Songs of the People


21 July 2011–21 July 2011
5:30 PM
St. Canice's Hall
Craobh Dún Geimhin
Main Street
Odhrán Mullan
View Songs of the People Website
Songs of the People

Fleadh Uladh presents: ‘Songs of the People’ – A stellar cast of traditional singers and musicians choose from the great Ulster Songbook

The Dungiven Fleadh Uladh committee are delighted this year to honour Sam Henry’s famous traditional singing anthology Songs of the People in a unique concert as part of Comhaltas Ceoltoirí Éireann’s 51st Ulster Fleadh.

The concert follows on a format used in BBC Four music shows such as …Sings the Great American Songbook, whereby a host of renowned performers will choose some of their favourite songs from the Ulster singing tradition.

The line-up for this inaugural event will feature some of the country’s finest singers, including Rita Gallagher, several times winner of the All-Ireland Singing Trophy. All corners of Ulster will be represented in the concert, with participants from as far away as Monaghan, Donegal and Down. Niall Hanna from Co. Tyrone will also perform on the night, carrying on the legacy of his late grandfather Geordie Hanna, known to many as a great stalwart of the singing tradition.

Of course, the local area itself is known as a stronghold of Irish traditional singing, and some of Dungiven’s best known singers will perform on the night.

Sam Henry’s collection was originally printed as a column in County Derry newspaper the Northern Constitution between 1923 and 1939, and documents the story of Ireland - its graces and shortcomings, triumphs and sorrows – in the ballads, dirges, and humorous songs of its common people.

Music is a direct and powerful expression of Irish folk culture and a beloved aspect of Irish life in the rest of the world. Comprising nearly 690 selections, Songs of the People is a record of Irish folk songs before World War II, demonstrating the historical ties between Irish and Scottish folk culture and the tremendous Irish influence on American folk music in songs from the 18th and 19th century.

St. Canice’s Hall (a traditional 1920s cinema and dancehall) will be the venue for the concert, and its quaint, shabby charm will no doubt add to the nostalgic atmosphere of the night. Lynette Fay (host of the award-winning BBC series Blas Ceoil) will compere the evening, and the concert is due to be broadcast at a later date on Radio Ulster’s long-running Irish music show Folk Club.

Despite the focus on singing in this concert, there is sure to be some great instrumental performances and a few surprises, with the likes of Stringtones (Brendan Hendry/Paul McSherry/Nodlaig Brolly) and upcoming Irish traditional band Ioscaid on the bill.

Tickets go on sale for the event this week and are available from and PANTRY Coffeehouse in Dungiven. A limited number of tickets are available, so book early to avoid disappointment. Contact the Fleadh committee at for further details.

Contact: Odhran Mullan (07708684547) / Maranna McCloskey (07730 569665) /

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