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Irish Music in America with John Clark

March 9 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

With the influx of Irish immigrants to America came a treasure trove of great music, the best of it featured in this program.

Early in the century John McCormack was the most famous Irish tenor and Broadway star Chauncey Olcott’s scored several big hits, including When Irish Eyes are Smiling. In fact, his life and songs inspired the 1947 film, My Wild Irish Rose. Danny Boy & Tura Lura Lura also originated the 1910s. Popular crooner Bing Crosby recorded two albums of Irish songs in the 1940s and scored big with hits like Galway Bay and McNamara’s Band.

Some of the songs you’ll hear in this program are either traditional Irish ballads (Molly Malone and The Water is Wide) or Irish folk songs that tell dramatic and sometimes even violent tales. You’ll hear the stories behind songs like The Black Velvet Band, The Irish Rover and Whiskey in the Jar.

This festive program concludes with a silly sixties Shel Silverstein hit that tells the “real story” of the origins of The Unicorn. Other Irish folk artists featured here are the Dubliners, the Chieftains and the Clancy Brothers. Bring out the shamrocks and  shillelaghs, pour me a Guinness and don’t be forgettin’ the wearin’ of the green!

John Clark grew up in a small town in Ohio, attended college in Illinois and graduate school north of Boston. In Atlanta he taught adult education for twenty years for Emory University and Mercer University, creating classes on Bob Dylan, Fifties and Sixties music and a series called Lyrics as Literature. From 2008-2014 he was a high school history and English teacher. Since moving to Boston ten years ago, he has taught adult education for Brandeis, Tufts, Cambridge, Newton and Brookline. In 2023 he presented over 300 American Music history lectures for senior living communities and Councils on Aging. His is also an occasional guest disc jockey on MIT’s radio station, WMBR (88.1)

CONTACT: Courtney Michael  508-358-2311  cmichael@minlib.net
LOCATION: Raytheon Room OR Zoom


March 9
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Wayland Library
5 Concord Rd
Wayland, MA 01778 United States
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