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A Sense of Freedom

The Wolfe Tones

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Album Review

1987's A Sense of Freedom is perhaps the Wolfe Tones' most explicitly political album. Recorded at a period when friction between Irish Nationalists and Unionists over the fate of Northern Ireland was at the worst it had been in decades, A Sense of Freedom makes it explicit, in no uncertain terms, where the Wolfe Tones' sympathies lay. A concept album of sorts, A Sense of Freedom juxtaposes traditional ballads celebrating the old Republican heroes ("Michael Collins," "Galtee Mountain Boys") with new material written mostly by Derek Warfield and Brian Warfield; "Admiral William Brown" and "Joe McDonnell" are straightforward story songs using the recent history of IRA hunger strikes and pub bombings as a starting point. As a result, the songs are rawer and more pointed than one expects from most Celtic music, a style wrongly thought of as merely pretty by too many people. A Sense of Freedom is as political and passionate as any protest album from the '60s, both a document of its time and a timeless work of political outrage and sorrow.

Biography

Formed: 1963 in Kilrush, Ireland

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

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

Very few bands manage to stay together for several decades. Even fewer are able to do it when their prime focus is politics. But then again, there aren't many around like the Wolfe Tones. Taking their name from Wolfe Tone, one of the leaders of the 1798 Irish Rebellion, they've remained unabashedly loud and proud of their politics since they began in 1963, even when the Irish government was banning their records (which it did in the late '60s). Formed by Derek Warfield and his brother Brian, who...
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A Sense of Freedom, The Wolfe Tones
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