Some songs of West Cork, from 1880s ‘The Chapel of Charming Rossmore’, ‘Fifty years Ago (The ESB in Coolea), The Rookery, ‘Garnish’, ‘The Banks of Sullane’, ‘A Toast to Beara’, ‘The Shores of Coolough Bay’, ‘The Strands of Ballylickey and the transmission of music and song along the Butter Roads.

Rossmore from Flor Crowley, ‘In West Cork Long Ago’, 1979 Mercier Press

The others from Tomás Ó Canainn’s ‘The Songs of Cork’, publisged by Gilbert Dalton Ltd. 1978.

The late Tomás Ó Canainn was from Derry, a lecturer in Electrical Engineering and Music in UCC. He was a member of the group Na Fíli and played the accordion at the Irish mass in St. Peter and Pauls, in Cork.

Some of the songs in his book such as The Rookery were sung in West Cork but came from Cork City probably with the butter men returning from the butter market in the late 18th and early 19th century.


In Seán Ó Se’s recent memoir he describes his grand father who settled in Beara and was a butter carter.  He would, in the 19th century, stay over in a lodging house at the bottom of Shandon Street, in Cork and pick up songs from all over Cork and Munster ad then sign the at home.

Songs of west Cork