Tommy Makem


Tommy Makem, the Irish folksinger, songwriter and storyteller who gained international fame with the Clancy Brothers and as a solo performer, died Aug. 1 in Dover, N.H., where he lived. He was 74. His death brought accolades from musicians, fans and dignitaries including President Mary McAleese of Ireland. Makem, whose mother was a noted Irish folksinger, Sarah Makem, was born in Keady, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and immigrated to the United States in 1955. He soon began singing in New York City with the Clancys, and the group became famous as the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. Makem went solo in 1969 but formed a duo in 1975 with former partner Liam Clancy; later he went solo again. A popular and prolific songwriter, Makem is perhaps best known for his haunting ballad "Four Green Fields," an allegory about the Irish struggle for freedom, and his love song "Gentle Annie." He formerly owned and performed at a club in Manhattan, Tommy Makem's Irish Pavilion. A Funeral Mass was celebrated Aug. 9 at Makem's parish church, St. Mary's in Dover, with about 1,500 attending. Burial was in St. Mary's New Cemetery. Makem was predeceased by his wife, Mary. He is survived by three sons and a daughter.



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