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Paul Francis Mc Cann

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A Tribute To The Late Paul Furey
by Paul Francis Mc Cann   

Last edited: Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2002

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After over two decades at the forefront of Irish Music , the youngest memeber of the Furey Brothers, Paul Furey died at 54 years of age .
His life was dedicated to music and he shared his gift with many people all over the world .
This article is a tribute to Paul Furey .
May his soull rest in peace .

The youngest member of the Furey brothers folk group has died in Dublin .
The 54 year old accordion player passed away at 9pm in Beaumont Hospital after a short illness .

Paul Furey is survived by his wife Catherine and their three grown up sons .

What a great talent the world has lost.
Paul made an impression most people he met ., he always had a smile and a kind word to say about others . If times were hard he would have been the one there with the hand reaching out to you.
A friend to many was Paul Fury and many were his friends around the world .

The Fureys have always been in the forefront of Irish music with their innovative expressions ,
and traditional depth.
They contributed a unique Global Irish ness in their sound and Paul Furey was the heartbeat to that mix on stage with his extraordinary skills on the accordion.

His spirituality was one that had influenced the music experience .
The Fureys toured the world their large audience of fans grew.
In Australia they are celebrities and household names. The same can be said for the band in New Zealand. They have carved themselves a notch in the roots of Folk Music. .
Appearing on Countdown on Australian television in the early seventies propelled the band to instant stardom.
Touring Australia was always a regular event for the Fureys and on one of their National Tours Paul had mentioned to Gerry a close friend of theirs and mine about this eerie feeling he got about one of the venues where they would be playing. It was some Arts Centre in Victoria, anyway as it turned out
This arts centre was actually built over an ancient Aboriginal burial ground.

In the early years Paul’s Father Ted played the Fiddle and took the boys with him when he performed .on stage. In 1959 the Furey boys played with their Father in their first session at O’Donoghue’s Bar along with The Dubliners founder Ronnie Drew. And the late Ciaran Bourke .
O’Donoghue’s later became part of Dublin Folklore.

In the early 60’s Eddie, Finbar, and Paul also won the Rose Of Tralee International Festival Award.
In fact they scored a Hat Trick that day by winning all three sections of the competition.
The Main Event, The Pub Event, and the Street Event.

Irish Folk music was put on the map by these tigers of Traditional music and their input on the world stage was enormous.
Playing as support to The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem in The USA, Eddie and Finbar where appearing in venues like Carnegie Hall and The Albert Hall.
Before Paul and George teamed up with their other brothers Eddie and Finbar they were working in a band with Davy Arthur called The Buskers . One of their well-known songs was entitled Mini Minor.

The Fureys have just released a new album in tribute to the silent movie legend Charlie Chaplin .
On the album are some of Charlie’s songs one in particular is entitled “Weeping Willows “ which is sung by Paul. I’m told it is one of the rare moments when Paul Furey actually has performed the lead vocals.

Irish Singer Dolores Keane who many people have said is the Voice Of Ireland
Had said to me that Paul Furey was the best backing box player in the world.

A few stories about Paul, I can remember him telling me about the time they had got the big break through into the mainstream music scene two numbers that where Maggie and Sweet Sixteen.
He needed to get away for a while to clear the head a bit. He had a good friend who runs a scrap yard and in this escape from the music business he was handed a song written by Phil Coulter from Derry.
The song was Steal Away, and it reminded him of his friend in the scrap yard, so he and the boys recorded it, and it became one of the biggest selling songs for them.
No one would have expected that one day The Fureys would be there on Top Of The Pops,
But it happened.
Only three Irish Folk groups have made this claim to fame.

If it wasn’t for playing music Paul would have spend every second with his wife Catherine and his family. He had a son who many called the miracle child who loved his Father very much. Each time he was on tour was difficult but music had a big call on Paul’s life. I have heard many say that Paul’s marriage was very special, and there wasn’t many like it on this Earth.

Paul Furey had no easy ride to the top in the music business. Coming from a Gypsy background it was almost impossible to get recognition as a professional artist. But he did so and left a legacy for the world. Paul Furey R.I.P.

We owe a lot to people of such high caliber and we are all the wealthier for such a talented life.

By Paul McCann
Craic With Mc –Irish Radio- 2WKT Highland fm

Web Site: Poetry Echoes

Reader Reviews for "A Tribute To The Late Paul Furey"

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Reviewed by Ulrike.behle-conndly 1/2/2003
I was very sad and shocked when only a few weeks ago I learned that Paul had passed on. I first met Paul and the other Fureys on a fine spring afternoon in essen some 29 years ago. I will always remember Paul as a great musician and fine person and gentleman, and also as a fantastic storyteller. May he rest in peace.
Slán leat, Paul
love - Ulrike.
Reviewed by Niall MacDonagh 12/9/2002
You have the man down pat .. at least as i remember him and it is over thirty years since I saw him. But I shared many a pint with him in O'Donagues and always thought that he was never given his due as a singer. He had not the best voice but he sure knew how to bring out a song.
Reviewed by DAVID LANCASTER 12/1/2002
Reviewed by Mary McNally-Mills 11/2/2002
Iwas sad to read of Paul's death. I had the privilege of meeting him just a year ago in Oxford and he and all the lads were in great form. Love to you Eddie - his great music will always be in my heart. God bless you and all your family.
Love, Mary.
Reviewed by Kevin Nenstiel 10/15/2002
Oh, no! I wasn't aware Paul Furey had passed on! Oh, I can assure you, he'll be missed by those of us with an ear for quality music.
Reviewed by Eddie Furey 8/20/2002
I am Pauls eldest son and having read through your tribute I know that my father would have been very touched by all the nice things that you have written about him. Even though he may not be able to say it in person I know that he is thanking you all as do I because as long as there are people like you around Paul will never be forgotten.
May he rest in peace.
Reviewed by Sunny 8/9/2002
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