Posts Tagged “song”

The Irish Roots Cafe News and Notes
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Family Tree Charts… (not really)
Well, it’s a little bit more than that if you
are truly tracing your family heritage.
Todays blog covers our informal ‘school’
of music here, which grew out of our
genealogy programs.

Who were your ancestors?
How did they entertain themselves,
and how did they sing ? This is
before the coming of Danny Boy,
and the Irish National Anthem.

Sean Nós
Sean Nós is not a persons name,
nor is it the leader of our band.
Sean Nós means ‘old style’ in the
Irish language. It often refers to
ways of song and dance from the
old days, before the conquest of
Ireland, say in the 1600’s.

In Irish
In its pure form, Sean Nós song
is sung in the old language, which
is Irish, of course. It is also sung
in the old way, which means it is
not an English ballad with Irish words..
It has a feel all of its own. This was
the way your ancestors might have
sung, or what they might have listened
It is usually sung solo, in a raw format,
with great latitude given to the singer.
As you might figure, different areas of
the country sang the same song – but

Our Efforts
Here is where we are, in sort of a year
end report on our efforts to understand
our forefathers way of song !

1) On You Tube
(This Link includes our genealogy shows too.)
We have some basic practice songs on
YouTube in very rough form including
more modern tunes. ( user ID: mickthebridge)
(This Link includes our genealogy shows too.)

2) Click here for our band on Reverbnation.
We are 7th in the U.S. and 14th in the world
in the ‘Celtic’ category (somehow!).
We include many Irish language songs, some
done in the old style, hence our name is:
Sean Nós Abu ! Do click the fan buttons if you like….
and we are available for performances and some
information on each band member is included.

3) Click here for our Song and Recitation Podcast
We have several seasons complete, including
old songs all the way up to Tin Pan Alley tunes,
all for free !

4) Click Here for our Sean Nós band page monthly notes, in progress.

5) Our Irish Song and Recitation Hedge School CD set
It is sort of a ‘best of’ compilation of our songs
over the last few years, including Sean Nós.

6) On Facebook
Our Facebook Song Page is Sean Nós Abu !
Please click above and do stop by an check
it out or ‘like it’.

7) Our first book on Irish Song and
Songwriters, along with many lyrics and
some of the background to the songs,
click above to open a link to its page.

Thank You
I appreciate all your help, and wanted
to share with you, some of the unexpected
benefits of tracing your family heritage…
The song links above are all free !
(memberships appreciated)

p.s. Our band page at Reverbnation is below:


  New Irish Language Song, Sean Nós group
  We have singers who specialize in Sean Nós Song,
  as well Irish Ballads in the English Language.
  Check out our band page on Reverbnation
  by clicking the picture on the left !

   Our ‘band’ name is set up as ‘Sean Nós Abu’
   Sean Nós means ‘old style’. Abu is a war cry !
   Listen to hedge school songs for free.

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From the Hedge School at the Irish Roots Cafe.
Courses: Genealogy, Irish Song, Language, History.
Learn more at

Today:: Skibbereen, Co. Cork, Famine & Song Video

Surviving Irish Families
It has been several generations now, since the
famine; starvation; disease; and those days when
all Ireland was part of England. It was reported
that no more earth remained to cover the bodies,
that many died in their cabins, that many crawled
to the graveyard alone as a last act of despair, with
bodies left uncovered….

Hidden Ethnic Memory
Some dinner tables still remember the Irish famine.
Some still want to go back and ‘make things right’.
The emotion grows less as new generations can
only echo what was felt at the time.  But how is it
we can remember it at all ?

The Song Says
‘Skiberreen’ (which is spelled so many ways in the
history books, just like Irish surnames), is a town
and a song, which tells us why we can’t forget.

Lazy Irish
It is because we labored hard, even though some
called us lazy, and we took pride in our land.
Then came the failure of the potato crop.  We lost
our land to landlords and sheriffs at the point of
a gun.  Left to wander our own land or beg food
in the poor house.  So the song says…….

Find a Grave
It is because our mothers and fathers died from
the miseries, of starvation and the disease that
followed.  Because we were called outlaws for
trying to survive any way possible. So says the song

It is because so few survived and prospered after
fleeing to new lands, giving up the days hope
of ever reclaiming our old country and life.  It is
for the children who died on board the ships, and
the few who survived…. so says the song

It is because the children remembered the songs
and stories of their fathers who said ‘never forget’
when the story was told. Then passing it onto their
children and grand children… So the song said.

And now, because our bellies are full for the
moment, we still cannot forget, but remember
how the American Indian sent funds to the
starving Irish.  An what of the starving nations
today that we help no more than the world did
when we were starving generations ago….
So the song should remind us of our families…

The song, to remind peasant and landlord alike:

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Mike O’Laughlin
Mike descends from the O’Loughlins of Kilfenora,
County Clare, and the O’Donahues of Glenflesk,
County Kerry. He also bears Sullivan, Buckley,
Kilmartin, Llewellyn and Kelliher roots.

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