The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #30303   Message #388617
Posted By: radriano
02-Feb-01 - 04:36 PM
Thread Name: I'm not anti Irish.. honest
Subject: RE: I'm not anti Irish.. honest
I've often wondered about this myself, John. A lot of good points have already been made by others in this thread but I wonder if some of the publishers aren't being very careful about what they're doing sometimes.

However, there has been much interplay between Scotland, England, and Ireland - sometimes distictions are blurred with regard to songs and their origins. The popularity of an English or Scottish (or American) song in Ireland doesn't take away from its validity. It is true that the Irish can often popularize a song from somewhere else but do it in a very Irish style. Then others hearing the song think it's Irish.

But sometimes I wonder if I'm missing the point of it all. I was attending a song workshop in 1984 at the Willie Clancy Festival. One of the guest singers, an Irishman, introduced his song as being English. He sang the song in a very Irish style - it was beautiful. Later one of the people taking the workshop complained that "he didn't come all this way to hear English songs." But the Irish song tradition has been influenced by English & Scottish songs, and vice versa. What then does someone mean when they say "Irish song"? Does true Irish song only refer to Sean Nos singing? Is a song really Irish if it's sung in English?

I'd much rather just enjoy the tradition of singing which is influenced by a lot of factors. Wouldn't we miss out on a lot of good songs if we imposed strict criteria on what songs should be sung where and by whom?

By the way, John, Fiddler's Green was written by John Conelly, an Englishman, yet it's almost become an Irish song by popularity.