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During the next story some people join us as I roved out with Jean-Michel one of the nation's outstanding folk artists is produced by Riverside radio WRVA are in New York City under a grant from the National Association of educational broadcasters. As I rolled out one of those. Gray November days that makes tea time so cozy there. Because they're on a boil as a I was in the town of Armani's a folklorist and knows all about Irish music and he guided us up there and we and he the father that he was as he said so think a man going to it. We rather a cold and damp in the street door led right into the kitchen in the heart of an our. Cottage and there was a cheerful warm fire in the. Fireplace the fire the lamps were lit and burning brightly and singing on the
hearth. Mrs. Macon was a handsome gentle grandmother. She was very looked very young to be a grandmother but she certainly had a lot of grandchildren milling around. She welcomed us with come and come in years welcome as the flowers in May. Just as she expected us. And then she said three more places around the table and one for George my husband one for me and one for Shannon Boyle and we said we'd come back after tea but she wouldn't hear about that. But she as she bustled about slicing bread and frying bacon she sang in a dozen tantalizing snatches of songs and among them was as I rolled out. We were so taken with the wielding melody that we begged her then and there to sing it. All of it. And she gave us these two verses which were all she knew. So I was only a fragment but a very charming fragment of the much longer song filmed throughout our land and British Isles. As the soldier in the made and USA it's called a trooper in the mayhem. But here is Sara making singing her version off as I rolled out.
You're older than the men Martin and I'm a Mormon right. Mad Men on board. The dying little the noodles the Highlander the Highlander and the. Bird flu and I get their star witness right there in our back yard and I think. She died again alone and I airing with her show on the day I landed the London Angela. That was
another bit of music from one of her sons. His name is Tommy. You may have heard of them in this country. One of the Brothers and Tommy. Son of Sarah at the time we finally got around to but them at the party there are another so that we were hard put to it to keep the record. Let's hear the cork hornpipe. That was Tommy Macomb in Ireland before he came to America playing the cork horn
pipe on the tin whistle and his own family. And the man who took us there Shawna Boyle I'd like to tell you a little more about him because he was a very nice and charming person. He's a teacher. I guess you would call that in this country you would call it right school or elementary school. Fairly older I guess about fifth or sixth grade probably the boys he taught and there in that school he wears in most schools an hour when they were these long flowing black robes and looked rather like priests except they don't wear anything on their heads. And Sean is a very active person so he was always out playing basketball or running across the meadows and jumping over the fences with this long girl milling out behind him all in tatters around the bottom and torn and frayed and he said I would never change and would be the point in it you know. This time I were threadbare and fell off their backs. He was lived in the town of our ma he had a very lovely very vocal
live young and vigorous and they had seven children also very young and vigorous. We were almost inundated in the cottage where we came in by flying feet and so on. Occasionally we would have a quiet tea time when the children were out playing or something and Sean and his wife would talk and tell us about the Irish folk music and I knew that Shaun said his father his father used to sing but not louder not very spirited but he said his father used to croon. Inside of under his breath as he walked around the house and never considered himself a singer but Sean thought he was a fine singer. On the other hand Sean didn't consider himself a son but I finally managed to get him to imitate his father so he sang a beautiful song and a very lovely soft grating voice which must have been much like his father saying and this song is called the Greenwood laddie. I'll try to give you a verse of it year.
Oh. Yeah. Yeah. We. Do. Now there's still another singer I want you to hear before we leave Armando north.
It's a friend of Sean's friend a Shawna Boyles whose name is Dermot Berry and he teaches in the same school as Shawn does the song that he sang for me the only and again I only got him to sing one song because he didn't consider himself a good singer. He's called with kids for a ramble. This has become one of my favorite songs of all those gathered in our travels. It's lyrical and sentimental and yet and humorous and so beautifully Irish. Norman Berry who sang the song he's very shy and very handsome in the city of girls around that boy friend as I said before and are both scholars of the Gaelic language and they're interested in its preservation. They sang for us some lovely songs under great pressure they didn't think they were good singers as I said before and both in English and in Gaelic but they sang as the Gaelic ones mostly because they were interested in the Gaelic language then Dermot told us about the custom of singing. I
wish some singers mostly the old country folk who actually use the Gaelic as their household language will sort of wander back and forth between the two tongues in the middle of a verse or even in the middle of a sort of translating as they sing as the notion strikes them. Mrs. Cronan County Cork a year later was such a singer and some of the people in the Aran Islands were did this quite a bit there. Not to confuse us with following each verse and Gaelic with the translation in English. And here it is. They're met with. Oh no I can't sing. Knowing the
kid and where the birds nest in the you know home and some of the bars in there just for the song. And yeah so him no go wash far did he do. He
smiled and said. Oh I had by the store and the last of my whiskers on kem than to read yours are. Like the police so the mountain were dying. If I don't get fired. Last week you if you listened. And shame on you if you didn't may have heard Bill Westaway in England saying Wiggum fair. Now I'm going to play one song for you called Monica affair which we found. Being
sung and played on the you really impacts back McPeak and his brother in Belfast and Ireland. This is rather impish Irish song. It may or may not be a parody on Wickham fare I suspect it is because the Irish do like to take out the English you know. I first met Frank McPeak and his son Francis and the Royal Albert Hall in London of all places. We were appearing on the same folk music festival put on by the English country dance and song society. Afterwards we had a joint recording session in our apartment with Peter Kennedy at the BBC and we all recorded and played and sang and sang each other songs. And we all sang far into the night. Frank has been publicly performing his own airs for over 40 years and he says that public interest comes. This is very interesting to me I often wonder people ask you what is this with the with the
upsurge of music your music revival. And I always tell me what comes every 20 years to do anything about it. He said it gradually building up as the years pass and then they also up and up and up and rages like a fever. Another 20 when another 20 year peak is reached. Frank is a very creative musician and modern songs with equal zest sometimes adapting them to suit his own vocal and instrumental range. We didn't find anywhere else in Ireland I don't know whether he wrote it or whether But he says it's an old song. I haven't seen it either in any printed collection. There are hundreds of songs about local fairs However in every part of the British Isles and in Ireland like that from my Irish friends. Now this is one of them and as I say I suspect that it pokes fun at the English Widdecombe fair song. Let's hear Frank with his moniker.
Well Richard when Molly shut your mouth. Oh boy. There are
not. Hard dop. Well not for Dot. Do you think was that a version of Woody. Taken off or was it a completely different song. I don't know that nobody
else seems to know either. Now I think south of the border really Arlen and Donahue. He was a pretty young schoolteacher but she was born and raised in kind of Mara. She just won the first prize in the national competition with her singing a beautiful beautiful song. I didn't when I first went to the British Isles collecting I didn't intend to collect Gaelic songs because we didn't have any Gaelic songs and the Ritchie family and I had gone presumably to collect versions of the Richard family songs but I was taken with the beauty of so many of the Gaelic songs legends war songs rowing songs that I decided I couldn't really pass them up. Well we persuaded that stage and met her and persuade her to sing for us later at our hotel and she brought her mother also who was visiting from Connemara and we won't hear the mother sing now although
she she did. But I'll tell you how she looked. She spoke no English at all and reminded me very much in looks of my gran in Kentucky and the way she dressed. Mara's more as Mother long red petticoats high shoes and white apron and smoked a pipe just like my own grandmother. Both mother and daughter gave us many rare and lovely songs and among them this lament for Maura tells the legend of Thomas Castillo and one on the tape. So you hear it and then she sings a settlement which Thomas is supposed to have sung for his dead love. It's about to pummel us. Braun McChrystal and rule Iran accused him of the Hamas cost low and on McDermott. The public also loved it when a War on Want to MCDERMOTT But her father used to agree to the marriage. So when I was brokenhearted so bad that you had to take to the bed. And come out heard of this and came to visit
her. So where he sat by her bedside her arse and fell asleep and she slept so long that he thought he didn't want to talk to him and he left. He left in a temper and he said that he wouldn't return unless he got a message before he crossed the river. He went and when he came to the river he hadn't got any message. So he stood there and then in the middle of the river on horseback of course for three hours. And at. Last he lost patience. Crofton just yet a message came from her own father asking him to come back. But of course yet he has probably been sent. He used to go up a hill died and of course her loss was broken hearted and at night for the
first month he used to come to her grave anybody night and day. During one of those visits he composed the son when alone. I. That was Mara Donahue in Dublin but from kind of Mara
singing you know one of the old Gaelic legends. Now I'd like you to hear sort of the opposite kind of voice. This is consequently in Kilkenny and I can best describe as a street singer's voice. Sort of like Jimmy that back in Scotland. I guess the voice of a man gets that light from much. Singing outdoors and at football games and fairs and the. Probably drink has something to do with it too. I wouldn't say that he drinks to excess but he did like his his mug on the recording him and at first we tried to find him. People sort of looked dubious and said You probably found him in the pub. We finally did and the funny thing about it was that we found him through the nuns in the convent. They knew where to find him and they went and found him for us or we
sent somebody to find him for us. I couldn't go out themselves and they arranged for him to record in the convent and they asked us to tea first and it was very formal. The sisters were delighted to have us there because as I said they never got to go out anywhere that was part of their vows and I do like a good fiddle tune as well as the next person and they are very gay the whole evening. Kelly is known for his fiddle playing and he gave us many good airs that night. But towards the end of his performance we asked him if he could sing and he insisted that he hadn't the voice for it. Most people in Ireland begin that way but usually they do sing. So he did and he sang just one so we can have the words. And his one song Carrie recruit I consider it a very choice song in Irish street song sung in a real street singing style. Stop playing with me. And.
Say to me that I die. Brought me to it. I went after. You messed with the tree I'll take with me. The DIE DIE DIE. During may give me or he sent me to headquarters to get a score nor quarters nor quark nor Carter said. And I mean like are you with me. Stirred up for me. Yeah I'm a
brain in the side door store where. When you know you guys are under the bars for the door you know we've been told to me by a guy. YOU'RE THE NEXT TO GIVE ME THE RED corps with three stops there are two powered up me through the next thing they're giving me I asked them was so they told me he had for me has with me that I make there and tries to do this on board the big ship bound for the Kramer. Please stick a cork board with and you sail through the waters with
me. When. Ireland is without doubt the most hospitable place on earth outside the Kentucky mountains that is. That's where I'm from of course. Kentucky is very very much like Ireland though I found everywhere I found folks just like folks at home welcoming the strangers. In this case not only with a sense of duty but with joy. We just had a knock on a door and mention music and suddenly the house was full of people and there was a lot to drink and eat and
dance and dance music was all over the place. This happened again and again in their travels around Ireland and here as their last song or bit of music for the day. I want you to meet the fiddler and hear his tunes. One who played Forest down County Cork cottage wonderful clearly fiddlers name is Johnny hare and he and his sister took turns making music for an evening long dance which is very much like our Kentucky sets except that in Ireland steps rather than runs a set. This is.
A way. To do this. I hope you'll join us again next week when we take another trip through the folklore and music of America and the British Isles. Many of the portions of this program were compiled from recordings made by Miss Ritchie and her husband.
She was on a Fulbright scholarship in the British Isles. Next week Ching Ritchie will base her program on the love songs of folk music the program was produced by his it or he directed by Stuart silver. As I roved out with Jean Ritchie has recorded a production of Riverside radio WRVO are in New York City just under a grant from the National Association of educational broadcasters.
As I roved out
Episode Number
Field Trip Ireland
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
Hosted by folksinger Jean Ritchie, As I Roved Out explores folk music of America and the British Isles and the people who make it.
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Host: Ritchie, Jean
Producer: Gouds, Moyra
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: WRVR (Radio station : New York, N.Y.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 64-4-8 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:30
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Chicago: “As I roved out; 8; Field Trip Ireland,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 19, 2024,
MLA: “As I roved out; 8; Field Trip Ireland.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 19, 2024. <>.
APA: As I roved out; 8; Field Trip Ireland. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from