The Sweets of May/Aoibhneas na Bealtaine: The Céilí Band Era, Music & Dance of South Armagh

By Various Artists

  1. The Yellow Heifer
    Jackie Coleman’s
    The High
  2. The Bow-legged Tailor
    The Rambling Pitchfork
    The Paymaster
  3. The Bag Of Spuds
    The Longford Collector
    The Ships Are Sailing
  4. Out On The Ocean
  5. The Doon
  6. Flaherty’s
  7. The Bonnie Boy
  8. Miss Monaghan
    The Woman Of The House
    The Mooncoin
  9. McKenna’s
    The Mason’s Apron
    The Donegal
  10. Rum Punch
    The Rose In The Heather
  11. The Lark In The Morning
    Gan Ainm
    Gan Ainm
  12. My Lovely Irish Rose
  13. The Bird In The Tree
  14. The King Of The Fairies
  15. The Earl’s Chair
    Sporting Paddy
  16. Banners Green
    The Moon Behind The Hill
    The Foggy Dew
  17. The Wheels Of The World
    The Sally Gardens
    Down The Broom
  18. The Bridge Below The Town
  19. The Girl That Broke My Heart
    The Providence
    The Bloom Of Youth
  20. The Cuckoo’s Nest
    Parker’s Fancy
  21. Gan Ainm
    Gan Ainm
    Gan Ainm
  22. Let Erin Remember
    The Minstrel Boy
    Down By The Sally Gardens
    Oft In The Stilly Night
    The Harp That Once
  23. Uirchill A’ Chreagain
  24. The Shoemaker’s Daughter
    The Maple Leaf
  25. Knocknagow
  26. Henry Savage’s Favourite No. 1
    Henry Savage’s Favourite No. 2
  27. Ta Mo Cleamhnas Deanta
  28. Seanamhac Tube Station
  29. Lucy Farr’s
    I Wish I Never Saw You
  30. The Concertina
    Gan Ainm
  31. Taimse I Mo Codhladh
  32. Anderson’s
    The Trip To Cullenstown
  33. Planxty George Brabazon
  34. The Flowers Of May
    The Blue Haven
  35. Gan Ainm
    Maud Miller
    The Sailor On The Rock
  36. Uir Cnoc Cein Mhic Cainte
  37. Down The Back Lane
    An Cailin Fionn
  38. McGlinchey’s
    McGlinchey’s
  39. Betty Black
  40. The Slopes Of Slieve Gullion
    Dunreavy Park
  41. Aisling Geal
    Mullion Mountain
    Drumhoney Sessions
    The Crooked Road
  42. Kipeen Scanlon
    The Philosopher
  43. Goats On The Grass
    The Kilmovey
  44. McGoldrick’s
    The Ronan Boys
    Packie Duignan’s

Ten comments

Re: The Sweets of May/Aoibhneas na Bealtaine: The Céilí Band Era, Music & Dance of South Armagh

A project researched and compiled by Tommy Fegan, Josephine Keegan, Kieran Burns, Walter Bradley, and Tom Quinn - with much thanks to many others who contributed material…

Book, hardcover, with two CDs, a DVD also available
Publisher: Ceol Camlocha; 1st edition (16 Mar. 2009)
ISBN-10: 0956232108
ISBN-13: 978-0956232106

The book’s contents, 139 pages:

Part 1 -
CD 1 Ceili Bands / Introduction / Track list / Sleeve notes
CD 2 Music Today / Introduction / Track list / Singers & Musicians / Sleeve Notes

Part 2 -
Introductions / From early bands to today’s bands / The Céilí Bands / The Céilí Bands onwards / Reminisces / Pub Sessions / The Dnce Tradition / Sheet Music / Acknowledgements

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

From the back cover of the book:

(compilation book including two CDs & accompanying DVD)
This book and accompanying CDs ( one of which contains remastered recordings from the céilí band era) is part of "The Sweets of May" publication, an ambitions project which recounts the story, tunes, dances, musicians and céilí bands of South Armagh.

The main focus of the project is the 1930s-1960s, and era of great social upheaval which was reflected in the evolution of the céilí bands.

The DVD has local dance schools from Armagh and Newry performing old South Armagh dances, many almost lost to obscurity and seen here for the first time outside the area. - - -

CDs compiled, mixed, and mastered by Tom Quinn

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Their Ceol Camloch website as listed on the back appears to no longer exist…

CD 1 - Céilí Bands: singers & solo musicians

_1. ) reels: The Johnny Pickering Céilí Band
Johnny Pickering - accordion, Brendan McGlinchey - fiddle, Margaret Pickering

_2. ) jigs: The McCuskers Céilí Band
The nine brothers - three fiddles, piccolo, banjo/mandolin, button accordion, piano accordion, piano & drums

_3. ) reels: The Malachy Sweeney’s Céilí Band

_4. ) jig: Paddy Murphy - fiddle & Louis McDonald - button accordion

_5. ) reel: John Murphy - solo fiddle

_6. ) hornpipe: The John Murphy Céilí Band
John Murphy - accordion, Fintan Callan - piano accordion - - -

_7. ) song: Gerry Burns with The Jackie Hearst Céilí Band

_8. ) reels: The Vincent Lowe Céilí Band
Vincent Lowe - piano accordion - - -

_9. ) reels: The McCusker’s Céilí Band
The nine brothers - three fiddles, piccolo, banjo/mandolin, button accordion, piano accordion, piano & drums

* 9 / 10 ~ problems in the book with the numbering, 9 is missing…

10. ) jigs: Johnny Pickering - fiddle solo (*11 - page 9)

11. ) jigs: The Johnny Pickering Céilí Band (*12)

12. ) song: Anna Boyle with The Inisfall Céilí Band (*13)

13. ) reel: The Inisfall Céilí Band with Anna Boyle on banjo mandolin (*14)

14. ) set dance: Jackie Hearst Céilí Band (*15)

15. ) reels: Joe Keegan - solo flute (*16)

16. ) marches: McCuskers Céilí Band (*17 - page 10)

17. ) reels: Peter Murphy - fiddle (*18)

18. ) song: Gerry Burns with The Jackie Hearst Céilí Band (*19)

19. ) reels: Siamsa Céilí Band (*20)
John Joe Gardiner - flute - - -

20. ) hornpipes: John Joe Gardiner - fiddle & Brendan Gaughran - piano (*21)

21. ) reels: Johnny Pickering Céilí Band (*22)

22. ) marches: Fred Hanna Céilí Band (*23)
Fred Hanna - accordion - - -

23. ) air: Peter Murphy - various instruments & Eugene Smith - piano & synthesizer (*24)

CD 2 - Music Today: solo players, groups & singers

24. ) - _1. ) reels: Caroline Fegan - button accordion, Marian McGauley - banjo, Josephine Keegan - piano

25. ) - _2. ) jig: Brendan McGlinchey - fiddle & Mary Mulholland - piano

26. ) - _3. ) barndances: Pat Murphy Group
Pat Murphy - fiddle, Bernard O’Hanlon - whistle, John Toal - bodhran, Josephine Keegan - piano

27. ) - _4. ) air: Dearbhla Bennett - voice & harp

28. ) - _5. ) jig: Mullaghbawn Scór Group
Elaine O’Sullivan - box, Briege Quinn - fiddle, Moira Hughes - whistle, Sean O’Chuinn - banjo, Feargal O’Brien - bodhran

29. ) - _6. ) barndance/reel: Jimmy Burns & Family
Jimmy, Kieran, Paddy, Mark, Jame, Marykate, Eoin, Aoife, Eamon - & Josephine Keegan - piano

30. ) - _7. ) jigs: Una Devlin - fiddle & Rosie Ferguson - fiddle

31. ) - _8. ) air: Tommy Fegan - uilleann pipes (made by Dave Williams)

32. ) - _9. ) reels: Mullaghbawn Scór Group
Elaine O’Sullivan - box, Briege Quinn - fiddle, Moira Hughes - whistle, Sean O’Chuinn - banjo, Feargal O’Brien - bodhran

33. ) - 10. ) Planxty: Dearbhla Bennett - harp

34. ) - 11. ) hornpipes (C: Josephine Keegan): Josephine Keegan - fiddle & Kathleen Gavin - piano

35. ) - 12. ) reels: Una Devlin - fiddle, Rosie Ferguson - fiddle, Josephine Keegan - piano

36. ) - 13. ) air: Aine McGeeney - voice, unaccompanied song

37. ) - 14. ) jigs: Ursula Byrne - fiddle & Clair Byrne - uilleann pipes

38. ) - 15. ) reels: Brenda McGlinchey - fiddle & Mary Mulholland - piano

39. ) - 16. ) barndance: Fainne Cairde
fiddles - Betty Molloy, Shauna Hughes; Martina & Niall Murphy; Sinead, Orla & Ursula Savage; Nicola Byrne & Josephine Keegan
piano - Kathleen Gavin

40. ) - 17. ) slip jigs (C: Paul Murphy): Josephine Keegan - fiddle & Kathleen Gavin - piano

41. ) - 18. ) air & jigs(C: Marrita Savage): Emma Murphy - flute & the Murphy/Savage Family
Martina & Niall Murphy - fiddles, Conor Murphy - banjo, Emma Murphy and Mairead Savage - whistle, Angela Savage - piano

42. ) - 19. ) hornpipes: Fainne Cairde
fiddles - Betty Molloy, Shauna Hughes; Martina & Niall Murphy; Sinead, Orla & Ursula Savage; Nicola Byrne & Josephine Keegan
piano - Kathleen Gavin

43. ) - 20. ) jigs: Jimmy Burns & Family
Jimmy, Kieran, Paddy, Mark, Jame, Marykate, Eoin, Aoife, Eamon, & Josephine Keegan - piano

44. ) - 21. ) reels: Niall Murphy - fiddle & Josephine Keegan - piano

Re: The Sweets of May/Aoibhneas na Bealtaine: The Céilí Band Era, Music & Dance of South Armagh

It’s the first publication that I know of the local musicians & céilí bands in the area. 140 pages of biographies, photos and music scores with the two cd’s reflecting the cross-section of the tradition. The C & W singer Susan McCann from one photo started out in John Murphy’s céilí band.
A beautifully presented heritage that always has something new.
Peter

Re: The Sweets of May/Aoibhneas na Bealtaine: The Céilí Band Era, Music & Dance of South Armagh

Great to see this info on a great local recording!
Just slight clarification re the John Joe Gardiner track. Although Brendan Gaughran accompanied and recorded with John Joe Gardiner in John Joe’s latter years, this track is a much earlier recording made with Dundalk pianist and organist Moya Acheson. The same recording featured John Joe on flute with his sister Kathleen (Mrs) Harrington on fiddle, and always empathetic playing from Mrs Acheson, organist and choir mistress at one of the local Dundalk churches. Darren Magee.

Much thanks for the clarification Darren, always welcome, especially when crediting a contributor. I was going by what was written in the book, but have since found the book would have benefited from a close proof reading, etc., for clarification on several counts, but it seems here too. Still, an enjoyable exploration between the covers and within the accompanying recordings.

Re: The Sweets of May/Aoibhneas na Bealtaine: The Céilí Band Era, Music & Dance of South Armagh

I must get my hands on a copy - it looks like it sounds great! D

“Handed Down: Country Fiddling and Dancing in East and Central Down”

by Nigel Boullier
Ulster Historical Foundation, 2012
https://www.ancestryireland.com/
https://www.booksireland.org.uk/
ISBN: 978-1-908448-51-4

If your interests are sparked I highly and especially recommend Boullier’s book. It’s a joy, a work of passion and care that includes photos, bios, tune & dance transcriptions, and history. And, I also recommend the following recordings for your ears:

"Dermot Rafferty, Emily Rafferty, Seamus Sands: The Green Bunch Of Joy"
https://thesession.org/recordings/4438

"Seamus Sands: Across Bridges"
https://thesession.org/recordings/5041

And anything by the McCusker Brothers, just for starters…
https://thesession.org/recordings/1178
https://thesession.org/recordings/1553

Re: The Sweets of May/Aoibhneas na Bealtaine: The Céilí Band Era, Music & Dance of South Armagh

Thanks ceolachan - have the Boullier, working away through it!