Patrick ‘Jaws’ Ward
Jaws was born in March 1941 in County Leitrim. He and his wife met when they were very young in Cochrane, marrying in Athenry. Together they have lived both in England and in Ireland, with Jaw’s wife preferring the pace of life in Ireland where they are currently. Jaws and his wife are parents to nine children and they are grandparents to nearly sixty and great grandparents to seventeen. Patrick proudly talked about the talent of boxing in their family, often finding himself in England supporting his son’s boxing.
Throughout these recordings with Jaws, he shared some of the very old songs, such as The Bonny Lass of Aughrim (also known sometimes as Lord Gregory), which he learnt from his father. His father knew many of the old songs, some that nobody else would know today. Both Jaws’s mother and father used to sing and his sister Anne, who we met, still does. He has memories of his father singing songs such as Greenwood Side and his mother singing Mother’s Love is a Blessing. Jaw’s wife also remembers her parents singing the old songs, and particularly of her mother playing the mouth organ. In the past, Jaws would have sung in pubs but he does not hear people singing there anymore. Despite the fact that fewer people are singing today, Jaws’ family all feel that Irish Travellers have a special skill for the songs and knowing how to simply pick them up.