Ordinary Man (Christy Moore album)

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Ordinary Man
Studio album by
GenreIrish folk
LabelWalker Music UK
ProducerDónal Lunny
Christy Moore chronology
Ride On
Ordinary Man
The Spirit of Freedom

Ordinary Man is the tenth studio album by Irish folk artist, Christy Moore. It features songs like "Ordinary Man", "St. Brendan's Voyage" and "Another Song is Born". The album featured songs by Peter Hames, Johnny Mulhearn, Hugh McDonald, Colm Gallagher and Floyd Red Crow Westerman; as well as some backing vocals by Enya on "Quiet Desperation", "Sweet Music Roll On" and "The Diamondtina [sic] Drover" and some fine uilleann pipes work by Liam O'Flynn.


Ordinary Man, as the name suggests, was an album for the working man. The songs and music reflected the economic atmosphere of Ireland and of Great Britain at the time. The title song, "Ordinary Man", was written by Grimsby musician Peter Hames and depicts a factory worker losing his job as the plant closes down, and his struggle to survive. The album also has a strong link to Moore's Irish roots with songs like "St. Brendans Voyage" and "Delirium Tremens" both relating directly to Ireland. Dónal Lunny played a major part in the album, writing much of the music for the songs. A long time friend of Moore, Lunny was also a member of Planxty and has worked closely with him for many years. The other former bandmates from Planxty who worked on the album were Andy Irvine and Liam O'Flynn. And Moving Hearts bandmate of both Moore and Lunny, Noel Eccles, lent some percussion aid to a couple of songs.

Songs and music[]

The songs and music are linked with the economic climate of Ireland at the time, the general dissatisfaction at government and still retains close links with Irish Music. Arty McGlynn, is the guitar mastermind on most of the songs on the album but the title song was written by Peter Hames and "Delerium Tremens" was written by Moore himself—"DTs" was perhaps the most memorable song from the album. It is a satirical song, directed towards the leaders in Irish politics and culture. Some of the people mentioned in the song include:

"St. Brendan's Voyage", another Christy Moore composition, depicts St. Brendan The Navigator and his journey in an unconventional way.

The original release of the album featured the song "They Never Came Home", which Moore wrote for the victims and families of the Stardust fire which took place on 14 February 1981, in Dublin. The song heavily criticizes the Irish government and the owners of the nightclub. At the time of the album's release an investigation into the fire had concluded that the cause was most likely arson, a finding which was heavily contested by survivors and families of the victims. However, that meant that in Ireland the song lyrics were found to be libelous and the song was quickly removed from the album.[citation needed]

Track listing[]

All songs composed by Christy Moore; except where indicated

Side One

  1. "Sweet Music Roll On" (Graham Lyle, Tom McGuinness)
  2. "Delirium Tremens"
  3. "Ordinary Man" (Peter Hames)
  4. "Matty" (Johnny Mulhearn)
  5. "The Reel in the Flickering Light" (Colm Gallagher)
  6. "The Diamondtina (sic) Drover" (Hugh McDonald)

Side Two

  1. "Blantyre Explosion" (traditional, arr. Moore/Lunny/McGlynn)
  2. "Hard Cases" (Johnny Mulhearn)
  3. "Continental Ceili" (Johnny Mulhearn, Christy Moore)
  4. "St. Brendan's Voyage"
  5. "Another Song is Born" †
  6. "Quiet Desperation" (Floyd Red Crow Westerman)

† replaced "They Never Came Home", a song about a fire in the Stardust nightclub in Dublin which killed 48 people.


  • Christy Moore: lead vocals, guitars
  • Dónal Lunny: guitars (1,4,6,7,8,9,12), keyboards (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,12), mandolins (4,8,12), bouzouki (4,8,10,11,12), vocals(911)
  • Arty McGlynn: guitars (1,3,4,6,7,8,9,12), pedal steel(3)
  • Enya Ní Bhraonáin: vocals (1,6,12)
  • Liam Óg O'Flynn: uilleann pipes (1,7,9,12), tin whistle (12)
  • Andy Irvine: mandolin (8,10), uncredited harmonica (4)?
  • Noel 'Nollaig' Bridgeman: accordion (6,8,9)
  • Noel Eccles: percussion (3), chimes (5)
  • Tony Molloy: bass (3)
  • Nicky Ryan: vocals (9)


Liner notes[]

"My gratitude to Dónal Lunny for the tender loving care he gave to this album and for his inspiration and encouragement in all things at all times." ~ Christy Moore, June 1985


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