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GUEST,Len Wallace What would you play for Irish Studies? (40) RE: What would you play for Irish Studies? 08 Feb 04


Perhaps one of the songs I'd like to choose would be "Raglan Road" because of what can be described as its "mystical" (if you will) sensibilities that often appears in Irish songs of love. The poet who wrote it (Patrick Kavanaugh . . . Geez if I cannot remember at the moment) well respected.

I would also do a song of rebellion. Face it, politics (whether you like it or not, support it or not) plays a major role in Irish song. And some of those tunes have a long history, rewritten for different historical events (Roddy McCorley rewitten later as Sean South of Garryowen).

"Spancil Hill" for the sheer sentimentality it typifies of many songs.

And typically, any song that mentions whiskey or highwaymen. "Brennan on the Moor" perhaps in conjunction with Irish/Australian "Wild Colonial Boy" (both based on true stories). The highwayman being one in rebellion to rich authority, exposing the conditions of life, taking the alternative to being a poor farmer. And whiskey, the use of it as an escape from the conditions of poor life, as the socializer for community in a time when any other socializing was considered an act of rebellion.

Then there are the many songs of emigration and the famine.

My choice of songs would try and cover these areas:
1) famine
2) exile or emigration
3) whiskey
4) highwaymen, conditions of life
5) songs of sentiment, love

Len Wallace

Len Wallace


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