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The Bells of Dublin

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The Chieftains assemble a diverse cast for this Christmas special. “St. Stephen’s Day Murders” is a comic original written by Elvis Costello and Paddy Moloney that depicts family holiday strife; the rest are traditional, but hardly predictable. Kate and Anna McGarrigle make “Il Est Né / Ca Berger” heavenly, Marianne Faithfull brings grit to the fiddle-strewn “I Saw Three Ships a Sailing,” and Rickie Lee Jones is full of yearning on “O Holy Night.” Like the perfect Christmas, The Bells of Dublin is rich with bonhomie.


Formed: 1963 in Dublin, Ireland

Genre: World

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The original traditional Irish folk band, as far as anyone who came of age in the 1970s or '80s is concerned, is the Chieftains. Their sound, built largely on Paddy Moloney's pipes, is otherworldly, almost entirely instrumental, and seems as though it comes out of another age of man's history. That they became an international phenomenon in the '70s and '80s is testament to their virtuoso musicianship. The Chieftains were first formed in Dublin during 1963, as a semi-professional outfit, from the...
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