The Dublin City Public Library and Archive has recently acquired the Orchestra of St Cecilia Collection, deposited by manager/artistic director Lindsay Armstrong after his retirement and the dissolution of the company at the end of 2014. The collection comprises Armstrong’s comprehensive administrative records. It documents the detailed practicalities of managing an orchestra and putting on independent concerts. The collection includes concert programmes, posters, flyers, correspondence, programme notes, recordings, soloists and conductor’ biographies and administrative documents. Access to the collection provides unparalleled insight into the processes involved in professional orchestra and event management from the turn of the twenty-first century through recession times in Dublin. Find out more and view some items from the Orchestra of St Cecilia Collection...Dublin City Library & Archive formally accepted the donation with a reception on Tuesday 22 November 2016.About the Orchestra of St CeciliaThe Orchestra of St Cecilia was a Dublin-based chamber orchestra operating from 1995 to 2014. The orchestra’s core activities have centred on complete cycles of Mozart’s piano concertos with Hugh Tinney (1996-8), Beethoven’s symphonies conducted by Barry Douglas (2002) The Orchestra achieved the remarkable feat of completing the cycle of Bach church cantatas, performed at St Ann’s Church, Dawson Street over 10 years (2001-10). Co-founder, manager and artistic director Lindsay Armstrong was former manager of the New Irish Chamber Orchestra (NICO), and former director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music.Photo above: Orchestra of St Cecilia performing at Newman University Church, 2013Listen to the Orchestra of St CeciliaHighlights from the Orchestra of St Cecilia performing Bach Church Cantatas. Hear more Bach Church Cantatas...Videos of the final concert in the Bach Church Cantatas series, including pre-concert lecture by Dr Christoph Wolff and end of series speeches (2010)Highlights from Orchestra of St Cecilia performing Haydn's Symphonies (First Series) Hear more Haydn's Symphonies...Further ReadingDavid Brophy, ‘Lindsay Armstrong’, The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland, ed. Harry White and Barra Boydell (Dublin: UCD Press, 2013), p.30David Brophy, ‘Orchestra of Saint Cecilia’, The Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland, ed. Harry White and Barra Boydell (Dublin: UCD Press, 2013), p.792.Lindsay Armstrong, ‘Orchestra of St. Cecilia – An Elegy’, Sound Post: Newsletter of the MUI: Musicians’ Union of Ireland (Spring 2015), pp. 6-7Orchestra of St Cecilia (website): www.orchestrastcecilia.ieDr Catherine Ferris is a Researcher at the Research Foundation for Music in Ireland. Her work focuses on the contextual history of everyday musical life in Ireland and the use of archival materials for research. As a librarian and music cataloguer, she has worked on collections in the National Library of Ireland, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, The Abbey Theatre and the Dublin Institute of Technology.
When I think of Dublin in song, the popular ballads that were the soundtrack to my childhood, spring to my mind, the songs I would have heard adults around me singing as they went about their work.My favourite is The Dublin Saunter. I think of my parents, in their courting days on Grafton Street, when they had less cares in the world. This song was written by a Dublin man for a Dublin man. Leo Maguire (1903 –1985), a Radio Éireann broadcaster who ran weekly radio show, the Walton's Programme for thirty years. He wrote over one hundred songs, including this one for Noel Purcell (1900–1985). Noel is fondly remembered for his variations of the role of old sailor with a long white beard, in over fifty Hollywood films in 1950s and 1960s. He was given the Freedom of the city of Dublin where there is a road named in his honour.When I hear the Rocky road to Dublin I think of learning the slip jig played on the tin whistle. This song was written by a 19th century Galway man, D.K. Gavan. He also wrote Lannigan's Ball, a song set in Athy, however, he spent six long months learning dance steps in Dublin. The Rocky Road recounts his travels from Galway through Mullingar to Dublin and then on the Liverpool. Incidentally, this song is recited several times by Mr. Deasy in James Joyce's Ulysses.Another Dublin song that rings in my ear is The Auld Triangle, which features in Brendan Behan's (1923 1964) play The Quare Fellow. The play was inspired by Brendan’s time in Mountjoy, where the triangle was rung to wake the inmates.The origin of the song Dicey Riley, about a woman who enjoys her drink, is uncertain. Verses were said to be written by Dominick Behan (1928–1989), Brendan’s brother and by Tom Munnelly (1944 – 2007), an Irish folk-song collector. Drink features in many of the songs, as does Liverpool - Dominick Behan also wrote Liverpool Lou.Another woman remembered in song is Biddy Mulligan the Pride of the Coombe. It was written by Seamas Kavanagh (1930s) who collaborated with the scriptwriter Harry O'Donovan, who worked with Jimmy O'Dea. Kavanagh based Biddy on The Queen of The Royal Coombe, which was found in a 19th century Theatre Royal programme. Biddy Mulligan is about a Dublin street-seller and was made popular by Jimmy O'Dea (1899-1965) who was "Dame" Biddy Mulligan in many variety performances and pantomimes. You can't but smile when you remember those shows. George Hodnett (1918-1990), part of the bohemian Dublin literary set of the golden '50s, was residential pianist at the Pike Theatre in the 1950s, and later reviewer of jazz and Irish traditional music for The Irish Times. He wrote Monto, a song about the district around Montgomery Street, now Foley Street, which, by the way, also features as 'Nighttown' in the 'Circe' chapters in James Joyce's Ulysses.Another famous Dublin song is referred to in Ulysses when Myles Crawford refers to the two women on top of Nelson's pillar as being, "Out for the Waxies' Dargle”.There are many more songs about Dublin, a lot made famous by The Dubliners folk band. However, these are the ones that I remember most, that send me back to various moments in my growing up years:“and if you don't believe me Come and meet me there In Dublin on a sunny Summer morning”
Who Feared to Wear the Red Hand Badge! Songs and Poems of 1913 Lockout
The Lockout 1913 inspired many poems, ballads, songs and rhymes. Many of which were published in The Irish Worker. These poems and ballads provide a vivid portrait of the conditions faced by Dubliners during the Lockout, the battle between the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union and the Dublin Employers’ Federation and the key personalities of the time.As part of the City Hall Springtime Lectures Francis Devine and Fergus Russell performed ballads and songs of the 1913 Lockout. Songs include 'Freedom's Pioneers' by James Connolly and 'The Red Hand Badge' by AP Wilson.Right: Image from A Capital in Conflict, Dublin City and the 1913 Lockout. Copyright: Dublin City Library & ArchiveFrancis Devine's accompanying historical commentary gives the background of the Lockout and the songs featured here. He discusses The Irish Worker newspaper, women and the Lockout, Bloody Sunday, victims of the Lockout and figures such as Jim Larkin, William Marting Murphy, Divisional Magistrate E.G. Swifte (aka "forty bob") and Rosie Hackett after whom the newest bridge over the River Liffey was recently named.Listen to songs and poems of the 1913 Lockout with historical commentary by Francis Devine.Read the transcript.Recorded by Dublin Community Television on Tuesday 2nd April 2013 as part of the Spring series of City Hall lectures. The City Hall Lectures are organised by Dublin City Archives.Further ResourcesDublin Commemorations 1913-1916 Sources available at Dublin City Archives.The Reading Room, Dublin City Library and Archive, Pearse Street holds a wealth of material on the history of Dublin, including books, pamphlets, journals, street directories, and almanacs.Browse books on the 1913 Lockout in the Library Catalogue. Dictionary of Irish Biography: Over 9,000 signed biographical articles. Includes many figures from 1913 Lockout mentioned in this talk such as James Larkin, William Martin Murphy, James Connolly, Delia Larkin, Countess Markievicz, Helena Moloney, WP Partridge.The following online resources can be accessed free of charge at your local library (access links via our NetVibes portal). Ask library staff for information and assistance.Dictionary of Irish Biography: A comprehensive and authoritative biographical dictionary for IrelandIrish Times Digital Archive: This online archive service gives access to contemporary editions of the Irish Times from the mid-nineteenth century until the present.Irish Newspaper Archive: This online archive service gives access to contemporary editions of the Irish Independent and a range of other newspapers.The Ireland-JSTOR Collection: This online archive of academic articles can also be accessed free of charge at your local library.