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October 17, 2017

Cliffs of Cara: Leeds rendition of The Cliffs of Dooneen

Time to Shine asked us to report back about our learning from the Cara project at a celebration event. 

The remit was to try to make it as interesting as possible so we thought about how we’d learnt that our traditions and culture had stayed with us even as we left Ireland to come to Leeds for work. 

Running through the culture, like an artery, is the music, songs and stories. 

So I re-wrote the Cliffs of Dooneen (perhaps the most well-known and well-loved song about leaving Ireland behind) to tell the story of our own Leeds Irish Community. 

I changed the words of this classic ballad to tell the story of how the Irish built motorways, hospitals and airports and it fit seamlessly.

As a result of this Ant Hanlon from Leeds Irish Health and Homes (LIHH) asked me to sing it again for the Irish Minister for the Diaspora, Ciarán Cannon, when he visited. 

I did. 

An excerpt of that video was tweeted and picked up by the Irish Post and put on their Facebook Page which stands now at over 12,600 views. 

People have asked for the full version so here it is for your entertainment and edification.

There’s also some talk of recording it with the backing of some local Irish musicians. 

Next stop the Fleadh?

Sara Allkins, Cara Community Connector