Arthur Ó Néill (c.1737 - 1816)

Arthur Ó Néill

I have not been able to track down very much information about Arthur Ó Néill singing. Our main sources of information are silent about this; Bunting in his music collecting concentrated on instrumental versions of tunes, and his notations from Arthur Ó Néill are all indicated to be harp versions. And in the Memoirs, Arthur Ó Néill does not mention himself singing very much. He often mentions other harpers singing, and he mentions himself playing the harp.

I presume that Arthur Ó Néill sung a fair bit, as singing was a normal part of early Irish harp performance practice in the 18th century. I presume that he knew the words to all of the songs whose tunes he played on the harp.

Joyce’s tune (Spéic Seóigheach)
I met Mr Edward Bunting as I was going towards Newry, where he brought me, with whom I spent as agreeable a fortnight as ever I spent in my life. He took some tunes from me, and one evening at his lodgings he played on the piano the tune of ‘Speak Oyeough’, and I sung with him. Memoirs: Charlotte Milligan Fox Annals p.197; Donal O’Sullivan Carolan p.175 no notation or lyrics