Singing (1)

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  • Teideal (Title): Singing (1).
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 781501.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • 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): singing style.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Fredric Lieberman, Cynthia Thiessen, Esther Warkov.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 24/02/1978.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): interview.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.


Esther Warkov asks Joe which songs he thinks he does best. He says these would be laments, and he names Caoineadh na dTrí Muire, Anach Cuain, Éamonn an Chnoic, Amhrán na Páise, Úna Bhán. Esther asks if these are eulogies; Joe says no – what happened, how tragedy happened, why, when, the sorrow and crying and mourning, what these people were doing before it happened, what they were going to do, and so on.


Esther asks if the ornamentation is learned along with the song itself, or do you learn the song ‘straight’ first. Joe says you ‘learn the song first, and then develop your own style.’ Ornamentation helps the singer hold onto the line longer – linger on the emotional peaks. Singing with feeling.

Other topics

Other topics discussed include accompaniment; stylistic influences; recent changes in Irish music and song – ‘popularizing’ the tradition.