Song and Dance

This page could go on forever. It’s still under construction, so it may well do …

Cathel's book of ballads, 1850-1976, collected by Sean Ó Gillín

Cathal’s book of ballads, 1850-1976, collected by Sean P Ó Cillín

The songs and dancing of the Irish are loved around the world. Many of us have heard or played lovely tunes from long ago, some indeed that sprang from the west coast and County Clare.

Lucky Clan members who participated in the 1995 reunion at Ballyvaughan will recall how one evening, singers in high spirits and full voice were hushed in awe as Cathal OLoghlen (1920-2002) rose from his corner stool to give a stirring rendition of The West’s Awake. [Your Hon. Webmaster was privileged to be his accompanist on the long-suffering bar piano. For more on this story, see blog post The west’s awake >]

If your mind leaps directly to Danny Boy, you might like to see an article on this song here>

Reference has already been made to the importance in Clan culture and history of both the Burren landscape and the adjoining Atlantic waters. Boats feature in many songs and tales.
O'Lochlainn's BoatBless the Boat. To commemorate this empathy with the sea, to remind us of the long voyages of emigrants and visitors over the years, and for the enjoyment of all at reunions, John OLoughlin (USA) has written a fine song called Bless the Boat (see full-size>).

It is based on the poem by Poet Mac Cruitin (see The Clan page>) and set to music by John in 2010.

The Clare County Library

Tom Lenihan and Martin Reidy.

Tom Lenihan and Martin Reidy.

The County Clare library has many fine pages, including one devoted to Music.

The Library has also published a fine e-resource describing early singers of the area, with links to many recordings. Not many Clan names are mentioned in this database but an earlier Library post drew attention to Peadar O’Loughlin (1929 -):

Peadar O’Loughlin is an Irish flute, fiddle, and uilleann pipes player from Kilmaley County Clare, Ireland who has been an institution in Irish music since the late 1940s and is best known for having played on the highly influential 1959 LP “All-Ireland Champions – Violin” (with Paddy Canny, P. J. Hayes, and Bridie Lafferty), which was one of the first LPs of Irish traditional music.

He has also performed in the Tulla Céilí Band and Kilfenora Céilí Band and recorded duet albums with uilleann piper, Ronan Browne and fiddler, Maeve Donnelly. His unique flute style earned him All-Ireland champion titles in 1956 and 1957. It is characterized by strong rhythmic flow with sparse ornamentation, occasionally punctuated by unusually long silences which emphasize the rhythmic structure of the tunes”.

Clare Library Blog, posted on the 21st of July 2012 by @liammckeogh.

See other musicians in the Publications area.

Another good site: Irish Traditional Music Archive here>

4 Responses to Song and Dance

  1. Pingback: The West’s Awake | Clan Ólochlainn

  2. edwardologhlen says:

    Those who wish to locate a comprehensive traditional music resource need look no further than
    Vallely, Fintan – The Companion to Irish Traditional Music, Cork University Press, 2011


  3. John OLoughlin says:

    After the 1995 Clan Rally I and Trish O’L visited Peadar O’L, the great musician in his home. He gave me a fiddle lesson. the rally was a beginning for me in many ways.


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