Derek, the eldest of four children was born in Inchicore, in Dublin in 1943. He was educated at Synge Street C.B.S. and was apprenticed as a tailor, only to find the lure of a musical career irresistible.
This calling came as no surprise since music, song and entertainment was very much part of Derek’s childhood experiences. His father and mother both played piano and his father also played mandolin. Their musical tastes were wide-ranging and included a love of opera, classical music, all forms of dance and musicals. Derek’s mother taught him songs which he sang at every opportunity, and he made his first stage appearance at the Queen’s Theatre in Dublin at the age of six.
His great love and appreciation of all things musical was also influenced and nurtured by his grandparents.
From he was knee-high to a grasshopper, his mother’s parents Paddy and Anne Byrne Cunningham passed on songs and ballads. He has since recorded them and they’re still very much part of the Warfield repertoire.
His father’s mother, Catherine McDonough Warfield, gave him a mandolin, and he got lessons on the instrument from his father. All of Derek’s grandparents shared a common Irish patriotic spirit that he eagerly sought to be part of and understand.
So it was from this background that Derek was gifted a passion and respect for Irish music and song. And he’s brought that with him through the years, and now hopes to pass it on anew through his work with his band, the Young Wolfe Tones.