Accents In Singing Irish Folk Songs
In general when you sing you don't have an accent unless it's
a ''Put On Accent'' which is quiet dilebrate, but there
exceptions. If the song your are singing is written by yourself
then you wouldn't normally fall into a forign
county accent because you wouldn't have even heard the song before as it's your own work.
As I said above about putting on an accent, this usually only
happenes in pop songs and it's mostly English and
who will try and sing in an American voice. I beleive this is
done solely to appeal to a wider audience
to gain more sales
of their music. Then there are the odd few who actually sing
songs in their own local accent and
are embarrassed by it and
change to singing in an American voice.
But it's not only the pop singers who do it. Some well known
folk artists who for one reason or another changed their
For example have a listen to the early Wolfe Tones
songs and wheather it's Brian Warfield or Tommy Byrne doing the
singing you can really hear the different in their accents.
The older stuff have a more country sound, when I say country
talking about outside Dublin. Then listen to their music
from the 1980s onwards and you'll certainly hear the difference.
The 'tones song The Valley Of Knockanure for example which
was released in 1970 on the album ''Up The Rebels'' has
Byrne on lead vocals with a ''Country Accent''.
Now this may have been done to appeal to the masses outside
has always sang with a mixture of Dublin and
Country in his songs, he even changes within the same song but
reason by the 1980s all of The Wolfe Tones sang
with their own natural voice.
Another of The Folfies, Christy Moore who from the 1960s to
the late 70s always had a Dublin accent when doing live
and even his recorded materal but then started singing in his
own natural Kildare voice. This was a compleat transformation
Christy and his fans. He must have being putting on this
false Dublin brogue to ''Fit In'' with the crowd. When Christy
out he was based around the pubs and clubs in Dublin
because that's where the ballad boom was taking place.
of his change can be found in his early recordings,
namely, The Ballad Of James Larkin where you would think he
born and bread in Dublin, to his later songs from the 70s.
I'm not knocking singers here, far from it, we all here it
when a friend goes abroad to work and comes back a few
later with an English, American or where ever them
have being with the accent of the country they were living
it's not only the singers that do it, some people are
more susceptible than others at picking it up and again put it
to ''Fit In''
Another example in the folk world would have been The Clancy
Brothers And Tommy Makem. Apart from Liam Clancy
including Tommy sang ''With'' their own County accent while
Liam always sang with a netural voice even though
away from home as long as his brothers. It's not an easy
one to explain as there are many possible explanations