Tuesday 22 September 2009

Richard O'Mealy - BBC Recordings (1943)

320 kbps

A set of recordings made in 1943 by the BBC in Belfast, collected by Ken McLeod and cleaned up by Ronan Browne. It is quite possible that O'Mealy was duped, as he was reputedly reluctant to be recorded because people, he felt, would be less likely to come out to hear him perform if they had access to his music at home. His percussive, staccato style is lively and driving, and his regulator work is really quite exceptional. Ronan Browne has written some incisive analyses of O'Mealy's piping, which can be read here. Those who wish to read more about O'Mealy's life and music may also be interested in this presentation, made by Ken McLeod and Ronan Browne, which can be viewed here. Robbie Hannon also presented a very interesting programme on O'Mealy on RTÉ's The Long Note in 1984, which you can listen to here.

1. O'Mealy's [Hornpipe]
2. The Cork (The Harvest Home) [Hornpipe]
3. The Rambling Pitchfork [Jig]
4. The Blackbird [Set Dance]
5. Drops of Brandy [Slip Jig]
6. The Sligo Lasses [Reel]
7. Smash the Windows [Single Jig]
8. The Donegal [Reel]
9. The Mountains of Pomeroy [Air]
10. The Maid at Mourneshore [Air]



  1. O'Mealy actually used the title Cork Hornpipe for the Harvest Home - as did his fellow pipers Patsy Touhey and Leo Rowsome. For the record.

    There's actually a very short clip of RL playing the pipes, too: YouTube - The Devil's Rock - Pipes. Thanks for that paper of Ronan's - reading away. Here's a page with a Long Note broadcast from 1984 about R.L.: link. Hosted by Robbie Hannon, I got a copy of this years ago, it's great fun to listen to. He had a cord attached to a bell that would signal to the missus that he wanted a fresh cup of tea! Pipemaking friend of mine suggested to his wife that he'd install the same - nothing came of that but a sharp glare, of course!

  2. Hi,

    My, these are wonderful recordings!