Fil Campbell

Fil Campbell


Irish singer Fil Campbell specialises in the Irish folk songs that were first recorded by Irish women singers from the 1930s on. She performs these mixed with her own songs and key traditional pieces and tours mainly with percussionist Tom McFarland. Fil released her 6th solo CD in 2012.


When Northern Irish singer – songwriter Fil Campbell started to add the folk songs she learned as a child into her live set, she never imagined that those songs would prove so popular with audiences both at home in Ireland and abroad. And in a departure from her previous 20 years of performing and recording contemporary Irish and self penned songs, Fil decided to record a collection of these old tunes.

"Songbirds, the First Ladies of Irish Song" started out as a CD and was quickly developed into a 6 part TV documentary series paying tribute to the women who first recorded the songs that formed the backdrop to the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s for many people throughout the worldwide Irish community - namely Delia Murphy, Margaret Barry, Bridie Gallagher, and Mary O'Hara.
Fil wrote and narrated the series and performed excerpts from songs like "If I Were a Blackbird" and "the Spinning Wheel" and 20 more, joined by singers Sean Keane and Tommy Sands, and by musicians John Sheahan from the Dubliners, Finbar Furey and guitarist Steve Cooney.

“A lot of these songs had completely disappeared from the folk repertoire and I really wanted to take them back to their rightful pace at the centre of the Irish Folk Tradition", Fil says. "They're the songs that we all instinctively know without ever remembering learning them."

The 6 TV programmes were broadcast on Irish TV (RTE) in 2006 to an average audience of 250,000 viewers per week and have since been broadcast twice more. Fil and her band have subsequently toured the show in Irish theatres and in folk clubs across Europe, England, Scotland and at home in Ireland and audiences have enthusiastically joined in with the songs. The CD and DVD have sold well in Ireland and are now being released worldwide. The DVD of won best video in the 2007 JPFolks Awards.

Fil has been a regular performer on the European folk circuit for many years and has recorded 3 previous CDs of her own and other contemporary songs. She has been performing since she was a child, has a degree in Music and has worked in the music industry all her adult life - as a TV and studio backing vocalist, band singer, as a promoter, a BBC radio presenter, a music publicist . She is married to percussionist and record producer Tom McFarland.


A Place of my Own (2012)
Songbirds Part Two - Farewell To Cold Winter (2011)
Songbirds DVD of TV Series (2006) - 6x 25minute programmes
Songbirds CD(2005)
Beneath The Calm (2002)
Dreaming (1996)
The Light Beyond The Woods (1992)

Set List

Songbirds Show...
If I Were A Blackbird
The Connemara Cradle Song
Goodbye Mick
Is Ar Eirinn ni n-Eosfainn ce h-I
The Castle of Dromore
Still I love Him
Teddy O'Neill
Haste to the Wedding
Cloughmills Fair - tunes and song
Farewell My Own Dear Native Land (unaccompanied)
Johnny the Daisy O
Nil Se in a La - song and tunes
The Homes of Donegal
etc... songs vary to suit the audience

Folk Club show
includes some of the above plus
I Still Think of You (Campbell)
Blue Songs on A Red Guitar (Matthews)
Free My Soul (Campbell)
Dreaming (Campbell)
No Frontiers (McCarthy)
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free (Washington)