We believe that Irish music is for listening (and for dancing, of course!). We’ve been collecting recordings of some of the best players and singers out there, and here is some of what we’ve found.
Our audio archives come from a variety of sources: commercial recordings in our library, recordings that we’ve done of our tour groups over the years, donations from music collectors and our own archive collection. Seámus MacMathúna, in particular, spent years on the road with a tape recorder, capturing musicians in their sitting rooms, kitchens and favourite sessions.
Browse through our collection below - we may not have the track you’re looking for online yet, but you are always welcome to come and listen at one of our Regional Centres.
- Sonny Murray
- 18 November 2009
- Following the sad death of Sonny Murray, we present a track of Sonny recorded in 1990 by Frank Whelan of Ennis, Co. Clare.
- Hills of Clare
- 2 April 2009
- “Hills of Clare”, sung by Michael Mahony. This is one of several great songs penned by Gaelic scholar, poet and cartographer Tomás O hAodha from Miltown Malbay.
- An Gréasaí Bróg
- 24 February 2009
- An Gréasai Bróg was first published in Treoir in 1982. It was subsequently included in the CCÉ publication Amhrán Rithmiúla, available in CD and accompanying booklet format from Cultúrlann na hÉireann. An Gréasai Bróg, a conversational rhythmical light-hearted song, has associations with Connemara and is in fact an old version of Beidh Aonach Amárach as was sung in West Clare. It features melodic and lyrical repetition, and thus simultaneously appeals to, and is easily learnt by, children. An Gréasai Bróg was included in the Spring 2009 edition of Treoir in response to requests received for such songs. The next issue of Treoir will feature another Irish language song offering more of a challenge to the learner.
- Seamus Creagh’s / Trip to Dingle
- 16 October 2008
- From the “Echoes of Erin 2008” Comhaltas Tour CD, Peter Staunton & Niamh Varian-Barry play the polkas, “Seamus Creagh’s” and “Trip to Dingle”. Niamh learnt this polka from the playing of fiddler Séamus Creagh, and the second polka is a composition of Roscommon piano accordion player Alan Kelly.
- Rosewood / Tommy Maguire’s
- 15 October 2008
- From the “Echoes of Erin 2008” Comhaltas Tour CD, the Comhaltas Tour Ensemble plays the jigs, “Rosewood” and “Tommy Maguire’s”. The first jig is believed to be a composition of Scottish fiddler/composer James Scott Skinner (1843-1927), while the second jig is a composition of the now deceased Offaly accordion player Tommy Maguire, who spent much of his life in Chicago.
- Na Páipéir á Saighneáil
- 14 October 2008
- From the “Echoes of Erin 2008” Comhaltas Tour CD, Eimear Arkins sings “Na Páipéir á Saighneáil”. The song is believed to date from the time Wild Geese, at time when Irish soldiers and chieftain families left their country following the English settlers plantations.
- The The Maids of Castlebar / The Swallow’s Nest
- 13 October 2008
- From the “Echoes of Erin 2008” Comhaltas Tour CD, Aonghus Buggie plays the reels, “The The Maids of Castlebar” and “The Swallow’s Nest” on banjo, accompanied by harper Cathy Potter.
The ‘Maids of Castlebar’ was recorded by Sligo fiddlers Paddy Killoran and James Morrison in the 1936 recording ‘From Ballymote to Brooklyn’ and has consituted part of what is considered to be ‘core repertoire’ ever since. ‘The Swallow’s Nest’ is a composition of the much reknowned accordion maestro and composer Paddy O’ Brien Co. Tipperary (1922-1991).
- Miss Hamilton
- 12 October 2008
- From the “Echoes of Erin 2008” Comhaltas Tour CD, the Comhaltas Tour Ensemble plays the harp piece, “Miss Hamilton”. Miss Hamilton is included in the Bunting Collection having been notated by Bunting from the from harper Patrick Linden in 1802, although the scholar Dónal O Súilleabháin established that the original Bunting manuscript gave Hugh Higgins as the source of the tune. The piece was composed by harper Cornelius Lyons in 1706.