The Great Irish Songbook Digital Exhibition

Department of Foreign Affairs

As part of Expo 2020 Dubai, an Irish songbook was created, amounting to 55 songs with 15 tracks from the Irish diaspora.

Curated by Niall Stokes of Hotpress, the songbook was made possible with the collaboration of the National Concert Hall’s Gary Sheehan. During the six months of Expo 2020, these songs were reinterpreted in live performances at the Ireland Pavilion in Dubai and other venues by the Expo Players. Their work led to an international release of a selection of songs for St. Patrick’s Day 2022. To create lasting momentum, bigO was tasked with creating a special digital exhibition of the Irish Songbook. 

In the Great Irish Songbook digital exhibition, we created a platform where the stories behind these wonderfully compelling songs can be explored. 

Context

From Luke Kelly and Phil Lynott to Boy George and Billy Eilish, each one of these musical masterpieces demonstrates, in its own language, style and idiom, the distinctive, rich and compelling culture of song that is to be found both in Ireland and among the Irish diaspora.

“Music is a marvellously subtle, diverse and powerful global language – and the good news is that it is one at which Ireland excels.” – Niall Stokes,  Hotpress

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