Mudcat Café message #2792085 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #30772   Message #2792085
Posted By: Mysha
19-Dec-09 - 01:02 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen

I would expect Ireland to follow England, and therefore the rent to be due on Christmas day. However, one would have expected a mention of this if it were.

Either Ireland was following Scotland, and the rent was due on Martinmas, or the rent has been due on Michaelmas according to the English system and the landlord has not immediately taken action.

Yes, it's a bit curious that he first verses don't use the same rhyme, but I guess that matches the situation: Father hasn't yet spoken of Skibbereen, hence it can't be used as a rhyme. That answers your question as well: The mood in the first two verses is indeed more innocent; the text structure is different so presenting it slightly different would be the right thing to do. It's almost like those two verses don't belong with the rest of it, as if they were added later to explain what the song is about.

No [sudden realisation]. It's the other way around: The first three verses are the original poem! Just look at them, they are a story in themselves. That's why in the third verse it's already spelled out that he's been evicted, even though that is first described in the next verse: Initially that was the final explanation. (Did anyone mention folk songs don't have such a thing as an "original version"?)