The Emerald Isle

and Sinéad O’Connor and groups such as U2, the iconoclastic, punk London-Irish The Pogues, and The Cranberries becoming hugely popular. The latter group’s lead singer, Dolores O’Riordan, retains, like Van Morrison and Sinéad O’Connor at their best, strong echoes of the traditional Irish sean-nós in her singing. It is an echo that some Irish rock musicians may perhaps deny, maintaining that they are rebelling against traditional Irish music, that has been “rammed down their throats from childhood.” In fact, Irish music today, in whatever form, traditional, rock, pop, or soul (the music celebrated in Alan Parker’s splendid film (The Commitments), though firmly based in the past, is as enjoyable as ever and is a great part of the pleasure of making a visit to Ireland. The Emerald Isle 177

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