Documentary on One

House of Song

The story of the last professional song collector in Ireland, Tom Munnelly. Employed by the Department of Folklore in University College Dublin as a collector of songs since 1971, Tom's retirement in 2006 marked the end of an era.House of Song is an insight into a world that is disappearing. (2007)

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4.7/5 (11 ratings)

Documentary maker: Liam O'Brien

More Information

House of Song

Tom Munnelly has been collecting traditional songs in Ireland since 1971, when he was employed as the first full-time collector of song by the Department of Folklore, UCD.

Tom and his wife, Annette, live just outside Miltown Malbay in Co. Clare. Their home is an unusual one. Almost every person they speak of, almost all of their memories, almost every story they tell is based around their adulation for traditional song.

Their house is a house full of melodies. Songs recorded by Tom are played regularly. Stories of friendships made and lost through song are replayed. Jazz, Wagner and other musical genres are interspersed with the songs.

House of Song is an insight into a world that is disappearing in a new Ireland, a world that is on the verge of being snuffed out.

Tom and Annette are amongst the few defenders of the traditional song world and in House of Song they let us into their world. In addition, a rare recording of Tom's own singing voice shines through amongst the many voices heard throughout this documentary.

Tom Munnelly passed away in August 2007. For further information click here

Producer: Liam O'Brien

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries

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