Tommy Sands – Northern Ireland’s Songman coming to Lehigh

Our campus has been truly lucky in having some amazing speakers: Michelle Norris, Noam Chomsky, Madeleine Albright. We also have an impressive number of faculty whose research interest lies in political violence and its cultural manifestations in a number of countries around the world and throughout history.

TommyHiRes044croppedNext Tuesday, March 5th at 4:15 in Sinclair Auditorium – through the incredible support of a few campus programs and a partnership with two community organizations, we will have an opportunity to hear from a world renown songwriter and social activist from Northern Ireland, Tommy Sands.

Tommy Sands has achieved something akin to legendary status in his own lifetime. From the pioneering tours with the highly influential Sands Family, playing Carnegie Hall to Moscow’s Olympic Stadium, he has become one of Ireland’s most powerful songwriters and enchanting performers. He enjoys celebrity status in many parts of the world, tempered by artistic integrity and the sorrow of personal tragedy in his war torn homeland.

Walking the road between two cultures (Catholic and Protestant), he dreams of an Ireland without conflict. Indeed, his songs speak to all that Ireland is, from its troubled past to its indomitable spirit and a vision of “a land of dreaming”. And his work around the globe speaks to our common heritage, using music to bridge cultural differences. In this way he shares a vision with songwriters instigating social change such as Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, and close friend Pete Seeger.

Building peace is not something that happens quickly. It takes time, patience and lots of understanding. While the Troubles in Northern Ireland happened more than four decades ago, the Peace Process is still working in Northern Ireland’s government and society. Here is a resource from the University of Ulster that provides more information about ‘the Troubles’ and current politics.

Tommy Sands visit to Lehigh University and Bethlehem, PA was made possible through the generous support of Lehigh University’s Global Union, South Side Initiative, Office of Community and Regional Affairs, the Department of Political Science, the Celtic Cultural Alliance, and Godfrey Daniels.

Tommy will also perform at Godfrey Daniels on Friday, March 8th at 8pm. $5 of the ticket price will go to the Northern Ireland Peace Education program, “Art’s a Wonder.” Advance purchase is strongly encouraged.