Travellers’ songs and stories – documentary on Newstalk this weekend

Collecting the songs and stories of Irish Travellers living in England

A new documentary from Newstalk 106-108fm celebrates the work of Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie, two important song collectors who deserve to be much better known. ‘Rambling Candyman’ will be broadcast on Sat 29 July at 10pm, and Sun 30 July at 8am.  A podcast will be available after the broadcast.

Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie recorded the vestiges of a unique way of life before it disappeared.  Their work recording the songs and stories of Irish Travellers living in England, beginning in the early 1970s is invaluable.  The relative isolation of travelling life meant that, while traditional singing was in decline, it was in a better condition than in most Irish settled communities, and several ancient ballads were still in the repertoire of traveller singers that had long faded from the wider scene.

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