Mary Noonan

mary noonan nights in shanaglishMary Noonan is a local singer in Shanaglish. She lives near Feakle just across the border in county Clare, and is a sister of Vincey and Séamus.

Vincey had often times called on Mary when he would be back in Ireland, to get a session going up in Whelan's, and she would often be one of the main people in the session when a group of people would meet up to perform.

On the vinyl record, she can be heard singing a song in the Irish language. Mary learned An Droimeann Donn Dílis from her mother, Margaret Keehan, who used to sing it as she was about the house years ago in Beagh. It is a song of yearning, where the Droimeann Donn Dílis (the faithful brown cow), is an allegory for Ireland and it's attempt to free itself. Paddy plays the air on concertina.

During the last night of recording, Mary had just made it back to Shanaglish after winning the Clare "Fleadh Cheoil" competition for original compositions. On that occasion, she sang a song composed by Niall Finnegan called "Milltown to Coruna", and gave a great rendition of it again in Whelan's. This song was written about the voyage of a mighty ship the "San Esteban", part of the Spanish Armada to sink off the coast of Clare in the 16th Century.

(Mary also has been known to be inspired to write some material herself. Most notably, furthering herself in the Fleadh Cheoil has led to some interesting tales she has to tell about the competition itself - so much so that she has written her own song about it too! We might hear a recording of this controversial tale in the future!)

Launch Night at The Plough and Stars, San Francisco