MADISON, NJ - With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, the Madison Public Library gave their patrons a special treat on March 7th. With about 30 patrons of all ages, singer/musician Ian Gallagher, from Bridgewater.
Gallagher sang tunes from 50s and 60s, and of course traditional Irish folk songs. More particularly, he focused on the Irish songs made famous by Bing Corsby and the Clancy Brothers.
“I work all around New Jersey and enjoy coming to these public libraries,” said Gallagher. “I love bring the Irish culture to these communities who come to really appreciate it. I wish this holiday could last for months.”
Gallagher himself is a Irish native, originally from Arigna, in County Roscommon of Ireland. He came to the United States in the 60s in pursuit of his American Dream when he was about 18. As of now, Gallagher is retired and has since played concerts on the side with his own band, The Ian Gallagher Band. He further does solo shows, usually at senior centers, retirement and anniversary parties, and at local libraries.
Many library patrons decided to wear green to the concert, and brought family members with them.
“The Madison Library always has exciting programs,” said Madison resident Kelly Sullivan. “They have a variety of activities, from classic piano concerts, to reading to dogs, to arts n’ crafts and chess clubs. It’s great to have such cultural exposure and many opportunities to experience different holidays. We’re lucky to have the Madison Library.”
Sullivan’s five-year-old son Eamon felt the same way.
“It’s fun to come here and do cool stuff,” said Eamon.
Some Irish folk songs that Gallagher performed included “Molly Malone,” “Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” “My Body Lies Over the Ocean,” “The Star of County Down.”
In between songs, Gallagher would give some trivia information on the music or simply hold conversations with crowd members about his life and being Irish, asking if there were any fellow countrymen in the house.
“Molly Malone is what the Statue of Liberty is to New York City,” said Gallagher. “Another song ‘The White Rover’ is also one song that definitely gets played at Irish bars with the crowd singing along and clapping their hands. Anyone going to an Irish bar on St. Patrick’s Day? It’s like going to New York to see the ball drop!”
And to learn more about the programs and events at the Madison Public Library, visit their website at http://www.madisonnjlibrary.org/.
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