How Davy Spillane Ended up playing at Eurovision 1993

How Davy Spillane Ended up playing the opening sequence at Eurovision 1993 – from the 2015 book: Ireland and the Eurovision

“… were apprehensive about spending so much time in a remote location. However, according to John McHugh who was head of the Irish delegetion- they had reckoned without the traditional hospitality of Kerry and West Cork, which worked its customary magic.
Everything seemed to be going so smoothly that I was shocked to receive an urgent call from Kevin Linehan the show’s producer, just days before the final. It seemed that the opening act – and Irish star with global reputation – had decided to pull out of the show at that very late stage. I immediately contacted two composers, Ronal Johnston and Shea Fitzgerald, to see if they could write a musical piece at very short notice. I had worked with Ronan and Shea when they had written the signature theme for a seriew that I produced called Nighthawks. Through some technical mix-up, I has listened to that signature piece backwards, and I had liked what I heard – which meant that their theme was played backwards on the show for the next four years. I also contacted Davy Spillane – an uilleann piper whose playing I had long admired. Luckily, Davy Ronan and Shea were all available, and, within a day or so, we were in Shea’s small studio in Monkstown, County Dublin, recordingn the new track that would open the 1993 contest. Davy Spillane was soon on his way to Millstreet – where he would be the first performer to be seen on the Eurovision stage…”

Listen to that opening track in the below video (from 0:45 to 3:30)


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