Píobaire, An, Volume 2, Issue 42, Page 7
Píobaire, An, Volume 2, Issue 42, Page 7
Na Píobairí Uilleann
SEANCHASA CONSORT OF PIPERSTb el i there is a sin all bagpipes or H u Eli File chenwhich has been imported from Fra nce..., in which thewind is produced solely by a small arm-naturedbellowsOne whom we mentioned earlier ..., had theremarkable idea of making a whole consort of fivebellowsoperated bagpipes like Ihese, for playingmUSIC ri four or live parts. flu st confess, however,that the overall effect does riot strike me as partic-ularly pleasant.Michael Praetorius,Syntagina musicurn I I: De j ano raphia Ports andII (Worfenbuttel, 161819). Translated and edited byDavid Z. Crookes (Oxford university Press, 1986)p. 52.Submitted by Sean DonnellyJames Mc crone Remembers 22 Soldier Farrell (]em)* 27 April 942My father used to tell this story when I was young.There was a piper who was called Soldier Farrellwho used travel round our country playing atsprees and fairs and the like. There was a fair at aplace called Emptir (sic) 0 1 1cc , and my father used totell this story about Soldier Farrell at that fair,which was held every year.In those days at the fairs al J over the country,the pipers always had a large tent in which theywould play for dancers. Six or eight coupjes wouldenter at a time and pay 2d. or 3d. to the piper,then they could dance to his music in the tent for acertain fixed time, and when that time was up theymust go out arid make room for those who werewaiting outside; for it was not for buying and sellingthe people used attend these fairs but for sport anddancing arid merrymaking.Now this Soldier Farrell had a grown-up son, PatFarrell, who was every bit as good a piper as he,only the young people preferred his playing, for itwas far more hearty arid lively than the piping ofthe old man. They used travel together all over thecountryside to these farrs and each would hire a teniof his own for the business. At the fair of Ernpureach piper had his tent but the young couplesfavoured t lie younger piper F s playing a rid vh i he Fedid a roaring trade, the old man was sadly negleciedThis probably not bring the first experience of itskind, on the old mans part, ic bccanie very iiidig-riarit when he found bLis iriess so bad. So he threwof his pipes and walked (roni his tent to that of hisson. Yerra, a mac (sic), says he, youre the bestpiper of any of tlierii. Put it there! inviti ng himto shake hands. The son took his lathers proferrec lhand arid shook, hut t lie o J d niani caught I i is iii rId efinger and broke it, thinking to stop the young mai lspiping, arid make sonic irioiiey himself. However, thecrowd of dancers saw the incident, and SoldierFarrell was lucky to get away with his life fromEmpur that day.Soldier Farrell had a daughter, narnied Farrellwho was a great step-dancer. She used to travejaround with them dancing to their music at fairs andat house doors. When she travelled by herself sheused carry a small wodden platfor ni with her, laydown at a doorway, and dance jigs, reels, horn-pipes etc, to her own hi Itirig, to earn her few pencefor food arid lodgrngs. She was both a fiiie dancerand lilter. (Her daughter is still living).* time: about 90 years ago.* * IAbbeyshrule, Co. Longfordl.*** The narrato could not recall the daughtersname.**** The narrator used often see her come to hisfathers door thus, when he was still a boy.1 [ Old pipersj 27 April 1942Pipers used to come very frequently when I wasyourigi every week at most, youd see some pipergoing through the town. They were all the sameclass of mcli in appearance. Youd know one of themas soon as youd see hini by his greasy clothes. huefront of the coat would be all grease, and each side,from the bag and bellows. They used all wear aleather strap around their coats outside. I oftenfollowed them 0 miles and niore out the road tohear theni playing at the houses.The pipers used have a small punylooking set ofpipes always. You wouldnt give 5/- for them by thelook of them, but man dear when theyd play up anold tune itd get your heart juniping inside you tohear the sweet mellow tone of theni. I hear no prpeslike them now at all.They had very seldoni any regulators at all;nearly always two drones alone. If they had regula-tors it was only on or two they ever had. Buttheir pipes were the sweetest music ever I heard.Maybe some farmer who was fond of pipes wouldtake a piper in and keep him and feed him for aweek, aye, or a niontli, just to have plenty of timeto enjoy the music, or maybe to get a few lessonshimself in piping, or for his young son as the casenia y be. But dun rig tie piper F s stay iii t lie housethere would be a dance every night there, andcrowds would gather in every night for the musicand dancing. Everyone would give the piper a fewpence.Piper Heslini (?Hesslin) 27 /\pri I 1942There was another piper a round cur couri try viiwas no good much at first to play. One night hewas coming home from a spree in Ballymahon in thesmall hours and he lay down or, a fairy-fort to resthimself. He fell asleep on the fort arid they saycont. P RQ C 8f(permission for this photograph from James no lan,Colehili, Co. Longford).
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