Na Bailitheoirí Ceoil

Na Bailitheoirí Ceoil

Na Bailitheoirí Ceoil is a three part documentary series on the lives and times of some of the extraordinary people who went out into the highways and byways to collect Irish music, from the 18th to the 20th century, presented by music collector and musician, Seán Corcoran. The series is a stunning mix of music, historical accounts and period reconstructions.

Episode one tells the story of organist Edward Bunting who became immersed in the music of the people during 1790s when Belfast was in the grip of revolutionary fervour. It also documents the forgotten work of his assistant, Patrick Lynch, who risked his life walking across Ireland from Drogheda to Mayo to be the first song collector to notate verses directly from the mouths of the Irish people.

Episode two takes us into the world of the 19th century antiquarians who romanticised Irish music as an almost sacred remnant of a Golden Age to be collected and preserved. We follow the musical life of landscape artist and polymath, George Petrie, as he takes down "ancient melodies" in the streets of Dublin or from the people of Aran.

The final part of this series takes us to the turbulent world of 19th century Chicago, where a young flute-player, Francis O'Neill from Tralibane in West Cork, worked his way up through the police service to become Chief of Police. At same time he amassed a huge collection of Irish music from the many musicians from all parts of Ireland who had settled there. His personal collection, "O’Neill’s The Dance Music of Ireland", is still the "bible" of Irish musicians today.

  • 3 x 40 mins - TG4 - 2008
  • Item Tag: music, TG4


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