The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #7890 Message #2888051
Posted By: GUEST,John Moulden
16-Apr-10 - 01:03 PM
Thread Name: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
Subject: RE: Sam Henry's Songs of the People
I should clarify- The Songs of the People series in the Northern Constitution weekly newspaper of Coleraine, Co London/Derry was initiated by Sam Henry in 1923 and continued until 1939. From a date in 1928 until a date in 1932 the series, numbers 247-463, was edited, not by Sam Henry but principally by two others, James Moore and William Devine, Moore for about 8 months and Devine for around three years, with occasional interventions by three others. These items have never been edited but I am in course of doing so with the aid of copies of James Moore's manuscript notebooks and biographical and other material he gave me before his death some twenty years ago. Care is need with the material presented by Devine because it is apparent that he copied a substantial amount form previously published sources - especially Father P Breathnach's 'Songs of the Gael'.
Such of the Sam Henry collected material as appeared in the newspaper together with unique material that was in the scrap-books presented by Henry to each of the Belfast Public Library, National Library of Ireland and Library of Congress, has been presented in its entirety in the University of Georgia Press 'Sam Henry's "Songs of the People"'.
Sam Henry did not cease collecting with the end of the series and his late daughter's family has preserved his books and papers, copies of which I have and used to augment aspects of my 1979 selection from the collection (Blackstaff Press, Belfast) and a recent article 'Clodhopper' in the latest issue of Béaloideas (2009) on the life and songs of Alexander Crawford one of Henry's informants. I am working on these too.
Some years ago, another collection of papers, newspaper proofs and unique typescripts, which had been sent by Henry to Francis Collinson of the School of Scottish Studies, was repatriated through my agency and that of the late Alan Bruford, then the School's archivist. It is now in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum near Belfast and I have copies of the unique material.
I have plans to work on and publish all of this with the help of Sam Henry's daughter's family with which I have a lengthy relationship.