1st Edition

Musical Culture and the Spirit of Irish Nationalism, 1848–1972

By Richard Parfitt Copyright 2020
    300 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Musical Culture and the Spirit of Irish Nationalism is the first comprehensive history of music’s relationship with Irish nationalist politics. Addressing rebel songs, traditional music and dance, national anthems and protest song, the book draws upon an unprecedented volume of material to explore music’s role in cultural and political nationalism in modern Ireland. From the nineteenth-century Young Irelanders, the Fenians, the Home Rule movement, Sinn Féin and the Anglo-Irish War to establishment politics in independent Ireland and civil rights protests in Northern Ireland, this wide-ranging survey considers music’s importance and its limitations across a variety of political movements.

    Introduction: "Ballads Have Long Lost Their Revolutionary Powers"

    Part I: Nationalism, 1848–1913

    1. "Oh, What Matter, When for Erin Dear We Fall?": Fenianism, Radical Nationalism and the Irish Soundscape

    2. Appropriating Radicalism: Nationalist Music and Home Rule

    3. Gaelicising "The Seonín Maids of Eirinn": The Politics of Ireland’s Musical Revivals

    Part II: Revolution, 1913–1923

    4. "Great Men and Straight Men"?: Music, Radicalisation and Revolution, 1913–1921

    5. "Oh, How We Worship Our Dora": Seditious Singing and British Laws

    6. "We Thought We Fought for Ireland": Music and the Civil War

    Part III: Independence, 1923–1972

    7. "Three-Quarters of a Nation Once Again": Music and Party Politics

    8. "Folk Music Alone Will Not Supply Our Needs": Music and Cultural Nationalism

    Part IV: Partition, 1923–1972

    9. "This Morning a Man Was Hanged. This Evening We Had a Concert": Music, Nationalism and Northern Ireland, 1923–1967

    10. "For the Most Part We Played Rebel Songs": Music and Civil Rights

    11. "Ireland for the Irish, We Shall Not Be Moved": Music and the Troubles

    Part V: Dance

    12. Inventing the Irish Dancer, 1848–1923

    13. "Jazzing the Soul of the Nation Away": Dance and Dissent, 1923–1935

    14. Modernising Irish Dance, 1935–1972

    Conclusion: Nationalist Communities, Revolution and Musical Mischief


    Richard Parfitt, based at the University of Oxford, is a historian of political music and culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.