Dr Mike Baldwin : Organologist : Historian : Researcher : Writer : Harp maker : Restorer

In 1936, the fledgling government of Ireland charged its school children with collection and transcription of the nation's folklore and song.  After centuries of occupation, cultural oppression, famine, and emigration it recognised that the country's unique narrative and prose was endangered.  The children rose to the challenge.  Twenty years before Alan Lomax's internationally important collection of Irish traditional music, they turned to family and friends, scoured the landscape, and filled their boots with stories, songs and folklore.  This book is a transcription of those these from the schools of the Mizen peninsula, from the West Cork villages and town lands of Crookhaven, Lissagriffin, Goleen, Toormore, Altar, Lowertown, Schull, and Ballydehob.  More properly known as the Iveagh Peninsular this is a place of wild landscape and seas, of barren rock and mountain; it is also a place of warm-welcome, community and of laughter. Little there has changed since Thomas Parnel (1679-1718) wrote;
Here moss-grown trees expand the smallest leaf,
Here half an acre's corn, is half a sheaf,
Here hills with naked heads the tempest meet,
Rocks at their sides, and torrents at their feet,
Or lazy lakes, unconscious of a flood,
Whose dull brown naiad ever sleep in mud,
Yet here content can dwell.

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Mizen: Rescue Folklore, Stories and Songs from Ireland's South West