Sounding the Nation from the Far-Right Fringe in Ireland

Tadhg Ó Meachair (Indiana University Bloomington)

Traditional and folk musics in Ireland have long been associated with Irish nationalist movements and the sounding of national imaginaries. This paper addresses one such musical voicing — the song “Ireland Belongs to the Irish” — composed by a member of the far-right Irish National Party, and offers a close reading of the song and its accompanying video. Through examining the roles of genre, entextualisation, and mediatisation as they relate to processes of traditionalisation, and through contrasting with alternative soundings of Irish identity, I argue that notions of Irishness and claims of its ownership are in ongoing contestation and negotiation through traditional and folk musicking practices.

Part of 09-08 Re-Examining Musical Imaginaries: The Place of Sound in Shaping Community, Saturday, October 15, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm