Daily Archives: January 18, 2009

Irish Popular Songs by Edward Walsh

Edward Walsh is one of those names you run across fairly often in the anthologies, but I didn’t know anything about him. He was one of the Nationalists who was also much concerned with promoting Irish poetry and music. But apparently he died when he was only 45, which is sad.

This particular book, Irish Popular Songs, is mostly a posthumous collection of his translations of famous Irish songs from the south. A lot of these songs are still part of the sean nos repertoire. The interest of the translations is that he was trying to be more literal than a lot of translators had been (or are), but still keep some sense of the rhymes and assonances of the original. It seems very likeable stuff. No music is provided, but most of the airs are fairly well known and so you can probably find some version of them online.

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