Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 46, Page 22

Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 46, Page 22
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periodical Publisher
Na Píobairí Uilleann
periodical Editor
Chairman, NPU
periodical Title
Píobaire, An
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23beyond, though it was Micho who was totravel the world with his music in later years.Micho’s family have been the the area sincebefore the Great Famine and were great story-tellers and collectors of folklore. With this inmind I asked Micho to tell me something ofthe folklore of the area for my upcoming pub-lication. One very interesting and colourfultale related to me by Micho was the story of“The Piper’s Chair”. He asked me to comeback on the following day as he wanted towrite down his memories of this tale in orderthat it would be recorded in the way that ithad been passed down to himself. I giveMicho’s exact record of the story, as he wroteit down for me, unchanged from the way inwhich he would have told the story:“The Pipers Chair” (as recounted to meby Micho Russell in March, 1992)The pipers used to come from all overMunster long ago to the festival where thepipers chair is now. There was a woman livingin Ballyfáudéen, Moy More, Liscannor Co.Clare RIP. She was at this festival. Her sonheard her lilting the tune so I Micho Russelllearned the tune from him RIP.There was such a thing as apresent for the Queen of thefestival. A man would put aribbon on her hair. Thiswould cause great jealousywith the hag and her cog ofpoteen. The day would fin-ish with brawling and fight-ing. Some old people saythere was a piper thrown outinto the sea and drowned.There was such a thing thatif two people came undersuch a thing as a miseltoe . .. A modern way of describ-ing it they were supposed toget married. It was named asa bond or a báire in Gaeliclanguage. The tune wastaken down one time by amusic collector calledBunting. He got the tune ofa fisherman from Killrush,Co. Clare. He called it TheCatholic Boy. I don’t knowso much more about the festival. There isanother stone in the sand in The Aran IslandInis Siar called Carraig a bhíobara. We sayCahaoír Na bhPíobaire. The Aran man pro-nounce it with a very nice axent. (MichoRussell)This is Micho’s rendition of the tale as heremembered it. He seems to digress a little inplaces from the main tale, but returns again tohis subject, “The Piper’s Chair”, telling uswhere he got the tune, and telling us the folk-lore associated with the stone seat knownlocally as “The Piper’s Chair”. What is inter-esting in his story is that he tells us about apiper being thrown into the sea here, at thesite of the ancient festival, where “The Piper’sChair” is located. This part of the story mayhave come from the older traditions of theplace, as it was related that here, at Poul nanGall, (the hole of the foreigners), was wherethe bodies of the unfortunate Spanish Armadasailors were disposed of into the sea byBoetius Clancy in 1588. Poul na nGall is anatural inlet, with high cliff walls, washed bythe sea. Both Poul na nGall and “The Piper’sChair” are located in the townland of LuoghNorth, beside the townland of Doonagore,where Micho was reared.Poul na nGall – “The hole of the foreigners”. Supposed burial place of the bod-ies of the sailors of the Spanish ArmadaMartin Breen
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Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 46

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