recess radio program

10/15/04
So Early in the Morning
    by Lauren Brosnihan

Brief sound clip

We have just listened to the grandchildren of the legendary singer and musician, Robert Clancy of the legendary Clancy Brothers. Just as the brothers graced the shores of both Ireland and America with their tradition of Irish folk songs and stories, so too their grandchildren have performed and in so doing preserved 46 Irish children’s songs, lullabies, nursery rhymes and singing games, as well as a slice of lifein the Gaeltacht -- the Irish-speaking area of Ireland. This collection, So Early in the Morning, originally recorded in 1962 in County Tipperary at the home of one of the Clancy sisters by Grandmother Clancy, her nine chidren, their hustbands, wives and all twenty-one grandchildren. It has been re-released on cd with songs in both English and Irish.

Some of the tunes and lyrics will be very familiar to American chidren as some Irish and American rhymes and songs share a common root in the songs of the British tradition. You can't help but smile when listening to these renditions, the simple phrasings and catchy tunes, lyrics and melodies both familiar and unfamiliar, sung with clear and boisterous children's voices and accompanied by many traditional Irish instruments including uillean pipes, tin whistles, harmonica, guitar and of course, harp.

Every October, the Irish celebrate a long legacy of music, with the annual O'Carolan Harp & Cultural Festival held in honor of the death of Turlough O'Carolan the blind harpist, composer and poet of the early 18th century. Concerts, lectures, workshops and competitions are held for an international audience of harp enthusiasts. In listening to the Clancy children we reconnect to this mystical instrument and the stories, poems and songs that have long been accompanied by its strings and haunting melodies.

Copyright 2004 © Lauren Brosnihan

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Friday, 01-Oct-2004 12:17:23 EDT


"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."