Bridget Reilly, Co. Limerick
Bridget describes herself as the only older traveller living in her area. She opened her session with ‘William Scanlan’, a song that she remembers from her childhood. This was a song that her siblings and sister-in-law would also sing. Bridget grew up with her siblings singing and she remembers them singing many of the old songs, including ‘What Put The Blood’. Although she does not know some of the songs well enough to sing them herself, she is able to share many of their stories. Bridget has seen how a lot of the old songs have changed now, and although her son sings some of the old songs with her, he prefers more modern music such as Elvis.
Talking about her father, Bridget recalls how he would sometimes sing all night long around the campfire, and his favourite song was ‘Father Tom O’Neill’. Today people are not singing around campsites anymore, with many of the older members of the community no longer alive and the younger generation less interested in singing the old songs. Bridget was one of twelve children, with six brothers and five sisters. She remembers singing with her siblings and also listening to her aunts and uncles sharing stories and songs round the fire when she was young. Even though songs are changing and being adapted, for Bridget the old songs are still her favourite.