“Rory played the greens, not the blues”: Expressions of Irishness on the Rory Gallagher YouTube Channel

O'Hagan, Lauren Alex (2021). “Rory played the greens, not the blues”: Expressions of Irishness on the Rory Gallagher YouTube Channel. Irish Studies Review, 29(3) pp. 348–369.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09670882.2021.1946919

Abstract

This study explores expressions of Irishness by fans on the official YouTube channel of the Irish blues/rock singer and guitarist Rory Gallagher. Drawing upon a dataset of some 500 comments, I note the various strategies that fans, both Irish and non-Irish, adopt to engage in public displays of Irishness and explore the personal links that they make with Ireland and Irish culture to situate themselves as “authentic.” I demonstrate how, for Rory Gallagher fans, Irishness is an unstable, malleable concept that can simultaneously express regionalist, nationalist and transnationalist identity, yet it tends to be non-sectarian and rooted in a shared love for music rather than any political/religious differences. Moreover, it is essential in determining internal hierarchies and status within the fan group, with those asserting the most Irishness seen as most authentic. Overall, its findings contribute to an important growing body of work on Irish musicology and national identity

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