Luke Kelly sang the definitive version of Raglan Road
Luke Kelly was the first professional artist to sing and record Raglan Road and for many people, his version is still the definitive one.
His soaring, haunting rendition captures the sadness and desperation of the young lover perfectly.
Kelly met Kavanagh while drinking with friends
Kelly first came across the song when he met Patrick Kavanagh in Baileys pub in the centre of Dublin in the mid 1960s.
Kelly described Kavanagh as a rough kind of man and he felt slight intimidated by him.
Kavanagh had written the words to the song in 1946 but he only set it to music years later, using the melody of Dawning of the Day.
Kavanagh urged Kelly to sing the song
There were several friends drinking together that day with Kelly and Kavanagh and a singing session began. After Kelly had sung a song, Kavanagh turned to him and suggested that he should sing Raglan Road.
Kelly brought Raglan Road to a wider audience.
Kelly soon added Raglan Road to his repertoire with the Dubliners and they recorded it on the Hometown album in 1972.
It soon began a standard on the folk circuit, with many people believing it was an old traditional song that had just been rediscovered after years of neglect.
Luke Kelly’s recording of Raglan Road was used in the 2008 film, In Bruges.