Before discussing the way in which Celts were subject to cultural assimilation, it must be pointed out that there was some fusion of Afro-American and Celtic culture in the nineteenth century, probably originally as a result of cultural interaction between black and white on the American Southern Frontier. The black dancer William Henry Lane, for example, combined African dance with the Irish jig to produce his acclaimed stage jig as 'Master Juba'. Since the minstrel show developed during the years when large numbers of Irish immigrants were arriving in America, Irish songs were found to be a popular part of the show, particularly new songs calling for the liberation of Ireland. The Irish side to minstrelsy was adopted by the British troupes, but with an emphasis on 'traditional' song: no. 14, vol. 5, of the Mohawk Minstrels' Magazine is actually labelled 'Special Irish Number', and includes seven Tom Moore ballads. Thus the ground was already laid for some of the remarkable Afro-American/Celtic fusions of the present century, such as the bluegrass style of Bill Monroe.

Celtic culture is not, of course, solely Irish but includes Scottish, Welsh, Manx, [92/93] Cornish, Breton, and Galician cultures. In this chapter, however, for reasons of space, the main concern is Scotland and, to a lesser extent, Ireland. Scotland is important because it occupied a special place in the fascination of the Victorian bourgeoisie with the Celt's culture and environment. The debt owed to Scotland by the Romantic movement has long been acknowledged: a frequently quoted musical example of this debt is Mendelssohn's overture The Hebrides (1830). Queen Victoria's first visit to Scotland was in 1842, and then, with the development of rail travel, so popular did it become among the middle class that, in 1866 alone, Thomas Cook catered for 40,000 tourists. It became an escapist world of romance to the industrial bourgeois; even if not all of them went as far as the mill-owning Bullough family from Lancashire, who bought the Isle of Rhum in 1888, built a castle there (paying he workmen an extra shilling a week to wear kilts!), and paid £2000 for an organ to be installed in it. Meanwhile, Highlanders were emigrating, some as a result of the blight which destroyed the potato crop in Sutherland in the 1840s (those who stayed were set to work building 'destitution roads'), and others driven out because they could not afford to remain once the leases on their tenancies expired and Lowland farmers competed for the land in order to place profitable Cheviot sheep there. The Highlands were in the hands of a few vast landowners, and what was not leased out to farmers was treated as a huge recreation park. Deer stalking was perhaps the favourite pastime among wealthy Highland landlords and their business friends, many of whom would have made their fortunes selling the new whisky, blended from Lowland grain (mostly unmalted) and Highland malt. This state of affairs did not continue for the whole century: the Highland Land League was formed in 1882, and by 1886 crofters had won security of tenure. However, even at the outbreak of World War I the land question and the problems of Highlanders had still not been resolved. Such, then, is the background against which the Victorian image of the romantic tartan-clad Highlander must be viewed; that image owed much to Scott's Waverley Novels and little to contemporary realities.

Either writing verse to Scottish airs contemporaneously with Burns, or following in his immediate footsteps, like Nairne, Hogg, and Scott, were dozens of others. Among the most prominent were Mrs Grant of Corran (1745-1814), Hector MacNeill (1746-1818), Susanna Blamire (1747-94), Mrs Grant of Laggan (1755-1838), Joanna Baillie (1764-1851), William Smyth (1766-1849), and Sir Alexander Boswell (1775-1822). Some, like the last three, were prepared to set verse to a variety of Celtic airs, Irish and Welsh as well as Scottish, while the market for them thrived. Furthermore, Joanna Baillie, although born in Scotland, spent most other life in Hampstead (she did not even visit Scotland once in the last thirty years other life), and William Smyth was a Liverpudlian who, from 1807 till his death, occupied the chair as Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge.

'Scotch songs' were great favourites in the early Victorian drawing room and were still very much 'the rage' in the 1850s, when singers like Mr Wilson and Mme Sainton-Dolby introduced them into their concerts. Just what made them so much admired may be gleaned from an article printed in Eliza Cook's Journal in 1852, which picks out characteristic features for approval: they are 'morally [93/94] healthy' in advocating contentment with one's lot; they abound in pictures of domestic peace and comfort; and they show joy in the beauties of nature. Scottish songs are felt to be non-elitist:

The writers of the words for the songs - the Scottish poets - have written them for the people - for the nation - for the many - not for the few.13

The music is thought to demonstrate honest heart-felt expression, but it has to be considered lacking in refinement:

Scotch songs are not 'pretty'. Though they have been the rage in drawing-rooms, they are yet born of the people. They were not meant to be merely ornamental; they were the growth of simple taste, of true feeling, often of intense passion. [276]

The suggestion is that the Scottish people are a homogeneous mass, that their songs spring from the people and are for the people, hence they have a universal appeal. Indeed, the writer goes on to advise Tennyson to be less classical and strive for universality. The organic Scottish society was, of course, a myth, and Scottish song which was not actually bourgeois in origin still only reached the drawing room after bourgeois mediation. By 1852, not only were most of the texts of Scottish songs the product of the Lowland middle class, or members of the old Scottish aristocracy with a sentimental attachment to Jacobitism, but many tunes had been freshly composed or modernized. The extent of this rewriting may not have been obvious to the writer quoted above, because in the first half of the nineteenth century any song text which was written by a woman would be published without attribution. Therefore, anyone keen to be reassured of the naturalness of bourgeois values might be ready to believe that these anonymous songs had sprung from untutored Scottish peasants. There was a ladies' musical society in Edinburgh which encouraged anonymous songwriting (Lady Nairne was a leading member).

It was mentioned in the previous chapter that Felicia Hemans played a key role in the emergence of women songwriters into the drawing-room ballad market; two features of her work should be stressed, since they mark her out from the Edinburgh ladies: she did not write in dialect and she did not publish anonymously. Anonymity was respectable (because modest) but worked against the economic interest of women. Lady John Scott, née Alicia Spottiswoode (1810-1900) was composer and author of several successful ballads, but because she remained anonymous until the mid-1850s her influence on other women was slight compared with that of Caroline Norton and Maria Lindsay. Also it meant that, because she had no personal reputation, anything she did outside the realm of 'Scotch song' was liable to be overlooked. One of her most well-known songs today, 'Think on Me', a straightforward Bayly-style drawing-room ballad, was first published ten years after her death.

Before turning to Alicia Scott's output, there is an intermediate stage in the assimilation of Scottish song into English bourgeois culture which needs to be considered. Stage one was the writing of new or improved verses to old airs; but many were of the opinion that these airs were not 'pretty' long before the writer in Eliza Cook's Journal and regarded this as a fault. Major keys were the norm for [94/95] genteel music, yet Scottish tunes might be modal (Skirven's 'Johnnie Cope' and Burns' 'Highland Mary'), or have a pentatonic shape which shifted ambiguously between major and relative minor (Blamire's 'What Ails This Heart o' Mine' and MacNeill's 'Come Under My Plaidie'), or the melody might pivot more strongly around the dominant than the tonic (Nairne's 'The Land o' the Leal' and Glen's 'Wae's Me for Prince Charlie'). It is, of course, unhistorical to talk of keys when discussing the older Scottish tunes; nevertheless, in the drawing room those tunes would have been perceived against a background of music with which the Victorian middle class was familiar. Hence, rather than accept them on their own terms, there was a tendency to see the tunes as crudely groping after the refinement of the classical key system. The first thing that could be done to 'improve' matters would be to provide classical harmonies and decorate the melody with classical ornamentation. Here is a mid-century version of the opening of a pentatonic Gaelic air, 'Crodh Chailein' it is from Mrs Grant of Laggan's song 'Flora to Colin', a translation of the Gaelic original (Burns reused this tune for 'My Heart's in the Highlands').

It will be seen that the melodic decoration (*) is designed around the concept of underlying harmonies, except for the trill in the penultimate bar, and that calls for classical vocal technique. Compare this version of the tune with the way it might be tackled by someone playing an instrument with a drone accompaniment. Here are the first four bars with some typical Highland bagpipe ornaments.

Now, in complete contrast, it would be difficult to find harmonies to suit the grace notes.

Sometimes the whole tune was modernized, as was 'The Flowers of the Forest' by Mrs Cockburn (see Chapter 1). Very soon there was an urge to compose fresh tunes to those songs which presently consisted of old tune and fresh words. An early example of this is the Rev. William Leeves' setting of'Auld Robin Gray', published in 1812. The words were by Lady Anne Barnard, née Lindsay [95/96] (1750-1825). the eldest daughter of the fifth Earl ofBalcarras. Living in Fifeshire, but spending winters in town, as was customary among the aristocracy, she was probably encouraged to try her hand at a 'Scotch song' as a result of mingling in Edinburgh society. However, like all lady songwriters, she kept her authorship a secret. She finally confessed to writing it in a letter sent to Walter Scott two years before her death. A Captain Hall relates that Scott told guests at his home in 1825 that, when Anne Lindsay first heard the tune, it was accompanied by 'words of no great delicacy, whatever their antiquity might be'.15 Her letter to Scott, dated 8 July 1823, declares that she longed to sing the tune to different words, 'and give its plaintive tones some little history of virtuous distress in humble life, such as might suit it' (Quoted DNB 1: 1157). Written in 1771, 'Auld Robin Gray' became such a favourite that in 1780 it formed the basis of an entire ballad opera, William and Lucy, complete with new happy ending) However suited Anne Lindsay's words were meant to be to the 'plaintive tones' of the tune, the old modal melody was immediately banished from the drawing room when Leeves' version became available. Today, the song invariably begins at the second stanza ('Young Jamie lo'd me weel'), since Leeves began his setting with a recitative. He relies on classical procedures for expressive effect, such as the contrast of major and minor key, and the use of chromaticism; his Scottish flavouring is limited to one or two snap rhythms. Mrs Gibson of Edinburgh (1786—1838) must have experienced similar feelings to Leeves when she contemplated the gloomy minor melody which accompanied Byron's poem 'Lochnagar' (from Hours of Idleness, 1807).17 Her bright and mellifluous alternative soon became a favourite tenor song. Although a dubious tribute to 'dark Lochnagar', it creates a Scottish atmosphere by plentiful use of pentatonic shapes.

Thus, the foundation was laid for Alicia Scott to both write and compose original Scottish songs- Her best-known song is 'Annie Laurie', which consists of two stanzas rewritten from an earlier song and a third stanza other own, all set to her own music. She found the words in Songs of Scotland (1825), edited by Allan Cunningham, but felt they were in need of 'improvement'. A comparison of the original second stanza with her version gives an insight into drawing-room propriety.18

She's backit like a peacock,
She's breastit like a swan,
She's jimp about the middle
Her waist ye well may span;
Her waist ye well may span.
And she has a rolling eye,
And for bonnie Annie Laurie
I'd lay down my head and die.
Her brow is like the snaw-drift,
Her throat is like the swan,
Her face it is the fairest
That e'er the sun shone on;
That e'er the sun shone on,
And dark blue is her e'e;
And for bonnie Annie Laurie
I'd lay me doune and dee.

It is noteworthy that Lady Scott's version sounds a great deal more Scottish than the original; but her attachment to the Lallans dialect derives from her sentimental Jacobitism rather than an interest in ordinary Scottish people, so expressions which seem to her vulgar, like 'backit', 'breastit', and 'jimp about the middle' are dropped. For the latter she substitutes 'Her face it is the fairest', but in the 1854 version she forgoes her alliteration in order to translate the English [96/97] 'fairest' as the Scottish 'bonniest'. It is a telling change; indeed, throughout the Scottish songs for which she provided texts, Lallans is treated merely as a vocabulary of romantic words, rather than a dialect with its own syntax. Musically 'Annie Laurie' is typical of her style: it is a simple strophic song which sets the words syllabically to a sixteen-bar diatonic melody decorated with an occasional 'Scotch snap'. The word 'pretty' would not be inappropriate as a description of its elegantly crafted tune. Its tonality is unambiguously major, and its musical tensions rely on changes of harmony: for example, the tension on the word 'bonnie' in the first line, 'Maxwelton braes are bonnie'. Lady Scott used to sing her songs to a harp accompaniment, though she seldom wrote down anything but the melody.

Her songs were published anonymously in arrangements by others: 'Annie Laurie' first appeared with an accompaniment by Finlay Dun in The Vocal Melodies of Scotland, volume 3, 1838, published by Paterson and Roy, Edinburgh. It has been noted that it was customary for women songwriters to remain anonymous at this time, whether they had written words, music, or both. As the ballad market began to open up for women in the mid-century (see Chapter 3), attribution was no longer thought immodest. When Lady Nairne died in 1845, and her authorship of songs was acknowledged, the situation must have eased a little. Lady Scott was first given credit as a songwriter when she published six songs in 1854 for the benefit of the wives and families of soldiers who had been sent to Crimea (the songs included 'Annie Laurie' and 'Katherine Logic'). A song often attributed to her is 'Loch Lomond'; however, its earliest known appearance is in W. Christie's Traditional Ballad Airs, volume 1, 1876. Its largely pentatonic character seems stylistically unlike Scott, and lends credibility to the argument that it is a modern version of'Robin Cushie', first printed in McGibbon's Scots Tunes Book of 1742. The words are another possibility, since they are very much in her English-with-a-Scottish-accent style. This might also serve as an appropriate description other music. She embraces the major key world of the drawing room, avoiding 'antiquated' modality (the musically unpalatable equivalent of words like 'breastit'?), and applying dabs of regional colour with the odd pentatonic turn of phrase and snap rhythm.

It may have been noticed that, with the exception of'Crodh Chailein' ('Colin's Cattle'), all the Scottish songs discussed so far have been Lowland songs. Some Gaelic songs were published in the early nineteenth century: 'Crodh Chailein' appeared in Fraser's Airs Peculiar to the Scottish Highlands (1816), and another all-Gaelic collection was Alex Campbell's Albyn's Anthology, which came out in two volumes (1816-18). Gaelic songwriters, a large proportion of whom, incidentally, were women, continued to produce new songs throughout the century. Some even wrote new words to old tunes, as had happened with Lowland songs; 'An-t-Eilean Muileach' ('The Isle of Mull'), penned by a homesick Dugald MacPhail in Newcastle, is an example. Gaelic music divides not into 'serious' and 'popular' but into big (ceol mor) and small (ceol beag). The absence of'high' and 'low' categories reflects the socio-economic basis of Gaelic society, which was comprised of clan communities led by chiefs, and kept in existence by subsistence agriculture (based on cattle) and, in the case of some clans, fishing. There were [97/98] inequalities of wealth and status within the clan, but it saw itself as a cohesive whole. Little Gaelic song entered the drawing room because in a capitalist society art is part of leisure, but to the Highlanders art was a part of work as well, and their types of song reflect this — waulking songs (three speeds, depending on the weight of the cloth), nurses' songs, milking songs, rowing songs, etc. Even where a Gaelic song might be thought to have a universal appeal - laments for lost loved ones, such as Christina Fergusson's lament for William Chisholm, or songs of emigration, such as 'Gur Moch Rinn Mi Dusgadh' ('Early Did I Awaken') - the authentic voice of the Gael was rejected in favour of an invented voice (for example, C. Mackay's 'The Highland Emigrant' of 1861). Eventually Gaelic song was to find a form suitable for drawing-room consumption this century, mainly owing to the mediations of Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser and the interest among the English middle class in 'Celtic Twilight' romanticism.

The general opinion in the mid-nineteenth century was that Gaelic culture was crude and unimportant: 'The Highlanders, who inhabit the mountainous and picturesque part of Scotland, have added very little to its stores of national music, except a few wild pibrochs, befitting the uncouth instrument on which they are usually played — the Highland bagpipe.19 An invented culture filled the gap created by ignorance of the Highlander's culture. Highland dress, for instance, was no longer regarded as subversive; but, in order that it might fit in with the construction of a romantic Highland mythology, dozens of colourful fraud tartans were produced. Queen Victoria's desire for a personal piper owed more to Highland romance than to an interest in piobaireachd. The changes in pipe music illustrate how Gaelic culture was part marginalized and part assimilated in the nineteenth century. Angus Mackay, Queen Victoria's first piper, was an authority on the great music (ceol mor) of the Highland bagpipe, but by the 1880s the craze for the 'competition march' had marginalized this music. The official recognition given to pipers by the War Office in 1854 acted as a stimulus to the formation of pipe bands, and they, in turn, developed a repertoire distinct from that of the solo Highland piper (who originally played only piobaireachd or jigs).

Only when the socio-economic foundation of Gaelic communities was being almost everywhere undermined (even Lewis found itself host to British Aluminium in 1896) was there a rush to document and preserve their disappearing culture. According to John Blackie, who initiated the Gaelic mod, there is evidence in 1885 of 'enlarged public sympathy' in welcoming Gaelic song, although a 'great army of tourists and travellers' still comes to Scotland and thinks no more of inquiring into the social conditions of Highlanders 'than they would into the economy of a few sparrows on the roadside'.20 Part of the interest in Gaelic culture was motivated by an interest inherited from German theorists of Volkslied; this is shown by the use of terms like 'folk's song' and 'popular song' (the later term 'folk-song' is not identical to Volkslied, since the latter did not necessarily imply anonymity).21

While Gaelic culture in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland managed to survive the nineteenth century in an attenuated form, the Gaelic culture of Ireland was all but wiped out. This was a result of the changes in social relations which followed on the heels of the political defeats of the late eighteenth century. [98/99] Bunting had collected the music of an almost defunct bardic tradition, which he published in three collections in 1796, 1809, and 1840. The other major nineteenth-century collection was that published by Petrie in 1855, initiated at the request of the Society for the Preservation of Irish Music. While collecting, Petrie discovered that the art of harp playing had died out: 'The Irish harp cannot be brought back to life; it is dead forever.'22 In Ireland the harpist was the musician who held the highest social rank. Pipers were of much lower status, but their instrument, too, was found to be 'rapidly disappearing in favour of the flute and violin'23 in 1890. The method of tuning the Irish harp favoured the pentatonic scale, while allowing the possible use of other notes. This state of affairs finds an echo in the scale of the Highland bagpipe (a scale ideally suited to three varieties of pentatonic tune) and thus may account for some of the similarities between Irish and Scottish music.

The Irish music which found its way into the drawing room followed, more or less, the same stages as Scottish music. There were one or two differences: for example, in the second half of the eighteenth century the Irish comic song had become established. As usual, Dibdin was to the fore, with songs like 'Paddy O'Blarney'; indeed, it is unlikely that most Irish comic songs were anything but English in origin, but the nineteenth century inherited the tradition. Another difference was that Moore showed greater concern for the suitability of his songs to the drawing room than did his Scottish counterpart, Burns. An example which demonstrates his sure understanding of that taste is his song 'The Meeting of the Waters', which uses the tune 'The Old Head of Denis' but converted from the old Aeolian mode into a modern major key.

Moore had disciples waiting to assume his mantle in the same way as Burns had his followers. Moore's most important successor was Samuel Lover (1797-1868), the son of a Dublin stockbroker. Lover at first took up his father's profession, but finding it was not congenial decided to become a portrait painter. In addition to painting, he proved to be a man of many skills: for example, he turned his successful ballad 'Rory O'More' (1826) into an equally successful novel (1836) and then into a play (1837). His reputation for miniature portraits encouraged him to move to London in 1835, where Songs and Ballads was published in 1839. Then, in 1844, his eyesight failing and threatening his income as a painter, he devised a one-man show called Irish Evenings, consisting of his own poems, songs, and stories. After returning from a lengthy tour of Canada and America, 1846-48, he gave a new entertainment entitled Paddy's Portfolio. Lover's songs reveal a similar stage of fusion between drawing-room idiom and Celtic music as that attained by the songs of Alicia Scott. In 'Rory O'More',24 for example, he writes a jig incorporating the typical repeated tonics which originally served the function of emphasizing the pitch of the drone; at the same time, his melody shows little pentatonic influence or any disposition to avoid or flatten the seventh. Another song of his, 'Molly Bawn', from his burlesque operetta Paddy Whack in Italia (1841), mixes pentatonic writing with occasional chromaticism and passing modulation. As far as subject matter is concerned, Lover shows an interest in romance, character, and a desire to perpetuate the myth of the comic Irishman.


An 'Irish song' from the late 1830s, 'Kathleen Mavourneen' [performance by the author], was an enormous success: D'Almaine & Co. issued the twentieth edition in 1850, and the song remained a favourite in the drawing room for the entire century. The words are commonly attributed to Mrs Crawford, although not without some misgiving,25 and the music was composed by Frederick Crouch (1808—96). Its contrast of major and minor tonality is very much in the European classical mould, and its suggestion of an Irish quality is only evident from two or three pentatonic turns of phrase, an occasional drone bass, and the typically Irish use of triple time for a love song (the most famous example being 'Eileen Aroon', attributed to the sixteenth-century bard Gerald O'Daly). Apart from this, the modulations, chromaticism, and sobbing dissonances (implying the need for classical harmony) mark it down as a sentimental ballad for the middle-class home. Ironically, as a song of leave-taking, it adumbrates the mass exodus from Ireland a few years after it was written.

Ireland did not figure so prominently in the Romantic movement as Scotland, though the novels of Maria Edgeworth (1767—1849) may be seen as in some ways an Irish equivalent to Walter Scott's Waverley Novels. Moore's Irish Melodies were perhaps the most influential contemporary literature to come out of Ireland: Berlioz composed nine fresh settings of Moore's verse in 1830, and Mendelssohn based his Phantasie über ein Irlandisches Lied of the next year on 'The Last Rose of Summer'. However, the extent of poverty in Ireland, the constant agitation for land reform and for repeal of the Union did not encourage tourism. Finally, the Great Starvation 1845—51 made it impossible to see the beauties of the country without witnessing the barbarous treatment of its people by those who owned the land. During these years a million died and a million emigrated (followed by another million in the 1850s). The famine was partly the result of a potato blight, but more importantly the result of having to sell off other crops to pay rent to landlords. Songs of farewell were numerous, not written by starving Irish emigrants, but by bourgeois songwriters and, in the case of Lady Dufferin, the Anglo-Irish aristocracy.

Lady Dufferin, née Helen Sheridan (1807-67) was the elder sister of Caroline Norton and moved to Ireland when her husband succeeded his father as Baron Dufferin in 1839. Her song 'The Irish Emigrant' views the desperate situation in Ireland from the perspective of the Anglo-Irish peerage.26 The sufferings of the poor are only hinted at ('I'm very lonely now Mary, for the poor make no new friends') and so too is the lack of food and employment (in the land the emigrant is going to 'They say there's bread and work for all'). The impression given by the song is that the man is leaving Ireland not for his own survival, but to make a fresh start after the death of his wife: he goes because 'There's nothing left to care for ' now.' There is no suggestion, either, that his wife has died as a result of the famine. Yet Lady Dufferin was not ignorant of, nor unsympathetic to, the problems facing her Irish tenants; the land question long occupied her husband, and in the year of her death he published a book entitled Irish Emigration and the Tenure of Land in Ireland. George Barker, who provided the music to 'The Irish Emigrant', had acquired celebrity as a drawing-room composer with 'The White Squall' (c. 1835), and, as may be guessed, the song is not remotely Irish in [100/101] character. The musical setting merely serves to emphasize that this is a ballad for the English middle class; it was, in fact, published in London by Chappell in 1846 and made available with either piano or guitar accompaniment to suit home music-making. In 'Terence's Farewell to Kathleen' (1848), Lady Dufferin chooses to fit her words to a traditional air, and also attempts an Irish dialect; the result is a cross between a serious farewell (the girl is leaving to find work in England) and a comic song like 'Katey's Letter' which she also wrote in dialect. The emphasis falls not on the departure but on the attention Terence's sweetheart will have from 'iligant boys' in England, and how she will come back 'spakin' sich beautiful English'. Lady Dufferin decided, like her Scottish female counterparts and not like her sister, that she would publish anonymously, although her identity as a songwriter began to be known in the 1850s and attributions given to her.

It was during the process of cultural assimilation described in the previous pages that Celtic song evolved into just one more species of the genus of the drawing-room ballad. The English composer and publisher Sydney Nelson (1800— 62) may be used to illustrate the point: he had only four lasting ballad successes, two Scottish ('Mary of Argyle' and 'The Rose of Allandale'), one Irish ('Oh! Steer My Bark to Erin's Isle'), and one English ('The Pilot'). It was not just that Celtic features were incorporated into imitation 'Scotch' and Irish songs for the drawing room, sometimes a supposedly Celtic musical feature could be invented in the same way as a new tartan: for example, the change from major key to relative minor for a middle section, as in 'Rory O'More', 'Kathleen Mavourneen', 'The Irish Emigrant', 'The Rose of Tralee' (words by E. Mordaunt Spencer, music by Charles Glover), and 'Come Back to Erin'. Here the drawing-room Irish ballad has established its own tradition.

While enthusiasm for Scottish song began to wane in the 1860s, interest in Irish song was sustained by the popularity of the minstrel shows and a craze for Irish melodrama. Balfe's 'Killarney' comes from Peep o' Day (1861), one of Edmund Falconer's several Irish melodramas. Falconer had acquired an appetite for this theatrical genre after acting in Boucicault's . The latter was set in Killarney, and the most famous music it inspired was Benedict's opera The Lily of Killarney (1862).

As mentioned earlier, there is no room to deal with other Celtic cultures in any detail in this chapter, but a few words may be said here. Some well-known Welsh airs, like 'Ar Hyd y Nos' ('All Through the Night') and 'Gorhoffedd Gwyr Harlech' ('March of the Men of Harlech'), were first published in Edward Jones's Relicks in the late eighteenth century. 'The March of the Men of Harlech', incidentally, was a favourite harp or piano piece which only had words put to it in the 1860s.27 Dibdin, predictably, seems to have been the first Englishman to write 'Welsh' songs, for example, 'Taffy and the Birds'. Many other familiar names also appear in connection with Welsh songs (Joanna Baillie, Felicia Hemans, William Smyth, Mrs Grant), some of them involved in 'improving' enterprises such as the Beethoven 26 Welsh Songs. Welsh music remained popular in the drawing room as long as the harp was in favour. John Parry of Denbigh (1776-1851) was a highly regarded figure; he published a collection of Welsh [101/102] melodies entitled The Welsh Harper (volume 1, 1839; volume 2, 1848) and also adapted Welsh airs to English tunes.

Manx music was virtually ignored until the 1890S,28 although a collection of inaccurately notated Manx tunes, Mona Melodies, had been published in London in 1820. The research into Manx music, Gaelic music, and even Indian music, which began in the 1890s, was a response to the growing interest in the field-collecting of-folk-song'.29 From now on there was a change of direction in cultural appropriation: less and less were people to see their musical culture absorbed into the bourgeois form of the drawing-room ballad; instead, their music would be variously selected and mediated according to bourgeois values, then accepted in the drawing room as 'folk-song'. [102/103]

Last modified 13 June 2012