Posts Tagged “Sessions”

Todays Chat and Sing Show Notes:
Season 3,#2,  Sean Nós, old style Irish Song

1) What is Sean Nós ?
2) Festival Finalists to be broadcast weekly.
3) Todays Song is: ‘Sadhbh Ní Bhruinneallagh’
(The 1st full song to be sung by our host, ever ! )

The Irish Song and Recitation Festival Podcast
with your host Michael C. O’Laughlin in Kansas City.
From the Irish Roots Cafe at

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Thanks for the help

On this broadcast we called for Sean Nós songs, as
defined by our audience.  The term definitely means
different things to different individuals today.  We hope
this broadcast will help spread the word and create
interest in the field of Sean Nós today.
Thank to all who have participated, you have made
a great contribution to the effort.

Top 10 Sean Nós Final Entries

We have 7 v songs in Irish / 3 in English/ 1 instrumental to date.
1)  Peneleapaí with The Leaving of Limerick, in Irish.
2)  Peneleapaí with “        “,   in Irish.
3)  Harpin’ Hank Hogan with ‘Dilan O’ Deamhas’ in Irish
4)  Liza with instrumental An Poc Ar Buile or ‘Mad Puck Goat’
5)  Mike with ‘The Old Claddagh Ring’ or.. (Joe Heaney style)
6)  Mike with ‘Roisin Dubh’  (or… Joe Heaney style)
7)  Karen with ‘Red is the Rose’ w/ bodhran backer
8)  Renata  ‘Were You At the Rock” (An raibh tú ar a gCallaig)
9)  Renata with “Ar Bruacha na Laoí”
10) Sadhbh Ni Bhruinneallaigh  ( a) as solo b)Group Finale)

The Irish Culture
Sean Nós is a link to the lost culture of the Irish going
back for centuries.  Queen Elizabeth must have been
impressed, for she had several of the songs
written down.  Of course, that would have been
difficult, as this Irish form of song did not follow
the rules of other forms of musical notation.

What it is
Well, the new season kicks off today with a new format
and type of music.  Sean Nós  ( pronounced ‘Shann Nós’
definitely not ‘Shawn Nós” ).  Some might say this is
primitive Neolithic song !  What it is, is the old Irish way
of singing. The term was invented in the 20th century to
describe just that. It is generally said to originally have

1) Sung in Irish
2) Sung solo
3) not dependent upon volume changes like today
4) Some say, little vibrato should be found in Sean Nós
5) Some styles are described as ‘Saying a Song’

There are different styles of Sean Nós found in different
areas of the country, and of course, the Irish accent also
changes within the country.  It is today also a style used in the English language by some.

What it is not:
1) It is not sung like an English ballad
2) It is not like ‘Tin Pan Alley Songs’ (covered earlier.)
3) It is not just an Irish Song sung solo.

New Ways – Old Tunes
Today we find new forms of this singing art, sometimes called Sean Nós Nua.  You will find instruments added to the song and all forms of singing at times, accompanied by dancing, and capes and orchestras !

Experienced Welcomed
But then, all this is just my passing opinion,
I am by far no expert, the best way to learn
what Sean Nós is :  Listen to it being sung.

Learn it – Love it
The best way to learn Sean Nós, is to listen to those who
do it best.  I have several examples on our web page at:

Among the songs I usually have posted are:
Liam O Maonlai (Sadhbh Ni Bhruinneallaigh)
Darach O Catháin  (Óró sé do bheatha ‘bhaile)
Nell Ní Chróinín – (An Lacha Bacach)
iarla O Lionaird –  The Lament of 3 Three Marys)

Todays Song: ‘Sadhbh Ní Bhruinneallagh’
as sung by Mike O’Laughlin, your session leader (by default).

A Boatman from Mayo ?
This song is about a Mayo boatman and his courting
of ‘Sadhbh’.  He talks about his fine boat, which makes
trips to Galway. He also tells his love that he wants
her to elope with him, and that her mother even want
her to elope with him ( repeated in the chorus).

Joe Heaney Style
As the first time I heard this song it was by Joe Heaney,
it shows some influence here.  This is my first full song
sung – so thank you for your patience.
Heaney also sing Roisin Dubh, Red is the Rose, and much more..
He was great in Irish and English. Until next week or so, adios !

Join up on our Sean Nós fan page on Facebook:!/group.php?gid=117709528260564

Listen to the complete ‘Irish Song’ broadcast series here:

Hope you’ll be singing or listening in, to season 3,
on the Irish Song and Recitation Festival !

The Irish Roots Cafe has 7 Broadcast series:

The History of Ireland
Irish in America
Irish Video Shorts
Irish Song and recitation
Irish Family History and genealogy
Irish Family History photo enhanced with links.

All available on the iTunes Irish provider page (click below):
Contact Me
( Perhaps we can put together a Sean Nós session group ! )
You can reach the Irish Roots Cafe on Twitter; Facebook;; and by mail at our U.S. location:

Mike O’Laughlin
The Irish Roots Cafe
Box 7575
Kansas City, Missouri 64116
Leave a message on our Phone (816) 256-3360

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#21 – Irish Song and Recitation Festival at the Irish Roots Cafe

The Irish Pub, Uilleann pipes, Study of Music in Ireland,
and our song today ‘By the Banks of the Roses’
Advance Shownotes

Playing Time: 23:50
Song Starts at 16:45
Crying baby starts at 3:10

This weeks Chat and Sing is with Adam Braunschweig.

Adams Background
Adam grew up in Holyoke MA., outside of Boston and
Springfield.  His father was born in Germany and came to
the U.S. in 1954. Adam started off playing Irish music
around 1999, playing guitar, moving to mandolin and tenor
banjo.  From there he went to Ireland and earned a degree in
in ethnomusicology, (now there is a big word for you!), at the
University of Limerick. Then he began to study the Irish pipes
with Mikey Smith, a young uilleann piper from Dublin.

Ethnic Backgrounds
Just how did Adam come to be so involved in Irish music with
a largely German background ?  He figures it had something
to do with all the Irish theme pubs he has been in.  Adam
also notes that pubs offer an escape to folks coming in off
the streets from everyday life.

The Irish Pub sessions worldwide
We also talk about the development of the pub.  Adam
says the Irish ‘session’ started with musicians in England, who
could not put such a thing together in local tenements, etc.. so
they migrated to the pub.  We are talking about the Irish in
England, perhaps in the late 1940’s. They then went home
to Ireland and continued the practice, bringing the sessions
with them.  The same thing happened when they came the states.
Neither music nor women were allowed in the pubs earlier
as a rule.

The pub in the U.S. is also noted as being very accessible, and
does not discriminate against other groups.  Adam notes that
most of his pubs have a session every week or so, with fiddles
and instrumental tunes, and sometimes with a solo song being
sung.  There seems to be more accordion music in Ireland,
along with female banjo players today !

Irish American Music
Mick Moloney, a great banjo player, has done some
great work researching the early Irish American songs from the
1920’s and earlier. (Far From the Shamrock Shore, is a great work.) It is found that an American song in an Irish session takes its own special form.

The guitar has not been in Irish music for very long, but lately
it has been with an open drone sound, sort of like an open
tuned bouzouki.  It has nothing to do with the speed, it is
about timing.

Pubs in Ireland vs Pubs in Boston
In the countryside in Ireland Adam found the family pub much
more old style than the pubs in the city.  The city pub in Ireland
now resembles the Irish pub in America.
Adam also tells us that in Ireland, you can drop into a pub and play music anytime of the day. In America the available hours for singing might be limited. In Ireland he also found that some
singing clubs still exist.

Kansas City
Adam has been playing locally with his own group in K.C.,
and has a good mix of music. You might find him at Mike
Kellys Westsider.  Some of his songs are from the anthology
of folk music.  One of his current favorites is ‘The Banks of
the Roses’.  His song for us today is that very one:

By the Banks of the Roses
By the Banks of the Roses my Love and I sat down.
And I took out my violin to play my love a tune
In the middle of the tune, O she sighed and she said
O Johnny, lovely Johnny, Would you leave me

O when I was a young man, I heard my father say
That he’d rather see me dead and buried in the clay
Sooner than be married to any runaway
By the lovely sweet banks of the roses

O then I am no runaway and soon I’ll let them know
I can take a good glass or leave it alone
And the man that doesn’t like me, he can keep
his daughter home
And young Johnny will go roving with another

And if ever I get married, twill be in the month of May
When the leaves they are green and the meadows
they are gay
And I and my true love can sit and sport and play
On the lovely sweet banks of the roses.   (end)

Listen to the whole interview
To listen in to the whole chat and sing episode
go to our web page at
and click on Irish Song and Recitation Broadcast
on the left hand side of the page…. thanks….

Irish Sing-a-long
Coming up last Saturday of this month,
Be sure to contact me for details

Next Episode:
Emily with Harp, in Song !

How to Contact Me
Reach me anytime at,
or drop by the Irish Roots Cafe 24 hours a day.

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About Your Host
The worlds most published author his field,  Mike
O’Laughlin  has written 40 books; edits 2 newsletters;
publishes the works of 10 Irish authors; and has
written over 700 articles. He also hosts three broadcast
series, including the first weekly podcast on Irish
Family History ever produced.

His works include a 34 book set on Irish Family
Research and classic reprints like  The Annals of Ireland
by the Four Masters.

Comments Comments Off on Uilleann pipes, Irish Pubs, By The Banks of the Roses