Christopher Andrew "Christy" Moore (born 7 May 1945) is an
Irish Irish may refer to: Common meanings * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ***Éire, Irish language name for the isle ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit ...
folk singer, songwriter and guitarist. In addition to his significant success as an individual, he is one of the founding members of Planxty and Moving Hearts. His first album, ''Paddy'' ''on the Road'' was recorded with Dominic Behan in 1969. In 2007, he was named as Ireland's greatest living musician in
RTÉ (RTÉ) (; Irish for "Radio & Television of Ireland") is the national broadcaster of Ireland headquartered in Dublin. It both produces and broadcasts programmes on television, radio and online. The radio service began on 1 January 1926, while ...
's People of the Year Awards.

Early life

Moore was born in
Newbridge, County Kildare Newbridge, officially known by its Irish name Droichead Nua (), is a town in County Kildare, Ireland. While the nearby Great Connell Priory was founded in the 13th century, the town itself formed from the 18th century onwards, and grew rapidl ...
, Ireland and attended
Newbridge College , latin_name = , logo = Newbridge College crest.gif , logo_size = 140px , seal_image = , image = Newbridge College.jpg , image_size = 270px , alt = Newbridge College and the R ...
. His mother Nancy Moore was a Fine Gael election candidate. He was originally a bank employee who wanted to express himself using traditional music. During a bank strike in 1966, which lasted twelve weeks, he went to England, as many striking officials did, but didn't return when the strike was settled. "I had a wild and wonderful time in England, with no bank manager looking over my shoulder," he said. Doing general labouring work, he frequented the folk clubs and the Irish music pubs where he met Seamus Ennis, Margaret Barry,
Luke Kelly Luke Kelly (17 November 1940 – 30 January 1984) was an Irish singer, folk musician and actor from Dublin, Ireland. Born into a working-class household in Dublin city, Kelly moved to England in his late teens and by his early 20s had become ...
, Martin Byrnes and many other traditional musicians. When Irish singing trio The Grehan Sisters, with whom Moore was previously acquainted, moved to the north of England from Dublin in 1967, they assisted Moore to get a higher profile by giving him contacts and support slots on their concerts.

Musical career

1973 brought his first major release, '' Prosperous'', which brought together the four musicians who shortly thereafter formed Planxty: Liam O'Flynn, Andy Irvine and
Dónal Lunny Dónal Lunny (born 10 March 1947) is an Irish folk musician and producer. He plays left-handed guitar and bouzouki, as well as keyboards and bodhrán. As a founding member of popular bands Planxty, The Bothy Band, Moving Hearts, Coolfin, Moz ...
. For a time they called themselves "CLAD", an acronym of their names, but soon decided on Planxty. After leaving Planxty in 1975, Moore continued on his solo career, reforming his old band on occasion (which he has been doing ever since). He also formed the band Moving Hearts with Lunny and five other musicians in 1980. In 1987 he appeared on Gay Byrne's '' The Late Late Show'' performing with
The Dubliners The Dubliners were an Irish folk band founded in Dublin in 1962 as The Ronnie Drew Ballad Group, named after its founding member; they subsequently renamed themselves The Dubliners. The line-up saw many changes in personnel over their fifty-ye ...
for their 25th anniversary. In 2000, he published his autobiography, ''One Voice''. Moore's earlier lifestyle resulted in a decline in health and several operations. Moore's battle with alcohol, and subsequent heart operations, have taken their toll. At the end of the 1990s, Moore reduced his workload for medical reasons. Some of Moore's songs are heavily influenced by drink and the effects of drink, his song "Delirium Tremens" being a good example. Listening to Johnny Mulhern's song "Hard Cases" caused Moore to recall the Galway drinking scene with local musicians Mickey Finn, Pete Galligan, Corky and Terry Smith. On 17 April 2009, Moore released his first new studio album in four years, entitled ''Listen'', and promoted it through a series of live gigs. In December 2011, Moore released the album ''Folk Tale''. His next album ''Where I Come From'' was released in November 2013 and features a new protest song called "Arthur's Day". The album peaked at number three in the Irish album charts. ''On the road'' was released in November 2017, while his most recent album ''Magic Nights'' was released in November 2019.

Political and social commentary

Moore is best known for his political and social commentary which reflects a left-wing, Irish republican perspective, despite the fact that his mother was a
Fine Gael Fine Gael (, ; English: "Family (or Tribe) of the Irish") is a liberal-conservative and Christian-democratic political party in Ireland. Fine Gael is currently the third-largest party in the Republic of Ireland in terms of members of Dáil É ...
county councillor and parliamentary candidate in Kildare. He supported the republican H-Block protestors with the albums '' H-Block'' in 1978, the launch of which was raided by the police, and '' The Spirit of Freedom''. He has also recorded songs by the hunger striker Bobby Sands, including "Back Home in Derry" which is based on
Gordon Lightfoot Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. (born November 17, 1938) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist who achieved international success in folk, folk-rock, and country music. He is credited with helping to define the folk-pop sound of the 196 ...
's song "
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald "The Wreck of the ''Edmund Fitzgerald'' is a 1976 hit song written, composed and performed by Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot to commemorate the sinking of the bulk carrier SS ''Edmund Fitzgerald'' on Lake Superior on November 10, ...
". He ceased supporting the military activities of the IRA in 1987 as a result of the Enniskillen bombing. Political songs he has performed throughout his career include Mick Hanly's "On the Blanket" about the protests of republican prisoners, "Viva la Quinta Brigada", about the Irishmen who fought in the
Spanish Civil War The Spanish Civil War ( es, Guerra Civil Española)) or The Revolution ( es, La Revolución, link=no) among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War ( es, Cuarta Guerra Carlista, link=no) among Carlism, Carlists, and The Rebellion ( es, La Rebeli ...
against Franco, and "Minds Locked Shut" about Bloody Sunday in Derry. Moore has endorsed a long list of leftist support causes, ranging from El Salvador to
Mary Robinson Mary Therese Winifred Robinson ( ga, Máire Mhic Róibín; ; born 21 May 1944) is an Irish politician who was the 7th president of Ireland, serving from December 1990 to September 1997, the first woman to hold this office. Prior to her electi ...
in the 1990 presidential election. He has incorporated songs about
Salvador Allende Salvador Guillermo Allende Gossens (, , ; 26 June 1908 – 11 September 1973) was a Chilean physician and socialist politician who served as the 28th president of Chile from 3 November 1970 until his death on 11 September 1973. He was the fir ...
('Allende') and
Ronald Reagan Ronald Wilson Reagan ( ; February 6, 1911June 5, 2004) was an American politician, actor, and union leader who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. He also served as the 33rd governor of California from 1967 ...
('Ronnie Reagon') into his repertoire. At the
Glastonbury Festival Glastonbury Festival (formally Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts and known colloquially as Glasto) is a five-day festival of contemporary performing arts that takes place in Pilton, Somerset, England. In addition to contemp ...
in 2005, he sang about the Palestinian solidarity activist Rachel Corrie. He supported the
anti-nuclear movement The anti-nuclear movement is a social movement that opposes various nuclear technologies. Some direct action groups, environmental movements, and professional organisations have identified themselves with the movement at the local, nationa ...
in Ireland playing in many concerts and at festivals in Carnsore Point for the cause.

Banned song

"They Never Came Home" is a song about the Stardust fire of 1981 where 48 people died. The song was recorded on the '' Ordinary Man'' album and was released on the B-side of a single in 1985. The song achieved notoriety when Moore was taken to court over claims in the song prejudical to an ongoing court case determining compensation. For instance, the song claimed, "hundreds of children are injured and maimed, and all just because the fire exits were chained". Mr Justice Murphy ordered the ''Ordinary Man'' album to be withdrawn from the shops, and costs were awarded against Moore. "Another Song is Born" was recorded for the album's re-release. "They Never Came Home" later appeared on his box set and on the album ''Where I come from''.

Musical style

His solo style includes driving rhythms on guitar and
bodhrán The bodhrán (, ; plural ''bodhráin'' or ''bodhráns'') is a frame drum used in Irish music ranging from in diameter, with most drums measuring . The sides of the drum are deep. A goatskin head is tacked to one side (synthetic heads or othe ...
as well as slower ballads.


Moore's brother Barry, whose stage name is Luka Bloom, is also a singer-songwriter. His nephew, Conor Byrne, is also a traditional flautist and tin whistle player, with Christy appearing on his ''Wind Dancer'' album.

Memorable events

Detention incident, 2004

In October 2004, Moore was stopped and detained by Special Branch officers at the Welsh port of Holyhead, taken into an office and questioned about the lyrics of his songs. The following day, he released a statement saying: "My driver and I were stopped and held for two hours at Holyhead last Monday, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002. My driver and I were held separately in two interrogation rooms. I found the whole experience threatening. I was questioned about the contents of my briefcase." Despite initial reports to the contrary, the singer's van, which was full of musical equipment, was not searched. "I was questioned about lyrics of songs and I was asked a lot of personal questions about members of my family and my children and about my home. At no time was I given any explanation as to why I was being held and interrogated in this manner", he added. He said the fact that Irish people are still being treated this way on their way to Britain is very "saddening". "I had hoped to deal with this matter out of the public domain. But seeing as it has become a news item, I feel the need to offer my side of the story. I found the whole affair quite frightening."

''Desert Island Discs''

In June 2007, Moore was a guest on the BBC radio programme '' Desert Island Discs''. He selected mainly Irish folk music that had inspired him and spoke of personal and political issues that had shaped his life, choosing a set of
Uilleann pipes The uilleann pipes ( or , ) are the characteristic national bagpipe of Ireland. Earlier known in English as "union pipes", their current name is a partial translation of the Irish language terms (literally, "pipes of the elbow"), from thei ...
as his luxury item and The English and Scottish Popular Ballads as his choice book.

Penguin book of Irish poetry

In 2010 Christy Moore's song "Lisdoonvarna" which he wrote gained entry in ''The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry''.


On Sunday 10 July 2011 Moore joined
Coldplay Coldplay are a British rock band formed in London in 1997. They consist of vocalist and pianist Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, drummer Will Champion and creative director Phil Harvey. They met at University Co ...
on stage at the 2011 Oxegen Festival performing the song " Ride On".


Solo Albums

* '' Paddy on the Road'' (1969) * '' Prosperous'' (1972) * '' Whatever Tickles Your Fancy'' (1975) * '' Christy Moore'' (1976) * '' The Iron Behind the Velvet'' (1978) * '' Live in Dublin'' (1978) * '' H Block'' (1980) * '' Christy Moore and Friends'' (1981) * '' The Time Has Come'' (1983) * '' Ride On'' (1984) * '' Ordinary Man'' (1985) * '' The Spirit of Freedom'' (1986) * '' Unfinished Revolution'' (1987) * ''
Voyage Voyage(s) or The Voyage may refer to: Literature *''Voyage : A Novel of 1896'', Sterling Hayden * ''Voyage'' (novel), a 1996 science fiction novel by Stephen Baxter *''The Voyage'', Murray Bail * "The Voyage" (short story), a 1921 story by ...
'' (1989) * '' Smoke & Strong Whiskey'' (1991) * '' King Puck'' (1993) No. 2 * '' Live at the Point'' (1994) No. 1 * '' Graffiti Tongue'' (1996) No. 2 * '' Traveller'' (1999) No. 1 * '' This is the Day'' (2001) No. 1 * '' Live at Vicar Street'' (2002) No. 1 * '' Burning Times'' (2005) No. 3 * '' Live at the Point 2006'' (2006) No. 1 * '' Listen'' (2009) No. 1 * '' Folk Tale'' (2011) * '' Where I Come From'' (2013) * ''
Lily ''Lilium'' () is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs, all with large prominent flowers. They are the true lilies. Lilies are a group of flowering plants which are important in culture and literature in much of the world. ...
'' (2016) No. 3 * ''On the Road'' (2017) No. 1 * ''Magic Nights'' (2019) No. 2 * ''Magic Nights on the Road'' (2019) No. 9 * ''Flying Into Mystery'' (2021)

With Planxty

* '' Planxty'' (1972) * '' The Well Below the Valley'' (1973) * '' Cold Blow and the Rainy Night'' (1974) * '' After The Break'' (1979) * '' The Woman I Loved So Well'' (1980) * '' Words and Music'' (1983) * '' Live 2004'' CD/DVD (2004) * '' Between the Jigs and the Reels: A Retrospective'' CD/DVD (2016)

With Moving Hearts

* '' Moving Hearts'' (1981) * '' Dark End of the Street'' (1982)

Compilation albums

* '' High Kings of Tara'' (1980) lanxty & Various artists* '' Nice 'n Easy'' (1984) * '' Aris'' (1984) * '' Christy Moore'' (1988) * '' The Christy Moore Collection 1981–1991'' (1991) * '' Christy Moore Collection Part 2'' (1997) No. 4 * '' The Box Set 1964–2004'' (2004) No. 2 * '' The Early Years 1969-81'' (2020)



* ''Christy'' (1995) 54 mins – Christy reflects on life and career.


* ''Christy Moore Uncovered'' (2001) 104 mins – features collaborations with Jimmy MacCarthy, Wally Page, Shane MacGowan, Sinéad O'Connor and John Spillane. * ''Live 2004'' (Planxty DVD) The reunion of the hugely popular and influential group after a 20-year hiatus. * ''Christy Moore Live in Dublin 2006'' (2006) 143 mins – First time a live solo concert has been recorded and released outside CD format. Filmed over 4 nights in December 2005 and January 2006. * ''Christy Moore's Come All You Dreamers – Live at Barrowland'' (2009) – Filmed in Barrowland in Glasgow featuring Declan Sinnott.


External links

Christy Moore's home page

Review of a Christy Moore concert in Nottingham November 2007

'4711' is a term Christy coined which refers to his online fanbase. {{DEFAULTSORT:Moore, Christy 1945 births Living people 20th-century Irish male singers 21st-century Irish male singers Bodhrán players Claddagh Records artists Irish folk singers Irish guitarists Irish songwriters Musicians from County Kildare People educated at Newbridge College People from County Kildare People from Newbridge, County Kildare Planxty members Moving Hearts members