Music lovers are being invited to nominate their favourite songs or ballads for the first-ever EU songbook.

However, hits such as U2’s ’Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’, Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl’, and the Cranberries’ ’Zombie’ do not feature.

Songwriter Pete St John’s ’The Fields of Athenry’ and Derryman Phil Coulter’s ’The Town I Love So Well’ are in the mix.

’A Nation Once Again’, ’Danny Boy’, ’Siúil A Rún’, ’Boolavogue’, ’Molly Malone’ and Seán Ó Riada’s ’Ár nÁthair’ were all forwarded for selection.

A total of 56 songs were nominated in six categories by students and teachers from Irish music academies, along with choir associations.

In Britain, the Beatles dominated the UK selection with McCartney/Lennon’s lyrics for ’All You Need is Love’, ’She Loves You’, and ’Imagine’ featuring along with ’Auld Lang Syne’, ’Jerusalem’, and children’s song ’Oranges and Lemons’.

However, there is a possibility with the songbook being published post-Brexit, old acquaintances may be forgotten with the UK being just an appendage to the publication.

Denmark-based Jeppe Marsiling said the book is not an EU initiative and has no financial ties with the EU.

“I was surprised Bono and his band are not included in the selection lists for Ireland but, in my opinion, Ireland has a deep treasure of songs and I was pleased to see the Gaelic influences on its music,” said Mr Marsiling.

Significantly, 21 of the submissions from Ireland were in Irish and the remainder with lyrics in English.

The EU songbook editor for Ireland is Maria Judge, head of musicianship and academic studies at CIT Cork School of Music.

She did not personally nominate any songs but believes that the selection list “offers the opportunity to the public to vote for songs, in each category, felt to be most representative of our national character”.

Having authenticated the songwriters credited with the lyrics submitted, Ms Judge said it was touching how people such as Presbyterian ministers who arrived and settled in Ireland wrote and helped to influence the creation of many folk songs.

Ms Judge said she is satisfied that “our rich heritage is reflected in the variety of style and function of the songs nominated”.

The inaugural songbook will have a total selection of 168, all translated into the English language but songs will also be published in the mother tongues of 24 states.

A month-long online voting process has commenced at eu-songbook.org


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