Traditional Irish Music

By William Sullivan

  1. The Pigeon On The Gate
  2. The Star Of Munster
  3. The Cameronian
  4. The Galway
  5. Conlon’s
  6. The Tarbolton
  7. The Connaughtman’s Rambles
  8. The Liverpool
  9. The Eel In The Sink
  10. The Banks Of Newfoundland
  11. The Girl I Left Behind Me
  12. The Blackthorn Stick
  13. Old Man Dillon
    The Rose In The Heather
  14. Drowsy Maggie
  15. The Swallow’s Tail
  16. Bessie Sweeney
  17. The Lark In The Morning
  18. Paddy On The Turnpike
  19. The Boys Of Blue Hill
  20. Jackson’s
  21. The Flax In Bloom
    The Bag Of Potatoes
  22. The Hag With The Money
  23. Kitty’s Rambles
  24. The Kerry
  25. Baxter’s
  26. The Bells Of Tipperary
  27. The Flogging
  28. Contentment Is Wealth
    Paddy In London
  29. The Kesh
  30. The Plains Of Boyle
  31. The Salamanca
  32. The Blackberry Blossom
  33. Cooley’s
  34. Highland Fling
  35. The Flowers Of Red Hill
  36. Mother’s Pet

Three comments

Jacket Cover

In the town of Clifden, County Galway, the ancient folk traditions of Ireland were very much alive during the boyhood of William F. (Bill) Sullivan. Born in 1909, he grew up immersed in the folk music and culture which pervade that land. When he emigrated to the United States in 1927, he brought with him his love of Irish folk music

In New York City, Bill became part of the extensive Irish community which spreads throughout its five boroughs. With no formal training, but with an impeccable ear for tunes, he played the button accordion with legendary musicians like Larry Redican, Louis Quinn, Jackie Roach, and Pete Conlon. To satisfy an insatiable appetite for new tunes, he often had his wife, Rose, listen to radio broadcasts while he was at work and whistle the tunes for him when he came home.

The tunes, however, are only the starting point for an Irish folk musician; at the heart of this music is a love of complex ornamentation. Bill developed a rich personal style of ornamentation which is his signature as an artist. This recording offers an opportunity to hear a range of tunes, many of them rarely documented, in the inimitable style of a man whose artistic heritage is rooted deeply in Ireland’s past. This music, which has been at the very core of his life, exudes authenticity and raw energy. The improvisational feeling of an Irish session has been captured with the technology of the digital recording studio. The characteristic clicks and sighs of his custom decorated Baldoni and Bartoli 10-button accordion, made in 1930, punctuate this small sampling of William Sullivan’s extensive repertory.

William Sullivan died at his home in Sayfeville New Jersey, in August, 1989. We are pleased to reissue this recording on compact disc and to include four additional selections of his solo playing. This recording, as well as the accomanying tunebook, can be found at