The musician Christy Moore said Ireland could never have the equivalent of a folk revival because it never let its traditions lapse. And that's very true. The are probably other places in the world as deeply attached to their traditional music, but I don't know where they are.
That's not to say that everybody in Ireland listens to jigs, reels and old songs. Far from it. In fact mainstream Ireland is a lot like mainstream America, with a special fondness for treacly country and western. But the musicians who play "trad" are like an army of Alan Lomaxes, the ethnomusicologist who went in the field and scrupulously collected American roots music in the 30s and 40s, so that oral traditions did not disappear.
In Ireland the players tend to be like that, and rarely is a song played without some prior mention of its history and the manner in which it was passed along. So much more to come on this show with the great fiddler Martin Hayes.
What's your favorite Irish music? Comment below, email Colin@wnpr.org, or tweet @wnprcolin.
Songs we aired during this show:
- Goitse - "Erin on the Rhine"
- The Willis Clan - "Ship of the Line"
- Solas - "Lay Your Money Down" (feat. Rhiannon Giddens)
- Nuala Kennedy - "Paddy's Lamentation"
- Martin Hayes is one of the world’s most creative and accomplished fiddlers, hailing from County Clare, Ireland.
- Steve Dieterich is the producer & host of Celtic Airs for over 20 years at WWUH.