Julie Henigan

Julie Henigan is from Springfield, Missouri, the largest city in the Ozarks, an upland area located mainly in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Her mother played classical violin and piano and her father was an omnivorous listener. Hence, she grew up listening to many different kinds of music; and, although Early Music is another of her passions, it was traditional American, British, and Irish music to which, as a performer, she was most drawn. This interest led her not only to teach herself guitar, banjo, dulcimer, and Irish-style fiddle, but also to seek out and learn from traditional singers and musicians, and eventually to pursue a Master's degree in folklore, which she obtained from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Most of her scholarly work has focused on traditional Irish song and on southern American music. She has played music professionally for a number of years, though she has usually combined performing with her work as a student, an archivist, a free-lance oral historian and folklorist, writer, substitute teacher, and lecturer. Her oral history projects have included “Medicine in the Ozarks” and the United Hebrew Congregations Oral History Project, and she has lectured on traditional Irish and American music at conferences and for private organizations in several countries, including the Willie Clancy Summer School, in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. She has spent a considerable amount of time in both England and Ireland, studying, working, and touring.

She recently completed a Ph.D. in English Literature and Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame, writing a dissertation entitled "Literacy and Orality in Eighteenth-Century Irish Song." Her publications include articles in Ulster Folklife, The Companion to Irish Traditional Music (edited by Fintan Vallely), The Old-Time Herald, The North Carolina Folklore Journal, and New Hibernia Review. Several of her folklore-related articles have been reprinted on the Musical Traditions website.



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Songs sung by Julie Henigan

An Giln Song Project from the Irish Traditional Music Archive, generously funded by the Arts Council of Ireland through its DEIS scheme