It’s just singing songs, but if one of these songs makes someone you love smile and talk a while then there’ll be two people smiling and that’s worth it. Don’t you think?

It’s just singing songs, but if one of these songs makes someone you love smile and talk a while then there’ll be two people smiling and that’s worth it. Don’t you think?

Our Story

About Parlour Songs

Brian and his Dad

My dad, Bill Coleman, loved to sing and he had several party-pieces that he was well-known for. He came from that generation of Irish people who liked nothing better than to get together in each other’s houses and have an oul’ sing-song. TV wasn’t a thing back then so people tended to make their own entertainment.

In 1992, along with some of his in-laws, he joined the Bohemians Musical Society, and stayed with them for years.

Last year I was asked by my uncle to record some songs from The Bohemians so they could play them out over Zoom during Covid Lockdowns at their weekly online get-togethers. When I met with many of the singers Dad had sung with over the years, I was impressed by the quality of the singing and the camaraderie that existed between all of them.

In this there surely had to be the potential for a series of TV programmes celebrating the songs we used to sing at parties years ago? That’s when Parlour Songs was born.

tenors singing
Helen Curran

Bringing the idea together

Helen Curran, a well-known presenter from RTE Television, (and also a cousin of mine) loved the  idea of presenting the shows  since her dad, Johnny Leonard, was a member of ‘The Bohs’ as well.

Katy Kelly, a soprano and great voice coach, came on-board and introduced us to brilliant sopranos and baritones from all over the country. We set a date to record everyone singing five songs each, with just a piano accompanying them, in Churchtown House, Dundrum.

Recording Parlour Songs

Together with some of the best TV cameramen and soundmen we had great fun filming and recording everyone. We’ve a total of seventeen singers, some professional, some amateur, some baritone, some soprano and even a storyteller.

Altogether we made ten 40-minute shows from the songs we recorded during the sessions.

Parlour Scenes behind the scenes
Recording Parlour Songs

A special first viewing

We played the first programme in the series in Elm Hall Nursing Home, Celbridge, Co Kildare, where dad and mum watched it on the big screen together with the other residents. He told me afterwards it looked great and they were very proud.

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed it and dad, of course, kept the sing-song going when it was over. He passed away not long after that so I’m dedicating the first series to him.

We hope you get as much enjoyment from the programmes as we did in making them and we look forward to putting the next series together as soon as possible.

Remember when they loved that song?
So will they.

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Kind Words About Parlour Songs

"The residents really enjoyed watching the videos. It was wonderful to see them open up and smile as they chatted about the songs afterwards".


Tom Greene,
Activities Co-Coordinator,
Elm Hall Nursing Home.

"Our Mam struggles with her memory but she can remember the words to all these songs. They’re a connection to her past and it’s great to be able to help her remember things".


Eileen Fox,