CONNOLLY & KYLE – Humour in Folk Music

Tich Frier

Humour was a big part of Marymass and, somewhat contradictory to the sometime stuffy image of traditional songs, telling stories and entertaining their listeners has been a hallmark of pretty much every one of the traditional singers that have been encountered over the many years of Marymass.  Indeed in older times – Marymass Festivals of a century or more ago – the ballad singers were the superstars of their day.

Although we have singled out Connolly and Kyle in the headline to this page, Marymass has had more than its share of characters who injected humour into the events, among them Tich Frier, Bill Hill, Bill Barclay and Mike Elliot.  Billy Connolly was the one who went on to have a worldwide ‘superstar’ profile. Danny Kyle might have followed him but the legacy of Danny lies more in how much he contributed on the longer term, not only to Marymass, but to other festivals throughout the land. Arguably, it was ‘folk comedians’ who laid the ground for the stand-up comedy and raconteur style comedians in popular entertainment today.