On the History of Celtic Sessions
A review of how Celtic music was performed in the past.
Looking for thoughtful feedback.
A review of how Celtic music was performed in the past.
Looking for thoughtful feedback.
Begging the question… why is the format in which Irish music was played in the past relevant to how people habitually play it now?
And, I assume the meat of your post is in this paragraph:
"In the earliest form of sessions in the early 1800’s, continuing well into the 1900’s, where multiple musicians gathered, reels, jigs, hornpipes and airs were often played by a single instrument. Musicians soloed on pieces one after another in the circle. Additionally, after about four instrumental pieces, if singers were present, one or two songs were performed, and then instrumental pieces again followed. Later sessions beginning at the end of the 19th century began to allow multiple players of instruments to perform pieces together but only a few melody instruments, the rest being relegated to playing “background,” and similarly breaking up groups of instrumental pieces to allow a couple of songs, again in the ratio of about 4 instrumental pieces to 1 or 2 songs. In the later half of the 20th century, more instruments were allowed to play together, with more playing melody, in the manner now seen and heard in traditional sessions. However, many sessions who call themselves “traditional” have completely, or nearly completely, banned, the oldest and most traditionsl form of Irish music—songs."
What are your specific sources for this?
There is a whiff of politics in the air…
as Tirno says : your article lacks of well-documented and specific sources… and that lessens quite a bit, to be polite, your affirmations. So, give your sources, show us you’re not just imagining the whole thing…
If people want to sing and not play tunes, there’s nothing to stop
them from organizing singing sessions.
Hilarious. Methinks "AmeriCeltic" has a wee axe to grind.
I think most of the "sessions leaders" your Facebook post is lecturing are perfectly aware that pub sessions as know them are a fairly recent invention — London in the 1950s or thereabouts. You’re not suddenly altering people’s worldviews with your "bombshell" that, well, isn’t.
Very funny, though, in light of the comments in "the session" section.
I like the bit - and many other bits of this fiction - about concertinas: "Concertinas, banjos and dulcimers were first noted in the early 1800’s, and were believed by some to have come to Ireland by way of America."
I’m no expert on ‘tinas, so I checked out wikipedia, which says the English concertina was invented in 1829. Hardly the early 1800’s. Ther are tons more half truths and nonsenses but I simply don’t have time to bother with them.
There certainly never was such a thing as a *Celtic* Session in the old days.
I don’t need to be educated by someone who calls him or herself "AmeriCeltic" who "Celebrates and Preserves the culture and history of Celtic Americans".
However, despite what many people here may wish to argue, there should be room for all types of session or musical arrangements in this small world of ours. If it doesn’t already exist, people ought to be prepared to organise something for themselves. Likewise, if an existing arrangement doesn’t suit them, they don’t have to go.
There is a nomenclature problem with this thread and the attached article. Now I agree that pedantry can be a bad thing but anyone professing to be sufficiently expert to write an article or a subject ought to have the nomenclature thrashed out in advance.
The term "Celtic" is a descriptor for a language group (such as Germanic, Romantic and Slavic) it is defined in the nearest dictionary I can find as "of or relating to the Celts or their languages". A Celt is someone who speaks a Celtic language (in modern day Ireland and Scotland the terms Gaelgoir and Gael are used respectively).
Celtic music therefore is music that has words in a Celtic language (or perhaps instrumental music that is named in one of those languages).
I may be wrong here but I doubt that AmeriCeltic is a Gaelgoir nor do I think he plays or sings Celtic music or is sufficiently well versed in the subject to be writing an article on it (I know I’m certinaly not).
I bet he is a fine folk musician or trad player, but that’s a different matter altogether.
Pedantic? Yes it is. Is it necessary? No it’s not. But it becomes necessary when someone starts professing expert knowledge of something they clearly do not possess.
This is my favorite part from the session discussion that prompted the facebook article—
"Phantom Button describes this forum on his profile as follows: "My advice to anyone using this website is to avoid the discussion forum as it is a complete waste of time and dominated by a small myopic clique of self-proclaimed know-it-alls"
Hehehehehe can we rename this thread "Uptight classical, hippie and ex art rock musician/school teachers get their panties in a tight wad over Irish music. Heehehehehe
"which says the English concertina was invented in 1829"
And the more commonly played concertina in Ireland, the Anglo-German - came a fair bit later than that - 1850s I think.
Cheers for pointing out the context there Shanty. It makes it all the more delicious. I love the internet.
Just had to post again in order to do shanty’s bidding. Everybody who posts a subsequently PLEEEAAAASSSEEE make sure you’ve got the right Subject heading.
Thank you SOOOO much!!! Jams_O’Donnell you’ve sent me off to work with a smile today!!! Not had that in a while!
oops-dropped the ball already!
Googling the name of the author of that piece throws up some curious stuff. Is she ‘well known’ ?
This is a biscuit taker:
" According to official studies ordered by the English parliament in 1659, 1660 and 1666, the result of the rebellion and retributions of 1639-40, followed by Cromwell’s invasion and “reconquest” was that over ¾ of all Irish, Scots-Irish and Anglo-Irish who had been alive in the Penyear censes of the 1630’s had been killed or died of disease and famines in the wake of strife"
"Penyear censes"? Wozzat then? Apart from the wee point that "census" comes from a 4th declension Latin word (plural would be "census") and the accepted plural is "censuses", I can only assume that you mean the "muster rolls" of Ulster (perhaps the confusion is with the "Pender’s census" of 1659 - which you seem to be referring to in the same paragraph. The muster rolls were drawn up to identify all "able bodied men" who could be called upon to fight the "Irish" in times of uprising. Needless to say, there would likely be a shortage of "Irish Irish" people on the list. "Pender’s census" or "Petty’s census" of 1659 only lists "tituladoes" - those with a title to land. Let’s say that both surveys would be skewed somewhat, and to draw conclusions from one in relation to the other doesn’t exactly make for accurate figures.
To then go on to use this as a basis for the ‘purity’ of Irish music at the time is rather amusing.
I’m wondering if you found this wonderful hypothesis elsewhere.
What does Grattan Flood have to say ? …
I that article were on Wikepedia it would have of those boxes warning of deprecated features including weasel words and inadequate references.
"given that most musical instruments, the modern scales and tablature, etc., all evolved across Europe only in the last 200-300 years. "
And here’s me thinking that our modes and scale date back to antiquity, that we have music manuscripts from the 9th century, and that a recognisable form of almost every instrument we play today existed by the 13th century.
This is a fun game.
To add to Jam’s discussion of the word "Celtic," variou scholars, such as Malcolm Chapman (The Gaelic Vision in Scottish Culture, 1979) and S. Piggott ("Celts, Saxons, and Early Antiquarians, 1966) have stated, "We must remember that it is an academic assessment from the period since 1760 that makes an argument between Celt and Anglo-Saxon out of, say, Bannockburn, or the ‘Forty-Five [the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745]… It was not until the eighteenth century that the word Julius Caesar used to describe a Gaulish people was drawn out of its Classical source to come into common parlance to describe the prehistoric inhabitants of the British Isles, or the modern peoples who speak languages we now call ‘Celtic.’ (Chapman, 52).
Now a couple of my favourite paragraphs:
"I came to the conclusion that some of the most strident “session” leaders who call their sessions "traditional" are thinking only in terms of ensemble dance music, almost exclusively jigs and reels, set down on paper within a narrow period of time, about 150 years or so, between about 1720 and 1875, and God forbid that there be any mention or suggestion of America in any title. Also, if it was played in the U.S., no matter how long it was here, especially if it changed its name over the centuries, it can’t possibly be Irish or Scottish in origin."
First of all, why 1720-1875? What are the significance of those years? You either need to justify your timeline or at least acknowledge, "I only looked at the first 150 years of x due to limitations of time and space." This is fine. Lots of historians do this as no one has the time to research everything. But you either need to state the significance of your dates or admit that it is completely arbitrary.
Secondly, it’s wrong. The tunes were played and learned orally before "they were set down in paper." As far as I know, the early collectors such as Bunting were operating very much in the wider the tradition of British folklore collection; trying to preserve what they thought of as Irish or Scottish "folklore" by compiling it into encyclopedic volumes. If you’re desperate for information on this, ask me for the relevant sections of my thesis as I can’t be bothered writing it all out here. 🙂 Anyway, quite a lot of session tunes commonly played are much younger than that! Many are from the late-nineteenth century or twentieth century. Ed Reevey tunes, Charlie Lennon tunes, Paddy Fahey tunes, Liz Carroll tunes, and many more make up a significant portion of your average session’s repertoire and these are all twentieth century compositions.
Thirdly, why the defensive comments about music in the US? I think most people with any sort of knowledge of traditional music are well aware of the connections between Old-Time music and Irish and Scottish music.
"Ok, after reading various postings by session leaders and musicians, almost all from the U.S., I decided to see what serious historians of Irish/British/Celtic music/culture, and guides/advisors in Ireland had to say. I’m going to stick to the consensus, which was mostly held by serious students of music within history."
Who are these "serious historians" and "serious students?"
I think AmeriCelt has a rather flawed notion of the meaning of "traditional." "Traditional" does not mean "something going back to ‘ancient times (whatever that means)’ completely unchanged. As I said in my other post, there isn’t any even vaguely knowledgeable Irish trad musician in any pub session who thinks they are in some kind of medieval re-enactment society! "Traditional" does not equate to static. No one knows how, or what, people in Ireland were playing in 1620 but it is certainly not what Irish trad music is now. As you say. But I’m less inclined to blame that entirely on Cromwell and rather attribute it to the much more natural manner in which all oral traditions change over time, discarding some things and adopting others (one of which, in this particular tradition, is the uilleann pipes, which were invented in their current incarnation in the late 1700s!).
Michael O’Suilleabhean, probably one of the most preeminent historians of Irish music, has a very nice description of the evolution of tradition (although his writing style is more literary than academic in this article ;) ):
"Such great sections of the material on which traditional music in Ireland is built have come from outside the culture that any search for the centre of the music must lead to the reworking process itself, not to its products. This process is the creative centre of any music culture. It creates its own gravitational force which maintains the unity of the system around it. Moving through history, it discards elements and acquires new ones according to its needs and circumstances." ("Irish Music Defined," The Crane Bag, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1981. 83).
I need to do real work *slap*
But one more thing….
According to Wikipedia (yes, I know), there was an Irish rebellion in 1641, which consisted of the Irish Catholic gentry rising against the English (Protestant) administration in Ireland. The country was then in a state of civil war, but a confederation of Catholic gentry gained political control. In 1649 they then allied themselves with English royalists (the exiled Charles II). Cromwell did not invade Ireland until that year, in part because of the religious issues, but also, it was a military and political threat to the parliamentarians, as the alliance between the Irish Catholics and Charles II meant the possibility of a royalist invation of England. The Cromwellian wars lasted until 1653.
The point being, where on earth are you getting all this "rebellion and retributions of 1639-40, followed by Cromwell’s invasion …" nonsense? Wrong years.
Actually I don’t know anyone of my friends in England or Ireland who would use the word ‘celtic’ to describe music. It conjures up connotations of affectation like those celtic women who shimmy around making eyes at bodhran players who prance around in their singlets!
I suppose shouldn’t have just sniped about the weasel words without being specific. The first example is "I’m going to stick to the consensus, which was mostly held by serious students of music within history." This is like saying "it has long been known that…" when one has not bothered to reference (or maybe even read) the original sources or is merely presenting a personal view.
TSS - it might be meant to conjure up images of the people you see if your go here http://www.americeltic.net/ and click on ‘People’ then ‘Scots-Irish’ (can’t seem to link directly to the pages)
Sorry, last bit was to Rob (rushing because the site is losing posts again)
Argh… I need to stop looking at this and accept that Foucault’s ideas of hiding unreason are the most important thing in my life right now!!!!!!
"most of the peoples of Europe, with the exception of Italy, southern Spain and Greece, are Celtic in large measure."
Not sure that’s right about Italy - I would have thought it was the other way round. But you have to say that Austrians are Celtic if your name is Becker and you profess yourself to be a "Celtic American" I suppose.
Austrians and Bavarians are actually the most Celtic of all people (in that they share the greatest portion of their DNA with those whose remains were discovered at various La Tène sites).
I don’t know enough about it to argue with that. Except to say that I’ve just looked at the Wiki article, which is quite careful to suggest that whereas Celts may have been part of La Tène culture, not all of La Tène culture was Celtic.
That, and we might be in danger of going so far back in antiquity and away from the commonly understood meaning of "Celt" as to make no sense in context. But that’s just a possible interpretation. Maybe.
Austrians and Bavarians are actually the most Celtic of all people (in that they share the greatest portion of their DNA with those whose remains were discovered at various La Tène sites).
Tell that to an Austrian. : )
Or it could just be that the term Celtic, outside of a linguistic context, is utterly meaningless. It’s no coincidence that pan-Celticism is fabricated on the premise that it excludes the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ inhabitants of south-east Britain, as if the Britons were expelled by the Germanic tribes. Of course, they weren’t, and there is no significant difference in genetic heritage between any of the ‘peoples’ of Great Britain and Ireland, and the surrounding islands. The Victorians made all this Celtic stuff up as part of their doctrine of eugenics. So, whenever you engage with the idea of ‘Celtic’ races, you’re engaging with a discredited ‘scientific’ system that developed alongside such wonders as phrenology (which was a sister-science of eugenics theory). It’s relationship to music is about as relevant as its relationship to reality.
Of course it’s meaningless. You’re preaching to the choir in that regard.
I thought that remark was amusing.
More to the point:
However, many sessions who call themselves “traditional” have completely, or nearly completely, banned, the oldest and most traditionsl form of Irish music—songs."
O where to start…
I guess my attitude is summed up in one word: So?
I don’t hate all singers for being attention whoring shallow extroverts with no regard for the creative lives or energies of instrumentalists….Just most of them : )
While I agree that this stuff was made up, it was made up before "eugenics" (a twentieth century term, by the way) and before the Victorian era. I’d look to the end of the eighteenth century, around the time James MacPherson published his Ossianic cycle and Thomas Pennant and Johnson and Boswell went gallivanting around Scotland.
"However, many sessions who call themselves “traditional” have completely, or nearly completely, banned, the oldest and most traditional form of Irish music—songs."
Where did whoever get that idea? From my point on view, that’s entirely wrong. Or is it just the session I attend that encourages songs if we have a singer amongst us?
This is the same person or group of people who created The King Street Session book, which to me, is one of the most misguided, and poorly assembled collections of Irish music to ever make its way around the Western United States. This unfortunate compilation was the main source of learning for beginners and novices when I first moved to my town. It was the basis of one entire session! Not only is it loaded with curious interpretations of tunes, it has key recommendations for backers which pay little or no regard to modal structures. It took the profound efforts of several of us to purge our town of this thing. I still laugh when I think about the whole chapter dedicated to "Scotch Reels." I’m sorry this is coming across so mean spirited. I just really hated what that book stood for and what it was doing to the potential of our sessions. I’ve been to Santa Cruz. It’s a great place for cold water surf breaks at Steamer’s Lane and body piercing. However, in regards to the history of "Celtic Music" I’d be inclined to look elsewhere.
You have my apologies for my angry rant AmeriCelt. I’m sure your heart is in the right place. Good luck with your project.
I stand corrected. My fortuitously limited exposure to the subject of popular racialist pan-Celticism largely began and ended with the 19th century.
Dragut, are you telling us that all the story of movement of peoples between the start of the Roman occupation/colonisation and the begiining of some form of demographic records is made up ? I see your point about "popular racialist pan-Celticism" of which their may often be an undecurrent (or more) behind geneological studies. But the Angles and Saxons ( and Jutes was it ?) did come into the south and east, and the Vikings (with that celtic knotwork etc …) also around the top, bringing their genes and languages with them.
No, but the Romanticist, "Celtic twilight," pastoral, druidic twaddle that has been associated with the word "Celtic" since the 18th century is.
I’m going to be extremely lazy and quote a paper I am reading just now for work, which addresses these issues. That way, both work and Yella Board contributions are accomplished with one deft motion!
"Most sociologists would now agree to a definition in which races (or ethnic groups; the terms are very similar) are (a) ‘socially constructed’, i.e. actively defined by people, and (b) ‘historically contingent’, i.e., that they could change in response to social and cultural factors. In other words, people can define themselves or be defined by others as a racial or ethnic group. Such groups tend to define themselves based on a common belief in shared biological descent (though these beliefs can be changeable), as well as appearance, language, law, customs, and national identity. These concepts spread rapidly to the humanities. The most striking thesis to emerge from this interaction was that relating to the modernity of ethnic nationalism. According to this view, modern nation-states necessitated the co-identification and convergence of ethnic and national identities; this had only become possible in the wake of such seismic cultural shifts as the advent of mass print-culture, the Industrial revolution and Enlightenment philosophy. The implication that nations as such did not exist has drawn criticism from premodernist scholars." (Matthew H. Hammond, The Scottish Historical Review 85.1 (2006) 1-22, 15.)
SS - "According to this view, modern nation-states necessitated the co-identification and convergence of ethnic and national identities"
I think this perfectly illustrates the curious American need to hyphenate their identity with terms like Irish-American, etc.
Oh, I was looking for an example of imperfect "co-identification and convergence of ethnic and national identities" and thought that the need for terms like Irish-Amercan provided one. Maybe I only understood the first part.
Yes David - I stated the obvious. Or as the kids in the States say - No Duh..
I did so because whenever this topic comes up and Americans attempt to explain the concept to our mustard board friends across the pond, the responses given usually range from confused to downright condescending. The quote above shows at least one Scotsman has gotten his head around the phenomenon..
I printed out the King Street book, as a handy reference for settings, often I never bothered to learn how the public at large plays the Pigeon on the Gate etc. It seems useful in that regard. Either that or all the musos in Portland got their stuff from it, or a common debased source? Dunno about chords, I do my best to ignore strummers. I like the Scotch section, a friend from Edinburgh is put off by the heading, though.
Regarding historical accounts of "sessions," you have Francis O’Neill’s account of one spontaneously happening, where a piper playing solo was joined by a fiddler, then a fluter, then another fiddler, then another piper, etc etc, until the whole room was going at once. O’Neill describes this as a complete anomaly. This was at a gathering in Chicago about 110 years ago. Perhaps the massed band session was more the norm in other cities.
One of O’Neill’s source musicans, John Ennis, described a "Meeting of the Craft" in early 1920s NYC. Again, each musician played or sung in turn. An old piper who arrived in NYC in the early 30s told me that Michael Coleman and his peers never had piano or guitar players in tow when they played at gatherings - that was for the benefit of record companies. They generally played solo on radio, too. Duets in public but no groups of musicians, outside of "Orchestras" playing in dance halls etc.
Reg Hall talks about the genesis of the session in the modern sense in the liner notes of various CDs he produced on the Topic label; the most pertinent to this subject is the one of Sligo fiddler Michael Gorman. His writing for the Round the House CD is interesting as well, where he outlines how music making was primarily the province of professional musicians until the late 19th century, and the arrival of inexpensive instruments like the concertina and tin whistle. Certainly people played whistles before then, or cheap, sometimes homemade fiddles; but it really took off when these became extra affordable; also the flute gained ground when classical musicians rejected the old wooden flute for the new Boehm etc models.
Hope that helps. Likely this has been gone over here a million times as well, search past discussions for more.
I’m glad I don’t have to read papers that start "Most sociologists would now agree …."
One’s inclined to start shouting "Oh no they don’t! Oh yes they do!"
Now, where’s this Scotch section?
In my whisky cabinet.
That’s the only type of Scotch section I want to hear about
David, SS has pretty much summed it up. What I’m suggesting is that the total absence of any archaeological evidence of genocide on the part of the aforementioned Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings, as well as the statistically insignificant genetic differences amongst the populations of Ireland and Britain can lead us to some logical conclusions. I think it’s safe to assume that these invaders mingled with the native populations in south east England, as they did everywhere else they invaded. The Britons never left England, so the English are as ‘Celtic’ as all the other populations who were invaded by these groups. People must learn the language and customs of the politically and economically dominant elite if they are to avoid political marginalisation and economic stagnation. I think there might be a ‘Celtic’ country or two that fits this picture in the more recent past, no?
‘TSS - it might be meant to conjure up images of the people you see if your go here http://www.americeltic.net/ and click on ‘People’ then ‘Scots-Irish’ (can’t seem to link directly to the pages)’
Yes, very amusing and hopelessly romantic nonsense!
I’m thinking of emailing this lady to get her to trace my family tree.
Could be interesting.
Reminds me of the man who went to a fortune teller and asked "Where is my father?’.
"Your father is playing second violin in a provincial orchestra in Southern England."
"Got you there, he died ten years ago !"
"No, your mother’s husband died ten years ago, your father is playing……".
Of course, we’re all celts under the skin. Aren’t we ?
Just to make my life really really miserable right now, for every historian like the guy I referenced above who challenges the validity of the Celt-Anglo Saxon dichotomy, there are plenty more who are happy to use that word as shorthand for "Ireland, Scotland, and Wales," especially when discussing the early modern period (about 1500 to 1800) and earlier.
Whenever I have met other musicians during my life, one of the first things we do is find some common musical ground so we can play some music together. Thus, I always find amusing the claims that our forerunners snubbed such opportunities, preferring to play solo, even when they gathered into groups. Generally, I mistrust theories that are based on an assumption that human nature has somehow changed over the past few centuries. Folks are folks, and music is a social activity.
AmeriCeltic, you seem well intentioned, so I hope you don’t just close your eyes to what everyone has said here because some of it has been delivered with a dose of sarcasm. There is a lot to learn from this discussion.
I use the ‘AmeriCeltic’ label for things my spouse and I collaborate on.
Prompted by ‘ethical blend’s comment, Here is a half tree for one of us.
My paternal grandfathers surname, was originally Beckers, and when they emigrated, Von Beckers, prompted as Prussians, in the wake of the Franco-Prussian war, made it clear to anyone connected to the Hapsburgs that they would not be welcome in the district of Aachen any longer. Henrys children, including my father, changed it during WWII to make it sound a bit less Germanic. No Celts on this branch that I know of, unless you are counting these Austrians.
At least some of my Celtic ancestry comes through my paternal grandmother. Her fathers extended family originated from the area around Six Mile Bridge, County Clare, emigrated to Liverpool in about 1855, and about ten years later emigrated again from Liverpool to New York, on a total of four ships, where their surname is entered as McEnerney. My great grandfather Michael brought his wife, Mary Coyne along, then worked in the coal mines of Locust Gap, Pennsylvania until he died, likely of black lung, in about 1881. Mary Coyne McNerney then accompanied a family friend, George Neubauer to central Minnesota, where her daughter, my grandmother, Mary Catherine McNerney, met and married my paternal grandfather Henry Beckers.
This all makes for great reading. Please keep this thread going!
Dragut - I didn’t quibble with your "no significant difference in genetic heritage" above because I assumed you meant no difference relevant to the discussion, and I agreed with the sentiment of the post (actually I did to start with but the system ate the post and I changed my mind) . But there is, for example, still enough geographic variation in europe for people to try to establish the proportion of "viking blood" in current inhabitants of the formerly Norn speaking parts of Scotland. I think if you plotted the proportion of people with black hair and paler-than-average ( for a ‘white’ person) skin colour on a map of these islands you would find an interesting pattern. Maybe the same for red hair and freckles. I don’t know about the Angles, Saxons and Jutes but there is archeological and written evidence that the Vikings enslaved (and exported), slaughtered and drove out many of the people who’s lands they took.
Did quibble I mean.
clearly the anglo concertina was invented before 1829 because if you watch pirates of the carribian dead man’s chest when they are on the isle of tortuga looking to gather those 99 soles there is a guy in the band playing a concertina and this all happened well before 1829……didn’t it?
souls I mean
From what I remember of the pop-science simplifications of recent genome studies into the subject, there are areas where there are groups of people with small but significant DNA links to ‘foreign’ populations (Vikings in the north-east of England, for example). In these cases, the anomalies make up about 12% of their DNA - the rest is the same as the general population. Blah, blah, genocide didn’t occur, repeat myself endlessly etc. Britons weren’t slaughtered en-masse by the Vikings, Saxons, Jutes, Normans, or anyone else - they became culturally, economically, politically subordinate producers of the wealth of the kingdoms. Enslavement doesn’t end the process whereby DNA is passed on. Genocide does. The only way English people could be genetically different from anyone else in GB and Ireland is through genocide, and they’re not. So, pics, or it didn’t happen.
You can find some info on the DNA-Genealogy project in Shetland here:
Be warned - some of it is Faux information!
Nonsense Dragut, they would be genetically different if there was more admixture of genes from outside than in other areas, or admixture from different places. And if that figure of 12% is right I think you will find it is 12% of the parts of the genome that they chose to look at. Most English people are not really interested in distant roots, or if they are interested its just a casual interest if information becomes available.
DNA testing must be a concern to geneologists who use written records for the reason metioned by Guernsey Pete.
Thanks, Weejie, that was the study I was thinking of but was too rushed to look it up. I should have remembered the circuitous connection between the author’s surname and the subject.
Actually, no, I had seen that but there is a more statistical study of the same or similar data, with less geneology, somewhere.
This one perhaps?
No, it was more looking at populations as a whole, the sort of thing that Dragut is concerned about. It must have referred to those though. It may have been a summary displayed in a museum. (IIRC display boards at Viking sites keep open the possibility of wholesale slaughter by land-grabbing arrivals from the sea).
Actually genocide did occur by the north German invaders, but only in limited areas. For example, on the Isle of Wight the Jutes slaughtered every single Briton then proceede to colonise it. Sma happened in some other areas but to a lesser extent. East Anglia was almost cleared of Britons to make way for….erm, the Angles.
I recently read a book (Blood of the Isles) by this man:
It was not as well-written as I had hoped, given his research on the subject, far too slick, but it did contain some interesting conclusions which are adequately summarized in the wikipedia article. (To be fair, the book did refer the reader to more detailed data online.)
"The genetic makeup of Britain and Ireland is overwhelmingly what it has been since the Neolithic period …especially in the female line, i.e. those people, who in time would become identified as British Celts (culturally speaking), but who (genetically speaking) should more properly be called Cro-Magnon In continental Europe, …"Celt" [is a] cultural designation[s] not genetic "
"The contribution of the Celts of central Europe to the genetic makeup of Britain and Ireland was minimal; most of the genetic contribution to the British Isles of those we think of as Celtic, came from western continental Europe, I.E. the Atlantic seaboard. "
"There is a difference between the genetic histories of men and women in Britain and Ireland. The matrilineages show a mixture of original Mesolithic inhabitants and later Neolithic arrivals from Iberia, whereas the patrilineages are much more strongly correlated with Iberia"
and a direct quotation from the book:
"The Celts of Ireland and the Western Isles are not, as far as I can see from the genetic evidence, related to the Celts who spread south and east to Italy, Greece and Turkey from the heartlands of Hallstadt and La Tene…during the first millennium BC"
He also discusses Anglo-Saxons and Vikings and concludes that invaders in general rarely brought their women with them, breeding with the local populations instead.
Many years before I read the book I attended a seminar by someone researching ancient DNA, who revealed that when the very first samples were tested, they bore a striking resemblance to the DNA of the laboratory director. This may of course just be a joke, but I believe a bit more care is taken these days.
I admit, I use the dreaded "C" word in my thesis, but only in a very limited context (some medieval manuscripts that are seen as Irish texts but are applicable to the West of Scotland as well). Here is the handy quite which I thought justified my use of the word, which I think is relevant to this thread as well:
"The original Celtic form is now, as an unattested form, a hypothesis only: it is not a word or a part of a language, but a device to make sense of the present; it has no real status in real history, and no date in real time. As such, it is accompanied in modern linguistical analysis, by an asterisk, */thus/. The asterisked form is a theoretical utility, a formal emptiness in historical linguistics. Because the Celtic starred or asterisked form represents “Common Celtic,” however, it is often accorded, by various Celtic movements, an implicit historical reality that is at once linguistic, political, cultural, and racial, in true 19th-century style. The asterisk could be seen as an apt metaphor, therefore, for the hollow unity, theoretical and abstract in origin, which is pursued by the Celtic enthusiast, and which he fills with words and deeds, with birth, copulation, and death." (Maryon MacDonald, “Celtic Ethnic Kinship and the Problem of Being English,” Current Anthropology, Vol. 27, No. 4 (Aug.-Oct., 1986), 333-347. 338.)
So it basically has some generally accepted usages, "theoretical utility" as she calls it, in certain fields such as linguistics and medieval literature and also to the "Celtic enthusiast" (like AmeriCelt?). The last certainly owes a lot to the 19th-century creation of the mystic Celt verses the realist Anglo-Saxon as discursive categories reflecting 19th-century politics. My feeling is that’s why modern people want to be "Celtic" and explore their Celtic roots and no doubt the tourist industry of Ireland and Scotland has endlessly capitalized on this. Same reasons as 19th-century Romantics: the fact that industrial, utilitarian, modern society was viewed as not particularly spiritual, imaginative, or emotive, and "Celts" were held to be all those things. Looking at all the "Celtic" stuff now, like books in tourist shops and Celtic woman CDs, and all the people at sessions, especially in North America, who get excited about the druidical mist they think surrounds the music and the culture, I don’t think things have changed.
But as there’s virtually no evidence that there ever was one people or one language uniting Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Breton, Cornwall, and Manx, it in no way reflects historical reality.
*Breton and Manx? I mean Brittany and the Isle of Mann.
Just to point out that the main difference between the David Faux and Bryan Sykes accounts is how fine the data are being sliced and grouped. 40% Viking in the northern isles would be a grouping of the Faux story but a detail within that of Sykes.
I think Yeats’s ‘The Celtic Twilight’ has a lot to answer for. You can read some here - http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/yeats/twi/index.htm. I particularly recommend ‘A Remonstrance with Scotsmen for Having Soured the Disposition of Their Ghosts and Faeries’.
That link from Rob to the explanation of "Scots-Irish" certainly is amusing. To take one wee snippet, for example:
"About this time Scotland, which had poor agricultural lands generally except in the south, was undergoing a population boom. Some chicanery practiced by one of James friends had all but ruined a number of Scottish nobles in southwestern Scotland as they were preparing to ease these population pressures by sending the excess people to Nova Scotia.
Unfortunately for thie Irish, Nova Scotia was slow to get going as a colony, and then under the next King, Charles I it was given to the French as a sort of a bride price for Charles` French wife, Henrietta. So, King James began to redistribute the forfeited Irish lands as plantations for these loyal Scots, with long term leases and very low rents. Under Charles I, this distribution of Irish lands to Scots accelerated…."
So full of holes it is a veritable colander! Population boom in Scotland? Fascinating - there was me thinking that the choice of clientele for the Ulster plantations was more political - people with firm beliefs and a few Border Reivers thrown in for good measure - keep the papists at bay, don’t you know.
The Nova Scotia thing was never intended to be large scale, and nowt to do with over-population of Scotland.
Moreover, Charlie boy had been married for about 7 years before that part of North America was ceded to France with the St. Germain-en-Laye Treaty of 1632 - the French had come up trumps after some naval capers ended up in their favour. Not a dowry by any means. As for the Scots influx accelerating under Chas 1, I am of the understanding that it was quite the opposite - the migration decreased even some returning to Scotland and, in the light of the Covenant of 1638 and its incorporation 5 years later into the Solemn League and Covenant, let’s just say that relations between the monarch and Scottish Presbyterians was somewhat strained - Chas wouldn’t have been too keen on more Presbyterian Scots taking root in Ulster.
Still, it makes for fun reading.
"But as there’s virtually no evidence that there ever was one people or one language uniting Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Breton, Cornwall, and Manx, it in no way reflects historical reality."
Sorry for taking this out of context. I opened the thread on the above response & thought, ‘don’t people speak English in each of those countries?’ But, I am convinced the United Kingdom is neither.
"’don’t people speak English in each of those countries?"
Perhaps there are a few more people with holiday homes in Brittany, but generally the gossip in the villages there is not in English.
Just beginning my coffee. Cheers, Weejie.
Should have said "perhaps there are a few more British people with holiday homes in Brittany these days".
Yes, but the chat isn’t generally in Breton either.
"Yes, but the chat isn’t generally in Breton either."
Whether it is in French, Breton or Gallo, it doesn’t unite Brittany with the aforementioned ‘Celtic’ countries. so, thanks for underlining that point.
I don’t agree that it wouldn’t if it was in Breton. But yes, funnily enough, I was, in fact, underlining your point. Thank you for pointing that out. I might not have noticed.
If it was in Breton, then arguably it would link the countries, but ‘unite’ is a bit optimistic, methinks. But, hey, you could argue that the Indo-European speaking countries are all united if you look at it in the right light.
I’m finding it a bit difficult to keep up. Are we playing Traditional Indo-European Music now or Traditional Cro-Magnon?
When the conversation gets to this point in the pub someone usually says how they were touring with the family in Brittany and ended up in this town that was having an inter-Celtique festival. People from all over celebrating their shared Celtic heritage. Claiming they all could understand each other. But the main thing they appeared to have in common was that they were all completly p*ss*d.
So from all of the above can we say that, on the basis if historical precendence, it is as valid (or invalid) a use of ‘Celtic’ as any other ?
Or just that any excuse to party and get p*ssed is a good one.
The problem might be when you conflate linguistics and ethnicity - or the dubious term ‘race’. With the risk of opening yet another can of worms, the amount of times I’ve pointed out there is no ‘Semitic race’ only to have an onslaught of folk trying to prove the existence of said ‘Semites’ as a ‘race’.
(no, please, it is a linguistic term - and yes, there are geographic links, as with any language - and ethnic groups within that geographical area who might speak a language within that linguistic group, but Arabic and Maltese folk -well).
When it comes to this ‘Celtic’ malarkey, I believe there are some Asian folk in Lewis who speak Gàidhlig - at least there used to be. Does this unite them ethnically with some Breton speakers across the English Channel? Sure, there are links between the languages, but would you call ‘African Americans’ in Louisiana a Germanic people because the language they speak has Teutonic roots to a large extent?
Pile of bowlarks, I reckon.
So far as the discussion title goes isn’t it problem of conflating culture with language and/or ethnicity ?
Tribes come into this somewhere.
"Tribes come into this somewhere."
Aye, but they tend to be in some distant past.
But that is what is being said already.
Tribes bred outwith their own tribes and settled within other tribes - languages prevailed but not necessarily a sign that those tribes are still there in their ‘pure’ form. The language is often the main denominator and a lot of the cultural aspect is ‘revived’ for the purpose of some cultural identity.
But then we are going round in circles.
Just so long as they’re crop circles 🙂
The very best crop circles - the pick of the crop circles.
Yes, that is what I understand to happen in some places where they still have tribes. It went through my mind when reading TSS’s "Most sociologits would now agree…" because of the awkward relationship to ‘nation states’. I guess invaders from the Romans onward were sometimes carving things up to suit themselves the way the colonial powers did in Africa.
For Fek Sake.. I just want to see where my great grandfather was born (Culleens, Sligo) and have a pint and a tune at the local.
Terry in Boston
ps. Anyone going to Ennis next week?
"Looking for thoughtful feedback."
This you have received, Ameri Celtic, but I think you need to address the first reply "What are your specific sources for this?"(Tirno)
Now, Cecilia (may I call you Cecilia?) as a scholar in the fields of history and anthropology, I think you are aware that comments such as
"I decided to see what serious historians … had to say. I’m going to stick to the consensus, which was mostly held by serious students of music within history."
"…another consensus fact about real traditional Irish music."
" The description from contemporary eye-witnesses to pubs from the late 1600’s to the early 1900’s is pretty much as follows…"
"The historians stated that pubs evolved from…"
cannot be taken seriously. However, no one has traveled far or paid to get in, so no harm done. You have inspired some discussion, which I believe is the objective.
Don’t you love it when someone comes onto a forum and has a mad rant about something they don’t have a clue about?
Just want to also say that I am enjoying this discussion. Though I can’t swim with you big fish, I am gathering that the history of the recent century or 3 are the most important culturally to your family. But I always fancied the idea of having a touch of Viking blood in me.
"But I always fancied the idea of having a touch of Viking blood in me. "
Well, you could always go to Denmark for your next transfusion…..
I am the other half of AmeriCeltic. Here is my Ethnic Background:
My late father was Hungarian. The family name used in the U.S. since my paternal grandfather, a titled aristocrat was sent into exile in 1907, is a centuries’ old former title of a particular branch of a well known very old family of princes and counts. On this side, I have documented family history goes back to classical times, some is actually in the ancient _Chronicles of Mathias Corvinus_. This history shows connections to Croatians, Byzantines, Austrians and Mongols. I’m sure the significant amount of blonde hair in his family didn’t come from "pure" (whatever that is) Magyars. The "Celt" in this half of the family is very ancient and negligible, from the Cimmerians (identified by the Romans as central European gallic/celtic people in the Danubian basin and adjacent hills in the 3rd and 4th centuries CE) who intermarried with the Huns and became part of the short-lived (120 years or so) Hunnic empire/kingdom. The Cimmerians were largely the Celts who had been living in the same area for several hundred years and were conquered and subjugated by the Romans long before the Huns arrived. The Romans left in the wake of wars with the Goths, ditto the Goths but the Cimmerians mostly remained.
My late mother was of mostly Scottish descent, with some Native American, Welsh, Irish, and French Huguenot (mostly Norman French) Oh yes, I almost forgot there was a smidgen of Angevin French in my late father’s Hungarian heritage as well. My late mother’s maiden surname was Wallace and we’ve traced her paternal line back to a third son of a second son of a baron of Craigie who was knighted in his own right during the "Restoration" of the Stuarts to the English and Scottish thrones and acquired land in Ulster at about the same time. Recognizable Scottish and Irish surnames in her heritage include Wallace, Dunlap/Dunlop, Collins, Lendrum/Landrum, Hayes, Campbell, Fitzpatrick, Ross, Thomas, etc. I’ve traced many of her ancestral lines back to Scotland, Ireland and Wales with excellent primary and valid secondary source documentation.
I acquired a love of music, and interest in learning to play and sing several types of music mostly from my late mother. Her family had a long tradition of song with some instrumentists as well. She, herself, had briefly been a professional singer on radio in Los Angeles and ultimately for the USO, before enlisting in the U.S. Navy, and then meeting and marrying my late father during WWII. I have interviews with earlier maternal family members, and documents and letters showing a history of music in the family back to the early post-immigration years of some Scots-Irish lines. One letter, dated 1739, is cited in a 120 year old family history, asnd describes the singing and dancing (no instruments mentioned so the dancing was done to singing and clapping) at a wedding in a Scots-Irish emigrant family. My late maternal grandmother (1892-1989) had years of singing in a choir and for family get-togethers and played a lap dulcimer and later, briefly, a violin (fiddle). Her grandmother’s first husband was a regionally known fiddle player until his murder in 1861 (at the Massacre and burning of Osceola, St. Clair County, Missouri).
* I graduated from a respected university with degrees in history (three fields) and anthropology and have been a professional researcher and analyst in various fields for most of my post-collegiate life. I have done post-graduate work in international relations, non-profit/small business management, and PR. I’ve worked in and with government, industries, and run my own businesses, but I’m mostly retired at present. I learned to play piano but a favorite cousin was much better at it so I concentrated on voice training. I now play bodhran in addition to singing-and do both for fun, though my husband I have occasionally accepted paid gigs (small-time), mostly because they sounded like they would be fun.
Cecilia L. Fabos-Becker
On one of the links up above led us to a discussion of a pub session. That session was more of a round robin song session, which is fine if that is what you like. Not the tune centered session that most folks that hang around this tune website are interested in, but certainly a valid part of the tradition. I can’t put my own nose up at any form of session, since I also like the pubs where everyone goes to sing along together when the band launches into those old familiar songs.
But one thing about that session description chilled me to the bone. There was a reference to someone playing the "house bodhran." Which implies that this venue keeps a drum around just for random people to give it a go. Now that, my friends, is as chilling as the thought of putting pockets on a billiard table! 🙂
Some might say that billiards started going downhill as soon as it began to be played on a table, Al!
It’s an interesting read, not meant to be a scholarly work so I won’t be to hard on it. I was SURPRISED to see this:
" to find Irish and Scottish music older than the mid 1700’s, one had to look for communities of Irish and Scots-Irish in the central Appalachians in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina that still sang and performed their own “traditional” music without influences from Africa, Germans, etc.—and that even in the early 1900’s, this music could be and was found and recorded. "
This is not something that is usually noticed, so I commend on it! I grew up in this region and my family were musicians, and I think it is significant that you mentioned this region. Especially MAryland and Pennsylvania. If you look at my tune submissions, many of them come out of this very tradition, and are hard to categorize and define.
The owner of this Pub prefers to have a 50/50 mix of tunes and songs because he thinks he sells less beer if it becomes all one or the other.
@Al Brown - Chilling indeed! And, the ‘Riverdance’ logo is painted on this thing’s drumhead!
For our wedding anniversary last month, I gave her a proper bodhran, and two tin whistles, but as she mentions above, she is a much better soprano than instrumentalist.
@ The Merry Highlander: Please post some of your music on my facebook page www.facebook.com/AmeriCeltic
" According to official studies ordered by the English parliament in 1659, 1660 and 1666, the result of the rebellion and retributions of 1639-40, followed by Cromwell’s invasion and “reconquest” was that over ¾ of all Irish, Scots-Irish and Anglo-Irish who had been alive in the Penyear (Pynnar) censes of the 1630’s had been killed or died of disease and famines in the wake of strife"
For the more thoughtful of participants in this forum, herewith are excerpts of from my main source for this "Rev. George Hill - Captain Nicholas Pynnar’s Survey". Cecilia L. Fabos-Becker
######## begin ########
The Conquest of Ireland
An Historical Account
PLANTATION IN ULSTER
Commencement of tbe Seventeenth Century,
REV. GEORGE HILL,
EDITOR OF The Montgomery Manuscripts, AND AUTHOR OF An Historical Account of the Macdonnells of Antrim
" If any there be which are Desirous to be strangers in their own soile and forrainers in their own citie, they may so continue, and therein flatter tbemselves. For sucb like I have not written these lines, nor taken these paines."-CAMDEN.
PUBLISHED BY THE
IRISH GENEALOGICAL FOUNDATION
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF MICHAEL C. O’LAUGHLIN
ISBN: 0-940134-42-X (Book One) 0-940134-45-4 (Book Three)
ISBN: 0-940134-44-6 (Book Two) 0-940134-65-9 (Book Four)
ISBN: 0-940134-05-5 (Complete Four book collection)
© 2004 Irish Genealogical Foundation. Box 7575, Kansas City, MO. 64116 U.S.A.
Records of the old Irish and of new families that settled in Ireland
THE CONQUEST OF IRELAND
‘An Historical Account of The Ulster Plantation’
The Fall of Irish Chiefs and Clans
Ulster Before the Plantation.
Orders of Plantation. The Project of Plantation.
Doubts and Delays., The Commissioners at Work. Results and Arrangements. IGF Surname Index
Names in the Land Grants
Grants and Grantees IGF Surname Index
Londonderry Lands and Families
The Londoners Plantation IGF Surname Index
Special Census of Northern Ireland
Pynnar’s Survey IGF surname Index
448 THE PLANTATION IN ULSTER
PYNNAR’S SURVEY. 449
In the years 1612 and 1613, the planters appear to have made some little progress, but
during the two following years they were kept in a state of trembling and panic, from an instinctive impression, perhaps rather than any definite knowledge, that there existed a wide-spread conspiracy among the natives. Such conspiracy, however, did actually exist, and although discovered before :t could be sufficiently matured, the excitement in Ulster produced a weakening effect on the new settlements. When the agitation subsided, on the seizure and execution of the leading conspirators ia the summer of 1615, the King sent Sir Josias Bodley to look after and report on the state of affairs in Ulster. Bodley made a most unfavourable report, which appears to have produced a very irritating effect on the King, who forthwith ordered his deputy to have another investigation made, and therein to spare no undertakers, English or Scottish, who might be found to have neglected their plantation duties. The consequent investigation, in 1616, caused a greater degree of energy and activity among the planters. Buildings that had been commenced, but left in an unsightly, because unfinished state, were then completed, and several undertakers compelled through fear of forfeiture, to bring the required number of British families to settle on their lands. It thus came to pass that Captain Pynnar, who made his Survey in 1618 and 1619, was really able to report some progress, though not nearly so much as might have been expected from the very liberal terms on which the planters had received their lands.
The following is the mandate to the Irish deputy for Pynnar’s appointment as the principal member of a commission to investigate and report on the progress made by Ulster undertakers of lands :-
" These are to pray and require you forthwith, upon sight hereof, to cause to issue forth under the great seal of this kingdom, a commission directed to the persons under-named, authorizing o-hem, or any two or more of them, whereof Captain Nicholas Pynnar to be always one, to enquire by all good ways and means by their own view, or by oath or deposition of witnesses, or by impannelling juries of good and lawful men of and in the several counties of Tyrone, Donnegal, Armagh, Cavan, Fermanagh, and Londonderry, of and upon the several points, instructions, and articles contained in a schedule hereunto annexed, concerning the performance of such things as are to be done by the several undertakers, servitors, and natives of and in the several counties in the plantation of the lands granted unto them by his Majesty’s letters patents. And, further authorizing them, or any two or more of them aforesaid, to minister and take the oath of his Majesty’s supremacy, according to the statute of the second of Elizabeth, of all the undertakers and their freeholders, lessees, and undertenants, in the several counties above specified, and inserting therein such other clauses as in like commissions are or have been usual; and the said commission to be returnable with all convenient speed. For doing whereof this shall be your ".ordship’s warrant. Given at his Majesty’s castle of Dublin, the 27th day of November, 1618.
" First, whether every undertaker of a small proportion, consisting of 1,000 acres, within the several counties of Tyrone, Donnegal, Armagh, Cavan, Fermanagh, and Londonderry, and every of them, have built a strong bawne or court, upon the proportions granted to them by letters patents, or how much thereof he hath built, and generally in what forwardness the same is.
450 THE PLANTATION IN ULSTER.
Whether every undertaker of middle proportions, consisting of 1,500 acres, within the! above-named counties, have built a house of stone or brick, with a bawne upon the same, or in| what forwardness the same is.
Whether every undertaker of a great proportion, consisting of 2,000 acres, within the said counties, have built a castle or stone house thereupon, with a bawne about it; or what and how much building is done upon each proportion in nature as aforesaid; and what proportion or proportions within the said several counties, are not built upon according to the articles of plantation, or the bonds of the several undertakers respectively.
Whether every undertaker of 1,000 acres, within the said counties, hath planted upon his I proportion ten British families, containing twenty-four men at the least, of eighteen years of age or upwards; or how many of such families there be planted; and what number of British undertakers; and whether according to the rules of plantation, he have two fee-farmers, three lessees, and four husbandmen or cottagers; and whether he hath made estates unto the said tenants, according to the articles of plantation, and according to his bonds, of the quantities of land mentioned therein.
Whether every undertaker of a middle proportion, or a great proportion, within the said counties, have in like manner planted British families, consisting of numbers of men as aforesaid, and made estates rateably according to the quantities of their proportions, as is directed by the same articles of plantation, and as the several undertakers are bound to do.
How many such families every British undertaker within the several said counties hath, and what estates he hath made unto them, and whether he hath made any estates or demises of any land contained in his patent to any person or persons, being mere Irish, or that hath not, or will not take the oath of supremacy, according to the proviso in his letters patents expressed; and what natives of any of the said counties do now dwell or inhabit upon any of the said land.
Whether every undertaker hath convenient store of arms upon his proportion, according to his covenant and bond. What undertakers, by themselves or their sufficient agent, are resident upon their proportions, and whether they have made their residence according to their covenant. Whether the several persons in the said several counties by grant, as servitors, have performed their several buildings in their several proportions, according to their several patents and bonds, and according to the articles of plantation, and how far they have proceeded in their said buildings.
Whether the tenants and inhabitants, as well upon the proportions granted to the British undertakers, as to servitors and natives in the said several counties, have built their houses together and in towns towards their better defence and safety, according to the articles of plantation, and what tenants of any the said lands do dwell dispersedly, contrary to the intent of said articles.
Whether the several natives, planted by grant in the said several counties, have also performed the buildings upon the lands granted unto them, according to their bond, and the articles of plantation.
Whether the said natives have made certain estates for lives or years to undertenants, of or upon the lands granted to them as aforesaid, according to the articles of plantation.
PYNNARS SURVEY. 451
Whether the said natives in the said several counties have used, or caused their tenants to use, tillage and husbandry, after the manner of the English pale, according to the articles of plantation.
What arms and munition each undertaker is tied by tenure to have in readiness for his own defence and the service of the Crown.
Every undertaker of 500 acres of escheated lands is tied to have in readiness in his house upon the said land, for his own defence and the King’s service, 3 muskets and calivers, 3 hand-weapons, to furnish six men.
Every undertaker of 1,000 acres is to have in readiness 6 muskets and calivers, 6 hand-weapons, to arm twelve men.
Every undertaker of 2,000 is to have in readiness 12 muskets and calivers, 12 hand-weapons, to arm 24 men.
And every undertaker of 890 acres is to have in readiness 5 muskets and calivers, 5 hand-weapons, to arm 10 men."
After a’very lengthened and laborious investigation, Pynnar and his fellow-commissioners drew up the following report, the text of which was printed in Harris’s Hibernica, 1770, pp. 139-241 :-
" A brief View and Survey made at several times, and several Places, in the several Counties osithin named, between the first day of December, 1618, and the 28th day of March, 1619, by me, Nicholas Pynnar, Esq., and others, by virtue of his Majesty’s Commissioners, under the great Seal of Ireland to me and others directed, dated the 28th of November, 1618 : Wherein are set forth the Names of the several Brittish Undertakers, Servitors, and principal Natives, with their proportions, and the Undertakers of Towns in the several Counties of Armagh, Tyrone, Donegall, Cavan, and Fermanagh; and how they have performed their Buildings, and Plantations of Inhabitants ; and other particular Matters answerable to certain Articles to the said Commission annexed ; together with the Works and Plantation performed by the City of London in the City and County of London-Derry : All which I do certify as upon my own View and Examination- the Particulars whereof do hereafter follow.
588 THE PLANTATION IN ULSTER.
Castle is now in building, being 60 feet long, and 20 feet wide. This is now three Stories high. and the Roof ready to be set up. The Walls of the Bawn are not as yet above 10 feet high. Near unto the Bawne there are 7 Houses of slight Cage-work, whereof five are inhabited with pocr Men, the other two stand waste. The other place, called Suiters Town, hath a Bawne of Stone and Lyrne, 70 feet square, 12 feet high, with two Flankers; and a poor House within it of Cage-work, in which the Farmer, with his Wife and Family, dwelleth. Here are also 9 Houses of Cage-work standing by the Bawn, being inhabited with Brittish Families ; also a Sawing Mill for Timber; but the Glass Houses are gone to decay, and utterly undone. There are not any upor this Land that have any estates.
" A Brief of the general State of the Plantation for Persons Planted in the Several Countis
contained in this Book :-
COUNTY OF CAVAN.
Lessees for Lives … … … 20
Lessees for Years … … … 168
Cottagers … … … … 130
Bodies of Men …711
COUNTY OF FERMANAGH,
Lessees for Lives 10
Lessees for Years 117
Bodies of Men …645
(footnote continued from previous page and not connected to Fermanagh statistics—CFB)proportion there are Crown freeholds marked at Cool-shinny, Ballynanagh, near Ballygellenmore, near Bally-mulderrigbeg, and at a little distance southward from Dunarnon. Near the place last mentioned are the remains of a cromleach. On these lands there are several bogs marked, and some parcels of rough mountain pasture, especially along their western verge. The estate of the Sailers’ Company was leased for years only, when Sampson wrote his memoir in 1814, and probably, for long periods before and after that date. He states that it was the only one of the twelve manors or proportions so circumstanced. "In the neighbourhood of Magherafelt," says he, "we find some commodious dwellings, with suitable planting on a small scale." (See pp. 256, 270). The Salters changed their system of letting their lands
COUNTY OF DONAGALL.
Lessees for Lives 25
Lessees for Years 217
Families that have no Estates …70
Families, in all …417
Bodies of Men …1,106
COUNTY OF TYRONE.
Lessees for Lives 26
Lessees for Years 183
Bodies of Men …2,469
(another section of another footnote)before 1838, granting the whole manor for a tern: i years, and receiving a large fine from the lessee. Tie deputies from the Irish Society, in the year abc-*e named, report that "the Salters’ estate is one of the fcur Proportions which is leased for a term of years; in otic-words, it is for a time out of the hands, and, consequez’_i. out of the management of the Company. The le" granted by the Company will expire in May, 1853. Ths Proportion, however, is most fortunate in having siici i landlord as Sir Robert Bateson, the member fc: county, who holds directly from the Company." Accad-ing to the recent "Return of Owners of Land in Ireland.* the Salters hold 19,445 acres, valued at I7,2fi3/. 5ee Irish Doomsday Book, 1875.
PYNNARS SURVEY. 589
COUNTY OF ARDMAGH.
Lessees for Lives 18
Lessees for Years 190
Bodies of Men …642
COUNTY OF LONDON-DERRY.
Lessees for Years 78
Bodies of Men …642
The whole Content of the Six Counties.
Freeholders … … … … … 334
Lessees for Lives … … … … 99
Lessees for Years … … … … 1,013
Bodies of Men …6,215 with Arms
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR LORDSHIPS,-I have, in the Book before written, set down all the Particulars I find of the State of the Plantation of his Majesty’s escheated Lands in Ulster now to stand.
And, First, it appears by the Particulars, that in the Brittish Families within mentioned, there are 6,215 Bodies of Men ; but I may presume further to certify, partly by observing the Habitation of these Lands, and partly by conferring with some of knowledge among them, that upon occasion, there be found in those Lands at least 8,000 Men of Brittish Birth and Descent, to do his Majesty’s Service for Defence thereof, though the fourth part of the Land is not fully inhabited.
"Secondly,-It appears by the Particulars, that there are now built within the Counties of Ardmagh, Tyrone, Donagall, Fermanagh, Cavan, and London-Derry, 107 Castles with Bawnes, 19 Castles without Bawnes, 42 Bawnes without Castles or Houses, and i~,897 Dwelling Houses of Stone and Timber, after the English manner in Townreeds, besides very many such Houses in several parts which I saw not; and yet there is great want of Buildings upon their Lands, both for Townreeds and otherwise. And I may say, that the abode and continuance of those Inhabitants upon the Lands is not yet made certain, although I have seen the Deeds made unto them. My reason is, that many of the English Tenants do not yet plough upon the Lands, neither use Husbandrie, because I conceive they are fearful to Stock themselves with Cattle or Servants for those Labours. Neither do the Irish use Tillage, for that they are also uncertain of their Stay upon the Lands; so that, by this means, the Irish ploughing nothing, do use greasing; the English very little; and were it not for the Scottish Tenants, which do plough in many places of the Country, those Parts may starve; by Reason whereof the Brittish, who are forced to take their Lands at great Rates, do lie at the greater Rents, paid unto them by the Irish Tenants, who do grease their Land; and if the Irish be put away with their Cattle, the Brittish must either forsake their Dwellings, or endure great Distress on the suddain. Yet the
590 THE PLANTATION IN ULSTER.
combination of the Irish is dangerous to them, by robbing them, and otherwise. I observe the greatest number of Irish do well upon the Lands granted to the City of London; which happened as I take it, two ways, First, There are five of the Proportions assigned to the several Companies, which are not yet estated to any Man, but are in the Hands of Agents; who, finding the frisk more profitable than the Brittish Tenants, are unwilling to draw on the Brittish, perswading the Company that the Lands are mountainous and unprofitable, not regarding the future security of the whole: Secondly, The other seven of the Proportions are leased to several Persons for 61 years, and the Lessees do affirm that they are not bound to plant English, but may plant with what people they please; neither is the City of London bound to do it by their Patents from his Majesty, as they say; and by these two actions, the Brittish that are now there, who have many of them built houses at their own charges, have no estates made unto them, which is such Discouragement unto them, as they are minded to depart the Land; and without better settlement will seek elsewhere, wherein it is very fit the City have Direction to take a present Course, that they may receive their assurances; and this being the Inconveniency, which in this Survey I have observed, further than what was set down formerly by Sir Josias Bodley’s last Survey, I havt thought good to make the same known to your Lordships, submitting the further Consideration thereof to your Lordships’ deep judgment."
Such, then, was Pynnar’s account of the state in which he found the Ulster Plantation, with particular reference to the small number of British settlers therein, and their sadly halting progress towards the attainment of those objects for which they had been sent hither. This account, indeed, it must be fairly admitted, presents but a humiliating picture of the results of the movement, after so much effort on the part of the Government during the preceding twelve years, and such an appalling amount of suffering as had been thereby inflicted on the native population. It would have been more than remarkable, however, had not the new comers prospered sooner or later, seeing,that they enjoyed all the encouragement and protection they could have desired, or that mere earthly power could afford-that they got hold of the very best land in the province, teeming, as it did, with natural fertility, and so rested as to yield its abundant harvests with but little toil-and that, in fact, they were compelled by the Government to go forward with a certain amount of effort, which they would hardly have put forth if left to themselves. But the paradise of plenty, if not of peace, to which these strangers at times attained, was only secured by a very heavy and dreadful sacrifice of the general interests of Ireland as a nation; for to this settlement in Ulster, and in a minor degree, to similar settlements or plantations in the other provinces at the same period, may be traced the awful scenes and events of the ten years’ civil war commencing in 1641, the horrors of the revolutionary struggle in 1690, and the re-awakening of those horrors in 1798-not :: mention certain less notable phases of the struggle during the intervals between those disastrous eras. The dragons’ teeth, so plentifully, and as if so deliberately sown in this Ulster plantation have, indeed, sprung up at times with more than usually abundant growth, yielding their ghastly harvests of blood and death on almost every plain, and by almost every river side, and in almost every glen of our northern province.
######## end ########
Note: Rev. George Hill did a second set of volumes related to, and expanding from upon, this same area and history in which he described additional surveys done by Pynnar at the behest of the Crown in the 1620’s and after 1625, into the 1630’s (1633-46 or so) at the behest of Irish authorities to cooperate with a mandate for Sir Thomas Wentworth). According to Jonathan Bardon’s History of Ulster, Charles I, who ascended the throne in 1625 had no interest in the Ulster plantations and they were largely left on their own. The undertakers were free to continue to admit Scots, English-Scottish border families etc. In 1628, Charles was warned by Sir Thomas Phillips of possible dire consequences of this neglect (Bardon, page 132). In 1633 Sir Thomas Wentworth was sent to Ireland as the king’s trusted lord deputy to raise funds for the royal coffers and enforce High Church conformity on the Protestants. (Bardon, page 132-33). The last surveys were done in connection with Wentworth’s obligations to the king but apparently not directly at the behest of the king. These surveys were far more than just mere muster rolls, as they showed the buildings, tilled land and general prosperity and amounts of inhabitants and their varying socio-economic levels for the purposes of taxation as well as armies. In the detail of the surveys, heads of families and some sons, etc. are listed, as well as number of persons in each family, and livestock, etc..
According to Bardon, the behavior of Wentworth and newly appointed archbishops such as Henry Leslie drove the Ulster Scots Presbyterians and their relatives in Scotland to support the covenant of opposition led by Robert Blair, former minister of Bangor (in Ulster) and John Livingstone, former minister of Killinchy (ditto). This all came to a head in 1638-39. Parliament removed and executed Wentworth in 1641, but the years of religious strife under Charles I—resulting in many Scots planters fleeing back to Scotland for the duration, and poor harvests between 1629-1632 with some resulting famine, gave the Native Irish encouragement for their own rebellion which began October 22, 1641.
This rebellion took place all over Ireland, the worst massacres occurred in 1641 and 1642. According to Bardon, in the library of Trinity College in Dublin, there are over 30 manuscript volumes filled with the sworn statements of the survivors of the massacres of 1641 to justify a massive confiscation of land held by the Catholics. (Bardon, pages 136-141) These volumes are significant parts of two histories of the Rebellion done in the middle of the 19th century, and later. These volumes were part of the analysis of post rebellion and Cromwell Ireland commissioned by Parliament in 1659.
A "cessation" or truce was finally agreed upon in 1643, but in 1645 the Papal Nuncio Giovanni Batista Rinuccini arrived with impressive supplies of arms to continue the Catholic rebellion. In 1646, Rinuccini, having locked up the Confederacy supreme council, declared himself "president", broke the three year truce (which already was falling apart in 1645) and resumed the war against the Protestants (throughout Ireland). (Bardon, page 140). This situation continued until 1649 with execution of Charles I, and Parliament sending in Cromwell. While Cromwell himself went to Scotland in 1650, his forces in Ireland continued their conquest and slaughter of the Irish Catholics until Phillip O’Reilly formally capitulated in April, 1653. Then Commonwealth commander Colonel Richard Lawrence wrote of his findings. He wrote that "the plague and the famine (that ensued after Cromwell’s conquests) had swept away whole countries and that a man might travel twenty or thirty miles and not see a lving creature, either man, beast or bird." (Bardon, page 141 in Chapter V, reference 93: Bagwell, 1890 vol. 3, pp. 300-301) (Bagwell, is Richard Bagwell, author of _Ireland under the Tudors_ in 3 volumes 1885-90 and _Ireland under the Stuarts and During the Interregnum_ also in 3 volumes 1909-1916)
The expanding Pale beginning under Elizabeth I, had its own surveys. In _The Twilight Lords_ by Richard Berleith, he describes how at the end of the second "Desmond War" a second "plantation" (Ulster was not the first) was laid out under Wallop (Lord Justice of Ireland) and Loftus (Archbishop of Dublin and later Treasurer, succeeded by a son as Treasurer)in Munster in the 1580’s (Berleith, pps. 210-211) Berleith writes that surveys were done to determine the extent of the property of the Earls of Desmond, claims against the earl for his warfare, and how to redistribute it. The surveys continued forward to determine taxation and the availability of men for military service on behalf of the English Crown.
Again, the warfare between 1638 and 1653 and the subsequent sufferings of disease and famine, and transportations to the Caribbean, etc. of over 12,000 Irish Catholics, etc.—described by Bardon, Bagwell, the Hamilton brothers, etc.,wiped out about 3/4 of the population that had existed in Ireland during the early to mid 1630’s by 1659. This all had a profound effect upon Irish culture going forth from 1659 and it was NOT what it had been prior to 1640.
I hope this helps the more thoughtful of participants in this forum.
Cecilia L. Fabos-Becker
Copy-pasting entire books on the Yella Board? This has never been done before…… oh, wait.
"I hope this helps the more thoughtful of participants in this forum"
Thanks for that - I am thoughtful enough to realise now that the name "Penyear" was a mistake on your part and it was was a corruption of "Pynnar" - thanks for clearing that up I also note that this survey was made in the years 1618 and 1619. I do hope that you can grasp the point that this survey and the muster rolls of 1630 along with the survey of 1659, by William Petty (edited by Seamus Pender, which, as I pointed out earlier was compiled with different intentions) are not what could be described as proper censuses (or census, if you prefer the Latin) and such skewed figures could not reasonably be used to determine the nature of traditional music within the displaced people alone, let alone the people outwith the areas where the surveys were made (i.e. the three other provinces). I see that you took pains to try and justify your conclusions, but you have, in the process, confirmed my suspicions (no need for the elaborated account of the 1641 uprising, I was not questioning that) that you are using skewed figures and very rough estimates (casualty figures from this period cannot be relied upon - they vary widely from source to source) to try and give some authority to what is pure conjecture.
It could even be said that this period gave rise to many songs and tunes - it created some (including the not strictly ‘traditional’ "Lament for Owen Roe O’Neill).
"The undertakers were free to continue to admit Scots, English-Scottish border families etc. "
Is this supposed to be some evidence that the migration "accelerated"? You seem to acknowledge that people were actually moving away (there’s the Eagle Wing episode too).
I also gave thought to that reference to that trend for song collecting in the Appalachians:
" Historians in the early 20th century noted that to find Irish and Scottish music older than the mid 1700’s, one had to look for communities of Irish and Scots-Irish in the central Appalachians in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina that still sang and performed their own “traditional” music without influences from Africa, Germans, etc.—and that even in the early 1900’s, this music could be and was found and recorded. A movie made in the last decade called “Song Catcher” depicts the efforts of the Peabody Institute and others to recover the lost earliest music of not just American colonists, but English, Scottish and Irish."
I’m not quite sure how many "historians" came to that conclusion - or how many musicologists, whether they were or were not officially employed in that capacity - came to that conclusion. It seems that a few realised the validity of music from that part of the world in relation to the music of the British Isles (I seem to remember that Cecil Sharp referred to a " one homogenous area" of "England and the English-speaking parts of Scotland" ). However, I am interested in the efforts of the Peabody Institute in relation to this source, You say that the movie "Songcatcher" depicted these efforts. I haven’t seen the movie, but I do gather that it is based on the work of Olive Dame Campbell, who collaborated with Cecil Sharp. I also gather that she was funded by the Russell Sage Foundation.
That the Peabody Institute was involved in this too is interesting. Are there collections in their library containing Irish and Scots-Irish tunes and songs?
Where is Jig when you need him ? 😉
I haven’t seen him lately, perhaps he is in the penalty box again.
Checked his profile. He’s not suspended (surprisingly). Sadly he has also deleted that absolute gem of a rant about Jon Kiparsky and a few others.
I quoted it somewhere. I can’t remember where though.
Here is one of the requested sources. "A History of Irish Music by William H. Grattan Flood, 1905", wherein
appears "List of the Principal Collections of Irish Music (from 1725 to 1887)"
At this link you will find one of Floods appendices showing when many collections were first assembled and published. Please note the date range at the top of this list. This is the range in which most of what is played in many sessions appears to originate - about the early 1700’s to about 1875 or so. Since parts of many of these old collections have been reused in modern Irish music books for session players, I suspect that is why the tune lists for many modern sessions consistently seem to be dominated by this 1720’s ti 1880’s period of Irish music.
You have this habit of interspersing statements from the archives of the University of the Bleeding Obvious with wild supposition.
Pretty much anyone who knows anything about Irish music — quite a few of the posters on this website, for one — knows fine well most of the tunes they play are from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. You’re not bowling anyone over with your revelations about the age of the tradition.
Certainly not when you can keep a straight face when bringing up Grattan Flood as a source.
I was just waiting for Mr Flood to rear his head.
Still trying to find evidence of this population boom in Scotland. There are some who believe that "over population" was the impetus for people moving to Ulster (the reason the people left, not the motive for the authorities) but over population in this sense meant more people than work, not towns and villages bursting at the seams. Without a census, there are no accurate figures, but there doesn’t seem to have been boom - the rise was steady (even though Glasgow’s population roughly doubled every hundred years). Many of my ancestors came from the part of Scotland where the bulk of the people moved from, and I lived there for a good while. I don’t recall anyone suggesting there was ever a boom - there was a fairly large shift to industrial areas during the industrial revolution but not at the turn of the 17th century.
There are other theories as to why the Presbyterians were willing to move across the Irish sea. Certain happenings related to their faith being one.
"You’re not bowling anyone over with your revelations about the age of the tradition."
It was never my intention to present revelations to the knowledgable, but rather to those in need of some context for their efforts. That is why my original article was posted on the AmeriCeltic facebook Page, and not here.
Here two more of the requested sources: _The Land-War In Ireland, A History For The Times_, by James Godkin, (1870), available at this link, http://www.failteromhat.com/book/godkin-landwarinireland.htm and _The Irish rebellion of 1641, with a history of the events which led up to and succeeded it_, by Hamilton, Ernest, Lord, 1858-1939, (1920), available at this link, http://www.archive.org/details/irishrebellionof00hami
describe the loss of life throughout Ireland at the time, and as I recall, Hamilton states that there was a 75% recduction in population at the time.
On the subject of the history of traditional music generally, I found several useful links on these two sitess:
www.contemplator.com and www.standingstones.com
Thanks to all for reviewing my article!!!
Cecilia L. Fabos-Becker
"Hamilton states that there was a 75% recduction in population at the time."
Even William Petty - who had much to gain by exaggerating - claimed the losses were around 40%. R F Foster claims 15%. But that’s it. There are so many conflicting reports and no accurate recording. People just choose the figures that suit their argument.
Cecilia, there is a substantial difference between reading old books and doing actual historical research. Your odd spoutings here show a dire lack of organized, critical thought and a profound absence of anything approaching an understanding and application of historical research methodologies.
Zeal and delusion aren’t the qualifications I look for in a teacher.
"This sums this thread up nicely"
I would imagine somebody would have like to have drawn arses on some of those "surveys".
Will, you expect people to critically evaluate sources? Sheesh.
I am reminded of the following: Benjamin Franklin who is reputed to have said that “revolution in the first person is never illegal, as in ‘our revolution.’ It is only in the second person, ‘their revolution,’ that it becomes illegal.” Substitute the word "genocide" for "revolution", or “unacceptable” for “illegal”.
Dean Wright, former Dean of the History Department of the University from which I graduated, and several professors under him all sometimes used a particular saying to remind students if the human nature in even compiling and writing about, or accepting or interpreting, history. "History is usually written by the winners to most often justify or minimize what they did to the losers”. Oh and by the way, Dean Wright was former OSS and a real cynic about human nature.
I also have noted that many of the historians, who in the last 100 years or so have claimed the highest percentages of loss of life, were NOT Irish.
I found the history of the full rebellion of 1641 that was almost completely eyewitness accounts from the 30 manuscript volumes compiled by the English government itself to be particularly compelling. Page upon page of gruesome accounts! They revealed so much of human nature in the reasons people gave for participating in the numerous horrendous atrocities. However, I’d recommend reading that only for those with a very strong stomach.
But I digress. The references, although wildly disparate, all agree that Ireland was substantially depopulated, and my point is that this was a nexus point in the culture, forever altering the nature, and so our perception, of Irish traditional music.
Thanks to all for reviewing my article!!!
Cecilia L. Fabos-Becker
Well, I watched that movie "Songcatcher" - although it was quite enjoyable, it was pretty far removed from the life of the real Olive Dame Campbell. In real life, she worked with her husband, who was employed by the Russell Sage Foundation, who also awarded him a grant to study sociological aspects of the mountains - Olive was granted travel expenses. Of course, the film only claims to be loosely based on Campbell. The character based on Cecil Sharp was rather the American stereotyped English gent. It would be easy to be very cynical of the whole thing (I think that Peabody idea was possibly off-track - the character was from a university but even this was not central to the plot).
Still, I’ve learned a lot from this. I can see now that this is the real McCoy Scottish music. The German influence on puirt à beul is now quite apparent and as for the African rhythms heard on those bothy nichts - weel, It’s a sair fecht.
Glad you enjoyed it!
Along the same road, have you seen ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’
A great movie but it has a lot to answer for… in view of all the third rate Americana acts which are now infesting our shores in recent years.
"..in view of all the third rate Americana acts which are now infesting our shores in recent years."
Explain. And who keeps inviting them over?
Ok we get it: Since G. Bush, America is the great Satan to Europeans. But must we always be slagging the yanks at every turn (a not uncommon theme on this board)? Our contribution to all genres of music (including ITM) is immense. I thought that imitation was the highest form of flattery?
"who keeps inviting them over?"
Promoters looking for a fast buck.
I’m allowed to slag the yanks!
‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ is a sort of parody of "the Odyssey" set in the 1930’s in the "traditional" mostly Scots-Irish areas of Tennessee, northern Alabama/Mississippi that incorporates both the old Scots/Irish and that mixed with the "Spirituals". It stars George Clooney. And yes, a lot of the oldest, purest Scots/Scots-Irish rural communities, in their entirety were flooded by new dams at this time, forcing many into larger more ethnically mixed and otherwise "modern" towns.
You may or may not enjoy the it, but it illustrates some of the real damage done to some of the oldest communities like those depicted in the Songcatcher, just a generation later. The TVA also did have a heck of an impact on that older culture—and its music. Large sections of Celia’s family personally experienced the disruptions and displacements of the TVA and later similar projects in Missouri.
I love third rate Americana.
I’m a Dapper Dan man myself…..
The music in the movie was excellent as are all better exponents of American music even although you wouldn’t necessarily wish to play this genre at your local session… although there are some places around here esp Midlothian and through the West etc where it’s quite rife.
Whenever I hear "Wagon wheel"(The "Brown eyed girl" pub song of the 21st century), I want to scream.
"set in the 1930’s in the "traditional" mostly Scots-Irish areas of Tennessee, northern Alabama/Mississippi "
Mississippi right the way through as far as I recall - with the green taken out of it. There is even the scene at the "crossroads", where ‘Tommy Johnson’ asks if the boys are heading "past Tishomingo".
I first saw the movie when I was living in Kentucky.
Sweet Jesus, Everett - they left his heart!