Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Ulster Dances - Patricia Mulholland, 1971

Back in 2008 I donated this LP and accompanying booklet to the Belfast Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. I found them on one of my many forays in second hand shops donkeys years ago and they were just sitting on the shelf at home. I thought it had some cultural merit, but folk who know about real traditional dance and music are fairly dismissive of it, describing the dances and the tunes as synthetic and made-up. However the notes on the back cover are interesting. It also shows the awareness of Ulster Tartan in the early 1970s (itself dating from the late 1500s, uncovered near Dungiven by farmer William Dixon in 1956) and a general understanding of the Scottish cultural dimension in Ulster. The LP was produced by LBJ Recordings, 9 Springvale Parade, Belfast 14.

(ps thanks to reader Jonathan who drew my attention to the perhaps unduly harsh terminology I used above. It would be appropriate to state that all traditions are of course at some point "made-up", I was just keen to make less informed readers away that the LP and booklet are not historic dances, but were new compositions created at that time. The Donegal dance can be viewed on YouTube here: