Johnny's Book Series
The Voyage logs Johnny Duhan’s artistic and spiritual journey, focusing on intimate family relationships as one of the main sources of inspiration for his work as a songwriter. The opening chapter concern’s Johnny’s mother’s breakdown on the cusp of Johnny signing an international record contract.
The Deal follows, and against his will, Johnny is sucked back into a drug culture which is part and parcel of the popular music industry. The Long Enduring chronicles a breakdown that leads to a restoration of religious faith. Christy focuses on Johnny’s first meeting with Christy Moore, who has popularised a number of Johnny’s songs, including The Voyage, which has become one of the most popular ballads of modern times.
The River Returning marks a crisis during Johnny’s father’s dying days that lead to an epiphany in the midst of sordid circumstance. When You Go laments his mother’s passing, with the grace of a bird descending to ascent.
Sunday reflects on Johnny’s long engagement with one of the first autobiographies, Augistine’s Confessions and the chapter The Tree describes a walk around a park with Johnny’s granddaughter Kate, while discussing even more sensistive thological questions that Augustine tackled.
Other chapters draw on meetings with Gerry Adams, Eoghan Harris, Lelia Doolan, John Waters, Paul Muldoon, Bill Whelan, Willie Penrose, Phil Coulter and a host of other characters. London, New Yowk, Nashville, Lourdes, Derry, the High Court and other sensitive environs of the 8th Amendment are visited, with each location providing matter for poignant and colourful story. It’s appropriate that The Voyage should be published in 2019, as the song that inspired the book’s title was launched 30 years ago this year by Christy Moore, whose recorded version has rarely been out of iTunes singer/songwriter top twenty since the chart was established. Niall Stokes of Hot Press magazine has predicted that the song The Voyage will be around in a few centuries, after most popular songs of our time are long forgotten. This echoes Christy Moore’s assessment that the song is destined for a high place in the canon of folk ‘standards’.
Johnny’s journey has already been mapped out in a unique way in the autobiographical songs he has written over the past half century. The subtle artistry and work skill honed through composing lyrics during that time also helped him craft part one of his autobiography, There is a Time, which brought the reader to the crucial moment when Johnny discovered his own voice as a songwriter through the writing of his seminal album Just Another Town. The Voyage takes up his story from where that book left off.