A legend in Ireland and known throughout the world for his songs and message of peace, Tommy Sands has been described by respected US magazine Sing Out! as “The most powerful songwriter in Ireland if not the rest of the world.” The description sells him short. He is a rare combination of singer, songwriter, storyteller, author and social activist, captivating audiences with the same musical skill and charm that has earned him the respect of fellow musician, Pete Seeger, Nobel Laureate author Seamus Heaney, and host of politicians around the world.
However, it is not Tommy’s masterful songwriting, or his talent as a musician that makes him so influential. He is indeed an Irish Bard, in alternating ways both traditional and contemporary. He brings with his songs the stories of Ireland, communicating that tradition while encompassing the dreams of those around the world. His songs, and now his new book, bring history, encouragement, enlightened ideas, a feeling of connectedness and the joy of living.
Born in Northern Ireland, Tommy’s first steps were amidst chaos. Very early on, it became clear that music was a vehicle for harmony. As part of the acclaimed Sands Family, one of the most important traditional groups in the early years of the folk revival, Tommy traveled everywhere from Carnegie Hall to Moscow’s Olympic Stadium in an effort to add beauty to the world, and to point out where it still needs improvement. In later years, Tommy continues to walk the troubled roads, bringing a template of possibility to areas of political and social unrest with his words and music. He has become a bard of peace.