“It’s the garden of England. I love it because of the heat and quaint houses, the marshes and the coastline. I prefer it to Spain — coming home fat and burnt.”
A folk musician, song collector and composer, he returned to Ireland a year ago after spending five years in Florida. “I started to miss home,” he says.
“America made me write a lot from outside. I have a new album, Life, with ten new songs. I hope that I’ve grabbed something of life through the songs.”
Now living in Cobh, he describes it as perfect. “I have a view of the harbour — it’s like the classic Cork coat of arms — any ship that comes in has to pass under my window.”
Now separated, he has a son James, 26. On the subject of age, he owns up to “three score-plus, but won’t say any more”.
* Jimmy Crowley will be at the West Cork Literary Festival presenting a five-day workshop on songwriting from Monday, Jul 8 to Friday, Jul 12. Further details: www.westcorkliteraryfestival.ie.
Reasonable. I love the outdoors. I’m fairly active with the bike and I like to walk. I just did a week’s cycling in Kent on my own. I did about 35 miles a day. I came back weighing less than I did when I went out.
I don’t have anything too serious. I have to watch things like the drink, which is an occupational hazard. Any health problems I would have could be addressed by keeping the weight down and keeping fit. I think that is much better than taking pills.
When I was living in Florida, I couldn’t afford health insurance so I decided not to get sick. I started to eat vegetarian food and a little bit of fish. I didn’t smoke, didn’t drink and cut back on the coffee. It was the healthiest time of my life. It fell by the wayside when I came home a year ago.
Chocolate biscuit cake with cream. I don’t like soft desserts.
Financial problems. That’s part of modern life nowadays. I don’t have a pension — I am strictly a full-time artist.
I do TM — I don’t do it every day but it’s a fantastic discipline and it takes you to a very nice place. You can feel the tension unravelling in your stomach. I am a little bit edgy, a little bit nervous and it suits me.
John McCormack, John Nelson, Willie Nelson. On another night, I’d invite Maggie Barry, Delia Murphy and Ella Fitzgerald.
Coffee and bacon on a morning on a boat.
I worry less about it as I get older. I am not going to have a full crown of curly locks like I had in my first album but I am making the most of it. I have more hair than Christy Moore!
Certain songs make me cry — it’s a wonderful release. It’s cathartic, it’s human. But you have to be able to put on the stiff upper lip at times.
People who are anti-book and proud of it. If you haven’t read Rebecca, War and Peace or The Dubliners — I can’t talk to you. That kind of trend is worse than meanness. It’s a meanness of the soul.
A meanness brought on by not actually having money. You can’t buy that big round.
I do — to my parents who are dead. It would be awful if we found out there was no after-life. I seem to need something. I think prayers work for me.
I love meeting cats and dogs on the streets when they come up to me. Their faces are so honest — it’s a beautiful thing.