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Conference at Emory University, Atlanta, USA
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Making Connections: The Celtic Roots of Southern Culture. A Conference at Emory University, Atlanta.
Speaking on the transfer of music from recreational to political repertoires, and from Scotland, via Ireland to the USA. Performance with flute and song in the course of the three day conference.
“Hand-me-downs, Fence Jumpers and Prisoners of War: the Double Life of Irish Songs and Tunes”
A good tune is a good tune, and none know that better than those involved in politics and religion. Many forms of Irish music are borrowed, not least the Popular, Church and Classical genres, and much Irish music has itself been absorbed elsewhere. The older ‘traditional’ music, song and dance can be seen to have absorbed features or forms too from neighbouring Scotland and England – as have done the music and song bodies of those regions with Ireland. Airs are shared with Scotland and ‘big’ ballads with there and England, and political song inter-borrowings mark Nationalist and Loyalist agitational repertoires. The paper explores how these can simultaneously mark the repertoires of recreational dance music and agitational marching music in Northern Ireland, and how the same tune can be found carrying, serving and performing opposing political beliefs with equivalent vehemence.