Sunrise on the Wicklow Hills
Preserving Irish Legends
County Wicklow inspired John Millington Synge, gave refuge to
freedom fighters, welcomed lovers to it's hills and valleys and
continues to provide tranquility, peace and relaxation for its many
The loves, battles, disputes and matches of the Garden County have
been commemorated in songs (some almost forgotten), which have long
been part of the oral tradition of mountain men and mountain women.
Yes, yes, I know. You knew that already. Well, about a year ago I
came up with a mad idea. You knew that as well because you know that
I'm always coming up with mad ideas. As smart as you are I'll bet you
don't know what the mad idea was. Well I'll tell you. Wicklow was the
last county in Ireland to be instituted. And on the four-hundredth
anniversary of the foundation of our beautiful County I hit on the
idea of making a DVD to preserve some of its precious stories and
legends as told through its ballads.
400 Years Of Wicklow Songs And Music
SUNRISE ON THE WICKLOW HILLS; This is a classical song,
"drawing-room splendour" with the feelings of everyday
THE WICKLOW ROVER; Cork had The Bould Thady Quill, its
county boasted of "The Limerick Rake" and Roundwood
Molloy, felt compelled to immortalise our very own colourful Wicklow
THE VALES AROUND CLOUGHLEA; A thumbnail sketch of West
Wicklow life in
the early days of the last century drawn, in words, by local
Farrelly. Priest, patriotism and pranks, they are all there.
DERRYBAWN; This beautiful ballad indicates that Wicklow men
as capable of love, loyalty and valour as were their ancestors.
THE BLACKBIRD OF SWEET AVONDALE; The sad and moving tale
"the uncrowned king of Ireland" is given a new lease of
award-winning singer Peggy Sweeney.
THE FLOWER OF LUGNAQUILLA; One of our highest mountains is
immortalised by this slow jig composed and played, on fiddle, by
musician Rachel Conlan.
MY WICKLOW HILLS SO GAY; An emigrant story from our own
time told by a
THE BANKS OF AVONMORE; The story of death on an alien
broken hearts in Wicklow, written by the late Peter
THE ROSE IN THE HEATHER/PAIDIN O'RAFFERTY (JIGS); Played by
under the direction of John McNamara.
DOWN BY THE TANYARD SIDE; Composed by celebrated songwriter
Lysaght to console his friend Hugh Byrne who was the victim of his
THE WICKLOW MOUNTAINS HIGH; An old sentimental ballad,
which has been
rescued from the jaws of obscurity.
ANN DEVLIN; Pete St. John composed this lively yet tragic
thereby ensuring that a brave Wicklow woman would not be airbrushed
THE WICKLOW VALES FOR ME; Even the Creator, it has been
make two hills without a valley. Perhaps that is why man-of-God,
a Donard curate, in the last century gave our mountains a rest (in a
sense) and penned this tribute to the hollows in between.
PROVIDENCE/GRAVEL WALKS (REELS); Played by Fuinneamh under
direction of John McNamara.
The artists featured include Celtic Mist, Shay Eustace,
tenor Denis Molloy, Pianist Bill Kearney, Billy Meade, Fiddle-player
Conlan, Songwriter/singers Patsy McEvoy and Mick Brady and a
Fuinneamh. Fuinneamh is the Irish for "energy" and when you
play you'll agree with the choice of name.
Also featured are a number of interviewees who know anything
knowing about County Wicklow, its songs and songwriters. These
94-year-old Mona Power recalls her memories of Peter
Roving Bard) an enigmatic songwriter and musician who travelled the
Wicklow until his death in 1956. Father Padraig McCarthy tells us
fruits of his research into this prolific man-of-the-roads who kept
close to his chest as far as his origins were concerned.
Senator Labras O 'Murchu, Director General of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri
gives us the benefit of his knowledge of songs and song-writing in
Seamus MacMathuna, a great authority on the Irish ballad regales
from a cheery fireside, with stories of composers past and
Mick Brady, reveals where he got the inspiration for an emigration
singer, writer and historian Shay Eustace tells some lesser-known
"Sunrise On The Wicklow
is available from:
15 Weston Heights,
Price: €22 (including P&P)
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other works published by Pencil Stubs