O'Neill - The Dance Music of Ireland, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 3

O'Neill - The Dance Music of Ireland, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 3
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periodical Publisher
Regan Publishing, Chicago
periodical Editor
O'Neill, Capt. Francis
periodical Title
O'Neill - The Dance Music of Ireland
volume Number
issue Content
INTRODUGTIONMore than one lover of Irish music has started outwith the laudable purpose of making a complete collectionor encyclopedia of Irish melodies, only to find that as thedistinguished Alfred Perceval Graves says, Irish airsseem well nigh inexhaustible. Such was the experienceof the writer when engaged in the preparation and publiation of ONeills Music of Ireland. -Encouraged by the very flattering manner in whichthat work has been received and in compliance with thewishes of numerous friends and patrons, the compilerventures to introduce froni the abundance of material onhand a specialized volume of the Dance Music of Ireland,including many lutherto unpublished tunes, and truststhat it will be found worthy of equal patronage and ap-proval.Among the scores of collections, great or small, gath-ered by enthusiastic admirers of Irish melodies since themiddle of the seventeenth century, only one was devotedto dance music exclusively.A reawakened interest in our national music, especiallythe jigs, reels, hornpipes, long dances, etc., of the old dayshas been happily aroused by the Gaelic revival and itsapostle, Dr. Douglas I-Ivde, and the desire, I may say thedeniand, for them has become insistent and continuous.Wherever the Sea-divided Gaels abide the love for thespirited tunes of the fatherland which Put the musicright tinder your feet still survives even though the op-portunities for their enjoyment are not all that could bedesired even in Ireland. This sentiment is well expressedby a celebrated exile, Patrick OLeary, of Adelaide, SouthAustralia, in a recent communicationFor over a third of a century I have been waiting,watching, hoping and praymg, that God might inspiresome Irishman, or association of Irishmen, to collect andpublish just such a work as the Music of Irelandthegrand old music-the weird, beautiful, wild and mournf.ul reel tunes that entranced me when a child, a youth, anda man, in the street or barn, at the bonfire or on the hilltop; the music, the never-to-beforgotten strains thatoften made my blood alternately flame or freezethatmade me when a child, sitting beneath the fiddlers chair,weep with delight or sadness, a condition of tuind impos-sible to describe. Many of the grand old tunes learnedfrom the lips of my poor (lead mother which I had notheard since cluldhood, and still others that I had heardplayed ivhen a boy. kvere floating about in my memory,disconnected, and fragmentary, before your book came.\Vell, dear sir, I thank God that I have lived to see mydreams realized, and niv prayer answered more fully thanmy wildest ambition had dared to go.It is with great pleasure that we publish the namesand nativities of those mnsical sous and daughters of I - li-bernia, from whom niany of the tunes and particularsettings in this collection were freely obtained. Per-haps nothing better illustrates tile worthy motivesof the contributors than a quotation from the poet-patriot, Thomas Davis: Music is the first facultyof the Irish, and scarcely anything has such power forgood over them. The use of this faculty and this powerpublicly and constantly, to keep up their spirits, refinetheir tastes, warni their courage, increase their union, andrenew their zeal, is the duty of every patriot. Followingis the list, viz.: Francis ONeill, West Cork; JamesONeill, Co. Down; Edward Cronin, Tipperary; Rev.James K. Fielding, Kilkenny; Rev. William Dollard, Ku-kenny; James Early, Leitrim; John McFadden, Mayo;John Carey, Li merick; John Ennis, Kildare; BernardDelaney, Kings Co.; James Kennedy, Leitrimn; Philip J.OReilly, Cavan; John A. OKelly, Antrim; Tim-othy Dillon, Kerry; Abram S. Beaniish, V t. Cork;George \Vest, Chicago; Miss Ellen Kennedy, Lei-trim,, Patrick Tnohy, Galway; Miss Mary ONeill,County Doivn; Michael Tnohy, East Clare; JamesKerwin, Waterford; John Allen, F. Clare; James Cahill,Kildare; John Tnbridy, Clare; William Walsh, Galway;John Gillan, Longford; John Conners, Dublin; MichaelI Iartnett, W. Cork; Adam Tobin, Kilkenny; GarrettStack, Kerry; Patrick Mahony, W. Clare; James Car-bray, Tyrone; John Clancy, Tipperary; John Mulvihill,Limerick; Michael Kissane, Kerry; Timothy J. Downing , Vt. Cork; Joseph Powers, Newfoundland; Miss IdaPowers, Chicago; Bernard J. ODonovan, Vt. Cork;Michael OGallagher, Mayo; Charles OGallagher, Mayo;Maurice Casey, Kerry; Michael Quinn, Leitrim; May\Viseman, V t. Cork, and Mrs. Cantwell, Chicago.In the compilation of this work, comprising a class ofmelodies which has lutherto received hut slight attentionfrom collectors of Irish ninsic, the aim of making it trulyrepresentative has been kept constantly in view, and it isconfidently hoped that in the variety of its contents therewill be found sufficient to satisfy the diverse tastes andpreferences of all lovers of the Dance Music of Ireland.Without question Ing the wisdom or erudition of thosewho, animated no doubt by newly kindled patriotic fervor,will tolerate notlung in Irish music, but that which theyconceive to be ancient and traditional, it may be well toinquire how far we are justified in claiming any consid-erable antiquity for Irish dances and dance music.It is with a feeling of anything but satisfaction thatone arises from a perusal of extant, accessible Gaelic lit-erature for any assistance in tracing the origin of Irishdances, say Messrs. OKeefe & OBrien in their Hand-book of Irish Dance recently published in Dublin. Afterqubting from various anthors, who shed but uncertainlight on the subject, they continue, There is no sugges-tion that Irish reel tunes, though almost as numerous ajig tunes, owe their origin to the Italian or any otherschool of music. Nevertheless, it would be as reasonableto assign to them, as it is to assign to the Irish jig, anitalian origin. Students of Irish traditional music will
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O'Neill, Capt. Francis
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O'Neill - The Dance Music of Ireland

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