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Audio Recording Father Sarsfield O'Sullivan, Irish American priest, Butte, Montana, second interview, part 1

Father Sarsfield O'Sullivan, Irish priest at St. Lawrence in Butte, Montana

About this Item


  • Father Sarsfield O'Sullivan, Irish American priest, Butte, Montana, second interview, part 1


  • Stanton, Gary Ward, 1946- (Collector)
  • Johnson, Paula J., 1954- (Collector)
  • Toelken, Barre, 1935- (Collector)
  • O' Sullivan, Sarsfield (Interviewee)

Created / Published

  • Butte, Montana, September 1, 1979


  • -  Poetry
  • -  Irish Americans
  • -  Folklore
  • -  Folk songs, Irish
  • -  Irish language
  • -  Ethnography
  • -  Field recordings
  • -  Interviews
  • -  Sound recordings
  • -  United States -- Montana -- Butte


  • Ethnography
  • Field recordings
  • Interviews
  • Sound recordings


  • -  Index data: Part 1 of a 5-part recording session with Father Sarsfield O'Sullivan at the St. Lawrence O'Toole Roman Catholic Church rectory in Butte MT: an Irish poem by Donald Maru Bachmire [? Bachmeier], about [Onaru ?] O'Sullivan being impressed into British Navy during the American Revolution, wrote better poetry as a sinner than as a pious man later in life; "As I was Walking one Evening Fair," an Irish song that takes back in Irish Gaelic what it says in each English verse; about Sarsfield's brother Eamon (sometimes spelled Eamonn), wrote "The Remorse of Owen Rue"; fragment of poetry where girl says if her lover doesn't marry her, she'll kill herself; this leads to a discussion of burials at the crossroads; fieldworker Barre Toelken and and Father O'Sullivan discuss the importance of crossroads; Father Godly used to break up the dances, whipped a drunkard who threw him over the fence, later the drunkard died, this was seen as heavenly intervention by the parishioners; "I Wish I Were In England" translated by his father for his brother Eamon from the Irish; his brother used the pseudonym Michael Bantry to send poems to the New Yorker; about correspondence that Eamon had with Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk, in which Eamon versified that it was more difficult to be a parish priest than a strict monk; reads letters; talking about Dirty Mary at a wake "Jesus Christ, I'm next"; fairy tales were not retained from Ireland, Father O'Sullivan's father didn't value these, he did value the fragments of the epics and figures of mythology, he also felt that novels were useless; his father, Sean O'Sullivan, educated himself at the Butte library, he used to be given condemned hooks; about fairy tales, such stories may be remembered; about a priest from County Kerry, hunting the Banshee, found it was a sheep caught in the fence of the graveyard; about different attitudes to the old beliefs; there was a boatbuilder who had died in Inish Farnard, people heard hammering, Sean O'Sullivan wanted to leave it alone, grandfather left no room for the unnatural [supernatural]; story about his great-grandfather on the Pixley Estate in Ireland, where they had Welsh retainers, they couldn't understand him, "I Speak as I write, you bastards"; story of the Pouchine Harringtons, came to have that name in Butte; Irish nicknames translated badly into English; how the Furbearing Harringtons got the name.


  • 7-inch reel

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Call number: AFC 1981/005: AFS 20450
  • MBRS shelflist: RXA 0936
  • Field project identifier: MT9-GS-R65

Source Collection

  • Montana Folklife Survey collection (AFC 1981/005)


  • American Folklife Center

Digital Id

Online Format

  • audio

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress believes that some of the materials in this collection are in the public domain or have no known copyright restrictions, and are therefore free to use or reuse. For example, the fieldwork in this collection is in the public domain in the United States.

However, the Library has obtained permission for the use of other materials, and presents additional materials for educational and research purposes in accordance with fair use under United States copyright law. For example, some of the recordings contain copyrighted music, and not all of the performers and other individuals who were recorded signed releases for public use of their work.

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Credit line: Montana Folklife Survey collection (AFC 1981/005), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Stanton, Gary Ward, Paula J Johnson, Barre Toelken, and Sarsfield O' Sullivan. Father Sarsfield O'Sullivan, Irish American priest, Butte, Montana, second interview, part 1. Butte, Montana, September 1, 1979. Audio.

APA citation style:

Stanton, G. W., Johnson, P. J., Toelken, B. & O' Sullivan, S. (1979) Father Sarsfield O'Sullivan, Irish American priest, Butte, Montana, second interview, part 1. Butte, Montana, September 1. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Stanton, Gary Ward, et al. Father Sarsfield O'Sullivan, Irish American priest, Butte, Montana, second interview, part 1. Butte, Montana, September 1, 1979. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.