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760 Yeats,Gráinne. (1925– ).Harp,singer,researcher. Born in Dublin and raised bilingually in Irish and English, she learned her first traditional song from Kerry sean-nós singer Máighréad Ní Bheaglaíoch. She studied piano, singing and Irish harp at the RIAM in Dublin, and in extended visits to Gaeltacht areas she acquired a repertoire of traditional songs and music. She has developed a particular interest in wire-strung harp, and has written extensively on its history and music, and was the first professional musician to revive and record it. The pioneer of modern-day wire-strung harp playing,as a soloist she has broadcast on radio and television, has recorded with Gael Linn, and played all over the world. Her extensive research on the Irish harpercomposers and their repertoire, and on the history of the instrument itself has led to much publication,among which is the entry on Turlough Carolan in the 1980 New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and her 1992 book The Harp of Ireland. Her 1992 Gael Linn cd recording The Belfast Harp Festival marked the bicentenary of the 1792 festival with some 40 of the tunes of the traditional harpers who played there, as taken down by Edward Bunting. Young Irelanders. A major ‘Repeal of the [1801] Union’ political movement begun in 1842 which addressed and developed a model of Irishness that combined economics, history and culture. Many of its members were Protestant intellectuals and literati who wished to create a non-sectarian national identity (though, like Yeats later, hoping to have a leadership role themselves). They had a sometimes troubled relationship with Daniel O’Connell. Song, as a medium of news and ideas transmission in pre-popular-press times, was a central medium for them.The movement’s leaders wrote prolifically; their works were published between 1842 and early 1845 in their newspaper The Nation, and were released in the songbook Spirit of the Nation (1845), republished fifty-eight times, the last edition in 1934. One of its leaders, poet and editor of The Nation Thomas Davis,bound song and political identity firmly in one package: National poetry shows us magnified, and ennobles our hearts, our intellects and our country and our countrymen – it binds us to the land by its condensed and gem-like history, to the future by examples and aspirations. It solaces us in travail, fires us in action, prompts our invention, sheds a grace beyond the power of luxury round our homes, is the recognised envoy of our minds,presents the most dramatic events, the largest characters, the most impressive scenes, and the deepest passions, in the language most familiar to us. (Spirit of the Nation) Of an 1840s anthology of ballads and street songs by Charles Gavan Duffy,Davis said it was ‘a propaganda worth a thousand harangues’. Davis himself wrote fifty or so songs and ballads, and The Nation was at one point receiving twenty or more in the post each week. A gauge of the popularity of Spirit of the Nation and ballad song in general is seen in the paper’s claim in 1844 that the songbook had a larger sale than any book published in Ireland since the union. The process of song composition is of interest as Duffy describes Davis’s method: A song or ballad was struck off at a heat, when a flash of inspiration came – scrawled with a pencil,in a large hand,on a sheet of post-paper, with unfinished lines, perhaps, and blanks for epithets which did not come at once of the right measure or colour; but the chain of sentiment or incident was generally complete. If there was time it was revised later and copied with pen and ink,and last touches added before it was dispatched to the printer; but if occasion demanded, it went at once. (1844) The Young Irelanders were marginalised by James Fintan Lawlor’s assertion in 1847 that the land question was superior to that of the union with Britain.(They are not to be confused with the Young Ireland Association,founded in 1933 as a successor to the fascist-style ‘Blueshirts’movement.) Y ...


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