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Stars join Don for tribute to fiancee's tragic brother

MUSICIAN Don Baker's upcoming album with top Irish singers has an emotional tribute to his fiancee's drowned brother.

Performers such as Sinead O'Connor, Damien Dempsey, Brian Kennedy, and Rob Strong sing 18 songs written by Baker, including a song about the drowning of Dubliner Fergus O'Reilly.

Fergus -- A Healing Song was written after the tragedy two years ago when the Irishman drowned while on holiday in the Canaries with his wife and two children.

"It was terrible. My fiancee Maureen got a call saying her brother went missing while swimming in Tenerife. Then a second that a helicopter was looking for him. Then a third call they had found his body," said the musician.

The song, performed by singer Clara Rose, concentrates on healing.

"I don't write songs intellectually. I write from my emotions. Like the way Eric Clapton wrote about his son in Tears In Heaven."

The album My Songs, My Friends will be released in six to eight weeks. It has 13 new songs, including The Holy Vow sung as a duet by Sinead O'Connor and Damien Dempsey, which is "very powerful" in its treatment of clerical child sex abuse.

Sinead also sings a song Love Chains about co-dependency and 'love addiction' which Baker said is "an awful thing."

Singers Brian Kennedy and Eleanor McEvoy sing a duet named Lord Have Mercy, which is described as very spiritual.

Baker himself performs a duet with John Spillane entitled Politician which was inspired by a former Fianna Fail TD whom he has refused to identify. The song could apply to several politicians and emphasises the 'falseness' in their lives.

aokeeffe@herald.ie