independent

Thursday 19 October 2017

Emigration ballad a YouTube hit

Roger McGuire
Roger McGuire

A Wexford man is hoping to strike a chord with thousands of emigrants from his hometown who have set off around the world in search of work. Folk and ballad singer Roger McGuire originally penned 'I Wish I Was In Wexford Town' in the late '90s about the recession in the 1980s, however given the current economic climate, the song has become all too relevant once again.

The beautiful trad song tugs at the heart strings as it tells the story of those who have been forced to go abroad, but wish they could be at home in Wexford, and the video features Wexfordians who have emigrated all over the world from the UK to Abu Dhabi and everywhere in between.

'When I wrote it originally, the country was in pretty good shape,' said Roger. 'I wrote it about the 80s, when I remembered as a child seeing the dole queues down Anne Street and people heading off abroad. I had the original up on YouTube and I noticed that in the last couple of years it was clocking up more and more views as it became relevant again.'

The song originally consisted of three verses about emigration to London, the US and Australia and while re-recording it, Roger added a new verse to bring it up to date. 'The new verse just came to me when I was driving back from Dublin one day. It brings the song up to the present and mentions the Celtic Tiger and that. Then I had the idea of asking people from Wexford who had emigrated to submit their photos to use in the video. I just put it up on Facebook and got a great response.'

In a single week, the song has clocked up 4,500 views on YouTube and Roger is hopeful that it will continue to grow in popularity. 'I Wish I Was In Wexford Town' is available to purchase from Roger's website www.rogermcguire.com.

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