King House, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

King House
Military Road
Co. Roscommon

An afternoon with Percy French

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presented by The County Leitrim Percy French Society

It would be very unusual to have a sing- song anywhere in Ireland without hearing at least one Percy French song. ‘The Mountains of Mourne’, ‘Come back Paddy Reilly’ or ‘Phil the fluthers Ball’ being the more popular ones. Many people may not know the composer of the songs but the lyrics and melodies are easily recognisable.

Percy French was born in County Roscommon on 1st May 1854 and died on the 20thJanuary 1920. He composed over 200 songs and many recitations, parodies, sketches and musicals. He was also a prolific water colour painter

The County Leitrim Percy French Society was set up by Tish Dunleavy and Frank Cadam, because they realised that Percy French was the most under-appreciated and under-promoted Irish composer. The Society’s objective is to bring Percy’s works to a wider audience and to create a better awareness of this great Irish genius. The shows are presented in a first stage interpretation where Frank takes the part of Percy French. There are 8 performers in the show and all dress in period costume. Percy links the songs with his own story and explains where he got his inspiration for his works.

The shows under the direction of Tish Dunleavy are staged in a good humoured and fun loving way and audience participation is always encouraged.The programme includes all the well known songs such as ‘Phil the fluther’s ball’, Eileen Og’, ‘The Mountains of Mourne’, ‘Abdul Abul Bul’, ‘Gortnamona’ and many many more wonderful pieces.

In October 2015 and June 2016, The County Leitrim Percy French Society staged two sell out shows in The National Concert Hall, Dublin as well as performances all across Leitrim, Cavan, Roscommon & Galway and Mayo. They also had the honour of performing with Michael Portillo BBC2 presenter of Britain’s Great Railway Journeys with an estimated audience of 20 million !!