Deale, Edgar Martin

Composer

b Dublin 1902, d 1999. A lover of good music, he said, ‘even from my cradle’; he sang in the Christ Ch Cathedral choir and attended the Cathedral Grammar Sch, enjoying both sport and all kinds of reading. But musically he was largely self-taught, as he found it impossible to obtain adequate musical training, either as a boy or later as a bass singer. So, like his father, he became a full-time businessman and part-time musician, marrying in a Methodist ch and working for the Zurich Insurance Co. Between the 1940s and 1970s he composed some 40 original works, only 3 of which exceeded 20 minutes in length, and 30 arrangements, many being versions of traditional Irish songs. His first published work, played and sung in Dublin in 1945, was Three Christmas Songs; among later compositions, Five Poets, Seven Songs was broadcast in 1961. When he was about 20 he joined the Culwich Choral Society as a bass, remaining with them for 60 years and serving as President 1955–75. He was a long-term friend of Sir Arnold Bax (1883–1953) with whom he shared a love of Irish music, a founder member of the Music Assn of Ireland and a Governor of the Irish Academy of Music. Another of his great concerns was the mounting number of road injuries and deaths due to alcohol; involved with the Safety First Society of Ireland for 30 years, he also served as its President. He was an equally strong supporter of the Irish Assn for Civil Liberties, and a pioneer campaigner in the 1960s and 70s to save Georgian Dublin from the developers. As a composer, he wrote one hymn tune has reached a handful of mainstream hymn-books from 1960 (Irish Church Hymnal) onwards. No.945.

Tunes and arrangements by Deale, Edgar Martin

Tune Name
Edwin