Born in Dublin and raised in Kilkenny, Ronan Tynan has sung for thousands around the world, will be performing at the Cape Cod Melody this Friday night and at the South Shore Music Circus on Saturday evening.
A long-time New York City resident who was known for his singing of “God Bless America” at Yankee Stadium, Tynan recently moved to Boston.
After studying medicine at Trinity College in Dublin, Tynan decided to pursue singing and joined The Irish Tenors, a singing trio, in the 1990s. In 2006, he left the group to focus on his solo career.
Q. Where does your love for music come from?
A. Well, most of my family was tone deaf, except my dad—he sang beautifully—and my sister. Music and singing has always been a part of my life since I was young.
Q. How did you transition from physician to music artist?
A. Well, it’s not unusual for those who work in the field of medicine to have an interest in singing. There are healing aspects in both singing and medicine. In medicine, you heal people with your mind and through scientific examinations. While signing, you give your audience a chance for nostalgic reflection and to think about their own private thoughts, which often gives people a sense of healing.
Q. You have become an international singer despite a serious lower limb disability. What kept you motivated?
A. I was blessed to have extraordinary parents who never looked at it as obstacle. They told me only to do my very best. Some people are intrigued that I’ve put so much into my life, but my parents always believed in me and encouraged me. That gave me a strong foundation.
Q. How does Boston compare to New York City?
A. Boston is beautiful. New York City and Boston are two very different things. New York is a city of ten million people, while Boston is a lot smaller of a community. Boston is very accessible, and I’ve found that the people here are very friendly.
Q. So do you root for the Red Sox or Yankees?
A. What do you think? I live in Boston. I sang at the Sox game on the 4th of July. They lost, but that happens.
Q. Any important lessons you’ve learned during your singing career?
A. You can’t drink. You can’t drink a thing, that’s for sure. Also, your voice is a muscle, and you need to give it the opportunity to rest and walk, not just run.
Q. Do you have a routine you do before you perform?
A. All singers have a warm up routine, a technique, that they find and stand by.
Q. So what’s yours?
A. That would be telling you, wouldn’t it? I keep mine a secret.
Q. What are your favorite music genres?
A. Oh, I like a lot of different things. I have an eclectic taste in music. I like Mario Lanza and the Swedish singer Jussi Björling. I also like U2, Phil Collins, and Metallica. I love country music as well. I’ve sang with a number of country artists—Toby Keith, The Gatling Brothers, and Wynona Judd.
Q. You have performed at several presidential events. What was it like to perform for the president of the United States?
A. It was a great honor for me to sing for the president of the country whether he was Democrat or Republican. I’ve sung for Bush Sr. [referring to George H.W. Bush] and Bill Clinton. I sang at George W. Bush’s second inauguration and Ronald Reagan’s funeral. Singing at that funeral was a very powerful and very honoring experience for me. When singing for the president, you have to have your wits about you.
Q. Do you have a favorite song to sing?
A. I don’t really have a favorite. I suppose if I did, the other songs I sing wouldn’t get fair treatment.
Q. What’s in your future?
A. I just hope to God I stay healthy. I don’t tend to look to the future. I like to live in the present.