Renowned Irish songwriter, John Spillane, is set to release a timely live version of his iconic song, ‘The Dance of the Cherry Trees’, taken from a forthcoming album of his music recorded live with Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra. Originally released in 2002, the track has found a place in the hearts of many music lovers in Ireland and internationally, with its themes of new life, hope, warmth and wonder. 

‘The Dance of the Cherry Trees’ is the first single from In Another Light – an album that was recorded live at the Right Here Right Now Festival at Cork Opera House in 2021. John is joined on the track by Pauline Scanlon with the Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra, conducted that night by John O’Brien and orchestrated by Paul Frost.

The song has found a regular place on Irish airwaves over the last two decades, perhaps particularly during April when the titular Cherry Trees begin to bloom around the country. Its positive sentiments and optimistic look to the future also brought much comfort during the lockdowns of 2020-21, with the lyrics “well done everyone” having deep resonance for many.  

“‘The Dance of the Cherry Trees’ was first released as a single in April 2002 on the EMI label,” says John, “and has received much airplay down the years around the world and at home. This is its 20th year and the song has had many adventures. It took me to Japan in 2003, the home of the cherry trees. It is like my ‘Fairytale of New York’ in that it gets a burst of radio play every year in its own season.

“The song then got more radio play than ever in 2020 in the first Covid year. Everybody stopped and suddenly noticed the spring blossom.  Like a tree, the song has grown some tree rings in the 20 years. There’s a riff in there that was composed by Peter O’ Toole, one of the Hothouse Flowers, who produced the first single, and there’s some lovely notes in there as well that came from Donogh Hennessy the great traditional guitarist.”

Two-time Meteor award winner John Spillane is a musician, songwriter, performer, recording artist, storyteller, poet and dreamer. Rooted in people, place and story, his music transports the listener and his live performances captivate audiences around the world. John’s extensive back catalogue begins with the 1997 album The Wells of the World.

This new live version of ‘The Dance of the Cherry Trees’ will be accompanied by an imaginative video, directed by former member of Gráda, Alan Doherty. The idea for this Cherry Trees video came from my manager Ciara O’ Leary Fitzpatrick,” explains John. “She dreamt up three videos for the three singles we are releasing from the new album. These videos will explore three themes; youth, young adulthood and maturity. It was a pleasure to work with Alan, who is a positive and hard working creative artist and it was wonderful to work with my eight year old granddaughter Sofia who stars in this lovely video.”

In Another Light pre-order link:

Tour Dates

April 23 – Cashel, Tipperary

April 30 – Sea Church, Ballycotton, Cork

May 1 – Drimoleague Inn, Cork

May 5 – Station House Theatre Clifden, Galway

May 15 – The Mall Arts Centre, Youghal

June 4 – Mountshannon Arts

June 5 – Jim of the Mills, Thurles

June 17 – The Snug Bar, Athlone

July 8 – Presentation Arts Centre, Enniscorthy