American Folk and its Roots in Irish Traditional Music

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A study of the influence of Irish Traditional music on American Folk
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  Patrick A. McCoyMusic 106Dr. Ann Lucas5/6/2014American Folk and its oots in !ris" #raditional MusicMy earliest recorded ancestors $irst arri%ed on t"is continent in t"e 16 t"  and 1& t"  centuries.My $amily "as al'ays (een musically inclined) and as suc" (rou*"t t"e $olk music $rom my nati%e !reland 'it" t"em. As my $amily 'as enculturated 'it" American culture) t"eir music 'as also assimilated into t"e *enre kno'n today as American $olk music. American $olk encom+assesnumerous *enres) and is also kno'n as traditional $olk) roots music) or merely traditional. ,enresinclude) (lue*rass) country music) *os+el) old time music) -u* (ands) A++alac"ian $olk) (lues) Ca-un and ati%e American music. American $olk is like America itsel$) 'it" a $usion o$ $olk music $rom se%eral cultures o$ uro+e and A$rica. #"e *enre o$ American $olk is considered roots music (ecause it ser%es as t"e (asis o$ rock and roll) r"yt"m and (lues) and -a. American $olk "as also ser%ed as a (asis $or "y(rid *enres like contem+orary $olk or $olk re%i%al) electric $olk) $olk metal) and $olk rock.ne suc" son* $rom t"e $olk rock *enre is a $a%orite o$ my mot"ers 3imon and ,ar$unkels #"e 3ound o$ 3ilence. eleased in 3e+tem(er 165) 'ritten (y Paul 3imon and  +er$ormed (y Paul 3imon and Art ,ar$unkel. #"e son* 'as 'ritten (y Paul 3imon in Fe(ruary 164 in t"e a$termat" o$ t"e assassination o$ President o"n F. ennedy. !n an inter%ie' 'it" #erry ,ross o$ ational Pu(lic adio 7P8) Paul 3imon said t"at t"e conce+t o$ t"e son* 9'asn:t somet"in* t"at ! 'as e;+eriencin* at some dee+) +ro$ound le%el < no(ody:s listenin* to  me) no(ody:s listenin* to anyone < it 'as a +ost=adolescent an*st) (ut it "ad some le%el o$ trut" to it and it resonated 'it" millions o$ +eo+le.9 !n an inter%ie' 'it" Play(oy Ma*aine (y #ony 3c"'art) >#"e main t"in* a(out +layin* t"e *uitar) t"ou*") 'as t"at ! 'as a(le to sit (y mysel$ and +lay and dream. And ! 'as al'ays "a++y doin* t"at. ! used to *o o$$ in t"e (at"room)  (ecause t"e (at"room "ad tiles) so it 'as a sli*"t ec"o c"am(er. !:d turn on t"e $aucet so t"at 'ater 'ould run 7! like t"at sound) it:s %ery soot"in* to me8 and !:d +lay. !n t"e dark. Play #"e 3ound o$ 3ilenceMy *reat *reat *rand$at"er ose+" ,reenlee 'as a %ery talented $iddle +layer and es+ecially en-oyed +er$ormin* ld #ime American $olk. ld #ime music) or ld #imey or Mountain Music) as it 'as +o+ularly called) is considered t"e oldest o$ t"e American $olk *enre) 'it" its roots in !reland) n*land) 3cotland) ?ales) ,ermany) France and e%en A$rica. !t 'as most +o+ular in t"e 1@ t"  and 1 t"  century) and "ad a re%i%al in t"e early to mid=20 t"  century) es+ecially durin* t"e ,reat De+ression. ne suc" son* t"at 'as +o+ular durin* t"is era 'as $irst 'ritten in 1@@ (y arry McClintock) and recorded (y t"e same in 12@. #"e son* is a(out a "o(os +aradise called t"e Bi* ock Candy Mountains. #"is myt"ical +lace '"ere t"e "ens lay so$t (oiled e**s) a lake o$ ste' and '"iskey too) and t"ey "un* t"e #urk '"o in%ented 'ork. #"is (ecame uite +o+ular as t"e country $ell into record unem+loyment and t"e destitute 'ere o$tentimes $orced into t"e "o(o li$e. Play Bi* ock Candy MountainsAs mentioned (e$ore) t"e roots o$ ld #ime music amon* ot"er cultures is !reland) '"eremost o$ my ancestry "ails $rom. My sir name) McCoy) comes $rom t"e sout"ern county o$ Cork) '"ic" is also t"e ori*in o$ t"e ne;t son*. ?"iskey in t"e ar is a son* '"ose ori*ins are  unkno'n) (ut is t"ou*"t to (e a(out a i*"'ayman named Patrick Flemin*) '"o 'as e;ecuted in 1650. !n t"e (ook !ris" 3treet Ballads (y Colm E Loc"lainn) "e says "e learned t"e son* $rom "is mot"er) '"o "eard it told as a limerick $rom a man named Buckley '"o "ailed $rom Cork. #"e son* tells t"e story o$ t"e i*"'ayman '"o ro(s a military or *o%ernment o$$icial) and is su(seuently (etrayed (y "is 'i$e or lo%er) '"om it is said) t"e de%il take t"e 'omen $or t"ey ne%er can (e easy.Play ?"iskey in t"e ar #"e %ery oldest !ris" traditional $olk 'ere 'ritten in t"e !ris" lan*ua*e o$ ,aelic. $tentimes t"e son*s 'ere translated or +artially translated into n*lis". ne suc" son* is named3iil a n) '"ic" is !ris" ,aelic $or ?alkG My Lo%e. #"is son* is considered '"at is called a Caoinead" 3on*) '"ic" is ,aelic $or Lament. 3iil a n is sun* $rom t"e +oint o$ %ie' o$ a 'oman lamentin* o%er "er lo%er '"o "as *one to 'ar. ?"ile 'it" most !ris" $olk t"e ori*ins are unkno'n) it is (elie%ed t"e son* is a(out t"e Fli*"t o$ ?ild ,eese) an !ris" aco(ite army under t"e command o$ Patrick 3ars$ield $rom !reland to France) in t"e ,lorious e%olution o$ 16@@. #"e c"orus in ,aelic) is ?alk) ?alk) ?alk) my lo%e?alk uietly and +eace$ully?alk to t"e door and $lee 'it" meAnd may you ?alk sa$ely my dear. Play 3iil a n  e$erences3te%enson) o(ert Louis) #"e Master o$ Ballantrae 7;$ordH ;$ord Ini%ersity Press) 1@J8) ++. &J) 5.Breat"nac") BreandKn 71&18. Folk Music  Dances o$ !reland. !relandH Mercier Press. !3B 0@=5J42=50=4. Loc"lainn) Colm) !ris" 3treet Ballads) Pan 1&@) ++220?"at is ld #ime Music "tt+H//'''$."tml3c"'art) #ony. 9Play(oy !nter%ie'9) Play(oy) Fe(ruary 1@4) Nol. J1) o. J@4) !ssue 2)  ++. 4O51  162O1&6#"e 3ound $ 3ilence(y3imon  ,ar$unkel "tt+H//'''.son*$"+id&6ammel) al 7108. o'"ere in AmericaH t"e Bi* ock Candy Mountain and t"er Comic Ito+ias. Ini%ersity o$ !llinois Press. etrie%ed 3e+tem(er 2J) 2010.
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