Is Timberlake a bowsie, or brilliant? Popular opinion was split yesterday on the merits of his version of the classic song ‘The Auld Triangle’, but the musicians’ union gave the former N Sync man their backing.
Finbar Furey, who often performed with Luke Kelly, the man many believe delivered the definitive version of ‘The Auld Triangle’, said the Timberlake version was “great”.
The song was recorded by the pop star and other musicians, including Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons, for the soundtrack to the new Coen Brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis, which looks at the folk music scene of the early-’60s. The song was written by Dominic Behan, brother of Brendan. “For a guy who has never done folk music before he has done a great job,” Finbar Furey said.
“You have to stop comparing it to Luke, no one will ever sing it like Luke. It’s part of our heritage. The man [Timberlake] is a class act and anything that puts Irish music out there for the rest of the kids is great.
“I wish the young man the best of luck.”
Máiréad Ní Mhaonaigh of Altan said: “I think anybody that takes an Irish song and sings it, it’s good, especially in a Coen Brothers film.”
The Donegal woman admitted she wasn’t completely au fait with Timberlake’s material, unlike her daughter, but added: “I think it’s great for Irish music, to have taken a Behan song and to make it his own, music is to play and to sing and that’s the way older people would see it.”
Decrying any “snobbery” over the version she said: “It was written to be sung and anyone who wants to sing it should sing it.” Songwriter John Spillane said: “I really like Justin Timberlake’s version of ‘The Auld Triangle’ and I think it’s really cool that it’s featuring in a Coen Brothers film.
“Timberlake’s version is a fairly straight copy of Luke Kelly and the Dubliners. I doubt if anyone will ever beat that version.” Seems like a ringing endorsement from the musician fraternity, and the film is getting decent reviews as well. We can only assume Kelly and Clancy are not rolling in their graves.
A flavour of the tweets yesterday on Justin Timberlake’s version of ‘The Auld Triangle’:
* Nickie Byrne: “Get up ye Bowsie !! RT @GginaAhernByrne: Am Loving @jtimberlake “Auld Triangle” Version 2
* Harmless Noise: “I honestly, genuinely, most definitely do not want to hear Justin Timberlake singing the Auld Triangle.”
* Eric Campbell: “There’s a warrant out for the arrest of Justin Timberlake Charged with murdering ‘The Auld Triangle’”
* Mike Taylor: “An excellent version of “The Auld Triangle” by Justin Timberlake”
* Jack Cassidy: “Fair play to justin timberlake singing the auld triangle great publicity for irish music etc but his version has nothing on luke kelly”
* Fiona Lally: “justin timberlake singing the auld triangle, oh god stop him please #cringe #fakeirishaccent #begorreetopofthemorningtoya”
* Fiach Mac Domhnaill: “Just heard JT’s version of The auld Triangle. It’s feckin shite lads.”
* Siobhán: “Justin Timberlake singing “The Auld Triangle“.....Jesus, Mary and Holy St Joseph. Whoever thought it was a good idea should be shot”
* FionaF77: “My mum was outraged by the idea of Justin Timberlake covering The Auld Triangle. Then she heard it & is now content for me to marry him”
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