Galvin, Patrick

Patrick Galvin
Patrick Galvin. Image source

Patrick Galvin was born in Cork in 1927.

His poetry collections include Heart of Grace (London, Linden Press, 1957); Christ in London (Linden Press, 1960); The Wood-burners (Dublin, New Writers Press, 1973); Man on the Porch (London, Martin Brien & O’Keeffe, 1980); Madwoman of Cork (cassette recording); Folktales for the General (Dublin, Raven Arts Press, 1990); and New and Selected Poems of Patrick Galvin (ed. Robert Welch, Cork University Press, 1997).

His plays include And Him Stretched; Cry the Believers; Nightfall to Belfast; The Last Burning; We Do It for Love; The Devil’s Own People; and My Silver Bird.

His radio plays include City Child Come Tailing Home; Wolfe; Class of ’39; and Quartet for Nightown.

He has published two separate volumes of autobiography: Song for a Poor Boy (Dublin, Raven Arts Press, 1991); and Song for a Raggy Boy (Raven Arts Press, 1992). The third part, Song for a Fly Boy, is published with the first two as The Raggy Boy Trilogy (Dublin, New Island Books, 2002).

The film of Song for a Raggy Boy, starring Aidan Quinn, and for which he wrote the script, was released in 2003. He also wrote for, and acted on, TV.

He was well known folk singer and songwriter in London in the 1950s and recorded several albums for Topic Records and the Workers Music Association. His song James Connolly (see video below) was made famous by Christy Moore.

One of the founders of the Poetry Now festival, he was also founder and chair of the Munster Literature Centre.

A member of Aosdána, his awards include the Irish-American Cultural Institute Award for Poetry.

He died in Cork in May 2011.

Interview and early recordings with Patrick Galvin on

Patrick Galvin’s New and Selected Poems at Cork University Press

Patrick Galvin at MunsterLit

Patrick Galvin at Irish Playography

Patrick Galvin at IMdb

Patrick Galvin at The National Library of Ireland

JAMES CONNOLLY sung by Patrick Galvin

Uploaded by eyeries1 on Oct 31, 2010

Here is a rare opportunity to hear Patrick Galvin, the famous playwright, author, singer and song collector from Cork city singing his own composition “James Connolly”. This recording was made at a private party in New York City in 1981. Many thanks to Terrence Winch who made this priceless recording available.

Patrick Galvin was born in Cork in 1927 or 1929, depending on which biography you believe. He has had an amazing life rising from the obscurity of the Cork slums of the 1920s to becoming one of Ireland’s most lauded writers and singers with many and varied adventures along the way. An enemy of Revisionism, Patrick Galvins songs express a pride in the Irish struggle for freedom, and a faith in that honourable class, The People of No Property.

Update:See Terry Winch’s comment below.

2 thoughts on “Galvin, Patrick

  1. I’m glad “James Connolly,” sung by Paddy Galvin himself, is getting some exposure. That was a memorable night at my brother Jesse’s house 30 years ago. One correction: although Jesse and I are originally from an Irish neighborhood in the Bronx, we have lived for many years just outside Washington, DC, in the Maryland suburbs, where this historic party took place.

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