I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Fintan Vallely

Subaltern Songs

A new collection of Cork songs assembled by Jimmy Crowley achieves a model standard in the genre – setting the work in its place, establishing the relevant voices and according the lyrics their historical period and purpose, adding value for singer, listener - and even reader - alike.

The Harp That Once

A reprint of an important historical work on Irish music reveals that the Armagh-born collector Edward Bunting with some justice regarded Thomas Moore as having plagiarised his collected and published music and sanitised it, making himself wealthy and famous.

Street Smart

Lyrics have been defined as short poems written to the accompaniment of a musical instrument, but should Paul Muldoon’s lyrics be judged primarily as poems or as songs?

Discordant Notes

Haven’t all local places got uniqueness, by definition, and hasn’t the whole island got “history”, sharing as the western seaboard does, for instance, the Famine? But then Wexford, Drogheda and Co Antrim could be said to have plenty of history too. As for “tribe” or “people”, well, that’s noble, but is this saying that all others need not apply?