Did You Know…

Did you know that our Clan has it’s own family song? Well we do!!

It is called PLANXTY IRWIN (IRVINE), and yes I have a copy of it.

Sheet music for Planxty Irwin. Originally collected by Francis O'Neill around the turn of the 20th Century

What is a Planxty?   “Planxty” is a word used by the classic harper Turlough O’Carolan in many of his works, and is believed to denote a tribute to a particular person: “Planxty Irwin”, for example, would be in honor of Colonel John Irwin of Sligo. “Planxty” is thought to be a corruption of the Irish word and popular toast “sláinte”, meaning “good health”. Others claim that the word is not Irish in origin but comes from the Latin “plangere,” meaning to strike or beat. Alternatively, its origin may stem from the Irish phrase “phlean an tí” meaning “from the house of”. During the penal law era of Ireland’s history, songs sung in Irish were outlawed, and it is believed that the use of the phrase “Planxty”, followed by the name of the composer, was to disguise the composer’s true identity (“Planxty” being logically assumed to be the first name of the composer), while still giving them credit for the song. Another possible explanation is that it is derived from the Latin Planctus, a medieval lament.  James Joyce used the word “planxty” in his 1939 novel Finnegans Wake; it is featured in the sentence “Poof! There’s puff for ye, begor, and planxty of it, all abound me breadth!”

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