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Lyr Req: Victoria (Grehan Sisters)

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Grehan Sisters Recordings (67)
Lyr Req: Galtimore Mountains - Grehan Sisters (3)
Lyr Req: The Orange and the Green (Grehan Sisters) (4)


calle@scp.se 01 Oct 97 - 10:00 AM
jburdoo@ksu.edu 20 Apr 99 - 01:21 PM
Martin _Ryan 20 Apr 99 - 06:24 PM
JBurdoo@ksu.edu 20 Apr 99 - 06:34 PM
Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin 20 Apr 99 - 07:22 PM
Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin 20 Apr 99 - 08:13 PM
jburdoo@ksu.edu 20 Apr 99 - 10:21 PM
Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin 21 Apr 99 - 03:47 AM
Martin _Ryan 21 Apr 99 - 04:09 AM
MudGuard 21 Apr 99 - 04:31 AM
Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin 21 Apr 99 - 02:45 PM
Martin Ryan 21 Apr 99 - 05:18 PM
jburdoo@ksu.edu 21 Apr 99 - 06:27 PM
Martin _Ryan 22 Apr 99 - 03:03 AM
Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin 22 Apr 99 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,The Go Lucky Four 23 Jul 05 - 08:32 PM
GUEST,Dale 23 Jul 05 - 08:53 PM
GUEST,Dale 23 Jul 05 - 09:38 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Jul 05 - 09:46 PM
GUEST,Dale 23 Jul 05 - 10:04 PM
MartinRyan 24 Jul 05 - 07:23 PM
Snuffy 25 Jul 05 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 31 Jul 05 - 07:46 AM
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Subject: Lyrics RE: Victoria
From: calle@scp.se
Date: 01 Oct 97 - 10:00 AM

Hi! Im looking for the lyrics of "Victoria" as sung by the Grehan Sisters. Please let me know if you know where i can find it.

Best regards/Carl


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Subject: Lyrics Req: 'Victoria' by Grehan Sisters
From: jburdoo@ksu.edu
Date: 20 Apr 99 - 01:21 PM

I'm still looking for this. It's from the compilation "Irish Folk Favourites."

Thanks, Jennifer


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Subject: RE: Lyrics Req: 'Victoria' by Grehan Sisters
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 20 Apr 99 - 06:24 PM

Jennifer

Any clues?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyrics Req: 'Victoria' by Grehan Sisters
From: JBurdoo@ksu.edu
Date: 20 Apr 99 - 06:34 PM

Some of the lyrics I've managed to figure out are:

(Goes to the same tune as 'Marching Through Georgia)

"The Lion and the Unicorn were fighting for the Crown" -- 1st line of the first verse

Part of the second -- "A gas main burst in Belfast on the eve of Day, and all the doors and windows they moved rapidly away,"

Chorus:

Victoria, they're coming for you soon Victoria, it may be when the moon Is shining on December frost, around the flowers of June But they're coming down for you, Victoria

I can't tell either what this song is about or what the words are, but it's been bugging me for years now. I've asked here before, but hope maybe someone's found something new.

Jennifer


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Subject: RE: Lyrics Req: 'Victoria' by Grehan Sisters
From: Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin
Date: 20 Apr 99 - 07:22 PM

The would-be ousting of Queen Victoria by Irish nationalism is the gist of the whole thing.

I have to agree that the words of the song are difficult to discern in the recording - went back to it this evening, and started to try to work it out, but can do little better than Jennifer on the verses, and not as well as Jennifer on the chorus, so that'll be a help when I have another listen and try again. If I get anything, I'll be back!

Shoh slaynt,

Bobby Bob


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Subject: ADD: VICTORIA by Grehan Sisters
From: Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin
Date: 20 Apr 99 - 08:13 PM

After repeated listenings, this is the best I can get for now.
Any and all amendments or suggestions to bridge the gaps, correct the mishearings and generally complete the sense will be gatefully received, by me as well as by Jennifer, who asked about it in the first place!

Victoria

The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown
When up got Irish tether and they both came tumblin' down
Their Second Guards departed too from Stephen's Green in town
But they're comin' down for you, Victoria.

Chorus:
Victoria, they're coming for you soon
Victoria, it may be when the moon
Is shinin' on December frosts or on the flowers of June
But they're comin' down for you, Victoria.

A gas main burst in Belfast on the eve of poppy day
And loyal lords at Windsor too moved rapidly away
Came the dawn in Dublin and a naughty soul, they say,
Sent a message from the captain/capital to Victoria.

George he lost a city(?), King Billy lost his head
The lion lost his balance and the unicorn he fled
As sure as you're a ...............(?) lump of lead
They'll be comin' down for you, Victoria.

Nelson's weather eye, they say, was looking out for ...(?)
They're nervous in the Phoenix Park and round old Dublin's ...(?)
But whosoe'er the streets of ...(?) and whosoe'er the ....(?)
They've a double date with you, Victoria.

Shoh slaynt,

Bobby Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyrics Req: 'Victoria' by Grehan Sisters
From: jburdoo@ksu.edu
Date: 20 Apr 99 - 10:21 PM

Bobby,
Thanks for the help. The one thing I hate about folk music is the accent and dialect that make it impossible to transcribe.

BTW, I have one of the words you missed. It's "Around old Dublin's -hods-, i.e. slums. So we know what the others rhyme with.

Jennifer


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Subject: RE: Lyrics Req: 'Victoria' by Grehan Sisters
From: Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 03:47 AM

I suddenly thought that the whole thing will about statues in Belfast and Dublin which were targets for being blown up. The reference to Victoria and Poppy Day would be anachronistic otherwise.

Perhaps it's 'Georgie lost his seat he(?) - presumably a statue to one of the German Georges.

King Billy losing his head is presumably an attack on a statue of King William III.

These first two were presumably in Belfast. The pillar with the statue of Nelson was blown up in Dublin on 8 March 1966. The Go Lucky Four immediately wrote and recorded a song to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic called 'Up Went Nelson', which was on the streets by 10 March. The Dubliners included a song called 'Poor Old Admiral Nelson' in their show at the Gate Theatre that same year (which they preceded with a piece of poetry by Louis MacNeice about Dublin statuary).

So from all this, I deduce that the statue of Queen Victoria in Dublin was also a target for attack, and the song was produced after the attacks on statues in Belfast.

However, this came to me in a blinding flash out of nowhere this morning, so could be entirely off beam!

Shoh slaynt,

Bobby Bob.


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Subject: RE: Lyrics Req: 'Victoria' by Grehan Sisters
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 04:09 AM

We Irish did have a history of exploding statues alright. There was a famous statue of Queen Victoria which used to stand, I think, outside the Dail (House of Parliament) long ago. It was removed, put in storage and forgotten about! This probably saved it from a fate worse than detonation. Anyway, when it was rediscovered it was cleaned up and sent off to somewhere safer (Canada, Australia...? Not sure).

The statue of King Billy used to stand in College Green. It turns up in "The Night before Larry was stretched".

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyrics Req: 'Victoria' by Grehan Sisters
From: MudGuard
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 04:31 AM

I've got the same recording (Irish Folk Favourites),
and that is what I wrote down after listening to this song
for many many times:

Victoria

The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown
When (??? ... spoke ???) Irish gentleman they both came tumbling down
The second George departed to one Stephen's Green in town
But they're coming down for you, Victoria

Chorus [after each verse, twice after last verse]
Victoria, they're coming for you soon
Victoria, it may be when the Moon
Is shining on December frost around the flowers of June
But they're coming down for you, Victoria

A gas main burst in Belfast on the eve of (??? poppy ???) day
And loyal doors and windows, too, moved rapidly away
Came the dawn in Dublin and the (??? north he thought ???) to say
Send a message from the castle to Victoria

Georgie lost the city and king Billy lost his head
The lion lost his balance, from the unicorn he fled
As sure as you're a humpy (??? stump we bumped ???) a lump of lead
They'll be coming down for you, Victoria

Nelson (??? , swether I will say, ???) was looking out for squads
They're nervous in the Phoenix Park and round old Dublin's walls
But peace forever keeps its place and truce forever falls
They've (??? a-doubled with ???) you, Victoria


As you can see, there's an awful lot of places marked with (??? ... ???) where I am not sure about it.

Andreas


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Subject: Lyr Add: VICTORIA (from The Grehan Sisters)
From: Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 02:45 PM

Isn't it great to have other peoples' ears as well? Listening yet again and again and again) in the light of other postings, this sounds to me as though it's not too far out - but then again, this is only my ears' version. Anyway, you'll be relieved to know that it's my final offering!

Everyone else cross-comparing what's been posted so far and listening back may well come up with a different set of words. Perhaps we should just put it down to the folk process.

The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown
When up got Irish tether and they both came tumblin' down
The Second George departed too from Stephen's Green in town
But they're comin' down for you, Victoria.

CHORUS:Victoria, they're coming for you soon
Victoria, it may be when the moon
Is shinin' on December frosts or round the flowers of June
But they're comin' down for you, Victoria.

A gas main burst in Belfast on the eve of poppy day
And loyal doors and windows too moved rapidly away
Came the dawn in Dublin and a naughty soul, they say,
Sent a message from the castle to Victoria.

George he lost a city, King Billy lost his head
The lion lost his balance, from the unicorn he fled
As sure as you're a humpy, stumpy, bumpy lump of lead
They'll be comin' down for you, Victoria.

Nelson's weather eye, they say, was looking out for squalls
They're nervous in the Phoenix Park and round old Dublin's walls
But whosoever keeps his place and whosoever falls
They've a double date with you, Victoria.

Slaynt mie,

Bobby Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyrics Req: 'Victoria' by Grehan Sisters
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 05:18 PM

Now we're getting somewhere! Still, "tether" doesn't look right in the first verse. I've never heard the song but my guess would be "dander" . "to get someone's dander up" is to get them annoyed, aroused, stirred into action!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyrics Req: 'Victoria' by Grehan Sisters
From: jburdoo@ksu.edu
Date: 21 Apr 99 - 06:27 PM

The idea that this is about the statue bombings is making is making more and more sense to me as I read the words some of you have figured out. There is a great (and humorous) song written by Tommy Makem about the destruction of Nelson's statue in 1966, that is in the database somewhere. It ends with Dan O'Connell's statue (standing downwind of Nelson's) lamenting that he'll have twice as many pigeons now sitting (and shitting) on him!
A few things still confusing me, though: What is "Poppy Day?" What do George and King Billy refer to (Other statues, maybe)? Why the reference to The Lion and the Unicorn? Any Irish historians or Dubliners who might be able to cast light on this stuff?

Thanks for all your help,
Jennifer


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Subject: RE: Lyrics Req: 'Victoria' by Grehan Sisters
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 03:03 AM

"Poppy Day" is Remembrance Sunday - Sunday nearest Nov. 11 (I think) which was Amistice Day at the end of the First World War. The reference is unfortunate since the IRA chose to bomb a memorial service in Enniskillen on that day some years ago.

The King Billy statue was mentioned earlier. I'm not sure if there is any specific reference in King George, or the "Lion and Unicorn" - other than that the latter feature on the heraldic arms of England.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyrics Req: 'Victoria' by Grehan Sisters
From: Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin
Date: 22 Apr 99 - 02:20 PM

Pure surmise, based on the lyrics as we've pooled our resources to produce so far, but it sounds as though there may have been a statue of King George II (the Second George) on St Stephen's Green, which was removed in some way.

Perhaps Martin could turn up something on it.

Shoh slaynt,

Bobby Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyrics Req: "Up went Nelson"
From: GUEST,The Go Lucky Four
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 08:32 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Victoria (Grehan Sisters)
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 08:53 PM

We talked about this in another thread somewhere along the way; seems like we got a bit farther on the lyrics in that one. I'll try to hunt them up later. Searching the data base is a bit of a hit or miss proposition of late, mostly miss.

Oh, and as to the person who revived the thread, are you FROM the Go Lucky Four, or are you asking ABOUT them? I am pretty sure I have that album stuck away somewhere, but I am notorious about being able to find such.


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Subject: Lyr Add: VICTORIA (Grehan Sisters)
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 09:38 PM

Well, I looked ~~ unsuccessfully, and finally lost patience. I decided to go with what I have in my word files. This might be as good a place as any to put it.

The following is from Snuffy and since italics are a bit hard to read, I will separate his part from mine with **********


********************************************************
from Marching through Georgia thread:
    I've had the original Grehan Sisters LP "On the Galtymore Mountains" (Transatlantic TRA160) (autographed by all three) since the 60's. Victoria is the first track, and like many others, it is often very difficult to decipher what they are singing. There are minor differences from Jim's posting, perhaps the biggest being "they're coming down for you, Victoria" in the chorus and verses 1 & 3. The Grehans credit the composer as Brian Na Barbar, rather than O'Higgins. Are they one and the same?

    The sleeve-notes give some background (but have been proved to be inaccurate for at least one other track):
    The decapitation of King Billy's statue in College Green, Dublin, the blowing up of the Equestrian Statue of King George II in St. Stephen's Green and the removal by violent action of the Lion and Unicorn emblem near Dublin Castle on the morning of Poppy Day 1937, set loyal people saying that means should be taken to protect the ugly and aggressive looking image of the Queen Victoria that stands on Leinster Lawn.

    VICTORIA
    (Brian Na Barbar)

    The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown,
    When up spoke Irish Cheddar1 and they both came tumbling down
    The second George departed too, from Stephen's Green in town,
    But they're coming down for you, Victoria!
    CHORUS:
    Victoria, they're coming for you soon,
    Victoria, it may be when the moon
    Is shining on December frosts or on the flowers of June
    But they're coming down for you, Victoria!

    A gas main2 burst in Belfast on the eve of Poppy Day,
    And loyal doors, and windows too, blew rapidly away.
    Came the dawn in Dublin, and the naughty so they say3
    Sent a message from the Castle to Victoria.

    Georgie lost the seat he had4; king Billy lost his head;
    The lion lost his balance and5 the unicorn he fled,
    And sure as you're a humpy stumpy bumpy lump of lead
    They'll be coming down for you, Victoria.

    Nelson's weather eye, they say, was looking out for squalls;
    They're nervous in the Phoenix Park and round old Dublin's walls
    But whosoever keeps his place and whosoever falls,
    They've a double date with you, Victoria !!!

    1. It certainly sounds like 'Irish Cheddar', but what does that mean?
    2. I had always heard 'A gatling burst'. On re-listening it does sound more like 'gas main', but it's impossible to be sure.
    3. Who or what are 'the naughty so they say'?
    4. I had always heard 'lost his seating'. Could be either
    5. Sounds more like 'from' to me
    WassaiL! V
**************************************************

OK, on to his notes.

1. It certainly is "Irish Cheddar." Some time ago I found a reference to this in SAOIRSE as "home-made explosives." I've always meant to relay this on to Snuffy, but kept forgetting, so here it is.

2. Sounds like "gas main" to me, too.
3. Also puzzled.
4. To add to the confusion, could it be "lost a city?"
5. I agree with Snuffy ~~ "from."

In addition to those, I hear one other different interpretation.

6. While I agree that "blew rapidly away" makes more sense, I actually hear "moved rapidly away."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Victoria (Grehan Sisters)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 09:46 PM

Jim Dixon posted lyrics to the song by Brian O'Higgins in thread 7118: March Etc


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Victoria (Grehan Sisters)
From: GUEST,Dale
Date: 23 Jul 05 - 10:04 PM

That has to be the thread that I got Snuffy's quote from, but lost patience before I found it, taking the quote from my word files instead. Jim's posting is an earlier version in the thread which I had not saved. To my ears, Snuffy's comes a bit closer to what the Grehans are singing, though both did good work and helped me figure things out. As has been noted many times here, theirs are not the easiest voices in the world to interpret. GOOD THOUGH!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Victoria (Grehan Sisters)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 24 Jul 05 - 07:23 PM

Has this thread been badly scrambled?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Victoria (Grehan Sisters)
From: Snuffy
Date: 25 Jul 05 - 08:43 AM

In many old threads the postings are out of order, but there is a chance they might get straightened eventually


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Victoria (Grehan Sisters)
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 31 Jul 05 - 07:46 AM

Here's how Brian O'Higgins (1882-1966), pseud "Brian na Banba" (not, "Barbar" -!)introduced his song in the 1950 edition of his Wolfe Tone Annual.

"King Billy's statue in College Green, Dublin, was blown up in 1836 (when Ireland was supposed to be 'prostrate') and had to be slowly and carefully put together again, after which Daniel O'Connell, to prove his loyalty to England, had the whole statue bronzed and made like new. A hundred years later it was beheaded one night [actually 1928] and the head taken away. An equestrian statue of George II of England in St Stephen's Green was removed by violent action and an explosion occurred in a recruiting office in Belfast. Loyal people became apprehensive for the bulky statue of Queen Victoria on Leinster Lawn [Leinster House,Dublin] (since happily moved out of harm's way) and I voiced their concern in this lovely little song entitled "Victoria", to the air of "Marching through Georgia".

He then gives the full lyrics, pretty much as above, and it is "Irish cheddar".


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