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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Matthew Edwards Origin: The Old Triangle (87* d) RE: Origin: The Old Triangle 24 Sep 15

Brendan Behan recorded an LP of songs, I think based on a radio broadcast, which was released in 1960 in the USA on the Spoken Arts label, 760 LP, Brendan Behan Sings Irish Folk Songs and Ballads and in the UK on the Argo label, RG239LP, as Brendan Behan sings songs from The Hostage and Irish Ballads. The LP can be heard on You Tube Brendan Behan Sings; at 30:37 Behan introduces the song 'The Old Triangle' by saying "This other song was written by a person who will never hear it recorded because he's not in possession of a gramophone; he's...he's pretty much of a tramp."

This matches very closely the account given above by Tom Neary about Dickie Shannon as the author of the song, and it certainly confirms that Brendan Behan didn't claim to have written it himself, nor do there seem to be any grounds for attributing it to Dominic Behan.

I know that both Brendan and Dominic Behan enjoyed sowing confusion about questions of song authorship - I certainly was misled by Dominic's mischevious attribution of The Twang Man to Zozimus! - but Tom Neary's story and the account given by Brendan Behan's biographer Michael O'Sullivan that Behan ordered the royalties from a radio broadcast of the song to be paid to a Dick Shannon all look like strong and consistent evidence in favour of Dickie Shannon as the writer.

It would certainly be a great idea to mark Dickie Shannon's grave in Manchester with a plaque.


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