Tuesday 20 March 2007

How to Write an Irish Ballad

A customer asked me today what was a the "best" Irish ballad; we couldn't really help them, after all it's really a matter of opinion! but we did enjoy a productive half-hour of naming our favourites.
Some opted for the obscure (instant kudus in Irish traditional circles if you can name some little known piece only sung between two parishes in the Wesht and even then only on a Tuesday and if you see a brown bull) while some opted for the old classics

We came up with the following list:

Fields of Athenry (comes under the heading of Guilty Pleasure)
Kevin Barry (top of the Rebel Songs Category)
Boulavogue (next most popular)
A Nation once Again (third popular rebel song)
Gortnamorna (representing the Music Hall Ballad)
Streets of New York (Modern Irish Ballad)
I know my Love (Catchiest Ballad)
Connemara Cradle Song (Sweetest ballad)
A Bunch of Thyme (most coyly suggextive ballad)

Feel free to add your own!

Of course there is a certain sameness to Irish Ballds, particualrly those of a certain ilk. If you ever want to write the classic Irish folk song, remember the following rules

  1. Bloody English (AKA the Auld Enemy, The Redcoats or the Yoemen) are to blame for starting it, whatever the aprticular "it" is this time
  2. Mention a rotten Landlord preferably one that threw you out into the snow, barefoot and pregnant, with four starving childer and your dying mother.
  3. Add in a hint of sex - either the landlord's son, a redcoat or the boy in the next parish. The former will ahve deserted the herione and the latter she regrets leaving behind.
  4. rebel against something, traditionally some combination of the above
  5. set it all to a lamenting air except the chorus which shoul be rousing and sound like you're exhorting your listener to murder!
have fun!


Anonymous said...

Amiable fill someone in on and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you as your information.

Anonymous said...

Hello,nice post thanks for sharing?. I just joined and I am going to catch up by reading for a while. I hope I can join in soon.

Facebook us

Charles Byrne Musik Ins,

Charles Byrne Musik Ins,

Follow us on twitter

Charlie's News direct to your Email!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner