 2002 featured the band U2, Phil Lynott – singer and bass player with the band Thin Lizzy, Van Morrison (as a solo performer and with the 60s band Them), and the brilliant blues/rock guitarist and singer Rory Gallagher.
Then in 2019 Thin Lizzy stamps were produced to mark the 50th anniversary of the Irish rock band. Phil Lynott is featured on one stamp while the band’s famous ‘Black Rose’ album cover is reproduced on the second. The unique feature of both is that they are based on the creative work of the world-famous Irish artist, Jim Fitzpatrick. Among the band members on the stamp sheet is the great guitarist/singer Gary Moore.
In 2006 An Post issued the first in a series of Irish Music stamps. The first featured ‘snapshot in time’ photographs of The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem; The Dubliners; The Chieftains and Altan.
The 2008 Irish Music series featured many highly talented musicians who played with the bands De Dannan, the Tulla Céilí Band, Planxty and The Bothy Band. Ex-members of Planxty include the legendary Christy Moore and Andy Irvine. At the time Andy Irvine said: “Stamp collecting was my childhood hobby. Little did I think that, one day, I might become a collectible myself!”
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