In an excerpt from this week's Art Works podcast, Rafferty tells how he shares the songs his father taught him with his daughter, keeping traditional Irish music alive over three generations. [1:38]
Jo Reed: Yeah, yeah, you play often older songs; songs that you heard growing up.
Mike Rafferty: Yeah, I like to keep the old ones alive because some of the new tunes that's composed, I can't take a liking to them. But some of the older tunes, for the history of them alone and for the old folks that play them or even compose them, how they did or how they learned them is beyond me, but they left the groundwork for me to do them and any one of them that I think of, I can play. I love to play them and the novelty never wore off on them. The tunes, there was nice feelings in them, yeah.
Jo Reed: That always stay fresh.
Mike Rafferty: They always stay fresh in other words, yeah, yeah.
Jo Reed: You play tunes that you learned from your father or that your father would play and you play them with your daughter.
Mike Rafferty: That's correct, yeah, because she was very interested in that. She said, "Did your dad play this," you know, so on. "I want to learn that," yeah. So, I used to make up a little cassette for her and I would give her tunes to learn and every time we do a concert she would talk about that, you know. There's a couple of tunes that's gone down in the ground with the old Ballinakill Ceili Band as well. Besides the book, they had older tunes, you know, and some of them were a bit selfish with them in a way. My father wasn't that way. They wouldn't play it for everybody unless you were around and of course, like everything else, if you didn't know how to write it down and there was no tape recorders, and then they used to tape them to keep them, you had to learn them and you could forget it and that's what happened to me. I forgot some tunes in that respect.