Paddy ‘Rubber’ Reilly
Paddy has a wealth of songs and comes from a great singing family. He shared these traditional songs one after the other, some that the song collectors had never heard before. We sat with Paddy on two occasions, singing in pubs over a drink. Paddy learnt all his songs from the old people in his family and his grandparents, who also loved these songs. Whilst he says he cannot read or write, he is able to recollect and sing all of the old songs he learnt from a young age.
Paddy shared fond memories of hearing his parents singing around the campfires, but particularly of his first cousin, Mary Delaney, who he grew up with, described as having a beautiful voice. Paddy would sing with Mary around the campfire. During the travelling times he lived simply, moving all over the country in his wagon and today he is still a horse-seller by trade. Paddy told us that whilst it is no longer possible to travel with your caravan on the road today, his fondest memories were from those times when he was able to simply pull in anywhere. Today, Paddy has fewer opportunities to sing, but will occasionally find the chance in an old pub. Paddy confidently sings a wide range of songs, from high-spirited prison songs such as ‘Mount Joy Hotel’ to the old ones, such as ‘Three Jolly Sportsmen’.