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Singer/Songwriter Christie Hennessy Passes

December 13, 2007

Kerry-born Christie Hennessy, 62, died in London on Wednesday of Asbestosis, a cancer related to exposure to asbestos. Hennessy, who was one of Ireland's most-successful songwriters, released his first album in 1972 but paid his bills writing for other artists until his 1992 album, The Rehearsal, went triple platinum - outselling U2. Among artists who scored number ones with Hennessy-penned songs are Clannad's Marie Brennan, Frances Black and Christy Moore, whose recording of "Don't Forget Your Shovel" was instrumental in establishing Hennessy's songwriting career. It is believed he came into contact with asbestos while working in London's building trade as a teen.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at December 13, 2007 4:38 PM


Comments

When I first saw Christie perform on TV, I must confess that I squirmed a little and felt embarrassed for the man. This was the world view of a self-assured, arrogant twerp at the peak of his powers in his mid twenties.

Today, as a struggling "forty-something", trying to make sense of what it is all about, I am deeply saddened by Christie's passing.

A few years after my initial TV encounter with Christie, I received a Christmas present from my long suffering brother. It was a Christie Hennessy CD, "The Rehearsal". I thanked him politely, unable to figure out what had prompted him to give me this title, given that my views were well known. I put it to one side and it gathered dust for a few months until he egged me
on to give it a chance. I gave it a perfuntory spin or two, and then three, four, five...and the rest is history.

Songs that hit you like a bolt from the blue often fizzle out after a short while. I now believe that the best songs are those that grow on you and of which you never tire. Christie's songs were in that mould and his humanity always shone through without ever seeming false and pretentious.

Although Christie was taken from us all before his time, I hope his beautiful legacy will lend some comfort to his family in their hour of grief.

Here's looking at you Christie, you finally dug your way back to Annascaul

Posted by: Vincent Callanan at December 17, 2007 11:13 AM

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