On Raglan Road - Ye Vagabonds

Óró Sé Do Bheatha Abhaile - Nell Ní Chróinín

Down By The Glenside - Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh

This song detective heads to our capital city of Dublin on the trail of three big Irish ballads this week.

We start with 'Down By The Glenside', a song that I have always found extremely moving, and it's fascinating to discover the story of Peadar Kearney, the man who composed our national anthem, who was a painter and a fiddler, attending a traditional music session in Castleconnell in County Limerick, and picking up the melody of an older song called 'If All The Young Ladies Were Blackbirds and Thrushes'. Peadar slowed down that melody and inspired by the Fenian rising of 1867 he composed this beautiful song 'Down by The Glenside'. How lovely to accompany Muireann's rich, beautiful voice in this episode. 

The 'Óró Sé Do Bheatha Abhaile' we all know and love is a re-writing by Pádraig Mac Piarais of an older Jacobite song of rebellion called 'Séarlas Óg', and there was also a version called in English 'Hauling Home' to welcome the bride to her new home after her marriage. Nell Ní Chróinín from Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh gives us a truly musical, melodious and hearty rendition here on 'Na Bailéid'.

'On Raglan Road' is one of the most beloved ballads of all time, and I'm really pleased that we have got a new approach to it here with Ye Vagabonds. It's great work to follow Kavanagh's trail along that iconic Dublin road. "And he was singing in his own peculiar manner, and I was singing in my own peculiar manner" tells Luke Kelly.  

Lillis Ó Laoire, Sorcha Nic Lochlainn, Des Geraghty, Micheál Ó Súilleabháin and Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin are some of the big scholars of Irish song we visit tonight in search of the truth behind the songs. Bí linn a cháirde ar Na Bailéid!

Song Detective Spillane over and out - Bleachtaire Amhrán amach is amach!

Published on 20th October 2016

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