“I was reading an article in The Donegal News about Strabane singer David Oliver who had just released his song My Donegal Doll and, after listening to it, I decided I would write a song about the newspaper and one section, in particular, inspired me lyrically – the court reports.”
Gerry (50), who is the lead singer with Scottish four-piece band Keep’er Lit, said. “I was having trouble with the opening line, but once I got started there was no stopping me and I had it finished within a day and then recorded it with my band on a digital recording machine.”
After reading in the paper that Goats Don’t Shave were reforming this summer, Gerry also paid tribute to the band with a few lines – ‘Now he’s in the iron mask, the goats will sing once more’.
The song, The Donegal News, was then mixed and engineered by Gerry’s good friend Omar Khan (www.retrocausal.com) and can now be downloaded for free on the band’s website.
“We are not making any money out of the song. It can be downloaded for free on our website and we have posted links there to encourage people to make donations to Cancer Research, both in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
“We’re hoping to plug both charities with the song and one of our local papers, The Rutherglen Reformer, is also writing an article about the song,” said Gerry.
The singer also paid tribute to Glasgow fiddle player Mary Boyle, who grew up beside well-known Dungloe accordion player Hugh Boyle, who is also featured on the track.
Gerry is the son of the late Gortahork native Henry Kirke and Rose (nee Boyle), who met each in Glasgow, and he and is mother still spend a lot of time in Donegal.
They come to Donegal at least six times a year and stay in their house in Edeninfagh outside Glenties where they have a lot of relations, including current Donegal GAA panellist Marty Boyle.
He said: “The song is also a tribute to my godmother and aunt, Sadie Quinn of Upper Mully, who passed away recently with kidney problems and there is a charity walk from The Glen Tavern on July 23 in aid of kidney dialysis, which also commemorates my aunt Biddy Devine.”
Keep’er Lit are no strangers in the county, performing everywhere from Glenties, Ballybofey to Gweedore on a regular basis. “I must have well over 100 first cousins in Donegal and I have a lot of close friends there like Danny and Marie Ferry in Derryconnor who just had a baby.”
Danny was also the man who inspired the band to call themselves ‘Keep’er Lit’ when he shouted out the well-known Donegal term at one of their early gigs in Donegal.
“I really hope lots of people will log onto our website and donate a euro or a pound. Every little helps and it’s for a very important cause.”
Gerry would like to thank the National Health Service for all the kindness and hard work they do and if you would like to make a donation to Cancer Research in Ireland or the UK [or both], log onto the band’s website www.keeper-lit.co.uk where you will find link to donation facilities for both organisations.
Check out their website and download the song