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Agnes Browne (Soundtrack) by Paddy Moloney

Tracksounds Rating = 5/10

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Composed and Produced by Paddy Moloney
Performed by: The Irish Film Orchestra; The Chieftans; Montsterrat Caballe; Laura Smith; The Fleadh Cowboys; Tom Jones
Released by Decca Records 1999

Track Title Time Rating Chieftan Composition
by Christopher Coleman

For well over thirty years, The Chieftans have given the world some of the most poignant performances of celtic music.  Film music fans aren’t unfamiliar with their work either.  The Chieftans  have been featured in many films’ scores such as John Williams’ Far and Away and  Michael Kamen's Circle of Friends, just to name a couple.

One of the founding members of this celtic band has entered the realm of film music fully.  Paddy Moloney. master of the Uilean pipes among other traditional Irish instruments, has composed the score for Agnes Browne. 

This film is about a Dublin, Ireland woman who loses her husband and is left to cope with her seven children during the sixties.  Composer Paddy Moloney contributes seven tracks to this Decca CD release which, quite appropriately, reflect the Dublin setting.  The remaining eight tracks are divided between traditional celtic arrangements and three of vocalist Tom Jones’ most famous cuts. 

The Opening Theme is a simple and beautiful piece that invokes memories of Bill Conti’s Karate Kid theme in its employment of the flute and is the most enjoyable.  Sadly, this theme is used exclusively in this track.  It would have been a pleasure to hear this theme again with the force of large orchestra behind it.  

What could be called the main theme of the score, simply because it shows up twice on the CD, is Marion's Lament (track 6 and 14).   This is one of the more listenable tracks for those of us who have enjoyed other Celtic scores.  This theme gives us the flute, once again, but also the pipes get their share of the spotlight throughout this rather somber piece.  Moloney certainly shows he is capable of composing for film and the Irish Film Orchestra does an adequate job, but a certain depth is missing that most film music fan’s have come to love, if not expect, from a Celtic-influenced score such as Mark McKenzie’s Durango, Carter Burwell’s Rob Roy, or James Horner’s Braveheart.

This CD also contains some very recognizable music: from My Bonnie to a couple of sixties classics from Tom Jones.  Unfortunately, the Tom Jones inclusions really do not fit in the context of this release of celtic music; however, they do serve a specific purpose within the framework of the film itself, as the lead character seeks to escape her trials and turmoils through his music and one day hopes to attend the popular vocalist’s concert.  While these tracks have their own sort of sick nostalgia to them, they are scattered throughout the CD, making the listening experience quite tumultuous.  

I would consider myself a fan of “commercialized” celtic music, I can’t say that this is the sort of music one works its way one’s head.  Shame on me, but it, like most of the Chieftan’s work is just “too” authentic for me.  If you are a true fan of true Celtic music, then this soundtrack is for you and, of course, if you can stand a little Tom Jones.

1 Opening Theme 3:07 ***
2 Banish The Blues 1:34 **
3 My Bonnie (Harp Version) 0:54 ***
4 She's a Lady (Tom Jones) 2:54 ***
5 Paddy's Mazurka 2:25 **
6 Marion's Lament 2:25 ***
7 Faith of Our Fathers 1:43 *
8 Delilah - Tom Jones 3:22 **
9 The Last Rose of Summer (The Chieftans & Montserrat Caballe) 4:13 ***
10 Grab the Money 1:58 ***
11 My Bonnie (Laura Smith with the Chieftans) 4:23 ***
12 Puttin' on the Style (The Fleadh Cowboys) 2:38 *
13 Trippin Up the Stairs Reel 2:30 **
14 Marion's Lament (Reprise) 2:17 ***
15 It's Not Unusual (Tom Jones) 2:01 ***
  Total Playing Time 38:24    



 Originality 5  

Music Selection


Themes/ Composition


CD Length


Track Order




Final Score


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Paddy Moloney

Agnes Browne (Soundtrack) by Paddy Moloney
  Sound Clip - Opening Theme

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All artwork from Agnes Browne is exclusive property of Decca Records (c) 1999.  Its appearance is for informational purposes only.


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