Píobaire, An, Volume 5, Issue 5, Page 12

Píobaire, An, Volume 5, Issue 5, Page 12
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periodical Publisher
Na Píobairí Uilleann
periodical Editor
Chairman, NPU
periodical Title
Píobaire, An
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12field work for the Irish Folklore Commissionand reads as such, particularly in the earlypassages.As the diary wears on, though, Ennis appearsmore confident, both in his ability to extricatequality music from the people he met and alsoin engaging the practice of keeping the diary.You also begin to appreciate how Ennis sawhimself.Quite early on, Ennis’ accounts are colouredwith insightful thoughts about music and theworld in general while the smattering of occa-sionally funny daily anecdotes are quiterefreshing.But the most revealing aspect of Ennis’ writ-ings is his staunch commitment to the integri-ty of locating, learning and documenting themusic as, by and large, he discarded materialwhich had already been written or providedby a subject who had learned the piece from abook.It presents a striking image of Ennis the per-fectionist, surmounting various intrepid orfrustrating situations in order to have a newtune or song to write down at the end of a typ-ically tiring day.What gradually emerges from the book isEnnis’ sense that he was doing somethinghugely important and that his own meticulousnature would be to the benefit of present andfuture generations of musicians.Each page covers a multitude of topics, fromEnnis’ work to his personal life and whilematters of national and international affairsare speckled about the chapters, they are alsokept in perspective according to Ennis’ prior-ities at the time.For example, the passage dated July 5th 1945,in which he describes an evening spent in thecompany of the Connemara singers Colm andPádraig Ó Caodháin, concludes thus:“We started talking about the poets in this partof the world and I wrote down what I thoughtfit to document. I left them at twelve o'clock.They had a great deal of vying and arguingabout things I have already written down.”“I believe Hitler died today.”Notwithstanding the often technical descrip-tions of music, the book has a broad appealand Uí Ógáin's work makes it eminently themore accessible. The microscopic detailwhich obviously went into researching andcompiling the notes which append the book isin itself, Ennis-esque.An Irish prison is a scene of constant mirth, andit would do your heart good to be confined inone for a year or two, at the expense of your credi-tors. So said BRIAN BORU, as he retired to his littledungeon, and stumbled over a drunken piperstretched on the gallery flags, whom all the keeper’sexertions had failed to move : he had been provok-ing the merry dance in Straw Hall, until he couldtune his pipes to no tune at all; he was so full withwhiskey, that his breath could not get leave to comeout of his mouth into the ivory tube. So the party ofdancers bore him upon their shoulders to the gallery,where putting his pipes under his head for a pillow,they left him to repose.From: REAL LIFE IN IRELAND. or, the day and night scenes,rovings, rambles, and sprees, bulls, blunders, bodderationand blarney of Brian Boru Exq., and his elegant friend SirShawn O’Dogherty; exhibiting a real picture of characters,manners, etc., in high and low life in Dublin and variousparts of Ireland embellished with humorous colouredengravings, from original designs by the most eminentartists, by a Real Paddy [Pierce Egan]. London 1821~ Real Life in Ireland ~
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Píobaire, An, Volume 5, Issue 5

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