The Irish Roots Cafe

Floating House Band

  ‘Sean Nós Abú !’- old style forever !

Traditonal ‘old style’ Irish Song with Mike O’Laughlin: Go Back to the Irish Roots Cafe


[Óró, shey do vaha wallya, oro, shey do vaha wallya]Now here is a song to sing Galway style.  I’m starting with the chorus.. From an old  Jacobite Tune in Ireland put to new words in early 20th century. An unofficial anthem of independence.

          What Is Sean Nós Song ?

Sean Nós is not a persons name. In Irish the words mean ‘old style’.  So the term

has come to stand for the old way of song in Ireland, before the coming of modern beats, recording sessions and instrumentation.  Here is what I see:

  1. 1) There are several styles of Sean Nós

  2. 2) It is most often sung solo in Irish.

  3. 3) It is not  ‘English’ ballad style song.

  1. 1) Some vary style for each verse sung.

  2. 2) Some do not vary in volume.

  3. 3) Sean Nós ornamentation can be used in English language songs.

  1. 4)Today some sing it in groups, with all kinds of music and outside influences.

    This is a tribute to the original song.

    Most of that is ‘Sean Nós Nua’ !

  1. 1)Transmitted orally for centuries, we   

    find Queen Elizabeth I had some

    Sean Nós songs put in written form.

    I wonder how that worked out !

9) Singer sometimes keeps his back to

    the audience, or facing a corner .

10) It’s about the song, not the singer. Learn about the history of the song and the singer who passed it on to you.  It is a small bit of the old ways that have survived the centuries.

-Mike O’Laughlin

Our First Group Song

About Our Irish Song Festival:   Perform in person or by phone !

                               The Fest

  After launching shows on Irish genealogy,  and on the Irish in America, I picked a third series.  I knew the older generations loved some of the ‘Tin Pan Alley’ songs, though I did not fully know why.  It would be the perfect opportunity to find out in season one.  We would also travel back to earlier forms of Irish music.

                           How It’s Done

  We have adopted a ‘Chat & Sing’ style for this broadcast.  We rely on singers here at the Irish Roots Cafe; and throughout the world.  We might talk of the singers experience and the history of the song, if known.  Then sing the song!  It’s all done in an informal, backstage way.

                  Amateurs & Veterans

  Interviews take place either at the Cafe itself, or by phone or Skype.  This way, those overseas can ‘phone it in’ so to speak.  We want to get a feel for what Irish song means to beginners as well as to the veteran musician.  You can call our recorder at 816-256-3360 and leave a message or a song... English language is fine !

                      Each Season Differs

  Season one features guest host Peter Reilly Adams, with appearances by Connie Dover, and author Ed Kneafsey, from England.  We cover some of the great Irish ballads of the early 20th century.  We also include songs from the 19th century, with roots in Ireland.  Several are sung in the Irish language.  So it is a mix of Irish-American and Irish song. 

  Season Two features Michael Collier with recitation and history of Irish dance; Emily on the harp; and Adam on ethnomusicology and song !

  Many of these selections and accompanying history are featured in our publication: “Irish Song, Singers and Sheet Music” v1..

                      Sean Nós:  Season 3

The ‘Song Festival’ entered its third season in 2010.  This year focuses on the old style form of Irish singing, known as ‘Sean Nós’.  It was traditionally sung solo, in the Irish language, and in the Irish way, as opposed to the English Ballad, etc.... Perhaps the best way is to listen to the songs as they are being sung live on our podcasts, or better yet, in Ireland.  

                                       - Mike O’Laughlin

      Click Link Below to listen to the Song and Recitation Festival

                                    Seasons One; Two; and Three:

Irish Song and Recitation Festival

  Illustrations of some guests and authors interviewed here: Podcast Guest pics

(left to right) Peneleapaí; Karen; Renata; Liza & Brass; Maria; Hank.

Traditional  Sean Nós  and  Irish  Ballads for 2013 by: Mike; Maria; Peter; Stevie, Megan and Promise

   One of a Kind Lessons from the Irish Hedge Row

PodcastsVideosBooks; CDs ; Blog; Classes; Enroll

Si do Mhaimeo i  The Irish Wedding Song.

Mike at the Louisville Irish Fest Ceili

The #1 Celtic Artist in the nation on Reverbnation. 5/30/2012 to 1/1/2013

Irish Roots Cafe at the Irish Fest in:

Dublin, Ohio,  August 2, 3, 4, 2013 -

Louisville, KY, 

                Now Booking Shows

Appearing in March 2013 at: Weston; Louisburg; Kansas City; Gladstone; and Lawrence.

Come With Me Over the Mountain ?

My version in English, full of code words!

The Apple.  Irish Language Sean Nos Song on our playlist this year !

Notice the do re me notation used above the lyrics. (d,r,m,f,s,.l,t....)

Visit my Irish Song and Band Pages:

Reverbnation: click here

Facebook Song page click here

Tradconnect: click here

Fandalism: click here

Read about Irish Roots Cafe house band

in the Celtic Crier. click on photo above.

Our Song List  (partial)

in Progress

One of a kind old style

Irish language songs for:




Special Celebrations

    Traditional & Sean Nós Irish Song

       Five centuries of Irish Heritage

                            Just Released 2013