Anahorish

Album: At Swim (2016)
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Songfacts®:

  • Lisa Hannigan was reading the works of Irish poet Seamus Heaney for a part-time degree in English literature but was struggling with songwriting for her third studio album. "At one point in the process, I felt I didn't have a word in my head to write, and thought I'd just read Seamus Heaney because he has all the best words – as Trump might say," she told The Irish Times.

    Heany's poetry inspired Hannigan's songwriting, to the point that this song is one of his poems set to her melody. She told The Irish Times it, "looked like a song on the page."

    Hannigan added: "I just started singing it and over the course of a night I remember running out to the bathroom and singing the next line into my phone and then going back and hearing the next line . . . like beads on a string."
  • Anahorish is a place name poem, which was first included in Seamus Heaney's 1972 collection Wintering Out. Lisa Hannigan's fellow Irish artist Hozier also recorded a song, "Like Real People Do," inspired by the poet. In his instance it is based on Heaney's bog poems.

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