Clare County Library
Songs of Clare
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About the Singers and Songs of County Clare project:

The public library service in County Clare offers a wide range of music for lending throughout the county, and we have had a very strong traditional music collection in our branch library in Miltown Malbay for many years. In September 2012, Clare County Library launched the first part of its online "Music of Clare" project, featuring a selection of traditional Irish tunes commonly associated with County Clare. We wanted people to be able to listen to traditional tunes associated with County Clare, played by musicians who are from the county or who have lived in it for many years. We also included transcriptions of the featured tunes, to help anyone who wishes to learn the basic notes of the featured tunes.

Shortly after launching the traditional Irish music project, we received a phone call from Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie offering us a collection of recordings they had made of Irish singers from the early 1970s to the present day. Of course we had no idea of the huge extent of their collection, begun in the pubs of London and continued in the cottages of west Clare. From the enormous collection of files covering songs, music and folklore we present here a selection of songs sung by Clare singers, with transcriptions of song lyrics accompanying each recording, and various playlists for easy listening.

The songs are arranged by title on the main project page, and by clicking on the name of a song you will get to that song's page of lyrics and media player. Notes and commentaries by Jim and Pat are included at the end of each song's lyrics, and occasionally we have included some audio commentary as well. Where appropriate, each song's Roud Folk Song Index number, or Laws Folk Song number is included, as is the place and date of the recording.

Alternatively, you can click on a singer's name in the list of singers and get to the page devoted to each of the main singers featured. Each of these pages lists the songs sung by that singer, and a playlist of all those songs.

There are two playlists on the main project page, one devoted to songs about County Clare, and one featuring all the songs in this online collection. Simply click on any song in a playlist and when it has finished playing it wil automatically continue playing to the end of the playlist. Use your mouse scroll button or grab the slider on the right of the main playlist to see all the songs on the list.

The project is rounded off by the addition of articles on singers and the song tradition, and by the inclusion of some of the all-too-few video recordings of Clare singers available on Youtube.

Please note the media player is a Flash-based MP3 player, so you will need to have Adobe Flash installed to listen to the sound files. See

Clare County Library is extremely grateful to Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie for their generous donation of the fruits of their long labours, spent collecting songs from singers who are now mostly long dead, though by no means forgotten in County Clare and further afield. We hope this online project will help to promote their collection, and preserve it online for future generations.

We are also very grateful to Ita Crehan, the late Tom Munnelly, Tim Dennehy, Maura Egan, Angela Bourke and Pat Feeley for their articles, and of course to the singers themselves who we hope would be pleased to see and hear their singing and their songs being presented online in the Singers and Songs of County Clare.


Library project team:
Anthony Edwards, Senior Executive Librarian;
Maureen Comber, Executive Librarian;
Jackie Dermody, Staff Officer (Library);
Emby Cunningham, Senior Library Assistant.

March, 2015

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