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Tom Lenihan, Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay (1905-1990)


Tom Lenihan

Photo courtesy Pat Mackenzie

Tom Lenihan
Tom lenihan at the Merriman Summer School in Miltown Malbay, 1968

Photo courtesy John Horgan

Tom Lenihan's Cottage
Tom Lenihan's cottage in Knockbrack

Photo courtesy Pat Mackenzie

Tom Lenihan - brief biography


Around the Hills of Clare
Banks of the Lee, The
Barb'ry Ellen
Barney McCoy
Beautiful Hands of the Priest, The
Beautiful Ireland
Bicycle, The
Blarney Stone, The
Bobbed Hair, The
Bonny Boy, The
By the Bright Silvery Light of the Moon
Cailín Deas Crúite na mBó
Caroline of Edinburgh Town
Cod Liver Oil
Constant Farmer’s Son
Cranbally Farmer, The
Croppy Boy (1)
Croppy Boy (2)
Daughter, Dearest Daughter
Dawn on the Hills of Ireland
Emmet's Farewell
Érin go Brágh
Érin Grá Mo Chroí
Erin's Green Shore
Farewell to Miltown Malbay
Farmer Michael Hayes (The Fox Chase)
Girl from Donegal, The
Hills of Glendore, The
Holland Handkerchief, The
Home I Left Behind, The
Ireland and Me
Irish Father's Address To His Son
Kerry Recruit, The
Lady in Her Father's Garden
Lake of Coolfin, The
Lament of the Irish Emigrant
Let Him Go, Let Him Tarry
Letter Edged in Black
Lone Shanakyle
Lonely Banna Strand
Lord Levett
Loved by a Man
Lusitania, The
Mac and Shanahan
Manchester Martyrs, The
Men of County Clare, The
Michael O'Dwyer
Misses Limerick Kerry and Clare
Mr Woodburren's Courtship
Molly Brannigan
Mother, The
My Bonny Boy in Blue
My Far Down Cailín Bán
My Heart is in Ireland
My Old Fenian Gun
No-one to Welcome Me Home
Nora Daly
Only Nineteen Years Old
Paddy and the Ass
Paddy's Panacea

Parting Way of Time, The
Pat O'Brien
Patrick Sheehan
Pride of Kilkee, The
Red is the Rose
Rineen Ambush, The
Rocks of Bawn, The
St James' Hospital
To Fair London Town
Well of Spring Water, The
Where the Lovely Rivers Flow
Who is the Lady?
Why Don't You Love the Old Love
Willie Reilly and His Colleen Bawn
Wintry Evening, A

Such was Tom Lenihan’s memory that, on a number of occasions, after a little probing, he faultlessly remembered and sang a song which he said he had not sung for some 40 years or more and had forgotten he ever knew. There was always a warm welcome from Tom and Margaret Lenihan in their small thatched farmhouse in Knockbrack, just outside Miltown Malbay. Tom would talk and sing for visitors at any time, regardless of any farm work he had planned to do. After the beer was thrust into your hand - and before the tea was served - the tape recorder and microphone in position, Margaret would say, "Tom, the clock." The small, but loud alarm clock was duly stopped to ensure quiet during the recording; they had no telephone so that was no problem, and the grandchildren knew to creep in silently and remain so during the song. Tom had a very large repertoire and positive ideas about singing. He insisted that the story was most important aspect; the singer's involvement with the song was paramount. To him it was vital that the singer used speech patterns, made sense of the words, singing them as close as possible to the way one would speak; to fit the tune to the words, not to make the words fit the tune. A selection of Tom's songs, recorded by Tom Munnelly, was published in book form in 1994 by Comhairle Bhéaloideas Éireann entitled ‘Mount Callan Garland’, accompanied by a double cassette. An earlier album of our recordings of him was released by Topic Records in 1978 under the title ‘Paddy's Panacea’. Tom Lenihan also had a large store of folklore, much of which was also recorded by Tom Munnelly for the Department of Irish Folklore, UCD.

Taken from ‘Around the Hills of Clare: Songs and Recitations from the Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie Collection’ (2004) Musical Traditions Records MTCD331-2/Góilín Records 005-6.

Tom Lenihan talks to Jim Carroll about
singing techniques


Tom Lenihan talks to Jim Carroll about
singing techniques #2


Tom Lenihan talks to Jim Carroll about
the singer Mrs Haren from Cloneyogan


Tom Lenihan talks to Jim Carroll about
teaching singing, passing on songs etc


Tom Lenihan talks to Jim Carroll about value in songs, occasions for singing and Willie Clancy


Tom Lenihan talks to Jim Carroll about
where he got songs & Bully Nevin

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