chapter  5
Charlotte Brooke’s Reliques of Irish Poetry: Eighteenth-Century ‘Irish Song’ and the Politics of Remediation
By‘Irish Song’ and the Politics of Remediation – Leith Davis
Pages 14

Some 200 years after the Belfast Festival, academics from across the Anglophone world, antiquaries and practicing musicians from various parts of Britain gathered in Belfast to hear both scholarly papers and musical performances. The 1792 Belfast Harper's Festival inaugurated a new chapter in British ethnomusicology. In Wales, as for the Welsh in London, Mary-Ann Constantine demonstrated, radical poetry evoked both bardic and druidic precedents. Many nineteenth-century novels, use poetic epithets or song verses as their chapter headings. Song was a crucial weapon in the rhetorical arsenal of political radicals, and of their opponents. Between them, historians and literary historians may be able to reconstruct the world of radical poetry. Radical song is a more elusive, more ephemeral and perhaps more complex object. Its reconstruction truly necessitates a collaborative approach, pooling expertise not only in a range of cultural and linguistic areas but across various disciplines, while bringing together the worlds of academic analysis and of performance.