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General News / January 10, 2022

Dubliners member John Sheahan says Ed Sheeran ‘murdered’ Raglan Road

Image via Unsplash
General News / January 10, 2022

Dubliners member John Sheahan says Ed Sheeran ‘murdered’ Raglan Road

Words: Eva O’Beirne

“Somebody was suggesting that, as an apology, Ed Sheeran should go into a studio and record Raglan Road properly. If he wants to come into the studio and sing it like Luke Kelly, I’ll play the fiddle on it for him, no bother.”

After Ed Sheeran’s performance of the iconic tune penned by poet Patrick Kavanagh and made famous by Luke Kelly, fellow Dubliners member John Sheahan has as invited the pop star to record Raglan Road with him after he “murdered” the song.

On Jools Holland’s New Year’s Show, Ed and Joy Crookes tackled the folk song to a mixed response.

John was far from impressed by the Hootenanny performance, explaining: “To totally distort the melody is not acceptable. I think it’s an insult to Kavanagh and Luke Kelly, and to one of the greatest love songs ever written.”

“Even on the first verse, Ed Sheeran didn’t stick to the melody. It’s a very simple ancient melody and I think it should be left in its own natural perfection.”

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“Certain things should be left alone in their own natural, simple perfection and Raglan Road is one of those.”

Fiddle player and poet John Sheahan is the last surviving member of The Dubliners.

Speaking to The Sunday World, he expressed his admiration for Ed despite his dislike for the cover: “I’ve been generally aware of Ed Sheeran over the last number of years. What he does…his performances are phenomenal. Just one man with a guitar and playback stuff and over-dubbing stuff…it is quite amazing.”

“And I know he has Irish connections and all of that. He has a wonderful voice and if he sang that song just straight in the same way that Luke Kelly sang it I think it would be beautiful.

“Somebody was suggesting that, as an apology, Ed Sheeran should go into a studio and record Raglan Road properly. If he wants to come into the studio and sing it like Luke Kelly, I’ll play the fiddle on it for him, no bother.”

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