Irish cover version of hit becomes internet sensation

An Irish-language version of hit song ‘Wake Me Up’ by Avicii has become an internet sensation after racking up more than a million hits on YouTube.

The song was done as part of an annual music project by Coláiste Lurgan, an Irish-language summer school in Galway. The school and Gaeltacht course has been in existence for 40 years but has recently become a bit of an Irish-language Glee club.

Besides ‘Wake Me Up’, the school has released many other Irish-language versions of songs such as Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’, Pompeii’s ‘Bastille’, and ‘The Cup Song’ from the movie Perfect Pitch — all of which are racking up hundreds of thousands of hits and spreading the Irish language across the world.

Manager of Coláiste Lurgan Micheál Ó Foighil said the Glee reference was a compliment to the work teachers and students have done preparing the videos

“That’s a big compliment,” said Mr Ó Foighil. “I have to watch Glee quite often myself as I have three young daughters at home.”

Mr Ó Foighil explained that the idea grew out of the traditional Galway wet weather and having to do something while stuck indoors.

“Our first production was due to the weather,” he said. “It rained so much on one course that we were inside all the time that we decided to do something together.

“Michael Jackson was after passing away, so we decided to do a version of ‘Thriller’. We had such a great time. From there it seemed a good idea to have one such programme on every course,” he said.

Mr Ó Foighil said the expertise comes from the teachers, students, and past pupils, who all have helped make the videos look so professional.

Such has been the success of the cover version, that Swedish DJ Avicii, who wrote ‘Wake Me Up’, took to Facebook, in advance of his Belfast gig last night, to profess his love for the Irish version.

“This one is so cool! I can’t understand a word but I love it,” he posted.

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