Introduction by Robbie O'Connell
Our choice for March is a classic traditional Irish love song, “The Bonnie Blue-Eyed Lassie”, presented here by Robbie O’Connell.
Irish traditional singer Elizabeth Cronin, also known as Bess, was born in 1879 and died in 1956. She lived in Ballyvourney, County Cork and was recorded by several song collectors in the late 1940s and early 1950s, including Seamus Ennis, Alan Lomax, Jean Ritchie and Diane Hamilton. She sang in both English and Irish and had almost two hundred songs.
In 2000, her grandson Dáibhí O’Cróinín published a collection of her songs that included two CDs of her singing. Several of her songs were recorded by folk revival singers such as Mick Moloney, Steeleye Span and Christie Moore. The field recordings can also be found in the Cecil Sharp House in London.
One of her better-known songs, is often called “The Top of a Mountain” or Bonnie Blue-eyed Nancy.
Robbie O’Connell, born and raised in Waterford, Ireland, is a singer, songwriter, and teacher now living in Rhode Island. In addition to performing and recording Robbie leads tours of Ireland, http://www.celticatours.com, that include traditional music sessions every night.
Here is a version of this song performed by Robbie O’Connell and students at the Institute of Musical Traditions.