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Part 1 The Nineteenth Century. Chapter 3 The Transplantation Survival Adaptation of Irish Rural Music Dance in London. Page 27 with the fiddle being rarely played. The practice of flute playing by amateurs was more common and step-dancing was endemic in many country districts though not to be assumed all over Ireland. It follows that immigrants from before The Famine and for some time afterwards were more likely to have been singers and dancers with some skill among them in step-dancing and perhaps some experience of country dancing than instrumentalists. The means of making instrumental music among ordinary people were scarce and if a victim of The Famine and immigration had once owned a fiddle or flute it would most probably have been sold to raise the fare to travel to London or to boost the familys domestic income once it fell below subsistence level. Subsequent purchase of a fiddle in London would have stretched the familys budget although in times of regular work tuppence might have been spent on one of Swindens or Clarkes tin whistles which came on the market in the middle of the century.4 The fiddle and union pipes would have been in the hands of artisan musicians and rarely if ever in those of amateurs. In the years immediately after the mass immigration to London as a consequence of The Famine the overall condition of social deprivation poverty bad housing appalling sanitation and particularly the lack of privacy caused by confined living space in multiple tenancies and shared rooms and the consequent exhaustion and demoralisation were hardly conducive to musical leisure pursuits. Immigrants were typically either single men and women or members of nuclear families that is married couples and their children whereas a common pattern in Ireland was the extended family embracing three generations including unmarried siblings of the adults and possibly living-in farm servants. Lynn Hollis Lees discovered in her research on Irish settlement in London that by the age of twenty most adolescents had left home to board with other families... and were in control of their own social lives.5 Thus they were released from social constraints which would have operated had they been in Ireland. Social pathologies within families fostered by city conditions included alcoholism and violence particularly towards women and children by adult males while endemic poverty caused admissions to the workhouse and forced some women into prostitution. Yet as Lees documents family life among some Irish did survive and flourish and Henry Mayhew was able to describe well-ordered households and house-proud women.6 Domestic behaviour in these circumstances is sparsely documented in the written record. No evidence has been forthcoming of instrumental music-making in domestic settings until the closing years of the century and then there is only a suggestion of circumstantial evidence but singing was another matter. Hugh Heinrick in writing in The Nation of 27th July 1872 about the condition of the poor Irish in Britain romanticised that The songs of his youth..... cheer the weary toiler during the day or bear to his home in the dingy and crowded alley when the days labour is over and the twilight thickens the citys gloom the memory and the light of the bright homestead in Ireland when first he heard them chanted by sister or friend mother or lover. The weary spirit is cheered even in the saddest and loneliest of Irish homes the lorn heart forgets its pain and the dimmed eye is relumed with its olden light as the melody of the past sweeps over the soul and the memories of long ago arise beneath its spell and people the then fancy with the forms of the distant and the departed... Like an angel with a message from home the spirit of melody and song enters and sits by the hearth of the Irish exile bearing on its wings the light and glory the passion and the joy of the dear old land. Oh what a joy and a gladness have this gift of melody and song been to the Irish people. 4 Henry Mayhew London Labour and the London Poor London Griffen Bohn Co. 1861 vol.3 p.201. 5 Lees Exiles of Erin p.150. 6 Lees Exiles of Erin p.148-163 Mayhew London Labour vol.1 p.110.