As I Roved Out (3)

Play recording: As I Roved Out (3)

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  • Teideal (Title): As I Roved Out (3).
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 86384.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 3479.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Fredric Lieberman.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 10/08/1978.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): New York City, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): cable arts party.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): Peter Bellamy, others unknown.
  • Athchóiriú digiteach (Digital restoration): Míċeál Ó Loċlainn.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.


By Míċeál Ó Loċlainn

Cable Arts Foundation Party

This item was taken from one of a series of videos made between July and September 1978 by Dr Frederic Leiberman in various locations, mostly in New York City. More specifically, it’s part of the same recording from which we took Caoineadh na dTrí Muire (Caoineadh na Páise) and The Bonny Bunch of Roses (2). The Boyle’s bar and Wesleyan University video recordings are also part of that series. The Boyle’s Bar filming was done about a fortnight before this item was filmed and the Wesleyan University event actually took place during the preceding weekend.

Documentation prepared at University of Washington for the Joe Heaney Collection — that is, the original collection of physical recordings as opposed to the Cartlanna — states that this recording was made at ‘CABLE ARTS PARTY’ on Thursday 10th August of that year. It doesn’t go into greater detail though, and there’s no indication as to what ‘cable arts’ actually was.

Fortunately, enquiries to Sean Williams, to whom sincere thanks, informed us that this was in fact the Cable Arts Foundation. This may actually have been run by Lieberman himself, although various online sources indicate that it was set up by one Russell Connor in 1973 for the purpose of getting arts programming onto cable television in the New York area. The foundation was funded (at least in part and in certain years, including 1975 and 1976) by the National Endowment for the Arts.

There’s little ambiguity about the word ‘party’ though! Regardless of the presence of a running camera, and the focus on discussing matters artistic, it’s clearly an informal gathering of people in a dwelling house, sitting around, chatting, singing a few songs, playing a few tunes and sustaining themselves with victuals appropriate to the occasion.

Joe’s comment at the end, that wasn’t too naughty, reflects the reason he sang this particular song in the first place. One of those present was the English folk singer Peter Bellamy (composer of The Transports) and during in the conversation, Bellamy pressed Joe to sing something raunchy.

While the amhrán gairsiúil does indeed have its place in the inventory of traditional Irish song, as does a line in what might be called ‘tasteful innuendo’ — see for example Connla and An Old Man Came Courting Me — Joe was, on this occasion, initially disinclined to provide an example of either. At length however, someone suggested As I Roved Out; albeit referring to it incorrectly as ‘Seventeen Sunday Morning’. This being more tasteful innuendo than raunch, when the suggestion was seconded Joe duly obliged.

As I Roved Out: further reading

A transcription of this song can be found in the entry As I Roved Out (1), along with notes on the song itself. This entry, like As I Roved Out (2), features an audio recording only.


Thanks to Ódí Ní Chéilleachair of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, who provided helpful advice during the research done for this entry.