Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 3

Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 3
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Irish Folk Song Society
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Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society
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PREFACEByDR. DONAL OSULLIVAN, LITT.D., University of DublinMy friend, the late Ralph Vaughan Williams, spoke of the term folk song asderiving from what he called the awkward German word volkelied; but it seemsmuch more likely to be a natural development of the term folk lore , which appearedVolumes 1, 2 and 46 in English so long ago as 1842. however that may be, the folk music and song of anyof this Reprint of nation are the largely anonymous product of the people of the countryside as distinctJOURNAL OF TH rDTc!T] 1 f T from the towns, formed at a time when rural life still retained its pristine simplicity.J.L4 oONG SOCIETY Ireland is a comparatively small and thinly inhabited island: but it is predominantlyare made with the permission of rural in character, and there is a consensus of informed opinion as to the abundance andDr. DONAL OSULLIVAN List D exceeding beauty of its native music. In one of these volumes, it is recorded that Brahmswas enraptured with the Irish folk airs which he had heard played, and which he called Ia musique des anges . Of all the countries in the world , wrote Sir Arnold Bax,Ireland possesses the most varied and beautiful folk music; and he goes on to speakof its strange and startling richness . In the circumstances, there should be a generalwelcome for this reprint of the complete set of Journals of the Irish Folk Sony Society.The originals have long been out of print and are now of great rarity. An outline of thehistory of the Society may be of some interest by way of introduction to the songsand melodies.During the nineteenth century much valuable research on the folk music of theseislands was done by such pioneers as William Chappell, Maria Jane Williams, GeorgePetrie and Farquhar Grahamto mention only one name from each of the four countries.But the systematic collection and publication of both words and tunes, on scientific,co-operative lines, properly began with the foundation in 1898 of the Folk Song Society.This was formed, on Irish initiative, at a meeting held in the rooms of the Irish LiterarySociety in Adelphi Terrace, London. The President was Lord Herschell, and the fourVice-Presidents were Sir John Stainer (England), Charles Villiers Stanford (Ireland),Sir Alexander Mackenzie (Scotland) and Sir Hubert Parry (Wales). The Societys Journalcatered for all four countries, and the result was the gradual growth of invaluable material,expertly annotated. It included (1911) the collection made by Frances Tolmie of ScottishGaelic songs from the Hebrides and (192021) the no less important collection of tuneswith Irish Gaelic words taken down by the late A. Martin Freeman in Ballyvourney,County Cork.In 1903 there took place a friendly secessiOn from the Society, in which the primemovers were Charlotte Milligan Fox and Alfred Perceval Graves, author of the well-knownsong Father OFlynn . The Irish Folk Song Society came into being, and the first fewissues of its Journal were edited jointly by Mrs. Fox and Herbert Hughes. The latter hadrecently arrived in London from Belfast, and was subsequently appointed Music Editorof The Daily Telegraph. He is best known for his two volumes of Irish Country Songs,edited, arranged and for the most part collected by himself, and published by Boosey inOriginally printed by 1909 and 1915. Some of these had already appeared in the Journal, including the charmingFarncombe & Son, London. and Croydon I know my love by his way of walking .Reprinted by Stephen Au8tm and Sons, Ltd., Caxton Hill, Hertford, England Mrs. Fox remained the leading member of an enlarged Publication Committee untilher death in 1916. She was a sister of the well-known Nationalist poetess, Alice Milligan,both being natives of Cou ity Tyrone. Highly educated in a musical sense, Mrs. Fox wasa woman of unbounded energy, with a genuine enthusiasm for Irish melody. But her
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Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, Volume 1, Issue 1

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