The Joe Heaney Archives

Palm Sunday, 14th April 2019
Part of a Caoineadh in the Conamara Tradition

This latest release to celebrate the centerary of Joe Heaney’s birth is actually an existing item in the Cartlanna that’s been significantly expanded with new material.

When Esther Warkov asked Joe in a recorded interview in 1978 which songs he thought he sung best, he was adamant that these were the caointe — the laments. Not surprisingly, he named Amhrán na Páise (traditionally only sung during Holy Week) and Caoineadh na dTrí Muire (traditionally sung on Good Friday and on each Friday during Lent) in this category.

Given the historical cultural importance of caointeoireacht to Easter observances — on Good Friday in particular — it is fitting that this item, featuring Joe singing a very different and less well known lament, should be chosen for the Holy Week release.

Joe Heaney’s centeneɼy

Joe Heaney was born on the 15th of October 1919. To celebrate his hundredth anniversery, the Cartlanna have drawn up a schedule to publish new items of previously unreleased archive material throughout the year.

Out of respect for native traditions, it seemed appropriate to time these releases to co-incide with dates of significance to the communities of Iorras Aithneach, the district in the west of County Galway where Joe was born and reared, and of Conamara generally. The dates chosen are Saint Patrick’s Day, Good Friday (19th April), Saint John’s Day (24th June), Mac Dara’s Day (16th July), Saint Ciarán’s Day (9th September) and Saint Caillín’s Day (23rd November). It’s so that some of the new releases have textual associations that actually lend themselves to these particular dates. There might also be the odd bonus release on other dates and there will of course be a major release on the anniversary of Joe’s birthday.

We’re delighted to announce that a lot of this new material is in the form of video, a medium which has been under-represented in the Cartlanna until now.

Keep an eye on this page for updates.

Míċeál Ó Loċlainn
Seachtain na Gaeilge 2019

Joe Éinniú, an t-amhráiní sean-nóis as Carna, Contae na Gaillimhe, Éire.

Joe Heaney (known in Irish as Seosamh Ó hÉanaí and, in his native district particularly, Joe Éinniú) was one of the twentieth century’s greatest proponents of the sean-nós singing tradition, and was famed both nationally and internationally. These Archives give us a taste of his singing, storytelling and folklore — in Irish and English — along with background information on each recording.

The Archives are also a celebration of Joe’s life and work. Most of the audio and video recordings on these pages were made by his own friends and students.

Cartlanna Sheosaimh Uí Éanaí are a joint project of National University of Irelend, Galway (Department of IrishAcadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge) and University of Washington.

Cuardaigh leat — agus bain taithneamh as a n‑aimsíonn tú!