First You Must Learn the Grip

Séamus Ennis was an Irish piper, singer and folklorist, born in Dublin in 1919.  He died the same year I was born, in 1982.  The image I created here is based on a picture of Ennis which was featured on an lp album cover for his 1959 release, The Bonny Bunch of Roses.

The text is my transcription of an old recording of Ennis.  He was known to sometimes recite this little bit of folklore, as I understand it, while he was strapping on his pipes during a performance. As with most folklore, most of the words, names, and places are absolute fantastic nonsense and served only to make the recitation whimsical and humorous.  I love that he refers to himself in the third person as though establishing himself a living legend!