RTÉ lyric fm’s The Lyric Feature has been shortlisted for the 2021 Prix Italia, in the radio music category. Seven programmes make up the shortlist, drawn from the original longlist of 18. RTÉ lyric fm sits alongside entries from Denmark, the Czech Republic, UK, Germany, Australia and Canada.
The programme, which was first broadcast on lyric last September, is written and performed by Brían Mac Gloinn of Ye Vagabonds and commemorates a heroic sea rescue off Donegal’s Arranmore Island in 1940. It was produced during lockdown by Brían Mac Gloinn and producer Eoin O Kelly working in Arranmore and Limerick, respectively.
This is the 73rd edition of the Prix Italia awards. The winners will be announced in Milan on the 17th of June 2021.
The Ballad of the Stowijk Rescue
In December 1940, eight fishermen from Arranmore Island in County Donegal rescued 18 Dutch sailors from the SS Stolwijk, a cargo ship which had been wrecked on rocks in a hurricane force storm. Singer and multi-instrumentalist, Brían Mac Gloinn, who is one half of the well known folk duo Ye Vagabonds, heard the story from the last living eye witness, Andrew Early, who knew the lifeboat crew who effected the daring rescue. Using his testimony and that of other islanders, Brían has woven a radio ballad to commemorate the events of that day.
The radio ballad is a particular form of radio storytelling that was pioneered by Ewan McColl, Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker, where eyewitness accounts are augmented by new original music and sound effects to recreate the emotional context of an event. This may be the first ever Irish radio ballad.
Andrew Early died in November 2020 at the age of 89.
Written, presented and performed by Brían Mac Gloinn,
Sound mixing by Brían Mac Gloinn.
Sound supervision by Damian Chennells
Produced by Brían Mac Gloinn and Eoin O Kelly
Listen back to the programme here.