Belfast Telegraph

Republic of Ireland's road to Poland gets rockier as 'official' songs compete

By Ken Sweeney

It will be a rocky road to Poland -- and also a confusing one.

Singer Shane MacGowan will go head to head with a supergroup made up of Bressie, Danny O'Reilly, Damien Dempsey and The Dubliners this summer with a rival version of folk song 'The Rocky Road To Dublin'.

And to make matters even more confusing, pop twins Jedward have also joined the battle to sing the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 anthem.

Last night it was announced that the FAI are teaming up with Today FM's 'Ray D'Arcy Show' to invite listeners to send in lyrics to rewrite the famous Dubliners' song, which is to become the official Irish song for Euro 2012 with the provisional title 'The Rocky Road To Poland'.

However, Mullingar band The Aftermath say they had the same idea two months ago, and recorded a version sung by Shane MacGowan last week with new lyrics penned by Mr MacGowan, his Nenagh-based friend Tom Creagh, and Aftermath themselves.

Their version of the 'The Rocky Road To Poland' was recorded in the band's 'Transmission Rooms' studio in Drumlish, Co Longford, last week and is due out in the first week in April.

Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, the Aftermath singer Johnny Cronin said: "We did a tape of our version and sent it out to a few singers but I think this is just a big coincidence. 'The Rocky Road To Dublin' is a very popular song."

However, the band were unsure how to tackle the 19th-century song made famous by The Dubliners and Luke Kelly.

"We were out the night before the recording, playing pool with Shane and discussing what we should do. Then Shane put David Bowie's 'Jean Genie' on the jukebox. Listening, he put down his drink, and said, that's how to do it. So it's The Dubliners picking up Bowie's 'Jean Genie' on 'The Rocky Road to Dublin'. It sounds mad but it works," revealed Mr Cronin.

The recording will now be mixed by top Irish engineer Ger McDonnell, whose clients include U2 and The Manic Street Preachers.

Meanwhile, Coronas star Danny O'Reilly and singer Damien Dempsey will test out lyrics to the official FAI version on air on Today FM before it's recorded in Windmill Lane Studios on Thursday.

All proceeds for the song will be split between the 'Shave or Dye' Today FM drive for the Irish Cancer Society, and The John Giles Foundation.

Fans can send as many lines as they wish to euro2012@todayfm.com until Wednesday afternoon.

Jedward, meanwhile, have teamed up with 2fm's Colm Hayes for a new version of their Eurovision hit 'Lipstick'.

Called 'Put Your Green Cape On', the track was recorded in a London studio earlier this month.

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