Dr. John Moulden

Postdoctoral Researcher

John Moulden is among of the foremost students of Anglophone traditional song in Ireland in which he enjoys a world-wide reputation. He is also a 'well regarded' singer. His interest in songs had its origin in childhood and a disciplined interest in 'folk songs' followed. He has been researching cheaply printed songs and their influence upon the oral tradition since 1968 and this culminated in the recent award of PhD for his thesis, "The Printed Ballad in Ireland: a guide to the popular printing of songs in Ireland, 1760-1920" (NUI Galway, 2006). This surveys the surviving corpus of Irish printed, ballad sheets and small song-books, examines trade practices, assesses the influence that songs exerted upon the mentality of the least educated people in Ireland and estimates the degree to which the ballad trades of Britain and Ireland interacted. It also surveys the state of scholarship regarding songs and their use as evidence in historical and cultural studies in Ireland and further afield. By trade a Primary School Teacher, this was his first opportunity to perform detailed full-time research in an area for which he has entertained a life-long passion.

He has published in a wide range of periodicals ranging from Honest Ulsterman to The Canadian Folk Music Journal and has lectured widely in Ireland, Britain and North America, most recently at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. ("North American Influence on a North Irish Song Collection", Being both singer and scholar, his talks are characterised by his own performances and by his informed enthusiasm.

Books published, edited and co-edited

Moulden, J. 2007, "What did we sing before there were folk songs?" Anne Clune (ed.) "Dear Far-Voiced Veteran" Essays in Honour of Tom Munnelly (Miltown Malbay, 2007) (pp. 135-158)

Moulden, J. 2004, ‘Obituary', for Paddy Tunney, folk singer, in Folk Music Journal.

William Hill the Forger ( on a Belfast forger and transportation - 1824/5) (Ulstersongs 2002)

British Bravery or The Irish Privateer (sea-fight, wreck in 1778-9) (self published, 1995)

Thousands are Sailing: a brief song history of Irish emigration (Ulstersongs, Portrush, 1994)

James Donnelly's Farewell (larceny and transporation - 1824) (self published, 1993)

A Trim Little Borough (Coleraine Borough Council, 1992)

Songs of Hugh McWilliams, Schoolmaster, 1831 (Ulstersongs, Portrush, 1992)

Sam Henry's ‘Songs-of the People' (ed Gale Huntington and Lani Herrmann with John Moulden) (University of Georgia Press, 1990)

A History of Methodism in Portrush (Portrush Methodist Church, 1987)

Songs of the People: songs from the Sam Henry Collection, part one (Blackstaff Press, 1979)