Píobaire, An, Volume 2, Issue 12, Page 2
Píobaire, An, Volume 2, Issue 12, Page 2
Na Píobairí Uilleann
IN DUBLIN 170 YEARS AGOThe most popular piper was WilliamTalbot, a blind man from Roscrea, Co.Tipperary. An advertisement inSaunders Dublin Newsletter for 9 June,1821 states that he was still playing atThe Struggler, Cape! Street.If Talbot was the most popular piperThe Old Struggler in Cook Street wasthe most frequent venue for pipers. It,appears from the advertisements thatthere were two taverns named TheStruggler, hut the Cook Street one isinvariably called The Old Struggler. Anamusing incident in the life of anotherblind piper, Denis MacGauran, is re-counted in his obituary, published inThe Irish Magazine, Vol. 6, 1813. It issaid that he first came to the attentionof the musical world when he attendedthe wedding of Molony the Bailiff tothe widow of Tom Meighan the cele-brated City Officer, which was cele-brated at the Old Struggler in CookStreet. A u accident very remarkablein the history of our deceased country.man occurred at a late hour in the even-ing, when Flat Face Balfe, the Dancing IMaster who acted as MC., was strikingthe order of a country dance. MacGauran Iwho was blind, wi renewing hisjstrength with a glass of strong whiskey,incautiously stood under an openwindow and losing his perpendicularposition by the vacancy tumbled intothe street; but had the presence of mindto grapple with Luke the Rabbit andBalfe and brought the two gentlemenwith him in his aerial flight, in afrightful irregularity that must have de-prived the gallows of a hero, had not acargo of cabbage that had been dis-charging its contents into a huxterscellar under the tavern, interposed be-tween them and the pavement. Theywere restored to their companions with-out any injury; and the footing societyresumed their amusement. Poor Balfe,in about three months after, had adispute with the recorder about somesilver spoons, which we read in an edi-]tion of speeches printed by BartleCorcoran, ended in a manner very Un-favourable to the reputation of MrBa lie.The edition of speeches mentionedwas probably onc consisting of lastwords from the gallows and speeclies lfrom the dock etc. The obituant was,obviously writing for an audience whichwas completely familiar with the per-sn,Is he alluded to and with their nick.DEATH OF CRAMPTONTHE CELEBRATEDPERFORMER ON THEIRISH BAGPIPESOn Tuesday sennight this exquisiteperfonner on our favourite national in-stmment yielded up Ins soul-inspiringspirit. That heart, that genius whichgave to an instrument hitherto proverbi-ally vulgar a compass exceeding descrip-tion and a refinement almost inconceiv-able, is no more. A fever that baffled allmedical skill carried him off in theprime of manhood.It is really a reproach to the Irishcharacter, that the name of one of itsbrightest geniuses should never haveappeared in print. But his fame cannever die, The innumerable livingtestimonies of his wonderful abilitieswill hand it on by tradition to Ireland slatest days, independent of the press.The rare abilities of Crampton consisted not only in giving to the Bagpipesa tone and management beforeunknown, but also in the refined anddelicate style of his execution. Hithertoslow movements on this instrumentonly excited the ridicule of the scienti-fic, but it was reserved for CRAMPTONto place it on a competition with theviolin itself. His Savoumecn Uheelish inparticular was an astonishing instance ofwhat can be accomplished by a 4 genius.In his performance of this tune he initro.duced a bass accompaniment with suchincredible ingenuity that a person whoshould only hear would be at a loss tosay whether it was a harpsichord, anorgan or a flute or bassoon. He was theonly performer on the bagpipes thatever pleased the scientific ear. Hiscadences were executed with brilliantfancy, and executed with equal judge-mont. His shate was vigorous and li ii-pressive and he performed the mostrapid movements and difficult passageswith a truth and felicity that markedhim as a master.The last engagement of Cramptonwas at The Ram Inn, Thomas Street, byDignam who allowed him a handsomeyearly salary and apartments, whereinlie died, attended by Surgeon MackIln.He was a native of Tipperary and wasquite blind, but whether from his in-fancy we are not certain. He was nil-garly called Crumpe or Cramp, but hisreal name was Michael Cranipton.March 1, 1811(This obituary clears up the confus-sion between Crampton and Cnimpe. I Iwas often stated that they were twoseparate people. Cramptons pipes werepresented to Paddy Coneely, the(;aiway piper, by his friend and pallor]James Hardiman. An obituary ofConeely was published in Ceol, Vol. 5,No. 1).THE IRISH PIPESJEREMIAH MURPHY late of Loughreabegs leave to acquaint the lovers ofNational Music that he at present playsat Darcys Tavern, Cook Street wherehe humbly hopes his exertions to pleasewill obtain for him that encouragementwith which he has for many years beenhonoured by the Gentlemen of Munsterand Connaught.Sept. 24, 1811TO THE LOVERS OFHARMONYDignam Proprietor, returns his sin-cere thanks to his numerous friends andthe rublic for the very liberal supportlie has experienced since his commence-inent in Trinity Street. Being determin-ed to make every exertion to retain thisPatronage, lie has engaged the celebrat-ed Munster Piper Mr Talbot, a Pupil ofthe late Cramp (sic) to play every even-ing after Eight Oclock (Sunday except-ed) at his house, No. 14 Trinity Street.Notwithstanding the unprecedentedThe advertisements and obituary here printed were taken from The FreemansJournal between the years 1811 and 1814. They are an indication of the popularityof the pipes in Dublin at the beginning of the nineteenth eentury, and it is interestingto note that practically all the taverns mentioned are situated in the same area of!Dublin, close to the south bank of the Liffey.names, with the result that the wholelobituary is very much an in-joke.___ The man and It music ___In the current issue of Ceo! (V (2)) an assessment is made of the part played bySeamus Ennis in the piping movement, to which ten dance tunes notated from hisplaying are appended. Other articles of interest to pipers describe a census ofmusicians taken in the Diocese of Elphin in mid I 8th century and an account of thewarpipes in Ireland in olden times, both from Sean Donneliy. Ceol maybe obtainedfrom the Editor, 47 Frascati Park, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, 1 post free. Copies ofsome previous numbers are still available also at that price.
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