music is completely sympathetic to the complex rhythms of Hopkins'
poetry. Musically, if you like Dylan, Bruce Cockburn, Johnny Cash,
you'd be likely to fall in love with O'Leary too. The world is charged
with the grandeur of God is usually to be heard recited in rather
posh, distant tones; Sean sings it in a kind of gentle acoustic-rap
and it absoultely comes to life. Glory be to God for dappled things
gives an appropriately country touch to this pastoral reflection.
The Wreck of the Deutschland is
a less famous story than the sinking of the Titanic, but similarly
shocking to the readers of the headlines in 1875, when an apparently
unsinkable ship went down in stormy seas, and many were drowned.
Hopkins engages the story as a metaphor for the human race afloat
on the seas of life in a long, narrative poem; Sean O'Leary replays
it as a kind of folk-epic, building the tension and the angst
as the story progresses.