CLARK, NJ -- The Wolfe Tones, Ireland’s legendary folk group, bring their special 1916 Easter Rising Tribute tour to Molly Maguire's in Clark on Wednesday, May 25.
For more than a half-century, the Irish balladeers have told the history of Ireland through song as only true Irish story tellers can. Their current tour celebrates the of the leaders of Ireland's 1916 Easter Rebellion.
Last Moments (Light a Penny Candle), which tells the story of the last moments of the rebels' lives. The Wolfe Tones have written and/or performed many songs that celebrate the rebels, including James Connolly, Pádraig Pearse, and Joseph Mary Plunkett.
"We have probably played a part in keeping their memory alive," said Brian Warfield in a phone interview from his home in Dublin. "A good song tells a story. It knows no boundaries."
The group has long been considered a "rebel band" whose songs and concerts focused on eliminating British rule in Ireland. They rose to the height of their popularity during the 1970s and 1980s, when "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland were at their height.
"If you think about it, we were popular before The Troubles started. We continue the story on This Is The Day, written after The Good Friday Agreement. ("Give peace a chance. Let's find the way")," Warfield said. "Our music covers a vast range of different issues, including emigration, the 1798 and 1916 rebellions, The Troubles, and issues of the present, including suicide prevention. These stories are how we shape the future."
Warfield believes that kids cherish what they can learn through song, and that the group is more popular with young people than ever.
"At our shows, often only 10-15 percent of the audience is over 25. You don't need trouble to tell the history of our country," added Warfield, who first toured America with the group in 1966.
"I'm a song written, and I've written more than 130 songs of every conceivable subject. When I write a song I had an objective. Then we tell it with a melody that suits the subject. Joe McDonnell (the ballad of one of the 1981 hunger strikers) is one of the most powerful song I wrote."
"In America the news from Ireland came from Britain. You never heard the Irish perspective," Warfield explained. "Songs can tell the story when other vehicles can't. Plastic bullets, The Guilford Four, these songs tell how the people felt at the time. The ballad singer writes to the people."
One of the highlights of the group's long career was having their version of A Nation Once Again named as the number one song of all time via a BBC World Service poll. Warfield said the group was thrilled to top the list ahead of recordings by The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra, among others.
Among the group's most best known songs are:
- A Nation Once Again
- Celtic Symphony (1990)
- My Heart Is in Ireland (1985)
- Irish Eyes (1983)
- Admiral William Brown (1982)
- Streets of New York (1981)
- Rock On Rockall (1975)
- On The One Road (1972)
- James Connolly (1968)
During the past 50 years, the band has played venues including Carnegie Hall in New York and Prince Albert Hall in London, countless Irish festivals and pubs across the globe. They will perform at Molly Maguire's in Clark on Wednesday, May 25. For tickets in advance, visit mollymaguires.ticketleap.com
"Molly’s is pleased to bring Ireland’s true legendary performers, The Wolfe Tones, to Clark," says John McPartlan. "Come for a pint or savor our wonderful Irish fare and stay for the best band that Molly’s has to offer. And you might even learn a thing or two!"
Molly Maguire's Irish Pub & Restaurant is located at 1085 Central Ave., Clark, NJ, just off Garden State Parkway Exit 135. The traditional Irish pub offers everything from fish & chips and Shepherd’s pie to pints of Guinness and Smithwick’s Irish Ale.
Editor's Note: Molly Maguire's is an advertisre of TAPinto.net.