Reading My Way Around the World

Thursday 21 May 2015

Songs from the Wireless

While Tom and I usually perform contemporary folk with a smattering of traditional and some of our own songs, we still do one or two songs that were featured in our Songbirds TV series several years ago - songs of Delia Murphy and her contemporaries.   I wrote about Delia here during the A to Z challenge a few years back - you might be interested to see where our folk music started in the popular sense.

Now every year in May we put together a special show of all of those old Irish songs for the Festival of Bealtaine.

This year we're heading down to Cork this weekend for a couple of gigs in libraries to tie in with it.

Bealtaine is the Irish word for May, but it is also one of the 4 Celtic seasons of the year - the 1st May is Bealtaine, the 1st of Summer.  And in the South of Ireland the government for many years have given funds for creativity for older people during the month of May and that is the Festival of Bealtaine.   So our programme of songs fits very well.

Each year we try to make it a bit different and this year the theme is Songs from The Wireless.  We're including songs from John McCormack and his contemporaries as well as all my fabulous women's songs - I'm working at learning "The Kerry Dances" at the minute, a very intricate song which dates back to the 1500s - Here's Count John McCormack singing it.  Now try and imagine it with guitar and a light contralto voice!!!!!  Me!!!

This is our last dip back into a full programme of these songs for a while to come.   Full steam ahead now to finish the new album.  But oh I will enjoy a wee jaunt down to Cork :)


  1. Good luck with the new material and have a good time away. :-)

  2. This is amazing! I have told you that I always learn from you, and I love learning (I guess I am not unique on that, and that's great - I love when everybody learns!) I loved to know about Bealtaine and the Kerry Dances! And that you are heading to Cork for gigs - I would love to be there for one, but as I said, I am studying abroad this year. Maybe next year? I would love! Wishing you a great day, I am loving your blog more and more!

  3. Have the most fantastic time and hope it goes really well for you both! I'm beyond excited about festival season, nothing beats it! xxx

  4. OOoh, Corke! I do hope you have a lovely time! My Mum always went to something called The Beltaine Bash- she's into all that hippy stuff!x

  5. Can hardly wait to hear the new album. Best of luck with it.

  6. Sounds like wonderful fun. I wish I was there to hear it all.

  7. Hi Fil - I've never got to grips with Beltaine and its festival ... I'm picking up new bits and adding to my understanding of it. Glad the album is moving forward that's the main thing .. cheers Hilary


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