A song written by a renowned Strabane musician has hit the right note with classical trio The Priests.
Terry McCafferty’s Christmas offering ‘A Saviour is Born’ will be performed by Fr Eugene O’Hagan, Fr David Delargy and Fr Martin O’Hagan as part of their festive programme.
It will be aired alongside a host of Christmas classics before sell out audiences at both the Millennium Forum and Belfast’s Waterfront Hall over the coming days.
Speaking after signing the rights to the potential hit over Terry revealed that A Saviour is Born had been sitting in his songbook for almost 20 years.
“About two and half years ago Jim Doherty gave me a number for music producer Mike Hedges and I rang him up. He asked me could I send him something and I sent him A Saviour is Born. At the time The Priests were signed to Sony but they weren’t sure if they were going to hold on to them because the market wasn’t going in that direction.
“But a few weeks later Mike contacted me and said he wanted to do an arrangement of my song,” Terry recalled.
Boasting a CV that includes names like The Cure, The Beautiful South, The Undertones, Travis and the Manic Street Preachers, Mike Hedges is among Britain’s most high profile musical producers. This was a fact that only became clear to Terry McCafferty after their conversation.
Despite Hedges’ enthusiasm for the song though, Sony did indeed decide not to go with The Priests again. That was until this summer when they reunited for a tour of Canada, America, the UK and Ireland.
“The Priests have resigned to Sony and a few weeks ago I got a call from Fr Eugene who was in America at the time. He said he loved the song and that they were thinking of using it in their Christmas programme and how did I feel about it. Obviously I thought it was brilliant.”
A Saviour is Born was written nearly 20 years ago, alongside Follow that Star, another song that has become some of a festive favourite locally. Follow that Star has been on the playlist for schools and choirs across Strabane for a number of years.
Whether A Saviour is Born makes the final cut for The Priests’ new album remains to be seen. It will however be heard by tens of thousands of listeners over the coming days and weeks.
“If it makes the album it would open a lot of doors for me but the fact that they are going to perform it at all and that someone like Mike Hedges thinks it is good is recognition in itself.
“My ambition is to have my name listed alongside one of my songs in a church hymnal. It is something I have always wanted because that way, your music lives forever,” Terry said.
Thanking those who helped realise the potential of the song that could now make him a star, Terry added, “After I won a Christmas carol competition a few years ago, Gerard Bradley helped me realise the potential of the song. Myself and Ronan Bradley did the arrangement for it so I have them to thank for helping me out.”
You can listen to Terry’s ‘A Saviour is Born’ today by logging on to www.soundcloud.com/terrymccaffertymusic/asaviourisborn.