Christy’s tune makes the cut in poetry collection

THE lyrics to folk singer Christy’s big hit Lisdoonvarna will feature in the new Penguin Book of Irish Verse.

Billed as the “definitive collection” of Irish poetry, it is 1,120 pages long and costs €50.

Christy revealed: “I was absolutely thrilled when I heard about it. It’s just marvellous to get this sort of recognition. What a buzz.”

The collection spans the centuries and other big names featured include Samuel Beckett, Paul Durcan, Samuel Beckett, Patrick Kavanagh, Thomas Moore, Percy French, Oscar Wilde and Brendan Kennelly.

The book covers poetry from Ireland from the earliest times right up to now and includes English translations of ancient and modern Gaelic.

The award-winning Seamus Heaney has written the introduction to the massive tome, saying that it is “by far the most comprehensive and confident anthology of Irish poetry yet”.

Christy’s humorous Lisdoonvarna was based on his experiences at the legendary Lisdoonvarna festival in Co Clare, which took part in the early 1980s.

In it he gently pokes fun at the event, which he visited annually, declaring that “Everybody needs a break/ Climb a mountain or jump in a lake/ Some head off to exotic places/ Others go to the Galway Races,” adding that Lisdoonvarna is his chosen holiday venue.

Meanwhile, patrons of the festival have been given a boost with news that a dozen Texan cheerleaders and a ladies’ rugby team have booked in to the matchmaking festival.

Matchmaker Willie Daly said there’s huge excitement among the throngs of bachelors who’ve flooded to the Co Clare spa town looking for romance.

He said yesterday: “I just got word that 12 cheerleaders from Texas, all in their 20s, are coming to the matchmaking festival later this month. They are on a tour around Europe and got in touch with me when they heard about the festival.”

He continued: “There’s also a ladies rugby team coming over from Birmingham in two weeks. The word from their camp is that there is a lot of interest in finding love with an Irishman. Some of the girls were telling me to hook them up with a man with a good physique.”

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