New research suggests Bruce Springsteen’s musicality comes from his Irish roots
Life & Style

New research suggests Bruce Springsteen’s musicality comes from his Irish roots

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN will close five days of Dublin gigs with his E-Street Band today.

The Irish leg of his international tour has taken place at the RDS Arena, with thousands of fans flocking to see The Boss in action while in the Emerald Isle.

While in town it has been revealed that the Born in the USA singer, who was born in New Jersey, has a pretty significant musical forefather who hails from Ireland.

Ten years ago the Irish Family History Centre was commissioned to research the Irish roots of Bruce Springsteen, whose immigrant ancestors were the Gerrity family of Rathangan, co. Kildare, with additional connections to the Kelly, Farrell and McNicholas families.

They found that between 1851 and 1854, the Gerrity family emigrated and settled in Monmouth, New Jersey.

This month the Centre will publish their findings in an edition of their Irish Lives Remembered magazine, in an article on the Irish family history of Springsteen written by researchers Fiona Fitzsimons and Helen Moss.

Their investigation of the family has revealed that Springsteen’s great grandfather (x3) Christy Gerrity was a traditional musician, and well-regarded as a fife player.

“The fife, a small, high-pitched wind instrument, could have easily been in the limited luggage Christy was able to carry with him when leaving Ireland in 1851,” they state.

“Upon arriving in New Jersey, Christy performed with Captain Mount’s ‘Monmouth Blues’,” they explain.

“He played his music at political meetings, in processions and at picnics, and was a keen supporter of the democratic party; not unlike Springsteen, who performed for and supported Democratic Presidential Candidates Barack Obama and Joe Biden.”

Christy Geraghty was born in 1806 in Rathangan, Kildare and died on August 25, 1884 in Freehold township, New Jersey, US.

An obituary for him reveals: “He always took a warm interest for the success of the Democratic party, and down to a recent period played the fife…at the head of all the democratic processions of the town, and in this capacity…his fame went abroad throughout the country.”

Christy Gerrity’s story will be told in full in the new podcast Emerald Roots.