Ryan O'Shaughnessy Brendan Murray Louis Walsh

It’s Ireland’s most successful Eurovision entry of recent years. But, in a new interview, Ryan O’Shaughnessy has revealed that the original plans for “Together” were a little different. That’s because he originally wrote the song for Brendan Murray.

Ryan O’Shaughnessy wrote “Together” for Brendan Murray and Eurovision 2017

The history books show that Ryan performed “Together” at Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon. He secured Ireland its first qualification in five years and an elusive top 20 finish on the final scoreboard.

However, speaking to the ARIS UFBA YouTube channel, O’Shaughnessy discloses that he actually wrote the entry for his immediate predecessor in the contest — Brendan Murray.

“I wrote the song for the artist who performed the year before me. So, that song was written for Brendan Murray. The song was written a year previous. And then, when 2018 came around, the decision-makers decided that they liked the song “Together”.

Louis Walsh didn’t like “Together”

The surprised interviewer opines that “Together” is a “much better” entry than “Dying To Try”, prompting Ryan to elaborate further.

So, Brendan’s manager Louis Walsh didn’t like the song and they went and they chose the song from a famous songwriter — because, if it comes from a famous songwriter surely it’s better. That’s the reason why.

“Dying To Try” failed to qualify for the 2017 final, stalling at 13th place in its semi.

This also explains why parts of the song were higher than most of Ryan’s other releases.

And that’s why the vocal is so high, because Brendan Murray has a much higher range than I do. So, I had to go in, I had to sing it at the same key.

The comments were part of an hour-long interview. Click here to watch and skip to the 30-minute mark to hear Ryan discuss “Together”.

Are you shocked by Ryan’s revelation? Are you disappointed that Brendan didn’t get to sing “Together”? Or was it fate that Ryan would take his song to Eurovision instead? Let us know in the comments.

Follow all of our Ireland Eurovision 2021 news.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
44 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
JDS
JDS
25 days ago

RTÉ really needs to keep Louis Walsh away from their Eurovision selection. They still seem to see him as a Eurovision king, however, managing Linda Martin and Johnny Logan doesn’t mean he has a clue about modern Eurovision.

I’m so fed up that RTÉ seem to be in thrall to him and only acts linked to him tend to get selected. They didn’t in 2018 and look what happened…

I sat next to him once on a flight, he let me borrow his newspaper, so on a personal basis I have no issue with him 🙂

Last edited 25 days ago by JDS
Liam Holton
Liam Holton
27 days ago

To be honest, the song was perfect for Ryan. Deserved qualifier. Would love for us to send something like this again.

NickC
NickC
29 days ago

I know I am in the minority, but for me both “Together” and “Dying to Try” were very good songs. I also think with a better staging, “Dying To Try” would have easily made it to the final. On the other hand, Together’s staging was out of this world. I am not only talking about the same-sex dancers, the whole package was touching, athmospheric and almost movie-like. Maybe the only thing missing from that package was the “high climax” most Eurovision songs have.

Tibor
Tibor
29 days ago

Some people seem to have problems acknowledging that there are different musical tastes, so if a song they don’t like does well, it has to be because of the staging and if a song they do like does poorly it absolutely has to be because of the staging. “Together” has always been a good song, a much better song than “Dying to try”, and it always had a decent chance of doing well – which it ultimately did. The staging alone wouldn’t have propelled an otherwise shitty song to sixth place in a fierce semi-final.

Last edited 29 days ago by Tibor
Colin
Colin
29 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

That’s ideally true, but someties stagings indeed do swaye voters one way or the other. Sure, even the most excellent of stagings wouldn’t cover-up for a bad song. *To me*. *To you*. To someone who has heard the song three, five or ten times before. To audiences who absorb it within three minutes, stuff that may seem trivial, like camera shots, costumes and lighting, can make it or break it. Speaking of the same semi from which Ireland qualified, it left several of the “popular” songs behind. The reasons vary, but for Greece, Belgium and North Macedonia, we can argue… Read more »

Tibor
Tibor
28 days ago
Reply to  Colin

There is absolutely no evidence that staging makes or breaks an entry. Ultimately people use this argument to explain away their own personal overhyping or premature trashing of certain songs, that is definitely my impression. “Together” not only qualified over those you mentioned, but also over fan favorites like “Bones” or the hopelessly overhyped “Monsters” (in retrospect, again, many people act as if Saara Aalto only did poorly because of the staging, which surprisingly didn’t seem to bother anyone at the time). Good staging may give a borderline qualifier a little nudge over the edge, but it will never ever… Read more »

Colin
Colin
28 days ago
Reply to  Tibor

Oh, I agree with you 100% on both the count of Together being good and Monsters being overhyped. 🙂

I only think that undecisive voters can sometimes be swayed with great visuals when first presented with a certain song. Especially if entries are close in quality. Of course, the main thing is always the song. This might not always be a deciding factor, but it certainly helps to transmit the wanted effect. 🙂

Last edited 28 days ago by Colin
Tibor
Tibor
28 days ago
Reply to  Colin

A good stage show is obviously not a hindrance to success. But if I read some of the comments here, I get the impression that some poeple see song quality as somehow fixed (it’s what they personally like or dislike) and therefore only relevant for the outcome if it matches their personal taste. In my opinion, that is a completely bonkers way to look at things, and that’s what I’m arguing against. Let me put it this way: There have been some songs I personally liked that did poorly and some that I really detest that did well. I would… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by Tibor
RavensHeart
RavensHeart
29 days ago

Both songs were bad, it was the same sex dancers that got Ireland to the final in 2018, not the song itself.

James
James
29 days ago
Reply to  RavensHeart

Not exactly. What got “Together” and “Only Love Survives” qualified is that they were both songs about love, was performed by a “Ryan”, and both performances shared the same dancer.

Boom, magic formula! 🙂

Jonas
Jonas
29 days ago

To be fair to Louis, he does have a stronger Eurovision connection than this – being both Johnny Logan and Linda Martin’s manager when they won. Okay, so that was decades ago, but still…

Whisker
Whisker
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

¨*Decades ago* says it ALL! LOL! Sorry, that sounds TOO FUNNY!

JDS
JDS
25 days ago
Reply to  Whisker

I have to agree. Just because Louis Walsh might know what it took to win Eurovision in 1992 does not mean he has a clue about how to win Eurovision 2021. RTÉ still just seems to send acts linked to him though.

Joe
Joe
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Linda Martin did a nice interview with Deban back in the day and she was really trying to make Brendan’s eventual turkey of an entry sound like Ireland’s return to form…I don’t know if even she was buying it. (Side note: Linda Martin might be the original example of playing the long game to get on top, years before Claudia Faniello, Samanta Tina, Sanna Nielsen and the like. She competed with a group three times, then she made it solo, then she competed mostly solo four more times, then she got “Why Me?” and there you go. Between that, she… Read more »

Jofty
Jofty
29 days ago
Reply to  Joe

From memory Linda competed with Chips four times – who were managed by Louis Walsh. She told me We Can Fly was her favourite of the four.

Last edited 29 days ago by Jofty
Jonas
Jonas
29 days ago
Reply to  Joe

Everywhere might be right…do you know the songs she recorded by fellow Eurovision winners Shay Healy and Brendan Graham? Shay’s “Edge of the Universe” is from 1983 and might even be Ireland’s “lost” entry from that year. Brendan’s “If I Should Ever Lose Your Love” from 1988 is also Eurovision-worthy. They’re on YouTube.

Joe
Joe
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Shame the strike action kept Ireland from competing in 1983, but “Terminal 3” was a great comeback and we might’ve been denied it otherwise! I’m pretty sure I’ve heard them all at least once. Several of her post-“Terminal 3” pre-“Why Me?” entries are great, but in a way, I’m grateful none of them made it since the eventual payoff was worth the wait (at least for the result – I’ll admit, it’s not my favorite Irish winner, but I still like it fine). It also all connects: When Linda first competed, she finished second to Sweden, and she went to… Read more »

Joe
Joe
29 days ago
Reply to  Joe

Another interesting connector: all three Johnny Logan winners competed the same year as German Siegel/Meinunger compositions. Two out of three finished runner-up to Ireland. Wind were there twice, but they weren’t anywhere near winning in ’92.

Jonas
Jonas
29 days ago
Reply to  Joe

All that connection with Sweden just makes Petra’s 2013 “joke” seem even meaner…

JDS
JDS
24 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

I’m not a huge fan of Linda Martin, but that joke from Petra in 2013 was way too mean.

JDS
JDS
24 days ago
Reply to  Joe

And also, has she won the 1982 Irish National Selection with Chips, it would have been the first time there would have been two bands with the same name at a Eurovision, as Sweden’s band was also named Chips.

Joe
Joe
29 days ago

What a relief. This song was meant for Ryan.

Héctor
Héctor
29 days ago

I mean, I didn’t like it at all either tbh. Brendan wouldn’t have qualified with it. The staging help it massively. Call it positive discrimination or awareness, whatever makes you feel better.

Ashton
Ashton
29 days ago
Reply to  Héctor

Or maybe, idk, a genuinely good song? (Which is what it was and is, btw)

Jonas
Jonas
29 days ago
Reply to  Héctor

A moving love story, perfectly illustrated?

Whisker
Whisker
29 days ago
Reply to  Héctor

Positive discrimination? The song was great and the staging was a dream. I had goosebumps all over.

Joe
Joe
29 days ago
Reply to  Whisker

I was maybe the only person who wasn’t surprised at all when Ireland qualified in 2018. Best Irish entry in years.

Azaad
Azaad
29 days ago

Even though it was written for him, I can’t imagine Brendan singing Together.

sam
sam
29 days ago
Reply to  Azaad

i was thinking the exact opposite… i think it would sound better

Azaad
Azaad
29 days ago
Reply to  sam

I think Ryan having to dip in out of the falsetto added to the vulnerability of the song, whereas Brendan singing it all in the same countertenor register would’ve sounded more juvenile and akin to Bishara in MelFest, in my opinion. But in general, I think Ryan is just a better artist.

Darren
Darren
29 days ago

Goes to show that Louis shouldn’t be in charge of anything these days.
However, let’s also not kid ourselves here by saying the particular staging of “Together” helped it immensely.

Don’t think Brendan would have had that staging and if he had of sang “together” then he probably still wouldn’t have qualified.

I’m also doubtful Ryan would have qualified of it wasn’t for the staging too.
But I did like the song and of course being Irish I was happy with the 16th place in the final.

Jonas
Jonas
29 days ago
Reply to  Darren

Staging is important for everyone, though…would Eleni have qualified if she’d been sitting on a stool?

Azaad
Azaad
29 days ago
Reply to  Jonas

Probably lol, although I assume Netta or Mikolas might’ve won the first semi televote

Alex
Alex
29 days ago
Reply to  Darren

Ryan got more than 100 points in televote in that tough semifinal. (same with Austria). It wasn’t just staging. Sometimes locals like something that fans/media didn’t.

Last edited 29 days ago by Alex
Whisker
Whisker
29 days ago

Thank you Ryan O’Shaughnessy for writing one of my favourite entries ever in Eurovision! I rooted for you at the first note.

Una
Una
29 days ago

How shocking. I was convinced that Ryan had written “Together” for himself. Having said that, I liked both “Dying to try” and “Together”. I was disappointed when Brendam did not go through (the staging was atrocious, sorry Ireland) and extatic when Ryan did (I loved *everything* about that entry). Ireland 2018 was the last qualifier announced that semi, right?

ESC8
ESC8
29 days ago
Reply to  Una

There’ actually a hilarious video of an Irish man thinking that his country missed the final, and then they announce Irelans as the 10th finalist and he goes nuts. I’ll search it and if it’s allowed to upload it here (the link) you will watch it yourself.

ESC8
ESC8
29 days ago
Reply to  ESC8
Sven
Sven
29 days ago
Reply to  ESC8

oh god this is hilarious 😀

Una
Una
29 days ago
Reply to  ESC8

Thank you. That was fun!

ESC8
ESC8
28 days ago
Reply to  Una

Glad that you liked it!

Colin
Colin
29 days ago
Reply to  Una

I agree that both Together and Dying to Try are good songs. Both should have qualified, even if Louis Walsh made poor Brendan’s staging cheesy. What’s most ironic is that he was the one criticizing other countries for qualifying via good stagings and not best songs. He said that Ireland won’t have a bombastic staging, only a good song. And then – the frickin balloon! I don’t know if he knew how silly his statement was.

Una
Una
29 days ago
Reply to  Colin

You’re so kind, Colin. You always make the nicest choice of words – Sabrina and Skiwalko too that I can remember.
I am always curious to know who’s in charge of the staging. As per some previous videos/articles – and info from Jan Bors’ videos on Humans of Eurovision – some HoD do multiple tasks. Other delegations have separate people for that. Broadcasters/delegations are so different. So interesting, so exciting!! What will 2021 bring!!

Colin
Colin
29 days ago
Reply to  Una

Thanks, Una! You are really nice. 🙂