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Tom Munnelly
Collected Essays And Lectures, 1990 - 2007


A collection of essays and lectures written by the celebrated Irish folksong collector and scholar Tom Munnelly (1944–2007) on songs, singers, song collections and song collecting, illustrated by song texts and photographs. In her introduction, Professor Ríonach uí Ógáin, Director of the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin, describes Tom Munnelly’s life in song: ‘Tom viewed traditional song in the general landscape of Irish culture, in the broadest sense. He shared his wisdom in relation to all his areas of interest, of the seventeenth-century ballad tradition, of twentieth-century folklore collecting or of twenty-first century academic research in folkloristics, with enthusiasm and ease… At the core of his output as collector, lecturer and scholar was his passion for song.’ The lectures, given at various festivals and conferences, retain Tom’s distinctive delivery of ‘wisdom presented with ease and combined with a sense of humour. They range from history, emigration and war to humour, love and work’. The book is a treasure trove of insight and interpretation for singers and non-singers alike and makes a valuable contribution to the scholarship of English-language song in Ireland.