Charlie McGettigan Forever A Rock 'N' Roll Kid: A Journey Through Music, Song and Stories

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Code 9781739917197

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Charlie McGettigan is a singer/guitarist/songwriter living in Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim, Ireland.

He has written over 1,000 songs including ‘Feet of a dancer’ and ‘A bed for the night’.

Charlie McGettigan is a household name in Ireland.  Best known for securing a Eurovision hat trick for Ireland when he and Paul Harrington performed Brendan Graham’s song Rock ‘N’ Roll Kids in 1994.

If the past is a foreign country, then Charlie McGettigan is the best of tour guides. His book takes us back to Ballyshannon in the 1950s, avoiding the clichéd golden summers where sweetness and light prevailed. Instead he takes us around the back of the set to show us a ‘warts and all’ view of Irish life in what are laughingly called ‘the good old days,’ where poverty and deprivation were made worse by a dominant clerical presence and an often brutal schooling system that together succeeded in driving many young people away from both religion and education. Charlie pulls no punches but nevertheless manages to avoid being bitter, mixing the hard stories with heart-warming tales of childish fun from the pre-electronic days when we had to make our own.

His stories of the hard work and dedication that brought him musical success give us a snapshot of the heady days of the folk scene in Ireland in the 1970s and the 1980s, when the country seemed to be full of folk and ballad groups vying for a slice of the action. If ever the old adage of achieving overnight success after thirty years of hard graft applied to anybody, it surely applies to Charlie.

The book is the first of its kind because the book contains 26 different songs with lyrics. However, in addition to the printed lyrics in the book, we have used technology to also bring music to the reader – we have included individual QR Codes for each song (26 in all). Readers can scan the QR Codes as they read the book, and listen to Charlie McGettigan sign the song on their phone or indeed sing along with him. The codes can be scanned repeatedly.

About the Author

Charlie McGettigan started his musical career in the 1960s in various rock bands in Donegal. Moving to Dublin in 1968 he honed in on the thriving folk scene there at the time. In 1973, Charlie formed the highly successful group Jargon, which went on to win the prestigious Letterkenny Folk Festival, following in the footsteps of bands like Clannad and Pumpkinhead.

Charlie has worked with artists like Maura O’Connell and Eleanor Shanley who both recorded many of his songs including “Feet of a Dancer”, “A Bed for the Night” and “If Anything Happened to You”. 

Charlie joined forces with Paul Harrington and Brendan Graham to win the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland with “Rock n Roll Kids”. He has released many solo albums including “In Your Old Room”, “Family Matters” “The man from 20” and “Stolen Moments” produced in Nashville by legendary producer Bil Vorndick. Charlie’s songs have been recorded by many artists including De Danann, Mary and Frances Black, Ray Lynam, Daniel O’Donnell, Sandy Kelly and Hal Ketchum to name but a few.  These days Charlie tours Ireland and abroad. He presents “The Saturday Connection” on Shannonside/Northern Sound Radio, a two-hour programme where he previews live music and theatrical events, interviews guests from the world of arts and entertainment and plays an eclectic mix of music and song on CD.  Charlie’s latest album “Tuesdays with Paul” is receiving great attention from the media and includes songs like “Dust if you must” and “When I was a kid”. 

Delivery Info

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FREE Click & Collect from The Ennis Bookshop. You will not be charged for this service.  We are happy to arrange Delivery outside Ireland. Please e-mail us at for more information. 

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'Charlie has always been the real deal. There’s laughter and sadness here. He writes with such depth and honesty that you feel you’re there with him. Charlie brings a soundtrack to the printed words….Extraordinary!’Marty Whelan RTE Broadcaster.

‘Well done, Charlie, you have captured a world of heady triumphs, backstage happenings and unseen surprises that perpetually rivet the reader. A rich collection of laugh-out-loud an bite-back- tears. Personal stories from the man who has the heart of an artist and the feet of a dancer’ Maxi, Entertainer & Broadcaster.

‘This book has got Charlie’s towering presence oozing from every page... and with its unique QR codes dotted along the journey, we get an almost 3D version of Charlie’s career. A most pleasant read set to music! I loved it.’ Seamus O’Rourke, Author / Storyteller.


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