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Songs of Freedom: A Concert and reading of the James Connolly songbook
Wed, April 19, 2017, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
Songs of Freedom: A Concert and Reading of the James Connolly Songbook Mat Callahan and Yvonne Moore
Songs of Freedom is a celebration of the life and work of James Connolly, the Irish revolutionary socialist martyred by the British government for his role in the Easter Rising of 1916. It is at once a collection of stirring revolutionary songs and a vital historical document. For the first time in a hundred years, readers will find the original Songs of Freedom, edited by James Connolly and published in New York in 1907, as well as the 1919 Connolly Souvenir program published in Dublin for a concert commemorating Connolly's birth. Both are reproduced exactly as they originally appeared providing a fascinating glimpse of the workers' struggle at the beginning of the last century. To complete the picture is included the James Connolly Songbook of 1972, which contains not only the most complete selection of Connolly's lyrics, but historical background essential to understanding the context in which the songs were written and performed. The original Songs of Freedom contains 18 songs, nine of which are by Connolly, while the James Connolly Songbook contains 23 songs and poems, 19 of which are by Connolly. Furthermore, the introduction to the latter book gives an excellent account of the heroic battle surrounding the Dublin concert in 1919 as well as important insights into Connolly's purpose and methods in composing his lyrics. This new version of Songs of Freedom should prove invaluable to all those interested in Irish, labor and revolutionary history. It provides an opportunity to feel the spirit of Connolly's lyrics and to gain perspective on what makes them so relevant today.
$5 museum members