Mudcat Café message #323910 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16707   Message #323910
Posted By: Moleskin Joe
21-Oct-00 - 09:21 AM
Thread Name: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
As a newcomer to the Mudcat I was fascinated by this thread. Having listened to DB and SoS and having read what George Petrie says about the song I would like to put forward the following theory, already hinted at by Annraoi. The song Do Bhi Bean Uasal, perhaps written by Cathal Bui MacGiolla Gunna who died in 1750, later had various English verses from different sources grafted on to it. Petrie says the air was well known in Clare and Limerick and that he got it from Patrick Joyce who had it from his father. Petrie , by the way, calls it An Bean Og Uasal. He then goes on to give as an example of the "English doggerel verses" that had become attached to it the 8 lines beginning "In Kilkenny it is..." It therefore seems quite possible that the Carrickfergus verse was grafted on completely independently of the Kilkenny verses. After all the Carrickfergus verse seems to come from an Ulster version of The Water Is Wide. Thereafter when the English verses were taken back out of Do Bhi Bean Uasal to make a song on their own we get the Carrickfergus we all know and love, which is really bits of two(or more!)completely separate songs.

The question then arises - who did this? In what form did DB get the song? Could it have been he who first sang the English verses only?

Comments anyone?