Irish Christmas Songs and Stories in the Virtual Síbín

[Below is a link to a recording of an interactive broadcast of Irish Christmas songs and stories, part of TheWildGeese.Irish Sibin series of discussions and performances focused on the Irish experience worldwide. This broadcast was recorded live Tuesday, December 16th, 2014. We are happy to feature it again.]

Mary Courtney grew up in a musical family in the parish of Castlegregory, near the sea in County Kerry, a likely beginning for this remarkable singer and guitarist. Whether accompanying herself, or holding the rhythm line with her trad band, Morning Star, she is a consummate musician.

Her music is an engaging collaboration of traditional Irish music and a progressive social conscience born of a political education in the United States. Her bodhrán (Irish hand-held drum) playing offers another dimension to her exceptional performance. Courtney has used her music to spread Irish culture and to educate her audience about the struggles of the Irish people. From rock ‘n’ roll to the ethereal strains of some ancient Celtic bard, Mary can sing anything, and sing it unforgettably.

Visit Mary's website at

Jim Hawkins grew up in the midlands of Ireland (County Westmeath) where he listened to great Irish storytellers like his own uncle, Jack Fallon.  Jim taught literature in the classroom for 39 years.  He has performed as a member of the Irish Arts Centre in New York City.  Jim shares the history, culture, and traditions of Ireland through stories, poetry, and songs.

Visit Jim's website at

What: A live interactive broadcast with Irish Christmas songs and stories
When: Tuesday, December 16th at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Where: Right here on this page

Visit the Virtual Síbín headquarters page

Views: 1123

Tags: Broadcasts, Christmas, Drama, Folklore, Literature, Music, Poetry, Stories, Storytelling, Traditional Music

Comment by Ryan O'Rourke on December 16, 2014 at 4:51pm

Really, really enjoyed this session in the Virtual Síbín.  Thanks a million to both Mary Courtney and Jim Hawkins for putting their immense talents on display to help us celebrate a truly Irish Christmas here in The Wild Geese Irish Social Network!

Comment by Mary Ellen Jacobs on December 16, 2014 at 4:55pm

Mary's latest Album 33 County is fantastic!!!  I always having it playing in my car!

Comment by Jim Curley on December 16, 2014 at 4:57pm

Very lovely 2014 Sibin. Thanks to Mary and Jim for sharing their considerable talents. As I gave a few library talks on the Christmas Truce, I was delighted to hear Mary sing John McCutcheon's "Christmas in the Trenches." Kelly, you alluded to a Christmas ad during the show. Was that the Christmas ad from Sainsbury?

Comment by Bit Devine on December 16, 2014 at 4:58pm

Silly work! Got in the way and I missed it! Phooey!

Comment by Mary Ellen Jacobs on December 16, 2014 at 5:21pm

That was lovely!! Thank you!  And I hope everyone has a Very Merry Christmas!!  I am going to try to start a Wren Day tradition down here at the Jersey Shore......sounds like fun.

Comment by Gerry Regan on December 17, 2014 at 7:00am

Everything you want to know about the Christmas Truce of December 1914, in less than 10 minutes.

Comment by Gerry Regan on December 17, 2014 at 7:07am

Check out this rave review of Mary Courtney's most recent album, "Live From the 33rd County," by fellow member Bit Devine.

Comment by Jim Curley on December 17, 2014 at 7:15am
Ger, "self praise is no praise at all." LOL,
Comment by Gerry Regan on December 17, 2014 at 7:23am

Ascribe this to an excess of exuberance, Jim. The Truce remains for me an extraordinary moment in the history of humanity. :-)

Comment by Jim Curley on December 17, 2014 at 7:53am
Amen, brother Ger.It was a blessed moment in time, when the sum of their hearts was greater than the sum of the parts.


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