The Three (Reverend) Tenors

Who says Catholics can’t sing?

Here’s a story about three Irish priests who have signed a record contract with Sony. There’s a video link of them singing and discussing the record deal.
How can you dislike the Irish?

  • Deborah

    They said they weren’t aware of any other priests with record deals, but Fr. Liam Lawton is huge here in Ireland and abroad. His works appear in many of the standard American hymnals. My Mom orders GIA stuff from the US for her choir in Co. Mayo and he’s got some stuff in there! Beautiful music with a lovely Celtic intonation.

  • Éamonn

    Fr Lawton sings mostly his own compositions and almost nothing from the Church’s historic repertoire. He is also associated with the pastoral liturgy centre which was in Carlow and then Maynooth; they’re fond of liturgical dance inter alia.Also Fr Lawton is sometimes just plain Liam Lawton, when it suits his audience; he doesn’t bear constant witness to his priesthood in his style of dress, for example, as these men seem to. But then Down and Connor priests are a pretty solid bunch in my experience.

  • Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ

    Sounds good..

  • Adrienne

    I’ll be purchasing their first CD. ….and it doesn’t hurt that they’re cute as bugs;)

  • Deke

    I spent a week in Russia with the brothers O’Hagan, they do have delightful voices and are a joy to be with. This is not their first recording. They recorded a CD called Cantate Domino as part of a small choir called Cappella Caeciliana. Well done Frs!

  • Jean in SC

    Deborah is 100% correct! Do a Google search on “Liam Lawton” and you will get thousands of hits (including Wikipedia).Shame on Nick Raphael, Sony BMG executive, for declaring “We are unaware of any other priests who have become recording artists. The closest thing we can think of was the Singing Nun back in the 1960s.” But I’m sure they haven’t had their heads in the sand the past few years and that they DO know that EMI (a major competitor) has produced several multi-platinum CD’s by an incredibly successful composer and recording-artist, Fr. Liam Lawton, who IS a Catholic priest with a “proper job” (and also is from Ireland). Fr. Liam Lawton has had two PBS specials shown across America (and made two companion DVDs); has recorded over a dozen CDs for Veritas, GIA, and EMI; has written a great book about his music and Ireland (and is writing another); has performed all over the world; and has written and published hundreds of liturgical songs that are sung every Sunday in churches in Ireland, the USA, and many other countries. AND he has priestly duties in addition to his music ministry as Director of Music for his diocese. There’s something for everyone with the spiritually uplifting, healing, and very Catholic music of Fr. Liam Lawton. You’ll even find a few ancient chants on many of his recordings.I am Music Director for two Catholic masses at Fort Jackson, SC (see my article in the Winter 2008 issue of GIA Quarterly magazine). In 2006, I met Fr. Lawton at a Catholic music conference in Washington, DC. Shortly after, my mother became ill and it was the Holy Spirit within Liam Lawton’s music that pulled me through those difficult times, to well after her passing several months later. Last year, I was blessed to sing his music in a large choir at Carnegie Hall, along with Fr. Liam, Roisen O’Reilly, and his band. {I was the only participant from the south, except for a small group from Alabama; most of the singers were from Michigan.} A few summers ago, after playing Liam Lawton’s new CD at Fort Jackson after Mass, I was swamped by scores of trainees who were eager to know what it was I was playing. Many soldiers bought that CD from GIA. That’s how powerful God’s message is, in the music of Fr. Liam Lawton. You can’t beat that kind of evangelization with a stick – especially in reaching out to young adults in America. I wish God’s blessings to Sony BMG and especially to the three Catholic priests from Northern Ireland for the success of their 1 million pound record deal. But if their debut album will be mostly “parts of the Latin Mass, the traditional Catholic hymns, Ave Maria and Panis Angelicus, and a selection of opera classics” – as far as appealing to the future of the Catholic church – our young people – more power to ‘em — and Good Luck! We need more of that music in our world today, as well the songs of Fr. Liam Lawton.

  • kentuckyliz

    Re Fr Lawton…GIA, the same people who inflicted Pelagian self-worshipping ditties on us? I hate City of God, Anthem, and Ashes, and they contain heresies. That makes me distrust this Fr Lawton guy.Of course Sony hasn’t heard of Fr Lawton or Fr Richard Ho Lung or the St Louis Jesuits or others, because Sony is a media giant and GIA is a niche market…liturgical music for Catholics…big whoop.Fr D, what’s with the liking the Irish comment? It assumes a dislike. Oh yeah, right…you were an Anglican in England for years…probably infected with that calumnious prejudice against the Irish. Repent and be exorcised!!!

  • kentuckyliz

    Forgot to mention…for some neat Catholic Irish music, get the Faith of Our Fathers series. For some fun Christian revival type music with an Irish flavor, get Robin Mark’s Revival in Belfast. It contains the best recorded version of “When It’s All Been Said And Done” by Jim Cowan, a Catholic composer–such a beautiful song, I want that sung at my funeral or at least my wake!

  • Matthew

    I went to the Holy Land on a pilgrame with Fr Lawton. He cares deeply about making liturgical music and touching others with it, which it certainly did me. He is a very caring, sensitive person and a great priest.