In my opinion Mary Coughlan is one the finest singers Ireland has ever produced. She is someone who has to be heard live though in order to truly appreciate what it is that makes her so special. Somehow it never comes across totally when recorded. Her unique, rich, smouldering voice can send shivers down my spin, make me laugh and often stun me into silence. She now has such a wonderful back catalogue that I could happily listen for hours and hours and not get bored – be it My Land is too Green, Billie Holiday songs or Delaney’s Gone Back on the Wine – and the countless stream of perfect songs in between. My favourite however, at least today, is this song written by Elvis Costello. This song is made for Mary and perhaps the other way round too. Every second is flawless. The atmosphere built is breathtaking and her voice sounds like midnight blue itself. It also features the below lines which are among my favorite from any song, ever!
You say your tongue is tied, the words escape and hide
but he’s so patient and kind, he’s prepared to read your mind
That’s all very well till you find, because of the wine you drank
your mind is still a blank
Check out Mary’s delights here