Interview with Áine Tyrell

Two Women, One Voice: Row Back the Levy

Irishwomen Cara Robinson (Hat Fitz & Cara) and Áine Tyrrell have forged a friendship through a shared longing and love through their love of their home country. The single came to Robinson in the darkness of the night – she passed the chorus onto Tyrrell saying, ‘A song came through me but it’s for you’. And that’s how Áine Tyrrell’s new single Row Back the Levy was born. For Tyrrell the song embodies the similar politics and passions of women from across the Irish divide. ‘We are on one island so at the end of the day there is always going to be a sense of grief and righteous anger about a border that I think Cara and I captured in our song. This delicate political situation feels in some ways unresolvable, yet everyone gets up every day and gets on with trying to build a future of hope North and South.’ This is a song about healing the divide, in a country where people identify as Irish, Northern Irish and British. Then of course there’s the Catholic and Protestant thing. ‘The torn sense of identity is really at the core of so much grief,’ says Tyrrell. ‘North and South and not just Ireland, but around the world.’ For Robinson and Tyrrell it is about looking to the future with a whole new feeling of hope. ‘Some old patterns of hatred are so ingrained they may never disappear, but we can do something about our future generations and how they view their country and the world. Art is a beautiful way to look at our long-held views and gently inform change,’ says Áine. ‘It has saddened me to meet so many generations of people from Northern Ireland around the world who have had to emigrate just so that their children don’t grow up with the long-term generational hatred that exists there. It has saddened me to meet so many generations of people around the world from both sides of the border that continue in those old patterns. The divide travels around the world with them and all of us. Row Back the Levy is a song and it is also Cara’s and my wish in music to be that same universal language that my dad taught me so young. The future of the divide is finding a way to leave all that hatred at sea and bring the humanness back home.’

Maybe in Ireland and all around the world we can Row Back the Levy. Áine Tyrrell and Hat Fitz and Cara are performing at Mullum Music Festival this weekend so make sure you catch them. But you can do more! Tyrrell is The Echo’s chosen act for the Falls Foster a Band comp! Make sure you vote for her!

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