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Entertainment | Media Release

Media Release: Irish Rovers Tribute to St. Patrick for Golden Anniversary Album

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Irish-Canadian music icons, The Irish Rovers release a song from Belfast songwriters, which tells the story of St. Patrick and his years on Slemish mountain. The song appears on The Irish Rovers, 50 Years album which celebrates the band's half-century of music including thirteen new recordings. Media Release (02/25/2014) - Canada's legendary Irish Rovers are releasing their Golden Anniversary album that includes a song which pays tribute to St. Patrick and his origins on Slemish. The song, released on Rover Records is written by Belfast songwriters Colin Magee and Charlie Pettigrew. "I sent the song to The Irish Rovers about two years ago hoping they'd consider it for a recording.", said Magee. "Then, just a few months ago, we got the good news that it would be part of The Irish Rovers, 50 Years album and in the company of some of their greatest hits." Charlie Pettigrew said; "this is so exciting for both of us. The Irish Rovers have introduced Irish music to generations of fans all over the world. We couldn't be happier."

Magee says when writing the song, he and Charlie referenced St. Patrick's "Confession", written in old age. "It touches on his family, his six years spent as a slave on Slemish mountain, his escape back to Britain and then his decision to return to spread Christianity in Ireland. And, of course, we have the myths and legends that have grown up around him - banishing the snakes from Ireland, his titanic struggles with the pagan Druids and most emblematic of all, the shamrock, used to explain the Trinity."

The new song and Raise A Glass To St. Patrick video, which features artwork by Celtic artist, Hamish Burgess reflect both the man and the mythical figure he has become. "St Patrick embodies something of the Irish people themselves who have spread throughout the world and brought with them that tenacity, that undying affection for their green land and that love of the craic, dance and song," says Magee, "I can't think of anyone better than The Irish Rovers to deliver that message".

The Rovers' "50 Years" triple CD spans music from their entire career beginning with original recordings from their very first album in 1966, "The First of The Irish Rovers". As well as numerous original recordings from their half-century of tunes, the collection contains 13 new recordings including the St. Patrick's song and "Rovers' Farewell", a moving farewell anthem written by lead Rover, George Millar.

Also included on The Irish Rovers, 50 Years is their tribute to The Titanic. "Being from Northern Ireland and born on April 14th, the legend of The Titanic has been with me all my life. It took the labour of fifteen thousand Irishmen to build her - she was the pride of Belfast," says George Millar. The Irish Rovers band includes George and Ian Millar both from Ballymena, Wilcil McDowell from Larne, Sean O'Driscoll from Cork, Fred Graham from Belfast, Geoffrey Kelly from Dumfries, Scotland, Morris Crum from Belfast and Gerry O'Connor from Dundalk.

Currently working as the Director of the Belfast Nashville Songwriters' Festival, Colin spends his time showcasing other songwriters and promoting his own music.

For further information, see The Irish Rovers.


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