By Memory Inspired: Mick Moloney's Songbook | "The Ballad of Tom Crean"

The complex story of a Kerry man who ran away with the navy at age 15 and went on to become one of the great Arctic explorers of the early 20th century. "The Ballad of Tom Crean" is performed for this week's Songbook by Mick and special guests Lucy Johnston, Brenda Castles, and John Doyle.

By Memory Inspired: Mick Moloney's Songbook | "The Life of the Rover" ("The Thirty Foot Trailer")

Mick plumbs the history and context of a 1960s song depicting the plight of Travellers across England, and performs a rendition with special guests Lucy Johnston, Brenda Castles, and Haley Richardson. Note: Folk musician Ewan MacColl wrote "The Forty Foot Trailer," with Peggy Seeger more than 50 years ago as part of a series of radio ballads, after having spent some time with Traveller communities across England. It romanticizes the lives and culture of this historically marginalized people. Today, the name "tinker,"​ which is also used in the song, is understood as both a profession but can also be understood as a slur in contemporary society.​

By Memory Inspired: Mick Moloney's Songbook | "Get Up Jack, John Sit Down" & "The Jolly Roving Tar"

This week, Mick explores the dual lives of one song: as written by its composer, Ned Harrigan ("Get Up Jack, John Sit Down"), and the version that forked in the path, entering the folk tradition as "The Jolly Roving Tar." Performed with special musical guest John Roberts.

Irish Arts Center Poem of the Week: Annemarie Ní Churreáin's "Family Law"

"But daughter, we come from the spriest woods. / You and I are of the roots / that uphold an alphabet to the sun." A poem at the intersection of family, landscape, and language: Annemarie Ní Churreáin introduces her PoetryFest 2018 reading of "Family Law," a selection from BLOODROOT, her debut collection "dedicated to my foremothers, in particular the women of my family whose voices were not always heard." Read more about BLOODROOT at

By Memory Inspired: Mick Moloney's Songbook | "Sean McGlynn's Mazurka"

After the 1983 murder of the great Galway accordionist Sean McGlynn, the songwriter Eugene O'Donnell memorialized him in music. Specifically, with a mazurka that came to him in a dream. Decades later, Mick, Athena Tergis, and Billy McComiskey had the privilege of performing the piece for O'Donnell in his Derry home, just months before his own passing. They perform it again here, in this week's Songbook.

IAC's Collective Pop-Up Book Project: The Giants

This fall, Irish Arts Center challenged our community to create a pop-up book with us! We were delighted to premiere our collective online storytelling project at our annual Oíche Shamhna / Irish Halloween celebration, and share it with you ​here to enjoy for the remainder of the fall 2020 season.

Irish Arts Center Poem of the Week: John McAuliffe's "Montevideo"

A poem with Uruguayan roots, brought home to Roscommon. John McAuliffe looks back on his reading at Irish Arts Center's PoetryFest four years ago, just before the 2016 election.

By Memory Inspired: Mick Moloney's Songbook | "Pat Murphy of the Irish Brigade"

"Like a hero, he died for the land of the free / Far away from the land of Shillelagh." This episode of Songbook explores a musical legacy of the American Civil War, in which many newly arrived immigrants "from the land of Shillelagh" fought on the Union side. Here are Mick, Haley Richardson, and Brenda Castles with the folk anthem "Pat Murphy of the Irish Brigade."

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