A Living Voice – The Frank Harte Song Collection
Edited by Terry Moylan
“The definite archive of Irish Songs! This is his treasure for the nation to cherish, his immortal monument to posterity, which few people can hope to equal. Built with love and passion, by a lovely, passionate man.” – Donal Lunny
This book contains a selection of the songs now being sung in Ireland. They are shared and enjoyed by enthusiasts throughout the country, in a musical world apart from commerce, charts, and fashion. This selection is the personal choice of Frank Harte, one of the foremost of Ireland’s singers and song collectors.
Irish people make songs in every style, from the hilariously comic through tales of heroism and of adventure, of love (happy and unhappy), of satire, of place and of travel, to songs of grief and tragedy. And they make them in two languages. They are not created to be bought and sold, but simply to be performed and shared.
They are cherished for the emotional charge they carry and for the stories they tell, allowing the singer and listener to travel in the imagination, to laugh at a ridiculous situation, or to empathise with a hero’s misfortune.
Underpinning this richness of story os the extraordinary richness of Irish melody. The pleasure provided by a good song is two-fold, as most of them are wedded to excellent airs, many of them to the most beautiful ones.
Ireland being a cultural neighbour to other founts of folksong – chiefly Scotland, England and America – the song riches of those countries have been borrowed by Irish enthusiasts and circulate with the native material, and some that have become naturalised may be found here also.