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The native Irish song-writers of the period embraced in this volume have left compositions having an interest to their countrymen, beyond that evoked by their peculiar and undoubted merit.
The following is a selection from their writings, and is confined to authors of undoubted Celtic descent.
Biographical notices, necessarily brief and condensed, of the principal writers from whom selections have been made are included in the volume. The arrangement of the songs into Love Songs, Convivial Songs, and Patriotic Songs, will be found advantageous to the reader.
The collection contains songs of various degrees of merit, but, while the majority are fairly worth reproducing, some specimens not altogether of the highest order are included. The names of a few of the authors have not an Irish sound, but I have assured myself that these are but Anglicised forms of Celtic cognomens.
I have included no living author in this present series.
I hope to publish a further series treating of the AngloIrish song writers, such as Goldsmith, Davis, Lover, Léfanu, Ferguson, etc.
To those who have generously given me permission to publish copyright selections I tender my most sincere
thanks; to Messrs. J. Duffy and Sons, for the poems of J. Clarence Mangan; to Messrs. Cameron and Ferguson, for J. Keegan Casey's ballads; to Messrs. Chappell, for the poems of the Hon. Mrs. Norton; and to Mr. Aubrey de Vere for his translations.
If I have unwittingly appropriated any copyright poems without permission, I hope it may be attributed to ignorance of the claim of the owners, and forgiven.
With great pleasure I acknowledge my gratitude to the late Mr. A. M. Sullivan, and to Mr. T. D. Sullivan, M.P., for their courteous kindness in so readily supplying information on several matters.
C. M. C.