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The True Story Behind The Incredible Song That Mick McCarthy Made With Linda Martin

The True Story Behind The Incredible Song That Mick McCarthy Made With Linda Martin
By Donny Mahoney Updated

We count ourselves amongst the tens of thousands of Irish people flabbergasted to learn that last week that Linda Martin and Mick McCarthy recorded a hit song during the early 1990s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaF-H_JUk3Q

It was called 'Did You Ever?', a cover of an old Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood ditty and was recorded in 1991, before Linda Martin won Eurovision with 'Why Me'. How had we never heard this song? And how had the duo not become an internationally-acclaimed pop duo? Truth be told, we'd always hoped Mick McCarthy might embark on a singing career after football and rekindle the spirit of 'I'm Your Man'-era Leonard Cohen with that soothing, bassy Yorkshire voice he possesses.

Linda Martin on signing with Mick McCarthy

Back in 2015, Linda Martin explained how the song was recorded and what Mick McCarthy was like to sing with.

Ms Martin was kind enough to answer a few questions over email and graciously shed some light on an experience that mere mortals can only dream of.

"Isn't it so funny that after 20 odd years a song pops back up? So around Italia 90 I worked with my band at a lot of corporate gigs which had frequent appearances by the Irish football team. So we got to know them.

"Louis Walsh was my manager at the time and he had the brainwave of recording with a footballer. Mick McCarthy was the chosen victim and he was up for a laugh.

"I'd no nerves about the project at all. Louis also found the song which had been a huge hit for Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udhAqeG-na0

"Mick McCarthy flew in on a Sunday, we went into Westland Row with Barry Grace as the producer. Literally recorded it within a few hours. We celebrated in the Trocadero afterwards.

"Mick was totally brilliant, professional and great craic and if truth be known he has a very good voice.

"Yes it was a huge hit in Ireland and yes we talked about a follow up but I went off to do Eurovision etc and suddenly there was no time to record anything else. Yes, I saw a lot of Mick while he was in Ireland. He's a lovely man.

"The last time I heard the song was when I gave a copy to Jason McAteer so as he could play it on the tour bus for the Ireland team.

Sadly this song was never Ireland's Eurovision entry, but with Mick McCarthy no longer managing at Cardiff, perhaps there is a chance for 2022.

This story originally appeared on Balls.ie in November, 2015

SEE ALSO: How Mick McCarthy Ended Up Naming His First Ireland Starting XI At An Inchicore Pub

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