For anyone interested in Northern Ireland, it’s history, it’s culture, it’s music.... finally here comes a book that offers a new approach into understanding the complex diversity that has shaped Northern Irish society and its people during the times of the Troubles and beyond. Like poems, songs, in their own right, should be recognised as historical documents. From Mickey McConnells Only our Rivers Run Free and Phil Coulter The Town I loved so Well to Tommy Sands There Were Roses - political & social developments inspired Northern Irish poets and songwriters alike. By incorporating a great amount of background information on the artists mentioned above and resulting from personal interviews with the author a very unique insight into the history of Northern Ireland is given. In addition, the vast amount of songs written from an outsiders perspective and in particular in the Rock and Popmusic Genre such as Paul McCartney’s Give Ireland back to the Irish, John Lennon’s Sunday, Bloody Sunday to James Taylor’s Belfast to Boston and Katie Melua’s Belfast, also required appropriate recognition. Together, all these songs compiled and discussed in this book will provide the reader with a better understanding of Northern Ireland’s history, its society, its people past and present. Whether it is for further academic research or simply used as reference material for anyone interested in Irish Music and Songs about and from Northern Ireland, this book will remain an essential guide and reference book in years to come.
Born in East Germany, Katrin Pietzonka studied English & Music at Leipzig University to become a secondary school teacher. She qualified as a Tour Guide for Ireland and Northern Ireland in 1997. In 2008 she defended her PhD on Songs about the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Her book is dedicated to the late BBC broadcaster Tony McAuley, who had helped her with much of her research in Northern Ireland. To mark the 10th anniversary of his death her PhD project is finally being published and is still as enlightening as ever.