Since the beginning of lockdown I've been speaking to many many people and in particular involved in music and entertainment the next artist I'm speaking to is one of Ireland's leading artists he's performed and numerous other countries as well he started at a very young age he was a I suppose you could say a child prodigy and since that it's gone on from success to success an incredibly talented singer songwriter performer and I think at times possibly an actor as well I'm delighted to say a big hello to the one and only Michael English.
Michael how are you, hello Jerry it's great to talk to you thanks very much for speaking to me today. It's great to be on, a real pleasure Michael, real pleasure. You've had when you look back now you've had you've had an incredible career in music well I suppose Jerry I've been looking you know to be involved in music I suppose as a child as you said during your introduction. Yeah I've been very lucky with the people that I've worked with and the musicians and the people in the management roles and record companies
So I've always worked with with great people and it's down to them as well you know it's down to all of the musicians and people in the office that keep the wheel turning and so yeah I've enjoyed it and still enjoying it and looking forward to to getting back when the time is right. Indeed but you know in there you didn't mention you know one sort of vital ingredient in the whole thing which is talent. You gotta have the talent in all fairness, I know that the the rest is important. Well I suppose everybody has a talent, whether it be in music or or whether it be in painting, or whether it be doing whatever everybody has their own unique talent and God gave us. Those talents to go out and and use them and that's what I did.
I suppose I honed in on the music from an early age and you know, i always thank God and for the talent that he gave me. But yeah I suppose you have to have talent you have to have drive you have to have focus you have to have interest, and you have to have a love for what you do. And I do all of those things I love everything about the music business and I count myself very lucky I suppose, to be able to have a career or a job or whatever the title you put on it, that I love and I do count myself very lucky that I can get up in the morning and I can do something that I thoroughly enjoy.
And I'm looking to be able to do that all right. Indeed, you've been managed by some giants in music like from people like Henry McMahon you know, a legendary songwriter and and you know, entertainer through to Louis Walsh. Yeah that's right, as I said you know, I've been very lucky to work with with great people and I really mean that and you know, I've often listened to your radio program. I heard the interview with Henry McMahon that you did, it was a great interview, and P.J. Murrahy as well. a great friend of mine. i heard that interview, but yeah, i was very lucky I suppose particularly when I was starting out to meet such a giant as you rightly put it in henry McMahon in the music business henry not only was a a thorough professional, he was a gentleman to work alongside.
And I suppose he guided my career from a very young age he wrote my very first record the nearest perfect he launched the band with me so he was there from from the very beginning, and I have an awful lot of thanks to to go to Henry. I was managed by Louis Walsh when I was with Sony and Louis guided my career through another path and I was very thankful to him for all that he did for me as well and I got to travel for the received I suppose I'd do things that I had never done before or never thought I would get the opportunity to do and then right up until the last six years until the present, Paul Claffey manages me and Paul has done a fantastic job and everybody that works with them in the office Bernie and Damian, Denise and everybody down there they do a fantastic job now, and and more so than ever.
I mean, during this lockdown they're trying to keep things going with recording and and new ideas and and new ways of doing things through social media and all of that kind of thing. So they're great people too. They manage my career very well and I'm very thankful to all of those people, right from the very beginning from Henry McMahon to Louie Walsh, to Paul Laffy. Now I've been very lucky without repeating myself I've just been in the right place at the right time. And you often hear that phrase used very much but I firmly believe in it as I was always so far that I was always in the right place to meet the right people and good people. And there are many good people in the music business. And i was just lucky I supposed to have met so far some of the the great.
Indeed, now you recorded it was a truly mammoth task to do actually quite early on in the lockdown. you wrote the song, ''Come sing with me'' and you managed to get an incredible amount of singers, you know and they each and every one of them doing it remotely. It was truly a mammoth task. Well it was I suppose in before the lockdown, one of the advantages of the lockdown if you like to put it that way, is that everybody was at home and everybody was free and available you know normally in our in our everyday lives before this pandemic people would be doing lots of things.
They would be traveling, they would be touring, they would be going up the highways and byways of Ireland recording and shows and everything. But the one thing when the lockdown came in, everybody was at home so it did it although it was it was a huge task to get everybody together. Everybody was available which was a huge advantage and we came home, had been in America, in Mexico a couple of weeks before the lockdown, and then we did a week in Ireland and then we went to Scotland and we were on tour in Scotland we were in Inverness on the Saturday and I called in all of the band and the crew into the room and we sat down. And we decided collectively looking at the news bulletins, that we should go home and so we came home after the show the next night, in our bros and we went down through Belfast and came down here home to where I live in Kildare.
And i closed the door on the 15th of March, and I suppose I've been more or less here ever since. But the song I suppose a couple of us in the music business had chatted about you know, everybody seemed to be doing great things for different causes. And for everyday people just helping in whatever way they could. And although we couldn't come together physically, we came up with the idea that maybe a couple of us would come to together virtually and record a song that might give a bit of comfort, and help people through music through the the situation that they were in.
So we searched around for a couple of songs and then a couple of the people said you know why don't you write one. Why didn't I write one. So i sat at the piano and I came up with ''Come sing with me'' and I suppose during the time that was writing it in the very early stages of of the lockdown, looking at the the news bulletins 24 / 7 you know. It was about all the people who were on the front line, and helping all those who were less fortunate than ourselves and people who were very sick and dying and my heart went out to the them, but I also wanted to remember what I like to call the silent hero the word hero had been used a lot and rightly so but i wanted to remember the silent hero that I like to call them.
They're the people who you won't see on the news bulletin or the front page of the the newspapers and sometimes we forget about those people who are getting up every morning and and leaving their families maybe to just go down the road and whether it be delivering a dinner through a window or knocking on the window to see that somebody inside was okay. Maybe the elderly or people living on their own especially, and all of those people I didn't want to forget them. So I thought we would focus the song at those people, and pay tribute to those people so that was the idea and then I sat down at the piano and wrote the song. And then I thought maybe there would be five or six of us would would sing it. Of course we had to do it remotely from our own houses without even opening our front doors to go out. But then it was like a snowball effect, other people started to get on to me and they spoke to other people, and all of a sudden there were almost 50 people from not just a music business, from all walks of life.
And that's I think what made it special. That it wasn't just the music business you know There were, there were actors in there, there were people from the the sports very well-known people of course. And faces that people would remember, and know and so it was a wide spectrum of of all walks of life came together, from their own homes. You know, people like Patrick Bergen the actor, the great Hollywood actor that we're very proud of here in Ireland. He led the introduction, people then from of course my own side of the music business. Too many to mention, I hate mentioning too many people because I always leave out somebody especially when there was 50. And then you know, even the people the musicians, people in the studio.
Everybody just seemed to come together and it remarkable that the video was recorded by everybody on their their phone or their ipad, both audio and visual to make this possible. So I have to thank all of those people who came together. They were fantastic, and they all got it done. I think I wrote it on a Friday night and we had it released on the following Tuesday so it has been a great project and when I started it I hope that it might reach out to a few people. As I said that were living alone or people that were helping those people or people who were elderly that needed a bit of comfort.
But in the first week we had over 150,000 people that sat down and viewed us. And now it's probably well over three-quarters of a million. So while I wanted to aim into that you know, a few people, never thought that you know that amount of people would sit down to view it and I suppose normally in the in the music business you're thriving to to get a record for to keep touring, or to get a little bit of success. But this record was primarily focused on giving people a little bit of comfort.
Giving people a little bit of support and it certainly seems to have done that anyway. Certainly has I think when you know, when eventually all this is over and you know people look back at us when people speak about the various songs which came out of the pandemic. Yeah your song will go down and you know in history as a truly iconic song from the lockdown on the emergency truly a truly incredible achievement well done. By the way there's some you've got needless to say you you've got a legion of fans who would like asked me to say hello to you Steve, Steven Keller wanted to say uh how he enjoyed your weekend in in February looking forward to so many of the dances but not happening and looking forward to, hopefully seeing you in Portugal on the next trip in Spain or whenever that will be.
You know and also to make William and Claire Morris thank you Steven is a great guy and I know he hasn't been too well but lately but we're all hoping and rooting for Steven He's a great young man and his name pops up very often you know I when I'm driving to Mayo often to record my television show I often hear Stephen's name even on midwest radio, requesting my music, so thanks very much Steve. Right also Alice Walsh wanted to say hello to you and she's looking forward to the dancers returning. Alice is a great person. Alison and Thomas they're an example of the many people who come to the shows both the dances and the concerts and the musical that was going to happen and the theaters and the churches and all the, all those people who come to the shows Alice is a great example of those people that we all dear to our hearts.
Songs by Michael English on this site include Friday at the dance , and A Million Memories .
Irish folk song lyrics, chords and a whole lot more