Gentle Mother


During those trips Mulhaire's Céilí Band made to Lixnaw and other towns in County Kerry in the 1960s (see 'Tart ar an Ól'), ballad singer Josephine McNamara was another artist who made the long journey – in her case from County Leitrim – to perform in Diarmuid Ó Cathain's concert series. She was always a special favourite at these events. Coming as she does from the musical McNamara family it is no surprise that she was All-Ireland champion singer for a number of consecutive years. Josephine left Ireland in the 1960s, and I was delighted to meet her in New Haven, Connecticut, thirty years later. She sang this song for me for this collection, a song we both first heard many years ago on an old 78 RPM record.


Séamus Connolly
Boston College Libraries

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McNamara, Josephine (vocals), “Gentle Mother,” The Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music, accessed July 14, 2024,