Green theme proves a winner at Glinsk Song Contest

  There was a green theme to the winner of this year’s Glinsk Song Contest, as Donegal’s Jody Gallagher took the top spot with his song ‘Day’s Gonna Come’.             With seventy points, the song had just one to spare over ‘You and Everything Else’, written by Ciara and Cathy Newell of Bellefire fame and it was the last vote of the last adjudicator which determined the outcome, creating a nail-biting finish to the Sunday night event in Glinsk Community Centre. The song was sang on the night by their younger sister Neasa, who attended her first Glinsk Song Contest when she was just three years old.             ‘Day’s Gonna Come’ warns of the damage being done to the planet and the fact that this debt will yet have to be repaid. The opening lines set the tone for the song, ‘Day’s gonna come when the water runs out and the well runs dry / Man’s so dumb, and fish can’t swim and the birds can’t fly / What you gonna do when the crops won’t grow / And the sun don’t shine and it’s ten below/ I’m never gonna say that I told you so / But the day’s gonna come.’             Speaking to Roscommon People from his home in Donegal town, winning song writer Jody Gallagher said, ‘Success as a songwriter is very hard to achieve and can be measured by many different yardsticks. Last Sunday night in Glinsk I was delighted to climb another rung on the ladder towards further success. In a heart-stopping 15 minutes of voting I finally won out by a single point over the very talented runners up – the Newell Sisters from the group Bellefire.               ‘I was delighted with the result but commiserate with the other finalists who all contributed to a very fine contest on the night. I have often stood in their shoes!             ‘Congratulations and many thanks also to Martin Ward and his hard-working committee who make us all feel welcome from the moment we arrive. They have achieved huge success in running this excellent competition over the past 20 years whilst others have fallen by the wayside.             ‘My song was called "Day’s Gonna Come". It deals with issues that have never been more relevant to us all – the environment, war, peace, politics and religion. Quite a bit to squeeze into a three-minute song but the judging panel obviously felt it worked and voted accordingly.             ‘I have already recorded the song and am working towards the release of my first album. This can prove to be a slow process as I do not have a recording contract and am financing it myself. My ambition is to have my songs recorded by established artists and I will continue to work towards that end. Song contests such as Glinsk help immensely with this task by providing a platform for writers, and if you are one of the lucky ones, a bit of financial aid as well. Thanks to all concerned.’             Third place at the twentieth song contest went to Gerry Henderson from Cavan with his song ‘Time Flies’. The theme of his song was taken from the film ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’.             A number of local finalists put in a good showing, but failed to make it to the top three, including ‘Hill of Destiny’ by Castlerea based duo JJ Flannelly and Tommy Moran, which was sung by Kenny Williams and Nicola McGuire. Tommy Moran, whose song ‘You Can’t Stop the Spring’, written with fellow-Castlerea man John Waters, represented Ireland in the Eurovision in Helsinki this year, was not present for the Glinsk event, being abroad on holidays, but the former Castlerea-based Garda JJ Flannelly was present, having earlier led the Castlerea Brass Band in Hyde Park at the outset of the Connacht Final. I’ll leave the commentary on that to the sports department!             Another local entry at this year’s song contest was Mike Keenan, who works in Roscommon as a psychiatric nurse. A native of Co. Offaly, Mike lives in Ahascragh and has written 150 songs since his song-writing career started in 1989. He proved hugely popular with the younger members of the audience at the song contest and high-fived his way to the stage to collect his trophy. No stranger to television appearances, Mike recently won the Glór Tire competition on TG4.             Bill Roberts represented Ballaghaderreen. A professional guitarist since 1971, Bill toured Europe with Vagabonds, whose most famous song was ‘Red, Red Wine’. He was also part of the band Curly which won the Melody Maker competition in 1973. He both composed and sang the song ‘A Girl from Derry City’.