Singing (7)

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  • Teideal (Title): Singing (7).
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 781516.
  • 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): unavailable.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 03/03/1978.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): lecture/demonstration.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Music Hall / ‘Stage-Irish’ songs

An audience member asks Joe about a song about Kathleen and Barney – ‘Twas the cold winter’s night and the wind it was howlin’. Joe thinks for a minute and then says, ‘There’s a difference between a music-hall song and an authentic song. How Can You Buy Killarney? What I try to do is stick to the authentic stuff that hasn’t been mesmerised yet. Some people may have taken a little bite out of it, but not enough to do any harm.’ Tells of being in Washington [DC] one time with Mike Seeger, and an old lady came up to him and wanted to give him a book full of all the great Irish songs – and the best one, she said, was ‘Did your mother come from Ireland.’ ‘You don’t like to say anything wrong,’ Joe observes, ‘especially if she’s an old lady – but it’s a terrible, terrible thing.’

Joe then tells an anecdote about being stuck in a lift for hours on end with two old women, and how they threatened him with their umbrellas.


This song was recorded while Joe was Artist in Residence at University of Washington.