By Fintan Vallely

Sing Up!

Irish Comic Songs and Satires for Every Occasion, compiled and introduced by Fintan Vallely


Sing Up! is a collection of comic and satirical lyrics that comment on recent changes and developments in Irish society. It is, in the editor’s own words “a gather-up of intolerance, irreverence, slagging and sedition” – and all the more welcome and necessary for that. “Most of the events commemorated in the lyrics took place over the 1980s and 1990s. The songs document the huge changes in Irish culture and society inside a small number of years. The territory is mostly modern Ireland in all its miseries, elations and protest, change and no change.” Sex, National Politics, Drink, Fast Food, Traditional Music, Religion, Recreation, Agriculture, the Weather-all are analysed in depth herein through the medium of the direct slag, the obtuse dig, the dry remark.

“We have an ancient tradition of balladry in Ireland, a tradition that lives in continuation. These writers help to keep the ball rolling. I have long enjoyed their humourous slant, their jaundiced take, their pure love of Bognia. I have also had the privilege of singing many of their songs. This book is a must for me.”
— Christy Moore

“The perfect antidote if you are prone to bouts of moral piety.”
— Nell McCafferty

“In the grand tradition of Zozimus and the Gaelic poets, the satirical voice makes truth even funnier than fiction.”
— Des Geraghty

ISBN 9781904556978 Paperback
140 x 216,
254 pp
July 2008

Additional information

Weight 5 kg
Dimensions 216 × 140 mm

Product Detail

  • ISBN: : 9781904556978
  • Size: : 216 x 140 mm
  • Pages: : 254 pp
  • Published: : July 2008

About The Author


Fintan Vallely is a musician, lecturer and writer on traditional music. From Co. Armagh, he has taught flute at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Co. Clare since 1986. He is the author of the major reference work, The Companion to Irish Traditional Music (1999), and was the author of the first tutor for Irish flute, Timber, the Flute Tutor, in 1986. His other books include The Blooming Meadows (a collaboration with Charlie Piggott and photographer Nutan), Together in Time (a biography of Antrim flute player John Kennedy) and Sing Up!, an anthology of comical songs gathered on his travels over the length and breadth of Ireland. Fintan Vallely is also the author of Tuned Out: Protestant Attitudes to Traditional Music in Northern Ireland (2008).