Recent and Upcoming Irish Books (September 2022)


Music for the Irish Pipes – Volume 3 – A selection of pieces from early bagpipe recordings
Joe Doyle
Na Píobairí Uilleann
August 2022

Music for the Irish Bagpipes – Volume IIIpublished by Na Píobairí Uilleann, is a collection of more than two hundred tunes transcribed by Joe Doyle from pipe recordings dating from the early 1900s to the 1970s. The tunes include not only ornaments but also variations and include reels, jigs, bagpipes, tunes and fixed dances. The earliest uilleann pipe recordings come from cylinders and 78s made in the USA at the turn of the last century and feature Patsy Touhey, Barney Delaney, Michael Carney and Michael Gallagher. There are tunes from each of them here. The earliest recordings made in Ireland were made by Dr Richard Henry of Jem Byrne of Kilkenny, who is also featured in the publication.

There are also tunes from the recordings of Richard Lewis O’Mealy (born 1873 in County Westmeath), the first piper to play on Irish public radio; Edward Mullaney, who made commercial recordings for the Victor company in the 1920s; Michael Gallagher, who also recorded in the United States; Dublin-born William Andrews, who made the first commercial pipe recordings in Ireland; Liam Walsh, who recorded over thirty records for various labels in the 1920s and 1930s; Tom Ennis, one of the most prolific Irish-American artists of the 1920s; William Clarke who recorded for the Columbia label in the 1920s; Pat Brophy, who broadcast on Irish radio between the 1940s and 1960s; Philip Martin, who made a commercial recording in 1937 for the Regal Zonophone Company; Jimmie McLaughlin, who was born in New York and made a commercial record when he was around 15 in 1924; Andy Conroy, who lived in New York for twenty-two years before returning to Ireland in 1973 – the recordings transcribed here were made by his friends in his last years in Ireland; Félix Doran, who died in 1950 – the tunes here are from the 1976 subject LP The Last of the Traveling Pipers and non-commercial recordings made by Breandán Breathnach; and, finally, Peadar Broe – the tunes are taken from a tape recorded by Broe for fellow piper Al Purcell of Dublin and Detroit.

Music for the Irish Bagpipes – Volume III includes a foreword by Seán Donnelly. This is Joe Doyle’s fourth publication for Na Píobairí Uilleann, after Music for the Irish Pipes Volumes I and II and The Piper’s Choice Music Collection.

To purchase music for the Irish Bagpipes – Volume IIIvisit


The Irish Harper – Volume 2 – 24 pieces of Turlough O’CArlan (1670–1738)
Arranged for Irish Harp by Máire Ní Chathasaigh
music from the old bridge
July 2022

This is a new edition of Irish harper Mayor Ni Chathasaighthe arrangements of O’Carolan tunes, first published in 2001. This modified and updated edition, which was undertaken during the pandemic lockdown, has a new cover, alternate right and left hand parts for some parts, rating changes and additional information and performance tips. Among the tracks are ‘Carolan’s Draft’, ‘Blind Mary’, ‘The Princess Royal’, ‘Constantine Maguire’, ‘Bridget Cruise’, ‘George Brabazon’, ‘Madame Judge’ and ‘Baptist Johnson’. Each piece is accompanied by a note on its background. Tracks 1-24 of the book correspond to tracks 1-24 of her CD carolan albums (Old Bridge Music, 1994).

To buy the new edition of The Irish Harper – Volume 2visit


Beauty an Oileáin: Music & Song of the Blasket Islands
Compiled by Ríonach uí Ógáin
Claddagh Records
August 2022

In 1992, Claddagh Records released an album titled Beauty an Oileain containing seventeen pieces of music, songs, and spoken word by former Blasket Islanders and their descendants. The island in County Kerry was evacuated in 1953 but had already become famous thanks to three books published between 1929 and 1936 – An tOileánach, Fact sheet Blian ag Fás and Comb.

Now Claddagh has published a book called Beauty an Oileáin: Music & Song of the Blasket Islands with an accompaniment CD which includes the original tracks plus nine more that have been revealed since 1992 or feature other descendants of the islanders such as Aoife and Deirdre Granville and Róisín Ní Chéileachair.

The book is bilingual and features an essay in Irish and English by an Irish folklorist and former director of the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin, Ríonach uí Ógáin, who compiled the collection. The notes on the tunes are by violinist Máire Ní Chaoimh. Among the artists featured on the recording are Seán Cheaist Ó Catháin (playing ‘Port na bPúcaí’ on violin), singer Pádraig Ó Cearnaigh, Peaití Ó Duinnshléibhe and violinist Seáinín Mhichil Ó Suilleabháin, all born on the Great Blasket.

In his essay, uí Ógáin writes: “By reading the memoirs written by the Blasket Islanders and other writings, I learned a great deal about island life as it had been. However, I always felt something was missing, and for me, it was music, song and dance that were central to the fabric of Blasket’s life. Singing, music and dancing are captured in writing as they are described on the page, but I believe hearing the voices, sounds, words, rhythms and tunes brings us closer to music and singing and allows us to savor their unique quality. The islanders created this entertainment purely out of their love and need to make it a hobby, communication and liberation by drawing inspiration from their own experiences.

Most of the recordings are from his own fieldwork for the National Folklore Commission, but there are also recordings of TENAodh Ó Tuama from University College Cork, Máire Ní Chaoimh, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, Muiris Mac Conghail and Seáinín Ó Braonáin.

To purchase Beauty an Oileáin visit


The Jackie Daly Collection: Original Irish Melodies
Edited by Matt Cranitch
July 2022

The traditional Irish accordionist Jackie Daly recently published a collection of his musical compositions, The Jackie Daly Collectioncompiled, transcribed and edited by a violin player Matt Cranitch.

The book contains more than two hundred compositions divided into jigs, slides, polkas, reels, hornpipes and miscellaneous (mainly planxties and waltzes). Among the tunes is the reel ‘The Trip to Tuam’, which appears at the end of Dé Danann’s arrangement of ‘Hey Jude’. There are also tracks such as ‘The Fly Fishing Reel’, which he recorded in 1995, ‘Jackie Daly’s Reel’, which was recorded by Arcady, and ‘The Rakes of Merlot’ and ‘The Living Stream’, which were recorded by Daly and Cranitch. There is also a song, “The Roadside Stage”, composed by Daly when he received the Kanturk Festival Award in 2009. Many tracks include notes on their origins from the composer.

The Jackie Daly Collection: Original Irish Melodies is available for purchase at and the Irish Traditional Music Archive.


crazy dreams
Paul Brady
Merrion Press
September 2022

crazy dreams is the new autobiography of Paul Brady published by Merrion Press. It chronicles the life and musical career of the singer, songwriter and guitarist over six decades, from his early years in Strabane, Co. Tyrone, to his more recent albums such as Hooba Dooba. Along the way he’s talked about his early days at school, the Irish folk scene, The Johnstons, Planxty, his work with Andy Irvine, Rory Gallagher and Phil Lynott, his tour with Dire Straits, writing for Tina Turner, his meeting with Bob Dylan, his classic song ‘The Island’, the albums primitive dance, charity please, Colliding minds and Oh what a worldand Paul Brady Songbook performances for twenty-three nights at Vicar Street.

To buy crazy dreamsvisit



The Riverdance Road
Bill Whelan
Lilliput Press
October 20, 2022

The Riverdance Roada memoir of composer Bill Whelan, will be published on October 20 by Lilliput Press. Beginning with his childhood in Limerick, the book traces his early years learning music, then beginning to write songs and record at home, followed by his first breakthrough on the soundtrack of a Richard Harris film. . Whelan studied law in Dublin but gradually became more involved in the music scene, working as a producer, arranger and musician with a wide range of artists from Shay Healy to Planxty and from Van Morrison to Kate Bush. His own music became more established thanks to a BM Yeats Festival at the Abbey followed by The Seville Suite, The Spirit of Mayo then global success river dance. The Riverdance Road is a personal story, but also provides a rich insight into the Irish music scene over the past five decades.

To buy The Riverdance Roadvisit


Surrender: 40 songs, one story
Knopf Books
November 1, 2022

A third book exploring music in Ireland over the past decades is bonoit is Surrender: 40 songs, one story, which will be published by Knopf on November 1st. Over forty chapters, each named after a U2 song, Bono takes the reader back to his early life in Dublin, including the loss of his mother when he was fourteen, to U2to become one of the most influential rock groups in the world, to its more than twenty years of activism. About the book, he says, “When I started writing this book, I hoped to draw in detail what I had previously only sketched in songs. The people, places and possibilities in my life. Abandonment is a word full of meaning for me. Growing up in Ireland in the 70s with raised fists (musically speaking) was not a natural concept. A word I only circled until I gathered my thoughts for the book. I am still struggling with this most humiliating order. In the group, in my marriage, in my faith, in my life as an activist. Abandonment is the story of a pilgrim’s lack of progress… With quite a bit of fun along the way.

To buy Abandonmentvisit

For our roundup of June’s new music books, visit


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