He's bringing Behan back?

Justin Timberlake, with help from Marcus Mumford, has recorded a version of "The Auld Triangle" to be used in a new Cohen brothers film called Inside Lwelyn Davis.

The song was originally written for Brendan Behan's play The Quare Fellow, and was penned by the playwright's brother, Dominic.  The play was set in Mountjoy Prison, where Behan himself was once a "guest."  The bell was used to awaken Behan and his fellow inmates each morning.

So, what do the Wild Geese say?  Which version of this old favourite is the best?

Click here for the audio of Justin Timberlake's version.







Tags: Dubliners, Luke Kelly, Music, Trad, Traditional

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Not a Timberlake fan ... and he doesn't really sound suited for this song.  His backup singers save it, though.

Luke Kelly and The Dubliners is probably the most iconic.  The High Kings did a good job with it.  Worst is easily Dropkick Murphys.

Justin gave it a try, but can't hold a torch to Kelly or Clancy.

I don't think that Timberlake's version was poor, milder alright, but still good. I agree with Timothy about Liam Clancy and Luke Kelly's versions. I think that the 'auld triangle' referred to in the song, was the noise from the barges etc navigating the canal, which happened to awaken the inmates in the very early morning. Thanks for posting this Kelly, a great song.

I like the Dubliner's version the best, however this one is better in my estimation. Includes U2, Shane McGowan and other other famous Irish musicians singing the chorus, Ronnie Drew leading the charge and a poem from Ciaran Burke about Brendan Behan just a few days before Burke passed away. 

Justin Timberlake surprised me in a good way and although the a cappella singing is very good and accurate, his tenor voice seems less suited for this song.  So for a cappella singing I preferred The High Kings version.

Then I heard Clancy with his simple guitar accompaniment and his use of dynamics.  He seemed to be telling a passionate story and represents the folk song genre very well.

I agree. It's definitely not bad, but Justin's voice is just not deep and resonant enough. The accent also through me off a bit, it felt forced and unnatural. Like he was TRYING to sing like an Irishman, rather than just sing. 

Luke Kelly's version hits me in my deepest Green heart.

The masterless men from Newfoundland do the best job of it!

I think Justin and friends did a great job, nice harmonies. But my take on it...is that its too pretty. Look at the lyrics of the song and its setting...a prison cell. So to me, maybe a great Irish Tenor or others can sing it well...but it would be hard for them to give it the emotion it needs. I feel the song is done better by those with everyday or emotive voices. Some mention Luke Kelly...I liked Paddy Reilly. While Paddy's voice is a great voice...you know he knew the story and actually knew the folks in the story.

It is one of Irelands classiics though...and I'm happy that Timberlake and friends are doing it.

Thanks for this, Kelly!  I wasn't aware of the origin of the song.  I love the Damien Dempsey and Glen Hansard version. Their voices are so strong and harmonize so well together.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luRioh2AYoU 

Tagging on to Valerie's post.  She beat me to it.  Damo singing anything is inspirational.  Add a dose of Glen Hansard, and be positively transported.  


The High Kings had the best presentation of beautiful images of Ireland (but no images of the prison cell nor the royal canal) but had the best studio (audio enhancement) the best sound, but I still prefer to hear Liam Clancy, Luke Kelly, and the Pogues among others.  Justin's version is okay but no where near the metal of the ones before.  This style of singing is something only a few are born and few others develop.  Thanks Kelly for posting this, I was not even aware of the Cohen Bros. project, will have to check that out.  All the best.


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