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Mo stór é mo leanbh: story, meaning, and relationship in Irish traditional lullabies

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dc.contributor.advisor Joyce, Sandra Thompson McKusker, Ciara 2021-07-15T08:43:55Z 2021-07-15T08:43:55Z 2021
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Lullabies are some of our first musical and social interactions, often rooting deep in memories that stay with people throughout their lives. They are a valuable aspect of bedtime routines, contributing to a strong sense of security and the shared experience of primary relationships for both child and adult. Lullaby practices are also an orally transmitted embodiment of intangible culture and the narrative of the caregiver. Spanning generations of cultural and societal development, lullabies have consistently facilitated relaxation and encapsulated intricacies of emotional expression, cultural identity, and relationship through their stories and practice. Despite these valuable attributes, an assumed narrative of delicacy, smallness, and simplicity has followed these songs, and they have continued to occupy little space or attention over the centuries. This research challenges such narratives, to explore the wellsprings of unspoken potency and potential of lullabies within the Irish song tradition. Observed by Leslie Daiken in The Lullaby Book, “Not by creature comforts exclusively does a baby flourish and flower. The majority of mothers know this instinctively, and they also know that rearing an infant must have its creative side, its poetry” (Daiken 1959:7). Who creates this infant-directed poetry, and does it function for the child alone? Caregiving can be incredibly demanding, aggravating, and anxiety-inducing, as well as fulfilling, healing, and freeing. If we consider lullabies as a caregiver’s poetry, as Daiken suggests – literary devices of storytelling, expression, aesthetic enjoyment, and engagement – a microcosm of varied and complex meaning can be interpreted within these songs. Through an ethnomusicological and song studies-based investigation, the stories of lullabies can be dissected to highlight areas of darker, more sinister narratives that express deviance from societal norms, as well as incredibly strong elements of bonding, resilience, and healing. Through these intimate, often private musical outlets of story, caregivers can bare intense feelings of love, fear, and frustration. They can confront and confide aspects of belief, and affirm, as well as disaffirm the intricate relationships that comprise their world on an individual, community, and cultural level. Orientation with such structures can further contribute to feelings of belonging and/or isolation. Therefore, in considering the multi-layered meanings of Irish traditional lullaby stories, this study yields a wealth of information on traditions, beliefs, and perspectives within the Irish context. The relationships reflected in these lullaby narratives can be considered a catalyst to reveal the profound and continuous importance of traditional lullaby songs and singing for one’s sense of belonging and wellbeing. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject lullabies en_US
dc.subject musical iteraction en_US
dc.subject memories en_US
dc.subject child en_US
dc.title Mo stór é mo leanbh: story, meaning, and relationship in Irish traditional lullabies en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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