A young man stands with his arm around an older woman in rolling countryside.
Ellen Cutler and her son in Ballymenone. Photo by Henry Glassie


Location: Northern Ireland, Fermanagh
Dates: 1972, 1977
Format: Open reel tape
Accession Number: 99-003-F

Henry Glassie's book, Passing the Time in Ballymenone: Culture and History of an Ulster Community (1982), is a monument to contemporary folklore studies. This detailed study juxtaposed the contemporary lives of the people in County Fermanagh with their history and what they made of their history through the stories they told. Over the course of seven years, Glassie documented the lives, the lifeways, the music, and the stories that animated a poor rural community in northern Ireland. Ulster is now dramatically different, and Glassie's books are a testament to a way of life on the brink of change. His research and his writing about County Fermanagh were also the culmination of shifts within the discipline of folklore toward a focus on the individual and toward performance. At the same time, his book resonates with long-practiced folklore work in the gathering, organizing, and comparing of texts, artifacts, and cultural practices. The recordings Glassie made as part of his seven-year research are represented here in this collection along with copies of his notes. The collection contains performances and interviews with Peter Flanagan, Joe Flanagan, Hugh Nolan, Gabriel Coyle, Ellen Cutler, John Joe Maguire, Jim Drum, John Fleming, Derrygore Terrace, Tommy Love, Michael Boyle, James Owens, Oney McBrien, and many others.

Sample 1: Discussion about Mumming. October 26, 1972. Henry Glassie and Michael Boyle. Erne Hospital, Eniskillen, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

Sample 2: "Dream North had come back to the fold." Sung by Patty Drum. August 20, 1972. O'Luiny's Bar, Swanlinbar, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.