Feature

Ireland: Is that all we had in us?

The Celtic Tiger was a great success, but now we’ve got to come up with something new.

Ann Marie HourihaneThe Irish Times

Was Ireland a one-hit wonder? asked Ann Marie Hourihane. Just like the band Dexys Midnight Runners, which hit it big in 1982 with “Come On Eileen,” Ireland seems to be “having problems producing its follow-up album.” Our concept album, the Celtic Tiger, was a great success. But now we’re locked in the studio with a producer—the EU—“who doesn’t like us and has no ideas at all.” The record company keeps phoning to see if we have any new songs, and unfortunately we don’t. Unemployment is still more than 14 percent, and it would be even higher except that many young people who can’t find jobs leave to try their luck abroad. Still, we can take a lesson from Dexys Midnight Runners. After their big success, their next album was an embarrassing flop that was widely panned in its day. A decade later, though, the record was “reappraised and judged a masterpiece.” For Ireland, the implication is clear. Don’t try to replicate the Celtic Tiger. We’ve got to come up with some genuinely new material, the sooner the better. 

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