Vol. 13: Boydell, Barra.

Type: Article

Boydell, Barra. ‘The United Irishmen, music, harps, and national identity’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 13 (1998), pp 44-51.

This article discusses the role of Irish music in the political events of the late eighteenth-century, and the harp as a symbol of nationalism and as a metaphor for Ireland. Boydell looks at the influence of harp societies and festivals in late-eighteenth century Dublin and Belfast and at the Volunteer and United Irish movements’ “use of songs to propagate their ideas”. She also considers Thomas Moore’s use of the harp as a nationalist literary metaphor and mentions the early nineteenth-century replacement of the “formalised winged-maiden” harp of ascendancy Ireland – with its imperial crown — by more realistic images of the early Irish harp.