Mudcat Café message #62484 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9466   Message #62484
Posted By: Bruce O.
11-Mar-99 - 05:24 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
Subject: RE: Is Green Sleeves really Irish?
[Subject Uillean]
At an exhibit at the Irish Harp Festival in Belfast in 1903, James Williamson 'played magnificently on the Irish pipes'. Also at the festival was an exibit of a 'set of Irish Union pipes'. I don't know where Wm. Grattan Flood first published his theroy that 'union' was a corruption of 'uillean', 'History of Irish Music', 1905, or 'The Story of the Bagpipe', 1911. most probably, but he also wrote numerous artciles.
Francis O'Neill, 'Irish Minstrels and Musicians', 1913, p. 42, refers to Uillean pipes and Grattan Flood, but doesn't give us a reference to Flood's 'Uillean'derivation. O'Neill discounts the story of 'woollen bagpipes' mentioned by Shakespeare, which were suggested to be 'Uillean pipes' (by Grattan Flood?), because Shakespere's 'woollen bagpipes' was a misprint for 'swollen bagpipes'.
O'Neill's chapter 19 is entitled 'Famous Performers on the Irish or Union Pipes'. Where Irish pipes are mentioned in chapter 16, 'Famous Bagpipe Makers', they are called Union pipes. It would appear that O'Neill was skeptical about 'Uillean', but didn't want to offend Flood.
So much was wrong in Grattan Flood's works that modern Irish music schollars rarely mention him at all. Too much of his history was bogus. Great strides have been made since Flood's time by completely ignoring Flood and starting over by finding real evidence.