Donagh Long


Musician | Composer

A celebrated composer with a large repertoire and a multitude of covering artists.

Cork city was a tough place to grow up. Confrontation was everyday, in school, in the fields and on the street. My Father was my sanctuary, his gentleness, his faith, his trust. My Mother was uncomfortable She saw something coming. Something she didn’t like. Her redhead firebrand son had begun to take shape. It was a wheel. She had been here before. In her search for a lifeline she bought a guitar for me, and I loved it. I never stopped playing it. It brought peace. I still have it.

In my early teens I played classical guitar. The romances of Fernando Sor and Francisco Tarrega engulfed the melodies of Rodrigio and Carulli in a deep river in me that eroded the hard edges of my childhood. By day the hum of my own proud tradition grew closer, louder and clearer. By night the longing, waiting and wanting more.

Now the unmistakable voices of freedom and dignity rose from the crowd and raced across the airwaves. Outspoken dreamers combined their brilliant minds with an avalanche of Stratocasters and Les Paul’s, and once again music changed everything. For me, there was no turning back. Out of nowhere at sixteen, a song. “How do you sleep” I called it. I still have it.

Writing songs brought something I never expected. I could capture what I was feeling. A bit like a camera, but, more of a living thing. It doesn’t happen every time, but when it does, you know it.

I don’t think in words, I speak in words. Detail often gets omitted in translation. Songs avoid all that. They are like everlasting fingerprints of the moment. They speak clearly and travel far. Their journeys are effortless.