Skip to main content

Arthur Cahill, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives


Scope and Contents

From the Record Group:

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


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 (


From the Record Group: 203 items

Language of Materials

From the Record Group: English


NA4397 Arthur Cahill, interviewed by Edward D. "Sandy" Ives at Groshaut, (St. Charles) P.E.I., July 18, 1970. Discusses Lawrence Doyle, his family, and songs, old days at Groshaut, background of Doyle’s songs; information on Hugh Lauchlan MacDonald and his songs; other songmakers discussed; discussion of the picnic at Groshaut, working in saloons, dance styles. Recording: mf167_1.1_ives070.03_cd135_01 - mf167_1.1_ives070.03_cd135_31. Time: 00:57:44

Ives' notes on the interview follow: Cahill talks about Lawrence Doyle's Personality, mentions Jim Whitty, Walter and Phonsy Whitty, nephews of L. D’s, and their father Mick Whitty. They claimed L.D. was severe with them after their father died. 2. Conversation about location of the picnic at Groshaut, and Cahill's recollection of Lawrence Doyle at the picnic. 3. Cahill tells story behind song, "Joe the Bear." Mention of man, Hogan, who had shot at Joe when he went to visit his daughter. 4. Talks about song "Peddler Pratt." Mention of Chester Pratt of St. Peters, the son of the peddler. Cahill tells about the song, mentioning Tom McMahon, grandfather of Manny McMahon; Tom McMahon is referred to in the song itself. Wilfred Larkin's rhyme about the peddler. 5. Cahill talks about the incident at Bolger's Cannon which Wilfred Larkin wrote a rhyme about. 6. He (Cahill) explains song "Johnny Went Plowing for Kearon," and recites four or five lines of it. 7. Cahill explains references in “A Tramp and the Ram.” Bud Jones, a quack, and George Robertson, the farmer in the song, are talked about. George Robertson, shrewd and inclined toward practical jokes. 8. Ives and Cahill talk about Lawrence Doyle's song of a sleigh ride to DeGros Marsh. Jack Farrell's father and Doyle made the song together. Talk about Jack Ferrell. 9. Discuss song about the potato bug. Cahill recites fragment of the song. Gorman made up the song. Cahill says some of the Gormans do make rhymes. 10. Talk about song "Joe the Post" which refers to Joe MacDonald of Monticello. Cahill says it is the same man referred to as "Joe the Bear" in Lawrence Doyle's song. Talk briefly about "Joe the Post's Cow" which Cahill remembers having heard. Also "The Old Cow Bell" which Cahill heard once but never remembered. 11. Ives recites three or four lines of song Jim Whitty told him. Cahill never heard it. 12. Discuss Hugh Lachlan MacDonald. Cahill tells him about singing one of his songs at church once. 13. Cahill talks about song "Bonny Flora Clark," by MacDonald about a boat. Recites a line of it. Talks. Recites more and begins to sing several stanzas. Conversation about the song. 14. Talk about "Two Sporting Blondes from Narrows Creek." Cahill heard it when quite young. Tells about MacDonald's song "Selina D.", which compares a woman to a brigantine. Recites two lines. Discussion of song. 15. Discuss other song writers. Cahill tells of one Leo and recites a rhyme of his. Ives asks Cahill if he ever did any rhyme. Cahill says no. Asks if he heard one about "The Crooked Rib". Cahill hadn't. 16. Cahill explains what a "jaunting sleigh" is. Discussion of Doyle's song about sleigh ride, too. Several references are explained by Cahill. They talk about clearing roads in winter with horse teams and sleighs. Several references in Doyle's song are discussed. End of Side One. 17. Discussion of references to "a breakdown" and "a quadrille" in one of Doyle's songs. Cahill explains these. 18. Cahill tells where Black Bush is located. East of St. Margaret's Church. 19. Explanation of the word "caylee"; to visit. Scottish origin. 20. Discussion of place name, St. Charles or Groshaut. 21. Talk about Tom Lewis, Larry Gorman, and Lawrence Doyle. Cahill mentions song by Doyle, "Jigging Eels in the Old Bog Hole." Recites the chorus. Mentions Steven Miller whose father sang the song. Tells story of the song. Mentions song "The Bay Bridge." Talk about John D. 22. Talk about dances at which cakes, and pies were auctioned. Doyle was an auctioneer of repute. Reference to song "Fogan MacAleer." Cahill tells about Doyle as auctioneer. 23. Conversation about working in the States. Cahill tells about going to the Northwest (?) during harvest. Worked around Moosehead Lake. Talks about working in the woods. 24. Conversation about references to Reardon, Frank Saunders in Doyle's "The Merchants of the Bay." Cahill didn't know any of them. Also mentioned is Peter Ryan. Conversation about the song and certain references. 25. Cahill tells of song about two men out fishing, the boat upsets, one drowns. Says Doyle wrote it. Conversation about song. Cahill mentions older brother wrote piece about same incident. 26.Talk about construction of church at Groshaut. More conversation about the picnic, when and what happened. 27. Cahill tells about two different saloons, one for sets and one for breakdowns. He explains these different dance styles. Discuss working in saloon, tells of experiences. 28. Talks about song about Bud Jones. Several references explained by Cahill. Cahill recites several verses of the song. 29. Talk about song "Fogan MacAleer."

Repository Details

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