As two days of debate and conversation drew to a close in the Red Room, it was only right that the last panel focused on the songs themselves. Things got underway with Brian Kennedy performing a stunning a cappella version of Graham’s ‘You Raise Me Up’, with Kennedy speaking of how he felt “very, very privileged to be the first person to record it.”
Graham followed that up by addressing the crowd, talking about how he wrote ‘that effin’ song’, finding “the twilight between self and the other self” and how delighted he is when his songs are parodied. A salute to the underwired bra (sample lyrics: “You raise me up and make my molehills mountain”) particularly tickled his fancy.
Eimear Quinn proceeded to sing Graham’s ‘Crucan na bPaiste’ before the discussion songwriting began.
Thomas Walsh talked of his love of performing his work in the studio, Eddi Reader of the live stage and Brendan Graham admitted that “you never know” when you have a hit song on your hands and that Josh Groban recording his acclaimed version of ‘You Raise Me Up’ was “purely random”.
Thomas Walsh was as entertaining as ever, talking about meetings with Jeff Lynne and how much he has enjoyed working with Neil Hannon. He did however raise some mock indignation from Brendan Graham when he told the crowd of his annoyance when his father, who suffers from dementia, welled up upon hearing Red Hurley on the TV. It turned out the song in question was penned by Graham himself – Walsh being quick to point out that it was a great song, regardless of the artist.
The lasting words came from Graham, as they so often do, and as things wrapped up in the RDS, he stated: “I don’t think the era of great songs is over.”
On the evidence provided at The Music Show 2012, he is exactly right.