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Pete St John

Peter Mooney (31 January 1932 – 12 March 2022), known professionally as Pete St John, was an Irish folk singer-songwriter. Born in Dublin, he is best known for composing The Fields of Athenry.

St. John also composed a number of other modern ballads, such as The Rare Ould Times and The Ferryman, which have been recorded by several artists, including The Dubliners, James Last, Paddy Reilly, Mary Black. A version of The Rare Ould Times, as sung by Danny Doyle, spent 11 weeks in the Irish Singles Chart, reaching No. 1 in 1978. St. John’s songs, including The Rare Ould Times, sometimes express regret for the loss of old certainties (for example the loss of Nelson’s Pillar and the Metropole Ballroom, two symbols of old Dublin, as progress makes a “city of my town”).

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Songs by Pete St John