Paddy Moloney 1938-2021
Sad news has just come in. Paddy Moloney passed away at age 83.
His legacy in Irish music will live for long!
Sad news has just come in. Paddy Moloney passed away at age 83.
His legacy in Irish music will live for long!
A genius. Here’s an early clip of his arrangement for The Chieftains of The Morning Dew.
I first heard of The Chieftains via John Peel in the early seventies when he used to champion many folk and traditional acts but I’ve seen them live on quite a few occasions since then.
People will have different views about the band but Paddy and the boys deserved much credit for spreading awareness about Irish music around the world and bringing it to the “international stage”. A great musician and innovator.
Rest in Peace Paddy.
I understand that he was not strictly trad and the parade of guest artists was often annoying, but he was a great player and a great arranger and he brought Irish music to the world with passion and originality
Safe passage Paddy
ITMA so reports, and if true, it is very sad news. ITMA is a very respected source of information, but I have not seen this corroborated elsewhere yet. The Irish Times mentions the recent sad passing of Tony McMahon, but ot this. Wikipedia, which is usually very quick with these sorts of matters, is unaware. The Boston Globe, with a large Irish and Irish-American readership, is silent, as of 11:00GMT, Oct 12 2021. Google does not link to any obituary, The esteemed and loved Mr. Maloney is 83, and I do hope this is in error. To say he is a giant among pipers and ITM musicians generally is to understate what we all know, and enjoy.
Sad news indeed: I just picked it up from that same post on Facebook.
One of my favourite clips, just for the chat as well as the tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akCZBb7_BU4
Another master musician left us RIP Paddy. Tony McMahon and Paddy won an Oireachteas duet competition in the early 60’ RIP to both of them.
Listen to his magic touch here
RTE’s website just confirmed it, RIP Paddy:
Along with thousands of others not born into the tradition, The Chieftains were a big influence on my intro to Irish music. Over the years I haven’t always 100% liked what they’ve played and I’ve heard many other pipers whose playing I’ve preferred to Paddy’s but I have to thank him for those early recordings over 50 years ago. RIP Paddy Moloney.
On lighter note,
Just before Christmas one year, I brought in a CD to work just to get into the spirit of things. It was the Chieftains Christmas album which I thought might make a nice change for the usual “booze up”.
One of my work colleagues was very scathing. He’d never heard of the band and wanted to hear Slade. I advised him that The Chieftains were actually more popular world wide and had much more longevity than Slade but he didn’t believe me.
Little did they know…..
What a shock. He seemed immortal. How sad.
So he’s gone after all. I’d met him briefly, at Symphony Hall in Boston, and we talked pipe reeds
for a moment or two. He was by all accounts a fine human being. His ventures into popular culture never bothered me, for by doing that he raised the profile of Irish Piping in particular and Irish Traditional Music in general, high above the parapet behind which it had been hidden. His own musicianship was often overlooked until recent years, but the man could Really Play The Pipes, no one was better. The Chieftains are a legend, and legends last forever.
Today I will listen to Sean Potts and Paddy Moloney’s album “Tinwhistles”, and dream.
This one REALLY hurts. Paddy is the reason I wanted to play Irish music in the first place. His whistling and piping on the first 7 or 8 Chieftains albums spoke to me and drew me into this music. What an absolute legend. He was a force of nature both as a musician but also as a person. To organize and keep that band running for as long as he did was no mean feat. Wow…what a loss.
My Dad’s Chieftains albums were my first exposure to Irish music, and to the pipes. Like a lot of people who didn’t grow up in places where Irish music was prevalent. As a kid, I listened to the ‘Live in Belfast’ album over and over again.
What an ambassador for the instrument! He brought the music to so many people.
Just yesterday I was watching this documentary about The Chieftains and appreciating once again how much influence they’ve had in introducing people to Irish traditional music:
RIP Paddy, caught the Chieftains live in 1993 at Fleadh Mor festival in Tramore, Waterford, an amazing gig. So Long ‘Win thistles’ dude.
A lovely, happy, and very generous man, blessed with a twinkle in his eyes.
Oh! Nearly forgot… magnificent musician 😄
Oíche mhaith, codladh sámh!
Very sorry to hear this. The early Chieftains recordings were an inspiration to many Scottish musicians of my “vintage”, and pretty much our first introduction to traditional Irish music - slow airs as well as the dance music.
I think it’s a shame that Paddy was a bit “submerged” in the Chieftains, and that he was a better piper than maybe given credit for. His solo playing of “The Trip To Durrow” on the first “Drones And Chanters” LP was always a favourite example of uilleann piping to me. I had always hoped for a solo album, but… never to be.
I was talking with my brother on Sunday afternoon, and we were discussing the passing of Robin Morton and Tony MacMahon. Totally illogical, I know, but I said to him “you know, these things often happen in threes…… “
Like many others my first connection to Irish music was through a recording by The Chieftains; ‘‘Bonaparte’s Retreat’’. He showed the world this art form called ‘‘Irish Music’’ and with his group inspired many to become part of this genre. What an enormous contribution he made to the music. Small in stature but paradoxically the epitaph of ‘‘a giant’’ seems so appropriate .
Paddy and the lads were IT.
Seán Ó Riada, Ceoltóiri Chulainn, The Chieftains and the Bothy Band lit a fire under us Canadian Celtic types back in 1973, leading directly to the formation of our band, Barde. The ensuing globe-covering Celtic frenzy has yet to abate. Thanks Paddy for the bright light of inspiration, the good humour and above all, the music. Go raibh míle maith agat. Is deireadh turas fada ceoil é.
Very sad news.
In the Arms of Angels which carry him to his heavenly home, farewell good piper.
Not mentioned much, he was part of the Irish urban Traditional Folk music movement, unlike Tony McMahon RIP who was everything but, coming from Ennis Clare Co. I suppose Tony was a wee bit of a ‘townie’ too but nothing like the sort of character Dublin produces. And Paddy Moloney is indeed such. A great one and funny with it. On windy days we will now ever miss the craic about the comb over.
Too I love the Irish - An Gaeilge - used by members here who do not live in Ireland and appear not to have learned the language there. Very lovely, thanks.
We played “Garech’s Wedding” in his honor at our session tonight.
I wonder now will the remaining Chieftains decide to carry on or take Paddy’s demise as a signal to call it a day………..?
Dia dhaoibh! Greetings all!
I thought you might like a little bit of a story that could only emanate from Paddy’s generosity, his spirit, and, might I add, that twinkle as I posted earlier…
It would have been back in about ‘80, and The Chieftains were playing in Southport.
My parents were there, and offered me a lift back after the concert (I lived nearby in Waterloo, North side of Liverpool).
I declined and said I was staying to have a few tunes, which was the norm in those days.
Anyway… (a word so often used by Paddy) … a massive thunderstorm followed by stair rods of rain came on, the craic was ending and the boys asked how I was getting home.
All the public transport had shut down…way past that time of night.
Anyway…they were staying in Liverpool, and Paddy says “We’ll take you home, you’re not stopping out in the rain.“
So, we boarded this big coach and headed to Waterloo.
“Where do you live?” asked Paddy
“Oh, I’m close enough”
“You’re not!” at which he instructed the coach driver to come off the main road and follow the directions I gave.
My flat, overlooking The Irish Sea, was at the end of a cul-de-sac and the driver had to reverse this huge vehicle, and Paddy wouldn’t let me off until right outside my door!
“There you are Brian, now will that do?” he chuckled, and we all burst out laughing.
And as we parted, we exchanged
“Oíche mhaith, codladh sámh!”
And that’s why I left that as my farewell to him earlier.
What a lovely man!
I hope this brings a glimmer of light and laughter at this sad moment of loss.
All the best
Heaven pipers’ band has got stronger. R. I. P. Paddy
A lovely story Brian, sums up Paddy. He was a lovely gentleman I knew him very well, in the early days in London pub sessions Paddy, when in town would always join in the music. May God rest his soul.
very sad news indeed! I remember the first time I saw the Chieftains live, it was a Christmas concert in RTE, a friend’s aunt got us tickets for the recording in Donnybrook when we were in secondary school, probably around 1975. The recording took place in late August or early September, we had to wear Christmassy hats/clothes and the studio was decorated with santa clauses, reindeers, snowmen etc which felt a bit strange. The concert was eventually broadcast on St. Stephen’s Day (26th Dec)
Very sad news, indeed. May he rest in peace.
His music and that of the Chieftains was an early influence for me, as it was for so many others here. And even if we didn’t always like some of the Chieftains’ later collaborations, nobody could ever deny that he was a true master of the pipes:
Sad. I never realised he was that old. He didn’t seem it. But, with the music legacy he left us, we are all remembered in his will. RIP
Nice obit in today’s New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/12/arts/music/paddy-moloney-dead.html?searchResultPosition=1
I was a kid, growing up in a not very musical family. My parents had a couple clancy brothers records. I disliked them: they seemed corny, and stagey. Rock, jazz, blues: these were my things. Irish music I thought of as stage-hearty, and falsely sentimental.
Then one day a chieftains album appeared. Chieftains four. WHAT THE HELL?!!!! What is THIS? Irish people play this? This is amazing! It had this strange quality of sounding 500 years old and brand new. The way the timbres blended, the playing styles. It was really a revelation. And no posing, no aran sweaters, no mawkishness. It sounded rooted in the past but not confined by it. At times Paddy really managed some pretty miraculous work.
We went to see them at the Kennedy Center a few years ago and it was a great show. You could tell most of it was “stage business” but they really managed to convey a feeling of love for music of all sorts. Once again rooted in tradition but with ears open.
Lovely. Is that one of the Kane sisters [Liz or Yvonne] playing fiddle with them?
Rest In Peace Paddy,
Your music has touched millions. You will be missed.
Was lucky to see Chieftans just before Covid started. As was aptly stated by someone recently ‘Paddy Maloney opened the door for all of us to go through’
“Lovely. Is that one of the Kane sisters [Liz or Yvonne] playing fiddle with them?” C. Taylor.
No, it’s Máirin Fahy, also a fine singer and dancer, from Galway.
thanks, Steamwilkes - any relation to the late Paddy I wonder? Though Fahy [or Fahey] is not an uncommon surname………….
Kenny, do you (or does anyone) know the names of the tunes played on this video?
They sound a lot like the next set I’m planning to learn!
Jeff’s got them. Those 2 tunes were recorded on the CD and DVD “Water From The Well”, being part of “The Donegal Set”.