February 14, 2001
Handed by Kai Chai


Dara 2000, 65 mins

Tracklisting: Dolores Keane – Storm in My Heart -
Altan – Castles in The Air - Van Morrison & The
Chieftans – Irish Heartbeat - Sinead Lohan –
Everything Around Me is Changing - Mary Black – Ae
Fond Kiss - David Gray – Lead Me Upstairs - U2 –
Staring at The Sun - Sinead O’Connor – Ode To Billie
Joe - Maire Brennan – Ceolfidh Mé - Christy Moore –
Lovely Young One - Dónal Lunny & Coolfin – Butlers -
The Cranberries – Dreaming My Dreams - Jack L –
Rooftop Lullabye - The Corrs - Runaway

Although it goes without saying that the thinking
behind it was a truly admirable demonstration of how
people power in a needy hour could really save lives,
the Band Aid single ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?(Feed
The World)’ will always bring a bad taste to many
mouths. Apart from giving rise to countless other
cheesy charity tunes featuring duets from ‘well
intended’ faltering stars who linked arms while
grinning inanely (you know who they are!), the music
itself amounted to little more than second rate, lame
pop. Several years on from this we have learnt the
hard way that like puppies, benefit albums are not
just for Christmas, but for life! Here’s where this
album comes in. There are no ill-fitting duets or
sing-along anthems here, but quite a few rare tracks
which showcase some of Ireland’s most established
songwriters and musicians with a predominantly
traditional and folk vibe. Dolores Keane’s distinctive
sean nós touch to an airy ‘Storm in My Heart’
complements the low-key acoustic touches of Sinead
Lohan’s ‘Everything Around Me is Changing’. Meanwhile
U2’s live acoustic version of ‘Staring at The Sun’
proves that they can still churn out a striking tune
without the aid of their arsenal of electronic
gadgetry, just as David Gray’s sauntering sonnet ‘Lead
Me Upstairs’ finds him in flying form on front of an
adoring audience. Doing more than their bit to
compensate for The Corr’s uninspired, albeit well
delivered live rendition of ‘Runaway’, Sinead O’Connor
offers her sparse, soulful recording of ‘Ode To Billie
Joe’ while Kildare crooner jack L does his Scott
Walker thing on the wide screen ‘Rooftop Lullabye’.
More importantly, the distressing fact that 40,000
children die every day from lack of food is a problem
that really shouldn’t be forgotten until the next
Christmas compilation is rolled out. Buy this record,
not just because you feel you should, but because it
is worth the money.

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