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WOLFIES "GRACE" TOPS THE POLLS!

THIS SONG BEAT THEM ALL WHEN DUBLIN LIVE HIT THE STREETS

April 2022 - Dubliners have revealed their favourite Irish songs from the traditional tunes to Westlife - and there was one clear winner.

Speaking to Dublin Live, we asked Dubs which Irish song is their favourite.

You might have thought Christy Moore or U2 would top the list, but it was actually Grace by the Wolfe Tones that was the most popular choice 

“Grace by the Wolfe Tones because it’s my daughters middle name,” said one man.

Another also picked the same song, saying: “Grace, probably one of the greatest Irish ballad songs ever, it’s unbelievable.”

One more person said: “Grace because I’m a little romantic at the moment, I’m in the love buzz.”

Read the full article here on Dublin Live 

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THAT BBC WORLD POLL IN 2002

HOW THE WOLFIES TOPPED THE BEST SONG EVER POLL BY THE BBC

he Wolfe Tones have enjoyed a glittering career filled with chart-topping singles and albums, sold-out live performances and songs spanning generations.

 

While they hold a special place in many Irish households - it brings to the fore a tale from 2002 when the Irish group managed to win a worldwide vote. The BBC World Service was searching to find the 'World's Favourite Song'. The vote was open to the public to anyone with access to the world wide web.

Many had tipped a track from the likes of The Beatles or Bob Marley to win the majority but few could have predicted an Irish trio would rule them all.

 

The Wolfe Tones' track A Nation Once Again was brought to the fore by an email campaign from a Northern Irishman ahead of the vote.

 

An article from The Times explains how the man, London based at the time, was singlehandedly setting revenge 'even sweeter than beating the English at football.'

A source from West Belfast spoke to The Times and had this to say about supporting the Wolfe Tones case:

While the BBC acknowledged that A Nation Once Again was one of the frontrunners, they did expect the likes of Imagine by John Lennon and Believe by Cher to provide stiff competition.  A spokesperson for the BBC said they even received the email, saying, "It seems to be a bit of a laugh but the lyrics meet the guidelines so the votes have been accepted." 

he tune was originally written in the 1840s by Young Irelanders leader Thomas Davis, composed at a time under British rule as the lyrics cry out for when Ireland would 'be a nation once again.'

The Wolfe Tones originally recorded their version in 1964 not long after the band was established. After weeks of campaigning, the final tally was counted.

There were over 150,000 votes were cast. 153 countries took part and more than 6,500 songs were given the spotlight. But A Nation Once Again was crowned the BBC's 'World's Favourite Song.'

The BBC themselves remarked that the Wolfe Tones snatched victory after a 'late surge in votes' and that many of the top ten had individual campaigns attached to them.

"This is a unique chart, for the first time we've been able to see how bands like the Beatles, which traditionally do well in these polls, measure up against other forms of world music."

Those were the words of BBC World Service editor David Stead who said that the vote provided a 'logistical challenge' but described the response to the search as 'extraordinary.'

Here were the top ten in full:

1. A Nation Once Again by The Wolfe Tones
2. Vande Mataram by Various artists
3. Dil Dil Pakistan by Vital Signs
4. Rakkamma Kaiya Thattu by llayaraaja
5. Poovum Nadakkuthu Pinchum Nadakkuthu by Thirumalai Chandran
6. Ana wa Laila by Kazem El Saher
7. Reetu haruma timi hariyali basant hau nadihruma timi pabitra ganga hau by Arun Thapa
8. Believe by Cher
9. Chaiyya chaiyya by A R Rahman
10. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

Some of those featured on the list might cause a head scratch or two. The second-placed song, Vande Mataram, is a traditional Indian song regarded by many as their national tune.

The only western tracks to feature on the list were Believe by Cher and Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, painting the picture of a truly worldwide vote.

Brian Warfield of The Wolfe Tones spoke to The Irish Times after the win:

We're absolutely delighted that this song, which has become such an anthem for the Irish people, has got such recognition all over the world. The song was written to give the Irish people back a bit of spirit and support the fight to overturn [British rule] so I am very happy to see it is still giving us spirit the world over.

 


 

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A PLACE OF HONOUR IN CO KERRY

WINNERS OF THE ROSE OF TRALEE FESTIVAL MUSIC COMPETITION 1965

October 2021 - Fergus Dennihy
 

Very soon into what would go onto be a very long career for the band, ‘The Wolf Tones’ performed right here in Kerry in the mid 1960’s as part of the ‘Rose of Tralee’ festival.

It was an appearance that would help to kick start the career of this legendary band and now, thanks to the efforts of locals – lead amongst them, Eddie Barrett – this little bit of history has been etched in stone into outside the building where they performed all those years ago.

The band have long acknowledged the Rose festival as the starting point for their illustrious career and repaid that in spades over the years by returning multiple times to perform there. Their first and arguably most famous show though was performed in what was back then known as the ’Derry O’Rourke’ Tavern and which is now the Castle Off-License on Castle Street.

Back then, the four person band – made up of Brian Warfield, Noel Nagle, Liam Courtney (he was replaced by Tommy Bryne in November of 1964) and Brian’s brother Derek – were light years away from what they would go onto become and so had to make do by sleeping in two two-man tents in Derry’s back garden in Ballyard.

 

Eddie Barrett, whose family have owned and run the popular off license since 2005, helped on Monday afternoon – along with the band themselves and the 1965 Rose of Tralee winner, Therese Collins (née Gillespie) – to unveil a plaque commemorating the band's famous gig there. 

Speaking to The Kerryman about the unveiling, Eddie said that he was just wanted to help celebrate a little bit of local history.

"We discovered through the grapevine and going through the records of the bar and through chatting to the O'Rourke family that ‘The Wolfe Tones’ had won their first prize there back in ‘65 I think it was and then they set out on the road to being a professional group after that and the rest, as they say, is history,” said Eddie.

“The lads were only about 17 or 18 at the time. They had more or less come together out of school, playing together and singing their few ballads and all that. They were taking part in this ‘Festival of Kerry’ folk group competition and they won the whole thing and this competition, it generated a huge amount of money in those days, £250 pounds for the winner and that’d have been worth about £10,000 today so that was huge for them to win that,” he continued.

"We’ve been wanting to do something for the last few years but with COVID and everything, we couldn't. They played at the INEC on Sunday so today was the first opportunity they’ve had to to come to Tralee. There are three of the original four still in the band and obviously it was a huge memory for them at the time because it was the kick start that they got. This is a real piece of Tralee history that we want to celebrate,” he finished.

Read the article here in the Kerryman

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PETER McVERRY TRUST DONATION  

THE WOLFETONES CONTRIBUTE ALL MONIES IN RELATION TO THEIR NUMBER 1 "COME OUT YE BLACK N TANS" TO THE PETER McVERRY TRUST.

Last February the Wolfetones pledged to donate all funds from their UK and Ireland Number 1 "Come out ye Black n Tans" to the Peter McVerry Trust in aid of the homeless. Generally payment of royalties take some time to come in and recently they contributed the full amount of the proceeds from the number one to the homeless charity. The Wolfetones would like to thank all the fans who used their personal money to send the song to the top of the UK and Ireland charts - this was an unprecedented show of support for this very worthy charity,  turning a what was a political fiasco in Ireland into something positive.  

Brian Warfield commented: " We were delighted to do something to help the homeless, we only wish that the amount from the number 1 proceeds was more."
Amber Brown from the Peter McVerry Trust said" "Thank you to all of the members of The Wolfe Tones and your supporters for your very generous donation of €5,000.00, which we received today (September 21st), Because of your kindness, we will support even more people experiencing homelessness and continue to provide more homes and more positive futures for those who need our help. Last year, Peter McVerry Trust supported over 6,184 people across our services located in 20 counties throughout Ireland. Thanks to you, young people, families and individuals that we work with can look forward to brighter, more hopeful futures ahead. From all of us at Peter McVerry Trust, our sincere thanks for your support and generosity," She concluded.

 


 

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"ROCKALL ROCKS ON - 

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL WANTS A PIECE OF ROCKALL!

Alistair Macdonald of the Wall Street Journal flew out to interview the Wolfetones about Brian's song "Rockall" and his mythical claim for Ireland in song as well as his wish to take a boat up to Rockall and claim the Island:

"Irish folk singer wants to reverse Britain's last imperial conquest - a rock." 

 

The Wall Street Journal
 

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"HERE WE GO AGAIN - ROCKALL"

SCOTTISH TRY TO PREVENT IRISH TRAWLERS FROM ROCKALL

The Wolfies once again are at the centre of headlines with their claim on Rockall for Ireland  in song, written 43 years ago (in 1976).  Read the full interview with Brian Warfield in the Irish Sun here. Here's some more articles over the weekend: 

 Irish Times: https://bit.ly/2IBY7Gi  

Irish Journal: https://bit.ly/2KBxYtL  I

rish Central: https://bit.ly/2EVrBOf

Newstalk: https://bit.ly/2XA1bZy. 

 

You can listen to Rock on Rockall here.

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52ND US TOUR A MASSIVE SUCCESS

US FANS LOVE THE WOLFETONES!

The Wolfetones would like to thank all their fans for attending their recent US Tour which was a massive success. The tones have now spent around twenty years of their lives touring the United States of America, across all the states and cities. They have been honoured with freedom, honorary citations and keys of many American cities for their contribution to heritage, music and song. 

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THE RAMBLINGS OF AN IRISH BALLAD SINGER - by Brian Warfield

THE INSIDE STORY FROM BRIAN WARFIELD

Brian Warfield of the Wolfetones has written a book that tells the story of the Wolfetones through his own eyes. It is a journey "on the one road" through their humble beginnings in the 60's to the heights of success as one of Ireland's greatest ballad groups.  You can order yours here. 

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TONES INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME

THE BARROWLANDS MAKES THE TONES PART OF THEIR  HISTORY

The Barrowlands in Glasgow Scotland has seen many greats perform at the venue, but a Wolfetones concert there remains legendary and unforgettable. The Barrows and The Wolfetones are forever interlinked in Glaswegian folklore. The Wolfetones were honoured to be inducted into the Barrowlands Hall of Fame - officially now part of this famous venues' history.

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TONES ANNOUNCE NEW UK DATE

Due to phenomenal demand at the London Irish Centre - a new date 14th November 2018 has been added

If you didn't get tickets for the Thursday 15th November at the London Irish Centre - never fear - the Wolfies will be here for another concert with a new date added due to the phenomenal demand - - Wednesday 14th November. Buy Tickets on www.tonesfest.com 

WOLFETONES US TOUR UNDERWAY

 51st Tour of the USA for the iconic ballad group

The Wolfetones 55 Anniversary Tour of the US started on Friday 3rd March and ran until March 18th 2018. Having received the honorary keys to many of its cities and been cited by many dignatories, The Wolfetones continued to wow audiences across the USA.

TONES FEST 55 AT CITYWEST SELLS OUT

Three Nights a Sell-out Success with over 4000 people attending

Thank you to everyone that came to the Citywest 2017 Tones Fest. It was a memorable three nights with many people attending with their children and staying for the entire three nights at the citywest complex. The Wolfetones continue their popularity over the generations.  Their concerts can be shared by all the family. 

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CELTIC SYMPHONY A HIT IN FRANCE!

The song is once again hitting the charts!

Despite the fact this song has never received any radio play in its native country, now European fans in France are showing respect for this song which has been sung around stadia, bars and homes around the world for the past  20 years.  It is a song that will remain an anthem for every generation of Irish, Celtic and Scottish peoples.