And All His Songs Were Sad by Mattie Lennon, Music & Lyrics by Sean McCarthy

Simon Balcan and Kerry Steed in Lizzy, Darcy and Jane

Drama with Music/ 4 Characters, 3 Men, 1 Woman/ Full Length (App. 80 minutes)

Synopsis: A play with music about the Irish songwriter Sean McCarthy and his complex relationship with the singer Peggy Sweeney. Her gorgeous, definitive recordings of McCarthy’s folk tunes about death and unrequited love were responsible for cementing his fame throughout Ireland.

From Fort Worth Weekly: “Their collaboration was so intense, many people wanted to know: Was there any funny business going on? . . . The more intriguing thing about their ‘artistic friendship’ was that she seemed to be the artist, while he was her muse. That’s an interesting reversal of the typical singer-songwriter arrangement.

“Amateur McCarthy scholar Lennon never met McCarthy; his script is based on interviews and newspaper accounts of his life and of his musical partnership with Sweeney. The title of the show comes from a quote by the English writer G.K. Chesterton, whose ode to the Irish famously declared that ‘All their wars are merry/ And all their songs are sad.'”

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Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Mattie Lennon
Playwright’s website:

About the Playwright: Mattie Lennon writes the occasional humorous article and has contributed to The Irish Times, Sunday Independent,The Irish Post, Ireland’s Own, Ireland’s Eye, The Wicklow People, Kerry’s Eye, Leinster Leader and many more. He also writes for a number of on-line magazines, including He has compiled and presented programmes on RTE Radio One and currently presents a ballad programme on Radio Dublin 100FM.

He has spent most of the past 30 years in Dublin; but whenever asked “Will you ever go back to Kylebeg?” he quotes James Joyce’s reply when asked the same question about Dublin: “I never left.” He is married, with a family, although currently his wife is wondering what sort of an eejit he is to be sitting at a computer, at this time of night, typing this with one finger.

And All His Songs Were Sad was first produced by The Pantaglieze Theatre in Fort Worth, Texas in September, 2010.


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