PEG CLANCY POWER
Late this afternoon, I stopped in to see Peg Power and her family. For awhile, Peg and I sat by the fire and talked about songs and collecting. Then her husband, Tom, came in from his work in the tannery and the conversation turned to bullocks and wheat. After tea, while Tom and I continued talking, Peg started to get the children washed and off to bed, so they would be ready for Sunday Mass the next morning. Young Owen ( age three) , who looks very much like his mother with large, dark eyes, black hair, and a gay smile, was put up onto the table to have his hair cut. This required a great deal of tact and persuasion, as every time Peg touched Owen's neck with the cold scissors he giggled and squirmed. In the end, she warmed the scissors at the fire and told him stories to keep him quiet while she snipped a piece here and there. Next, Kevin ( age ten) came bursting into the room, all aglow over the first hurling match which his team had won. All this time, Bobby ( age eight) was cutting " forts" out of a karge sheet of brown paper. " Who's going to take the first bath?" Peg asked. In the end, they had " to toss" to decide which could " stay out 'til last."
Peg is a sister of the well known Clancy Brothers. She and her husband live with their three boys in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, Eire. The youngest in the Clancy family, Peg has a long tradition of singing grandmothers, mother, father, sisters and brothers behind and around her. Many of the songs she sings come from her family, while others were learned at school or from friends.
Slim and lively, Peg is also warm-hearted and full of understanding. She sings with great ease and no fuss. In fact, she is one of the easiest people I have ever recorded. Even though she is very critical of herself, she is always adaptable and cooperative. This flexibility, added to her traditional background, is strongly characteristic of her singing style. Although Peg is not a native speaker, she learned Irish in school and sings many songs in the Irish language.
Peg recently recorded for Connisseur Records, singing with her brother, Bobby, and is often heard on Radio Eireann. Last summer she sang with her brothers and Tommy Makem at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. As well known for her acting as for her singing, she has appeared in many Carrick-on-Suir Drama Club plays. In 1961, she won the Cork Drama Prize for the " best actress" of the year.
Another wonderful field recording obtained from Diane Hamilton. Peg is the sister of the well-known Clancy Brothers who discovered their fame and fortune in America while she stayed at home and raised her family, singing her old songs in the old way, without any show-business ambitions. Her singing is clear and sweet, as pure as an Irish stream.
This recording is still available on CD at Folk-Legacy.