Boyle Traditional Singers' Circle - Ciorcal Ámhránaíochta Traidisiúnta Mhainistir na Búille

NEXT SESSION: Boyle: Saturday, 20 October 2018.

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Fáilte - Welcome
to the Boyle Singers' circle - Ciorcal Amhránaíochta Mhainistir na Búille

Traditional unaccompanied singing, in English and Irish.

Dodd’s Crescent Bar (back room), The Crescent, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, Ireland.
The third Saturday of every month, all year around, 9.30pm onwards.

All singers and listeners welcome.


Carols as Gaeilge - Carúil na Nollag

Tá roinnt carúil anseo.

Cé'n fáth nach gcanfá
Oíche chiúin, oíche Mhic Dé,
Cách 'na suan, dís araon,
Dís is dílse ag faire le spéis,
Naí beag gnaoi-gheal ceanán tais caomh
Críost ina chodladh go séimh,
Críost ina chodladh go séimh.

Oíche chiúin, oíche Mhic Dé,
Aoirí ar dtús chuala an scéal,
"Aililiuia" aingil ag glaoch
Cantain Shuairc i ngar is i gcéin
Críost ár Slánaitheoir féin,
Críost ár Slánaitheoir féin.

Oíche chiúin, oíche Mhic Dé,
Mac Dé bhí, gáire a bhéil,
Tuar dá rá 's dá lán-chur i gcéill,
Ann gur tháinig tráth chinn a tséin,
Críost a theacht ar an saol,
Críost a theacht ar an saol. 
 
 nó an ceann is ansa liom féin
Don oíche úd i mBeithil,
beidh tagairt ar ghrian go brách
Don oíche úd i mBeithil,
go dtáinig an Briathar slán

Tá gríosghrua ar spéartha,
's an talamh 'na chlúdach bán
Féach íosagán sa chléibhín,
's an Mhaighdean in aoibhneas grá

Ar leacain lom an tsléibhe,
go nglacann na haoirí scáth
Nuair in oscailt gheal na spéire,
tá teachtaire Dé ar fáil

Céad glóir anois don Athair,
i bhFlaitheasa thuas go hard
Is feasta fós ar talamh,
d'fheara, dea-mhéin síocháin

Christmas session, 19 December. Rain - dear songs?

Let's hope there's none, - rain that is.
Forget Rudolph and bring along some Holly and Ivy, full grown.
Join us in Dodd's on Saturday night, 19th December, for traditional carols and any other songs that take your fancy.

Fionnuala Maxwell


November session in Boyle

See you all Saturday for an extra special session. Traditional singer Fionnuala Maxwell will be our guest at the Boyle Trad Singers Session. We're looking forward to the night. See you there.
Niamh Parsons was our guest at the annual, special, Boyle Traditional Singers' Session, part of the Boyle Arts Festival 2015, on Thursday, 30th July. 

Niamh Parsons has come to be known as one of the most distinctive voices in Irish music. Growing up in Dublin, Niamh's music-loving parents brought herself and her sister to the local folk club in The Old Shieling Hotel in Raheny, where the sisters were exposed to songs and singing from the likes of The Johnstons, Emmet Spiceland, Sweeney's Men and many other musicians and singers.
"I don't remember a time in my life when I was not singing - I love songs."
Niamh has at least 7 albums to her credit and has appeared on many more.

Niamh ran a singing workshop (8-9pm) on the night, focussing on breathing and the control of nerves, before taking on her role as the special guest at the Singers' Session (9pm-). She sang beautifully each time she did a spot and I hope to do a full write-up - once this busy music season slows down.

 Niamh is currently preparing a new album, which should be released soon. 

The Boyle Singers Circle hope to be welcoming Niamh back to Boyle soon.

Boyle Singers, session 15 August

Next session, Saturday, 15th August, Dodds from 9.30.

Singing in Ballinaglera - Sunday 26th July. 5pm-

We've just received a message from Jim Bainbridge that there'll be songs, music, yarns & craic in Rynn's pub, Ballinaglera, Sunday, July 26th, 5pm ish onwards.

All singers, musicians, storytellers, very welcome to join in... Céad Míle Fáilte

Niamh Parsons - for the Boyle Arts Festival Special Traditional Singers' Session, Thursday 30th July.

Niamh Parsons will be our guest at the annual, special, Boyle Traditional Singers' Session, part of the Boyle Arts Festival 2015, Thursday, 30th July. Niamh will run a singing workshop (8-9pm) before the session (with herself as Special Guest) begins at 9.30pm..

Niamh Parsons has come to be known as one of the most distinctive voices in Irish music.Growing up in Dublin, Niamh's music loving parents brought herself and her sister to the local folk club in The Old Shieling Hotel in Raheny, where the young girls were exposed to songs and singing from the likes of The Johnstons, Emmet Spiceland, Sweeney's Men, Dolly McMahon, Danny Doyle and many of the other musicians and singers that were playing in Folk clubs at that time.

"I don't remember a time in my life when I was not singing - I love songs."

Niamh has at least 7 albums to her credit and has appeared on many more.

Bird Song Project Session 16 May 2015

"Tá an chuach 's an smólach ag freagairt a chéile ann,
An lon dubh 's an chéirseach ar gor os a gcomhair,
Tá'n 'goldfinch', 's an creabhair, 's an 'linnet' i g'cage' ann,
An naoscach ag léimnigh is an eala ón Róimh.
An t-iolar as Acaill, 's an fiach dubh ón gCéis ann,
An seabhac as Loch Éirne, 's an fhuiseog ón móin.
'S dá mbeifeá ann ar maidin roimh éirí na gréine,
Chloisfeá gach éan acu ag seinnimt sa 'ghrove'.

That's 13 for starters. Some had already made an appearance, with Breege Duffy:
Tá an lon dubh is an chéirseach, is an fhuiseoigín le chéile,
 Is an smóilín binn bréagach ina ndiaidh i ngach aird,
An chuach i measc an méid sin ag seinm dánta is dréachta
Do chúl trom tais na bpéarlaí is do mo chéad míle grá.

There were also, St. Brendan's Albatross (Seán), John's swallows were speeding to far off lands, Padraig McGinn's recitation based on 'If I were a blackbird', a turtle dove in Cardin's Wild Desmesne (Frank) - along with pheasant, grouse and partridge, and a few of the already mentioned species, My Singing Bird (a lark) ( Breege), Walking all the day (Paddy), Cuckoos, Moorcocks, Pheasants.

This twitcher lost count.
A great night and a great flock of songs.

April 2015, Roisín White, TG4 Amhránaí na Bliana, guest at the Boyle Tradional Singers Session



Notes, not the singing ones, were kept for the first half of this session, and maybe for the second half too, but if they were, those ones have mysteriously vanished - again. [Enjoying yourself too much to your mind to the task – again - Ed.]
We had Roisín White as our guest and she was accompanied by her husband Alwyn, also an excellent singer.
Roisín kicked off with Erin’s flowery plains, a song she recorded on her album, Le Buíochas, With thanks. This song is also sung by The Usher Family, Co. Louth, on the ‘Traditional singing from County Louth’, a CD of field recordings made in 1974, featuring Pat Usher, Mary Ann Carolan and their cousin Petey Curran and relaunched in 2014:
Of all the nations in this earth, I solemnly protest,
This matchless island of my birth, I surely love the best.
Roisín also sang the Flower of Magherally. A certain person present who makes an attempt at that song every so often was listening carefully to the line, ‘of all the wealth that is possessed, by the great hmmhmm...ally –oh’ heard (open to correction here) ‘the greatest Raleigh, oh’ from Roisín. This word has been a bit of a mystery to many over the years. Sam Henry suggested a couple of possibilities: ‘‘the great titter-a-tally O’, the reference being in all probability to Damer, of Shronill, near Tipperary, the richest man in Ireland about the year 1800, or it may be a corruption of ‘the great Tetrarch Ali O!’ as the old song makers were very fond of learned allusions.’ Take  your pick.
Alwyn sang The (Banks of the) Sweet Prim(e)roses: As I roved out one bright May morning ... introducing the first birds to the evening – ‘songbirds do change their voices’ – a pre-sound for our May session. As we’re taking part in the (almost) nationwide Bird Song Project, the Boyle May singing session will emphasise the theme of birds, and any song references to them will receive particular attention (and enthusiastic applause).
             I will go down in some lonesome valley
Where no man on earth shall e'er me find,
Where the pretty little songbirds do change their voices
And every moment blows blusterous winds.
Jackie Boyce sang ‘O’Reilly from the Co. Leitrim’, a song he has on the album he made with Derry singer, Jim Farland, 'Our ship she lies ready'. Jackie is from Co Down and is the author of 'Songs of the Co Down', 2005. There’s a note on Amazon.co.uk from Jackie: ‘I'd like to let folk know who are interested in the book 'Songs of the County Down' that the publisher 'Ballyhay Books' is considering reprinting this book in paperback and that a CD of some of the songs within may be available in the near future.’ Has this happened, Jackie?
It was back to summer and singing birds for Donna, ‘Oh the happy summer of the golden days’, Clíona, ‘The cuckoo’s a pretty bird’ and Tony, ‘The Cocks are crowing’. Next some landscape: Bríd from Sligo was ‘Down the moor’, Marie, ‘The lambs in the green fields’, Helen, ‘On the wild plains of Mayo’, a song about Úna Bhán, and Frank, ‘Verdant slopes of the Kerry Hills’ a Tim Dennehy song.

Around to Eugene and it’s a migratory bird, of sorts. A macaronic song by Donncha Rua Mac Conmara, (1715–1810), ‘As I was walking one evening fair, Is mé go déanach i mBaile Sheáin [St John’s, Newfoundland]’. This song’s tone shifts constantly, depending on whether the lines are in Irish or English. It’s thought the poet was in Newfoundland when he wrote both this and another well-known song, ‘Bánchnuic Éireann Óighe’.
As I was walking one evening fair
Is mé go déanach i mBaile Sheáin
I met a gang of English blades
Is iad á dtraochadh ag a namhaid
I sang and drank so free and airy
With those courageous men of war
Cé go mb’fearr liom Sasanaigh ag rith le foréigean
Is gur iad Clanna Gael bocht a bhuaigh an lá.


I spent my money by being freakish
Drinking, raking and playing cards,
Cé nach raibh airgead agam ná gréithre
Ná rud sa tsaol seo ní gan aird
Then I turned a jolly sailor
For work and labour I worked abroad
Cé gur maith linn gur mórán bréag san
Is gur beag den tsaothar a thit lem' láimh.


Now Newfoundland is a wide plantation
It will be my station before I die
Cé  go mb’fhearr liom a  bheith in Éirinn
Ag díol gartaeirí nó ag dul fé’n gcoill.
There you may find a virtuous lady
A charming fair one to please the eye
Ó paca straipanna is measa tréithe
Is go mb’fhearr liom féin ar bheith as a radharc.


We will drink a health, boys to Royal George
Our Chief Commander, nár ordaigh Críost
Is achnaímís ar Mhuire Mháthair,
É féin is a ghardaí a leagadh síos
We’ll fear no cannon nor loud alarms
While noble George will be our guide;
Is a Chríost go bhfeicfead-sa iad á gcarnadh
Ag an mac so ar fán uainn ag dul don bhFrainc.
Clare stayed in the late 18th century with the story of 1798’s 36 heroes shot on Dunlavin Green. Jim Bainbridge came back to 20th century atrocities of war in Franco’s Spain.  Jim has recorded this song, ‘Owt for Nowt’ by John Watt on his album, ‘Lights on the River’:
When you're lounging on the beaches of Espagna's sunny shore,
And the hawkers group like leeches ' helados, por favour?',
Remember Franco's icy reign as you ride on RENFE's rails,
Think of the terror and the pain that lurked in Spanish jails.

CHORUS
Espagna, you bled from Bilboa to Seville,
While the ghosts of your dead,
Oh they walk the beaches still,
So while you're busy getting laid and you're raising merry hell,
Think of what the price was paid for your dirt cheap San Miguel
Breege stayed local with the ‘Boatman of Lough Key’ and Roisín finished the first half with, firstly, ‘I was quartered in the town of Boyle‘ and then the ‘Song of Riddles’.
The second half was equally full of great songs and singers with recitations adding to the enjoyment of the evening.
.
Next session in May is the one where songs about birds will be most welcome, although not obligatory. Come along and warble.

Birds of a feather - the Bird Song Project - get warbling...

The Bird Song Project I wrote about earlier has been moving along at a good pace.

As part of the main project, Michael and Aileen, the creators of the Project have been working with 34 traditional singers from all over Ireland, including such singers as Grace Toland, Johnny Mháirtín Learaí, Jackie Boyce and Niamh Parsons. The project takes the form of a themed research and performance project based around the collection and performance of songs, from the Irish tradition, which reference birds or birdsong.

There will be five concerts, which will take place in the four provinces of Ulster, Leinster, Munster and Connaught with a fifth concert in Dublin.

Singing Circles have also been invited to become part of the wider project by hosting their own bird song themed night during the month of May 2015.

 
There are now sixteen Singers' Circles who have chosen to take part in the 'surround [bird] sound'.
Boyle Traditional Singers' Circle is planning to be one of those circles and we'll devote the May 2015 session to the theme of birds and birdsong, as far as possible. When we're doing this, we'll be connecting with other Clubs around the country doing the same thing, all part of an All-Ireland themed-song event.

Spring into song...

Looking forward to the Boyle April session, when the special guest will be Roisín White, from Kilkeel, County Down.

We're delighted Roisín is coming back to visit the Boyle Traditional Singers' circle. Roisín was our guest during the 2013 Boyle Arts Festival when she led a workshop and headed up the lively singing session with great good humour and energy.

Roisín is the very deserving 2015 winner of the TG4 Singer's award: Amhránaí TG4, presented at the Gradam Ceoil - Traditional Irish Music Awards ceremony in Cork's Opera House, in February.

New Director and Gradam TG4 for the Irish Traditional Music Archive

Congratulations to our guest of November last, Grace Toland. She will be the next Director of ITMA, the Irish Traditional Music Archive.

Grace will take up office later this year. The current Director, Nicholas Carolan, co-founded the Archive in 1987 and has led its development into a leading repository of Irish cultural materials (www.itma.ie). Nicholas is due to retire in mid-2015.

The Archive has also won a 2015 TG4 Gradam Ceoil, Gradam Comaoine TG4 (Outstanding Contribution to Traditional Music and Song) - Irish Traditional Music Archive - Taisce Cheol Dúchais Éireann.

Comhghairdeas faoi dhó ag foireann na Taisce.

Bronnfar an Gradam ag ceolchoirm mhór i gCorcaigh, ag deireadh Mí Feabhra.

Birds of a feather - the Bird Song Project.


Tá an londubh is an chéirseach, is an fhuiseoigín le chéile,
Is an smóilín binn bréagach 'na ndéidh ins gach áird;
An chuach i measc an méid sin ag seinimt dánta 's dréachta

Do chúl trom tais na bpéarla is dom chéad míle grá.

Have you heard about the Bird Song Project?

This is a project by Aileen Lambert and Michael Fortune, a couple of artists based in Wexford. The Bird Song Project is supported by the Irish Traditional Music Archive and the National Library of Ireland. The Project is being devised and produced for Bealtaine 2015.

Michael and Aileen will work with singers from throughout Ireland and their research and performance will feature songs from the Irish tradition, in either Irish or English, which feature or reference, birds or birdsong. At the end of the Project, there'll be a series of four concerts, with singers representing each of the four provinces, in the National Library of Ireland in May.

As a kind of 'surround (bird) sound' for the Project, Michael and Aileen are inviting all the Singing Clubs and Circles to become part of the wider project by hosting their own bird-song themed night during the month of May 2015.

This is where we come in.

Boyle Traditional Singers' Circle is planning to be one of those Circles who devote the May 2015 session to the theme of birds and birdsong, as far as possible. When we're doing this, we'll be connecting with other Clubs around the country doing the same thing, all part of an All-Ireland themed-song event.

So now is the time to start learning new, or polishing up older, songs, featuring birds.
There's flocks of them out there. Join in the chorus!

I have seen the lark soar high at morn,
Heard his song up in the blue.
I have heard the blackbird pipe his notes,
The thrush and the linnet too.
But there's none of them can sing so sweet
My singing bird as you ...



If you want more information about the Bird Song Project itself, please contact Michael Fortune at micfortune@gmail.com.

Boyle Singers Circle poster