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Malta Mourns: Legendary Lyricist Raymond Mahoney's Passing Leaves a Melodic Void

Remembering Ray Mahoney: Malta's Melodic Wordsmith and Poetic Visionary

On the evening of Tuesday, 25th July, news of the passing of one of Malta's most prolific lyricists began to circulate on social media. This artist, whose career spanned over 60 years, was well-known for his melodic and nostalgic writing style, touching the hearts of many with his intimate poetry. Born on 1st June 1949 in San Ġiljan, Ray Mahoney was a founding member of the Moviment Qawmien Letterarju and started his journey in poetry back in 1963.

Throughout his illustrious career, Mahoney's literary works appeared in various books and anthologies, showcasing a modernised romanticism. Notably, at the age of 19, he co-authored the book "Antenni," and subsequently penned several other books, including "Dawl fil-Persjani," "Għoxrin Rebbiegħa," "il-Muża Maltija," "Linji Ġodda," "Orizzonte Senza Fine," "Cross Winds" (published in England), "il-Poeżija Maltija," "Turġien," "Ħodon Qronfol," "Il-Miġra," "Ward mal-Mogħdija," "Qawsalla," "Disgħa Għal Disgħa," "Mwieġ," and others.

Apart from his poetry, Ray Mahoney also ventured into writing novels and plays, many of which were brought to life on stage by Politeatru. One of his most remarkable achievements was providing the lyrics for the famous rock opera "Ġensna" in 1982. Set to music by Paul Abela, this rock opera held a significant place in Malta's history, taking audiences on a powerful and emotional journey through the island's past.

Following the success of "Ġensna," Mahoney continued to write lyrics for ten more musicals, each showcasing his talent for storytelling and poetic expression. These musicals include "Bastilja" (1989), "Ulied in-Nanna Venut fl-Amerika" (1991), "Il-Gwerra ta’ Spiru Cefai" (1992), "Ali Baba" (1994), "Żeża tal-Flagship" (1996), "It-Tfalja tal-Palazz" (1997), "It-Tieġ ta’ Karmena Abdilla" (1999), "Rita (ta’ Cascia)" (2000), "Manuel! Manuel! Il-Bandiera tal-Maltin" (2000), and "Jien Ġużeppi" (2006).

Throughout his remarkable career, Mahoney penned numerous songs, some of which gained international recognition. Notably, his lyrics for the songs "Could it Be," performed by Paul Giordimaina and Georgina Abela, and "Little Child," sung by Mary Spiteri, achieved sixth and third place, respectively, in the Eurovision Song Festival in 1991 and 1992. Another notable song he contributed lyrics to was "Here Comes My Lover," performed by Karen Polidano.

Beyond his accomplishments as a lyricist, Ray Mahoney was a prominent news broadcaster on television and hosted various radio programs, including the notable "Intaqgħu Hemm." He also lent his voice to reading novels and romances on One Radio for an extended period, in addition to making other valuable contributions to the station.

For his outstanding contributions to the arts, in 1979, Raymond Mahoney received the Best Author Award at the Malta Music Awards. He was also honoured with the Diploma of Associazione Dio Pan Culturale di Firenze, further acknowledging his significant impact on Maltese culture and literature. extends heartfelt condolences to Ray Mahoney's family and friends.

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