My programs and stories

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What are my programs like?

I prefer to mix history and folklore, stories and songs. For example, a typical St Patrick's Day program would start with why the Irish tell so many tales of the Good People and their unpredictability, a leprechaun or pooka tale, a song from folklore, a bit about the good saint Himself and how he came to be so honored in Ireland and a final song. Halloween programs include a history of the holiday from New Year celebration to dealing with fear,Christmas-time brings appropriate stories and a more general program might look at how the Irish came to America and why there are eight times as many Irish-Americans as there are folks in Ireland today.

Programs can be customized around a theme on request.

Whether the tales are from Ireland or...

From the Irish-American experience, my wish is to be able to share my love of the heritage of the Celtic folk.

Are they ALL Irish tales?

Well, yes and no, in a manner of speaking. You see, the Irish and their cousins the Scots were a major source of the settlers in the Appalachian Mountains. You can hear their influence in the music, the speech and the tales of the Hills. And these tales are also a part of my background. For example, "Jack and the Giant of Robinson's Mountain", a tale I wrote for a performance at the Ohio State Fair, is based on the Jack-tales of Europe and Appalachia.

Others, like "The Sky-Foogle of Chillicothe" are American folk tales. Please see my page on "Ohio and Appalachian Tales" for more information on American programs.

You sing, too?

Yes, a bit. Folksongs like "De Luain, De Mairt" (Monday, Tuesday), traditional songs like "Molly Malone" (in English or Irish), some that bridge the old and new worlds like "Connamara Cradle Song/Down in the Valley" or the totally American "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" and "Arkansas Traveller".

I've even written a lyric or two, myself...

Can I see you tell on-line?

Yes! I have "The Giant's Heart" up on YouTube 

Watch it here

And what kind of tales do you tell?

I do tell traditional folk stories from Ireland, pulling from a variety of sources. I also have original tales in the traditional mode--particularly the "Seamus McSeamus" tales.

Seamus was a wanderer, a rover, a traveling man, if you will, back in the days of "once upon a time". He walked the hills and valleys of Ireland as much for the fun of it as anything else for he was the sort of personnjoyed having adventures. And as you know, that is precisely the sort of person to whom adventures happen...

O'Sullivan's Cascade

This gentle waterfall is one of my favorite places in Ireland; part of Tomie's Woods in Killarney National Park. It is not easy to reach, but worth the effort and then some!

And it was here Someone played a bit of a joke on me, but that's a story to itself...