John "Jack" Farrell, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives
Scope and Contents
MF167.1 consists of interviews conducted by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives on Prince Edward Island between 1969 and 1970, as part of his work to document the folk songs of Prince Edward Island, specifically the songs “made by” Joe Scott, Larry Doyle, and Larry Gorman. Material included in this collection served as source material for Ives’ later publications, Lawrence Doyle: The Farmer-Poet of Prince Edward Island (1971); Larry Gorman: The Man Who Made the Songs (1977); Joe Scott: The Woodman Songmaker (1978); and Drive Dull Care Away: Folksongs from Prince Edward Island (1999). This collection includes recordings of interviews, Ives' field journal, and 17 photographs taken by Ives.
- Majority of material found within 1955-1970
- Ives, Edward D. (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
For digitized items free from access restrictions, we are working to upload this material (pdfs, mp3s, jpgs) for public access, but it is an ongoing project. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, contact Special Collections (firstname.lastname@example.org).
From the Record Group: 203 items
Language of Materials
From the Record Group: English
NA4386 John "Jack" Farrell, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives on March 31, 1969, at St. Georges, P.E.I. Also present in room, Bobby Ives. Farrell had been recommended by Mr. McCormack, a neighbor, who wrote to Ives. Roar in background is blower in kerosene burner in stove. Farrell was sitting by the stove. Farrell sings "The Potato Bug" which he attributes Lawrence Doyle. Farrell's father used to board with Doyle and work in his carpenter shop with him. Watched him make up songs. Farrell's father came from Iona. His mother a Moran from Newport. Farrell discusses how his father and Doyle made a song together about a trip they took to Newport and returned in a snowstorm. He sings, "In the Month of January, Ninety-Two." Conversation follows explaining references in song. Says he was never a singer, but his father was. Farrell sings, "Fogan MacAleer" and discusses John Andrew McCormick, a singer. Sings a fragment of "When Johnny Went Plowing for Kiernan" and answers questions about plowing. Ferrell tells about a song his father made up about some people who borrowed his fiddle to play for a dance and sings, "The Spree at Montague." Conversation follows. Father's name was Patrick William Farrell; died in 1950 at age 86. Had fourteen children, of which Jack is the fourth. Ferrell sings "In the Month of January, Ninety-Two" again at Ives' request. Discussion of the place names follows. Ferrell tells of another songmaker, Hughie Lauchlin MacDonald. Explains about the next song. "The Bonny Flora Clark." Remembers it imperfectly, haling and filling in with explanations. Conversation follows. Tells about another song, "The Barbara M.," Hughie made up about a ship that sank on a trip to Newfoundland. Conversation about Hughie MacDonald, songmaker and his songs, and another songmaker by name of Dan Somers and his songs; song sung. Recordings: mf167_1.1_ives069.01_cd129_01 - mf167_1.1_ives069.01_cd129_20. Time: 01:03:12
NA4387 John "Jack" Farrell, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives on March 31, 1969, at St. Georges, P.E.I. Continuation of the ives069.01 interview. Also present in room, Bobby Ives. Farrell had been recommended by Mr. McCormack, a neighbor, who wrote to Ives. Roar in background is blower in kerosene burner in stove. Farrell was sitting by the stove. Discussion about Hughie MacDonald continues. Farrell sings recalls a single stanza of "The Crazy Grey Mare." Tells how Hughie was in Maine and heard someone singing his song. Tells of another song, "Selena Dee," but he can't recall it. Mentions another song "The Hills of Cumberland," which he cannot remember, though he knew it once. Farrell discusses songmaker Dan Somers and his song about the fight between Jack Johnson and Jess Willard. Talks about the fight: Jim Pendergast, One-Man McCluskey. Recordings: mf167_1.1_ives069.02_cd130_01 - mf167_1.1_ives069.02_cd130_06. Time: 00:27:50 Photos: p00748— p00751, p00754—p00755, p00759—p00760.
NA4398 John "Jack" Farrell, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives, at St. Georges, P.E.I. on July 20, 1970. Ives' notes follow: 1. Talk about "The Crazy Grey Mare," the "Bonny Flora Clark," "Two Sporting Blades from Narrows Creek," "The Hills of Cumberland," the "Barbara M.," the "Selina D.," and "Minnie Creed." 2. Discuss visiting Hughie's. Talk of Dan Somers, a song writer. Sings "The Crooked Rib." Replays song. One of Somers' sons was blind. Talk about how song got started. Somers and wife didn't get on well together. 3. Talk of song about fight between Willard and Johnson "The Spree at Montague," made by Lawrence Doyle and Farrell's father. Took place in Iona, Irish community within Scottish community. Talk about Ives work, Larry Gorman, Lawrence Doyle. Talk about Narrows Creek (the creek forms boundary of Farrell's farm). 4. Difference between breakdown and quadrille. Discuss reference to this in song "Spree at Montague." Quadrille once called "Crazy Eight." Reference to one Alec "Thrasher" MacDonald reputable dance caller and dancer from around Montague. 5. Discuss meaning of Caylee, talk about this custom. Discuss concerts, social events at which singing took place. Reference to Herbie McLeod, a singer at local concerts. Explanation of term "frolic," "plowing frolic" and "Stumping frolic." Reference to "spree." Talk of various kinds of dances. 6. Reference to John Andrew McCormack, Interrelation of P.E.I. and Nova Scotia; P.E.I. and Newfoundland. End of Side One. 7. Sings "Trip to Morans." Discussion of the song follows. Explanation of certain references: "the sun's sidelong glance," "jaunting sleight," "cutting to the ground," "throwing the fences," "McMillan's place." Reference to William McLeod and Sandy Martin. 8. Talk about clearing roads in winter. 9. Reference to "Fogan MacAleer" and "The Potato Bug." 10. Johnny Miller and "Johnny Went Plowing for Kearon." Ives sings the song. Discussion of song follows. 11. Talk about song "Prince Edward Isle, Adieu." Jack Moran gave copy to Jack Farrell. Talk about Jack Moran. Asks to hear fiddle tunes. 32 pp. Recording: mf167_1.1_ives070.04_cd136_01 - mf167_1.1_ives070.04_cd136_18. Time: 00:57:37
NA4399 John "Jack" Farrell, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives, at St. Georges, P.E.I. on July 20, 1970, continues. Fiddle tunes played; discussion about fiddling; information about farm work. 1. Fiddle tune: "Liverpool Hornpipe." 2. Fiddle tune: "Bonny Lassie." Fiddlers from Scotland tramped. 3. Fiddle tune: "Capper Fee." Gaelic. 4. Fiddle tune: "Fiddler's Hornpipe." 5. Fiddle tune: "Paddy Ryan's Dream." 6. Fiddle tune: "Big John McNeil." 7. Fiddle tune: "German Waltz." 8. Fiddle tune 9. Fiddle tune: "Molly Bawn." 10. Fiddle tune: "Pigeon on the Gate." 11. Reference to Gussie Longphie, fiddle player from Souris. 12. Reference to Reggie Banks. 13. Talk about fiddling and dance contest at Summerside. 14. Talk about Buckeye reapers. Reference to "P.E.I., Adieu." 15. Talk about harvesting. Recording: mf167_1.1_ives070.05_cd137_01 - mf167_1.1_ives070.05_cd137_17. Time: 00:24:23
- Folk songs -- English -- Prince Edward Island Subject Source: Local sources
Part of the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History Repository
5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States