Mudcat Café message #163274 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16707   Message #163274
Posted By: Annraoi
15-Jan-00 - 08:10 AM
Thread Name: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
Phillipa and John, I'm back. This may - or may not - be a good thing. I've been away from Mudcat for some considerable time, but dip-sticking brought me to this thread. Phillipa is quite right, I do have a copy of ó muirthile's book and it does contain a version of "Do Bhí Bean Uasal / Carrickfergus" but he calls it "The Young Sick Lover." The text seems to be a fairly complete one having 7 eight-lined stanzas. It seems to me to be a mixture of two songs, one Irish and one English. The Irish verses contain the typical internal rhyme patterns widely used in "amhrán" poetry dating from the C17 onwards and reaching its highest form in the C18. The English verses show an effort to incorporate these patterns but in a halting and inconsistant manner. Moreover, the "Handsome boatman" is too obviously the "Water of Tyne". Also, taking the Irish alternate verses 1, 3, 5, and 7, they make a unified song of a cuckolded young man. The English interpolations - and the more I think, the more I'm convinced that that is what they are - break up this unity and may show a society in a period of linguistic change and coming increasingly under the influence of English songs. Indeed one of the English verses is a paraphrase rather than a translation of the preceding Irish verse. Ó Muirthile gives as his primary source a broadsheet in Cambridge dating from the first half of the C19,. Thus the age of the song is pushed back by a full 120 years at least from its modern re-emergence in the 1960's. Among his other sources he gives another in Cambridge, one in the British Library, The version published in "Irisleabhar na Gaedhilge" March 1905 (already mentioned by John Moulden) and in "an Lóchrann" April, 1909. I hope that this is of some interest. Annraoi