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Scad the Beggars explore the music of Sam Henry

Scad the Beggars explore the music of Sam Henry

Wed, September 19, 2018

Songs in the Sam Henry collection have been brought back to life by North Antrim based music group Scad the Beggars.

The six-piece group worked together with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Museum Services to explore the songs culminating in a performance in Ballymoney Town Hall on September 14th.

The evening included the first ever performance of Bonny Portrush which Sam Henry wrote the lyrics for and finished with an excellent rendition of Whisky in the Jar and I’ll Tell Me Ma.

Sam Henry (1878 – 1952) was from Coleraine and worked as a Pensions and Excise Officer. He was also an avid folklorist, historian, photographer, ornithologist, naturalist, genealogist and musician. Through his work he formed relationships with an older generation and recorded aspects of their lives that are now all but forgotten. “In my contact with the old, who have all now passed away,” he wrote, “I had the rare privilege of sharing their folklore and their old songs,” he said.

Sam is perhaps best known for his ‘Songs of the People’ series which ran in the Northern Constitution between 1923 and 1938. It published songs known, played and sung by people across Northern Ireland.

This project is part of a wider programme Sam Henry: Connecting with the Past, Collecting for the Future, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund and administrated by the Museums Association.