Singer Songwriter Michael S Togher Interview
You've written a number of uh cracking songs one of them was a you you can't park here which uh really was absolutely hilarious yeah you can'T park here it with a song actually that I actually got that song from like uh one night i was playing in a bar and uh he gave me that a rough copy of it and i kind of changed the words around to suit myself then and uh that without that when that came out it was really really popular to start playing all the radio stations all around the country and and far beyond your own in your own area there as well uh jerry and on all the Irish radio interest stations as well then I suppose if you talk about songwriting you know um i went on to write a few different songs and I uh put probably the one that was most most famous for it would be my darling kathleen
That was Mike Denver's first uh first hit when he came on the road many years ago and uh to this day that's a very popular song indeed so I did a absolutely huge huge song that from Mike Denver I mean it was a that song really was uh in in in new small way uh the song which uh possibly launched mike Denver to some huge success because it was absolutely uh a massive song yeah mike actually did a great job on the song anyways but it came about very simply actually we're playing at a charity function in a star outside and Westport in continental called digger James at the time it's gone at the conference but then i actually gave him the song and uh i said we never listened to that see with his future he was only starting out from the road at the time and his manager Willie Carty was there on the night as well and i was in actually in a in a shop in London on on quickbooks Broadway one uh one day about maybe three weeks after that when he rang me and he said um he said look i'd love to recall this song i'm sure look that i was on a high after it's very very funny because I had written lots of songs before and on the one day in that year was that about 12 years ago.
Actually PJ morgy recorded one of my songs at the same time and the two songs came out the same day which was you know very lucky one that one pj recorder was called the thieves of Eric uh tell the story of around the uh the famine times and the two songs my darling Kathleen and at the field of virus came out the exact same day so that was a bit of a good opportunity that is incredible yeah that was some coincidence you know well done another song i believe you wrote was the old county home uh that that's actually an old song jury that would have been saying around here for a long time I actually i'd love to have written it but I didn't write it but uh it's a thought that you know was being forgotten about and there would have been so in all the houses here i'm from Belmont in county now as you might you might have mentioned earlier in your in your interview but i just found it was kind of renowned around ben mullers and all the old people would sing it and when we grew up like the mother of the kind of songs we were kind of into and uh yeah.
I decided to kind of change it around a little bit again and kind of bring it up to days and yeah that was really successful that's got lots and lots of hits on the youtube channel indeed absolutely huge I think it's actually yeah it's a song i mean the other artists who recorded was Seamus Moore on an album but uh you you i think were initially you know renowned for seeing it uh back in the day and it sort of became associated with uh being a song of yours yeah yeah shameless recorded after me yeah but actually shane shameless actually recorded one of me one or two of my own songs is what you've recorded the song that I wrote years ago called the bloody pension officer and that was another song that i wrote a couple years ago but she wasn't trying to record that one then and another song that i had at the time the two of them were actually on remember called Maggie flan and drawers I didn't know you familiar with it or not jerry yeah he recorded both of them and look at James is a great guy he's a lifelong friend and a great entertainer very very interesting indeed indeed absolutely fabulous a gentleman who's been uh you know who's been going a long long time since uh you know what sort of uh he hit big forum in about 1988 89 and going strong since yeah yeah look at that excitement.
The longevity of him that proves how popular he has been and um every summer uh of course this summer 2020 he would be doing Irish tour and that was very very popular and better sure that he's gone that length of time that you mentioned there jerry and he's still so popular it's really accredited for him and and actually Flynn and Paul Rooney the players as well to do a great job indeed so indeed so another song that uh you uh recorded with another from your native male the fair and lenimoy was another one of those songs local songs written by Mcmanaman from Bangor Eris um and that that that was another one of those songs that were sang around they just used this area for years and years that hadn't been recorded and um so yeah I actually recorded that song with the martin, Eugene Kelly and Eugene was a great musician from Galway and who died suddenly a couple of years ago while on two in America and he had his little own little studio out in Canada there sounds like the city and yeah that's where I recorded that from many moons ago
But it was very popular as well indeed it was it did well another song actually that uh digged out it was a very very sort of a different tempo on it uh was I want to be in Ireland for the Christmas yeah that was yeah I want to be known for the Christmas there was another one that yeah actually it was I suppose there's a story behind every song Joey and I was in at a dentist a thousand months before Christmas and one when the girl said to me he wrote this song for the summer she said would you change the words for that for she said and put it make it iron for the Christmas she said I absolutely loved I loved the song she said and I love the melody of the song but i just wish that it was about Christmas yourself because I love Christmas as well so I came home and i started scripting away and yeah, I came up with that and the couple of days before the Christmas i went into tour and I handed her a cd copy I said have a listen to that I said there's your christmas present Ireland for the Christmas right cracking one of this and uh at the mike Denver actually also recorded but he called it I want to be in Ireland for the summer.
That's right that's right it's a great it's a great song but i suppose the key to any um good song jerry is a good melody and a good cause and if you have if you've been combination in any song if you're looking into any of the famous songs they don't have to be the the best written songs in the world they don't have to be but if you have a nice easy melody easy to listen to and a nice course that people can remember very easily yeah on a window then yes yeah exactly you know that is a that is true er what are the other songs that i believe you may have written this one the shores of ely bay the shores of early day was written by Eugene Doolin but I think Eugene is I think he played in the business around London.
Man I never had at the pleasure of meeting but theory again it was one of those songs that hadn't been recorded and i got my hands on it actually one at this guy that was a home on holidays and he was he was friends with eugene and he gave me the song so here we go shameless shames more recorded that one as well sure the valley bay is a song um about where I come from actually it might new the village that I was born and raised in is actually mentioned in us and all the places around it like ellie bay and binghamton and Belmont they're all mentioning this and of course on the London side you have Holloway road and high gate and kingfish town in Camden town and then there were all the places that all the people from around here would have gone over the last couple of decades and but a lot of people would have settled in the nearest as well so yeah it's a song that resonates with a lot of people around here indeed indeed so now your latest you know the single which I've been playing is a recording I'm also when i when i received the song I was i was surprised that you were that you were recording but I must say I like the that you know the arrangement is of the the old classic song the voyage the voice the voyage is yeah it's a great song as well of course and I'll tell you how that came to record I was working with Tony Maher Tony is a conqueror's keyboard player and Tony is a fantastic musician and we were sitting in his studio in Hedford and he said he said to me we're waiting on a song i was thinking of what what is he going to do what else are you going to do and tony said you know what song is that there was actually recorded this very studio I said many years ago the very first thing of it I said go on tell me there's probably something else and he actually played the original for me Johnny duke and I think that that wrote it I think I'm not sure and then he played the original track that he had from 2025 30 years ago whenever it was recorded first of all and he said we'd have a go with it.
I said I don't know and if you look at I always wanted to do it this way he said we will never go this way i said what happened and I was delighted so we've done it in a kind of a walk slow walls temple and i was absolutely lighter when i get when it came back from the studio with all the work eight hundred delight with that stuff indeed no it is all I'll have to say it is it's I it really is superb I love the arrangement i'll have to say often because I have never heard anybody doing that particular arrangement after I won't say it it really does it really it's a cracking job it really does sound it does sound good Michael you were a busy busy man you know doing your live work up until everybody stopped on the lockdown and all the rest of it in march yeah I was doing about maybe three to four nights a week maybe all the time jerry up to about I did once a week before some Patrick's day and and then little did we know like that that last Saturday night before some Patrick's day when things were closed down that we'd be here where we are today like coming to the end of September and as I say not not a guitar taking out to a box and okay since um it's very strange time for the industry it's it's really it's really frightening because honestly industry because there's no roadmap for for return to music and i suppose we we work in a very unstable kind of situation where we're working so yeah it's strange, it's very strange right indeed so indeed so i mean you know we certainly didn't see this coming anywhere along the way and the irony is if anybody had to say to us a year ago that something like this could possibly have happened.
I mean we really would have thought they were cracked let's be honest yeah hundred percent there yeah it's probably the most strangest thing that has happened i suppose in the world not alone the music business but in the world and look yeah it can be very frightening sometimes if you actually sit down and think about it so i think I suppose we're in a war and we we're we're all in it together and we're fighting against those fires that talk about world wars and this is a kind of a war in a way we're all fighting against this virus and you know if we keep fighting if we keep doing the right thing i had no doubt we'll win the war indeed indeed that's exactly you know that's exactly it and it's all we could do is go as best we can tell me this Michael have you done any any streaming or any facebook live things since since the lockdown I did jerry actually for the first couple of months there from i think maybe April time onwards by down about 16 or 17 Tuesday nights and really enjoyed them and we're getting great lessons listenership then over the of the couple of weeks that I've done them and people are saying look at your zero creature keeping us entertained and everything well i can tell them back like I was getting as much out of them in shows as they were because I just needed I need to actually contact with people when you you know yourself jerry from your radio shows that the fine job that you do there on Irish radio and you know the contact and the and the return kind of messages that that keeps you going and gives you the impetus to go forward again and I was doing that every Tuesday night and I really did get a lot out of them yes that's you know that's that's a you know what it is it's it's an excellent way for in some way or other to be able to connect up to people because one of the things that so many singers say to me is what they really really miss is meeting the people he missed that so much actually Jerry and I have found myself actually over the last of the last while no matter who I've been walking um whatever I'd be doing and if you'd meet somebody and you'd have a conversation with them and I find myself talking about stuff that's that I didn't even know about you because you're in your own little bubbles.
I suppose when you're you're in the music and you're you're talking about music and you're talking about this and i found myself talking about that like well growing up on a farm I found myself talking about cows and I've talked about land if I meet if I meet a fisherman I can't I can talk about about fishing and stuff like that stuff that we're doing very young so maybe in that way it's no harm to go back to a small bit of nature again and you know basically what I'm saying is it's just lovely to talk to people indeed indeed it is indeed it is you know but but Mikey listen fingers crossed we'll you know we'll all get back there when it's safe to do so Michael is it's been lovely to catch up with you I wish you all the the look in the world all the success and and good health there is and unless and what it's when it's safe to do so you'll be back flying in action once again thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to speak on your show to all your listeners stay safe and we'll be out of this before we LONG.
Irish folk song lyrics, chords and a whole lot more