Parting Glass, The / The Peacock's Feather


The majestic vocals of the one and only Len Graham bring us near the end of this collaborative collection as he sings 'The Parting Glass'. His is an old County Antrim setting of the song, one that he and Joe Holmes sang together in the Guild Hall, Derry, shortly before Joe passed away. For those wishing to further their knowledge of the music, song and traditions of an Ulsterman, Len Graham's book, Joe Holmes: Here I am Amongst You, is a must read! In 'The Parting Glass', Len wishes us goodnight and bids joy to all, but the feeling is tinged with the sadness of a goodbye. Len told me that Joe used to speed up the slow air of the song until it became the dance tune 'The Peacock's Feather'.

'The Parting Glass' somehow makes me nostalgic, bringing to mind many wonderful moments of joy and laughter as I reminisce on the years of recording and collecting for this project. These memories, the songs and music, will forever remain in my heart. Not wanting to say goodbye, I would prefer something a little more upbeat, in the spirit of what my father always said to me as I was leaving home: 'Never say goodbye, always say Cheerio'. So, I have chosen Len's song as a way of saying not goodbye, but for now, 'Cheerio'. Len, my friend, thank you for the wonderful singing, and for 'The Peacock's Feather' schottische at the end, a happy surprise!


Séamus Connolly
Boston College Libraries

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Graham, Len (vocals), “The Parting Glass / The Peacock's Feather,” The Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music, accessed July 14, 2024,