||In the early 1800's,
the people of Ireland relied mainly on the potato as a source of food
and income. But in 1845, a fungus known as blight destroyed the crop
and covered farmlands with black rot. This resulted in an enormous ripple
effect of hunger, sickness and death of close to a million people.
Hundreds of thousands of Irish fled to America to escape the horrific conditions; many did not survive the trip. The combination of emigration and disease severely impacted Ireland's population. The 1841 census reported a population of 8.2 million. In 1851, it was only 6.5 million.
The Famine lasted from 1846-1850.
the Famine affected Irish music
||As with any significant disaster, the Irish Famine shaped many aspects of the Irish culture. Music has always been a major part of Ireland's history. During and after the Famine, Irish people poured their emotions into song.|
to a popular Irish Famine Song
Oh father dear, I oft-times hear you speak of Erin's isle
to the music of Skibbereen