JOHN SPILLANE, MUSICIAN & WRITER
John Spillane is a well known musician and songwriter based in Passage West. He is known for many songs like ‘The Dance of the Cherry Trees’, ‘Princes Street’, ‘All The Ways You Wander’ and of course the song ‘Passage West’ itself which has proved very popular in the Irish Folk and Traditional music scene. His songs have been recorded by Christy Moore, Karan Casey, Sean Keane, Sharon Shannon and many Irish and international folk acts. The beautiful harbour area surrounding Passage West has provided inspiration for many other songs, such as ’The Voyage of the Sirius’ and ’The Ballad of Patrick Murphy’ which was commissioned for the 100th anniversary of the fisherman who was killed by Water Bailliffs in Passage in 1911. This song was subsequently recorded by Christy Moore on his 2016 album Lily.
John’s book ‘Will We Be Brilliant Or What? – Songs and Stories (The Collins Press 2016) has proved very popular as has his 2017 album The Acoustic Series Volume 1 which was recorded locally in Monkstown by producer Graham White. John will be releasing a new album early in 2021 entitled 100 Snow White Horses. During the Covid lockdown John has thrown open the doors of his ‘Hit Factory’ and is working on a number of private song commissions.
John has also run a series of local Folklore and Music projects in the local primary schools of Scoil Barra Naofa and The Star of the Sea, and has recently produced a version of a local tale “The Legend of the Giant’s Stairs’ for the Threshold Bedtime Stories project.