Friday, March 02, 2012

The man who wrote Galway Bay lived in Leicester

We all know the boys from the NYPD Choir were singing "Galway Bay", but who wrote the song?

I found out in my lunch hour this week when I came across this blue plaque in Prebend Street, off London Road, in Leicester. And Leicester Chronicler tells us all about Arthur Colahan:
Arthur Colahan was born in Enniskillen on August 12th 1884, the eldest son of Nicholas and Lizzie Colahan. He was a boarder at Mungret College in Limerick, and then enrolled at University College Dublin in 1900 where he gained an Arts Degree. He took up medicine and graduated from Queen's College, Galway in 1913. He was a member of The Literary and Debating Society at his college and took part in many college plays where his skill as a composer and song writer was first revealed. 
He began a medical career in the County Infirmary in Galway. When World War I broke out Colahan enlisted in the British Army's Medical Corps and served in India ... After the war, he settled in Leicester where he worked as a neurological specialist in the police and prison services. His hobby was music, and he wrote songs with fine memorable melodies including Until Gods Day, Cade Ring, Asthoreen Bawn, Macushla Mine, The Kylemore Pass and the beautiful Galway Bay ... 
Dr Colahan died at his Leicester home at 9 Prebend Street off London Road on 15 September 1952 and his remains were moved to Galway for burial in the family grave.
Take it away, Bing.


crewegwyn said...

But where was he when he wrote it?

Jonathan Calder said...

The song dates from 1947, so he was at Prebend Street, Leicester.