Did Gordon Lightfoot share musical inspiration with Bobby Sands?

Bobby Sands who died on hunger strike in May 1981


THE Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald was one of the late Gordon Lightfoot's best known hits - and it also inspired hunger striker Bobby Sands' song I Wish I Was Back Home In Derry.

Sands came up with the song, later famously covered by Christy Moore as Back Home in Derry, during the blanket protests at Long Kesh, where he used to sing it in his cell.

Read more: Canadian folk singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot dies aged 84


However, when the Canadian folk singer was asked about the Bobby Sands song in a 2012 interview with journalist George Lenker, he revealed that the late IRA man may well have had an equal claim to the melody behind his 1978 hit.

“I’ve heard about it, but I didn’t know much about the similarity until it was pointed out to me by a couple of Irishmen," said Lightfoot of I Wish I Was Back Home In Derry.

Legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot

“I think the melody is actually just an old Irish folk song, an old Irish dirge. I think I took it from that.

"It’s all folk music and it’s all out there for everyone to enjoy.”