Cover image for The songs of Elizabeth Cronin, Irish traditional singer : the complete song collection
The songs of Elizabeth Cronin, Irish traditional singer : the complete song collection
Cronin, Elizabeth, 1879-1956., performer.
Publication Information:
Dublin : Four Courts Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
1 score (332 pages) : illustrations ; 30 cm + 2 audio discs (digital ; 4 3/4 in.)
General Note:
Unacc. melodies; music is not included with texts sung by Cronin for which no recording or transcription exists. Most songs include discographic/bibliographic information and editorial notes.

Sound recordings contain field recordings of Cronin.

Includes indexes.
Format :
Musical Score


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
M1744 .S656 2000 Adult Media Kit Grosvenor Room-Oversize

On Order



Elizabeth (Bess) Cronin, "The Queen of Irish Song', as Seamus Ennis called her, is probably the best-known Irish female traditional singer of our time. Her reputation was such that collectors came from far and near to hear and record her singing. Seamus Ennis collected her songs for the first Irish Folklore Commission in the mid 1940s, and again with Brian George, for the BBC in the early 1950s. American collectors also recorded her: Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress, in 1951, Jean Ritchie and George Pickow, in 1952, and Diane Hamilton, in 1956. Over eighty of her songs are captured on tape, but only a few of these have ever been available to the public. Now for the first time, this new publication offers the complete Bess Cronin collection (in Irish and English), with the texts of all the songs, and a biographical essay. Accompanying the book is a set of remastered recordings, from public and private collections, illustrating the wide range of her repertoire, which included child ballads, songs in Irish and English, and children's songs. The author, a grandson of Bess Cronin, brings to this publication a unique range of qualifications: access to Bess Cronin's own autograph song-lists; transcriptions of her songs made by his uncle, Sean Ua Croinin; notes and comments by Bess Cronin recorded by the author's father, Donnacha O Croinin; and photographic material not previously seen. This personal, family material is combined with unique access to the BBC, IFC, and privately recorded American material to offer a comprehensive account of an extraordinary singer and her distinctive singing style.