155Mary Black - News - New 5 part RTÉ TV series to choose Ireland’s favourite folk song, presented by Mary, and launched on The Late Late Show

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New 5 part RTÉ TV series to choose Ireland’s favourite folk song, presented by Mary, and launched on The Late Late Show

New 5 part RTÉ TV series to choose Ireland’s favourite folk song, presented by Mary, and launched on The Late Late Show

Ireland’s Favourite Folk Song, launched on the Late Late Show on Jan. 18th, is a brand new RTÉ series and national campaign to identify and celebrate the songs that define us as a people.

“Folk music is in my blood. Many of these songs have shaped and defined my life. So I’m excited to be part of a conversation that celebrates our rich folk-song heritage” Mary Black

Throughout the centuries, folk music has immortalised the real, live experiences of the citizens who have lived on, or passed through this island. Ireland has a vast archive of beautiful folk songs, both in English and in Irish, which its citizens draw on in times of joy and sorrow, to entertain, or to capture big personal or historic moments. Many of these songs have been passed down through families for generations. Some of these songs were written by Irish people, some brought in from other cultures, but what sets folk music apart is that it captures the eternal stories, hopes and struggles of ordinary people.

And every one of us has a favourite: a song we sing at family events and get-togethers, or a song that is dear to us. And now RTÉ is asking the people of Ireland to tell us what their favourite songs are, and why.

Between now and 8th February, we’re asking you to log onto www.rte.ie/culture, click on the Nominate section and tell us what your favourite folk song is – and why you love it. It can be a love song, a political song, a song about nature, life, loss, emigration, whatever. It can be in Irish or in English. It can be an Irish song or an international folk song that we have taken to our hearts as a people. As long as it’s a folk song, and you love it, then it’s eligible for consideration.

Once we’ve gathered your nominations, an independent jury of music lovers and experts – see list below - will review the list and put together a shortlist of ten folk songs they feel best capture the public’s favourites, but also the spirit and story of Ireland. On 19th April, RTÉ will announce the 10 shortlisted folk songs to the nation in a special edition of The Ronan Collins Show on RTÉ Radio 1. Over the following five weeks, people will be invited to discuss the songs and tell us which one is their favourite of the 10.

To help people to make an informed choice, a brand new 5-part series, Ireland’s Favourite Folk Song, presented by internationally acclaimed Irish singer and folk legend Mary Black, begins on RTÉ One on 21st April. Each episode will tell the story behind two of the shortlisted songs. Audiences will be also able to discover more about each song across RTÉ Radio 1 and on rte.ie/culture.

The song chosen by you as the nation’s best-loved folk song will be announced live on The Late Late Show in May 2019.

We hope the public will embrace the spirit of this campaign, which is to celebrate one of the things we do best - and inspire the nation to sing, perform and love folk music.

For further information on the project and the selection process, please go to www.rte.ie/culture.