Lecture 12th March 2018

Posted on Posted in Lectures Current Series

“Sagart gan iomrádh”: Rev. Fr. Daniel J. Murphy (1858-1935) and sean-nós song in Pennsylvania

Rev Daniel J Murphy - collection of sean-nós song manuscripts created in PennsylvaniaThis lecture by Dr Deirdre Ní Chonghaile introduces Rev. Fr. Daniel J. Murphy (1858-1935) from the Ox Mountains – Sligo’s last Gaeltacht – a man who spent most of his life working as a music scholar and collector in Philadelphia and in the surrounding coal-mining towns of rural Pennsylvania. Rev. Murphy’s efforts to document sean-nós song, folklore, and folktales were preceded by those of his friend and fellow exile, J.J. Lyons of Glenamaddy, Co. Galway. Together, over 51 years from around 1884 to 1935, they created the largest extant independently-produced collection of Irish-language song. Numbering over 1,200 songs, it is a rare achievement that echoes the later efforts of Sam Henry to preserve the English-language song of Ireland. The Philadelphia collection is, however, more significant because of the atypical context from which it emerged: an industrial East Coast metropolis. What Chief Francis O’Neill and Sgt. James O’Neill did for instrumental music in Chicago, Lyons and Murphy did for sean-nós song in Philadelphia.

This lecture considers the background of these two collectors, their motives and methodologies, what they did with the songs they transcribed, and what became of their collection. The collection demonstrates forcibly the significance of songs and singing to Gaelic-speakers who emigrated to America in the Famine and post-Famine period. It raises questions about the lives of the thousands of Irish people in Pennsylvania; the use of Irish among the fin-de-siècle diaspora; the collecting and publishing of contemporary sean-nós song; and the future scholarly potential of the collection, in particular for historians, folklorists, and song scholars.

Harbour Hotel, Galway 8pm Monday 12th March 2018
All are welcome to attend. Admission Free.

Click here to listen to a radio interview with Dr Deirdre Ní Chonghaile

 

“Sagart gan iomrádh”: An tAthair Domhnall Ó Morchadha (1858-1935) agus amhráin ar an sean-nós in Pennsylvania

Leacht le Dr Deirdre Ní Chonghaile – B’as Gaeltacht dheireanach Shligigh, íochtar Shliabh Gamh, don Athair Domhnall Ó Morchadha (1858-1935), fear a chaith an chuid is mó dá shaol in Philadelphia ag gníomhú mar bhailitheoir agus scoláire amhrán. Ag saothrú sa chathair úd agus i mbailte mianadóireachta in iargúl Phennsylvania, tháinig sé i gcomharbacht ar Ghaillimheach, Seán Ó Laighin. Idir 1884 agus 1935, chruthaigh siad an bailiúchán neamhspleách is toirtiúla d’amhráin Gaeilge – c.1,200 acu – dá maireann, bailiúchán atá suntasach mar gheall ar an gcomhthéacs neamhghnách inar cruthaíodh é: lár-ionad uirbeach iltíreach tionsclaithe ar Chósta Thoir Mheiriceá. Mar a ghníomhaigh na Néilligh i Chicago ar son an cheoil uirlise, rinne Ó Morchadha agus Ó Laighean amhlaidh d’amhráin Gaeilge Philadelphia.

Pléifear cúlra na mbailitheoirí, céard a spreag iad chun bailiú, an modh oibre a bhí acu, agus céard a rinne siad leis na hamhráin a bhailigh siad. Léireofar chomh tábhachtach is a bhí amhráin Gaeilge d’imirceoirí a thug leo go Meiriceá a gcleachtas amhránaíochta. Pléifear freisin saol na nGael i bPennsylvania, stát a mheall na mílte imirceach as Éirinn; úsáid na Gaeilge in Oileán Úr an fin-de-siècle; bailiú agus foilsiú na n-amhrán Gaeilge sa ré céanna; agus an leas gur féidir le scoláirí an lae inniu a bhaint as bailiúchán mórthaibhseach mar é.

Beathaisnéis

Is Comhalta Ollscoil na hÉireann um an Léann Éireannach/Ceilteach in Institiúid de Móra in OÉ Gaillimh í Deirdre Ní Chonghaile (BA Oxon, MA Oxon, PhD). Roimhe seo, ba Comhalta NEH Mhic Eochaidh í in Ollscoil Notre Dame, Comhalta Alan Lomax sa Library of Congress, agus Comhalta Iardhochtúireachta de chuid Comhairle Taighde na hÉireann ag OÉ Gaillimh, áit dár shaothraigh sí le gairid le Tionscnamh na gCultúr Digiteach. Faoi láthair tá sí ag réiteach leabhair ar bhailiú an cheoil in Éirinn. Freisin, tá sí i mbun taighde ar bhailiúchán amhrán a tháinig chun solais le deireanas, Bailiúchán an Ath. Uí Mhorchadha, arbh ionann é agus an bailiúchán is mó de lámhscríbhinní ar marthain arna chruthú ag bailitheoirí neamhspleácha d’amhráin na hÉireann.