First, a spot of housekeeping for the Cover Story series.
As sharp observers will already have noticed, "or" replaces "vs" in the headline. I shall get round to changing the previous 10 posts in the series since the purpose of the exercise is much more to draw attention to different versions of songs than to play artists off against one another.
Today's edition has elements of memory playing tricks. I have always loved Christy Moore's version of Ride On, a song whose lyrics may conceal mysteries - he says it is up the individual to reach his or her conclusion - but spring from its writer Jimmy MacCarthy's early life as an apprentice jockey.
I thought I marginally preferred Mary Coughlan's interpretation because she or someone else had the spectacularly bright idea of getting Davy Spillane into the studio to add Uillean pipes. I have seen both singers perform the song live, in Moore's case several times, but a while had passed since I heard either version.
Listening again, I still believe the pipes work magically. But Moore it has to be. Coughlan is an excellent and highly expressive singer but tackles Ride On at too much of a gallop whereas MacCarthy's song cries out for a slow trot.
There are many other versions worth a listen. Coldplay accompanied Moore, described by Chris Martin as a musical hero, after bringing him on stage at a festival in Kildare.
Unusually for me, I bought an album via iTunes by Dance to Tipperary mainly on the strength of their splendid delivery of the adopted anthem, Fields of Athenry at a packed Celtic Park (Liverpool supporters "borrowed" and adapted the song but would claim they did so only after You'll Never Walk Alone was nicked by the green part of Glasgow). Dance to Tipperary mix Irish folk and electronic dance/trance music; the EDM version I downloaded is rather better than the oddly insipid one you see here.
Among others, Mary Black, the Corrs and Westlife have also had a bash. So, of course, has MacCarthy himself. For me, none holds a candle a song that might have been made for Christy Moore.
You, of course, may disagree.