Recollections of a Donegal Man
Irish traditional singer Packie Manus Byrne (1917-2015) recounts his eventful life. A fascinating portrait of an isolated crofting community in the early 20th century is followed by stories of adventurous wanderings as cattle drover, smuggler, steeplejack, circus hand, actor, musician and more. Social history that leaps off the page, directly transcribed from taped interviews. More
Packie Manus Byrne was born in 1917 into an isolated crofting community in the mountains of southwest Donegal, Ireland. With humour, affection, and a sure eye for detail, he paints a fascinating picture of life during his childhood. His vivid descriptions evoke this now vanished world where hard work broke people’s health but not their spirits, where self-reliance and neighbourliness were a way of life, and where the joys of music, dance and storytelling were rich reward for the day’s toil.
Packie Manus left home to travel the length and breadth of England and Ireland, plying almost every trade imaginable—labourer and cattle drover, steeplejack and smuggler, actor and circus hand—before achieving widespread recognition as a traditional folk singer and musician.
Packie Manus Byrne takes the reader through the eventful, amusing and often moving chronicle of his life with the unforced eloquence of a born storyteller. His natural warmth shines clearly through the pages, lending Recollections of a Donegal Man a charm that has won the hearts of readers and reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic.
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