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Ride On (from Christy Moore)

Related threads:
Lyr Req: Ride On (Jimmy MacCarthy) (81)
(origins) Origin: Ride On (Jimmy MacCarthy) (41)
Lyr Req: Ride On (from Christy Moore) (28)
Lyr Req: Ride On (Jimmy MacCarthy) (9)
Lyr Req: Ride On (from Christy Moore) (4)
Lyr Req: Ride On (from Christy Moore) (6)


szarak@writeme.com 30 Apr 97 - 08:48 AM
Martin Ryan 30 Apr 97 - 09:24 AM
szarak@writeme.com 04 May 97 - 04:42 PM
GUEST 26 Jul 03 - 02:14 PM
Big Tim 26 Jul 03 - 03:02 PM
John MacKenzie 26 Jul 03 - 06:07 PM
Strupag 26 Jul 03 - 07:08 PM
zanderfish3 (inactive) 27 Jul 03 - 04:42 AM
Amergin 27 Jul 03 - 04:51 AM
GUEST,JB 27 Jul 03 - 08:23 AM
Dipsodeb 27 Jul 03 - 11:12 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jul 03 - 11:47 AM
Leadfingers 27 Jul 03 - 12:14 PM
Big Tim 27 Jul 03 - 03:09 PM
sweetfire 27 Jul 03 - 04:22 PM
Roughyed 27 Jul 03 - 06:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jul 03 - 06:11 PM
Roughyed 27 Jul 03 - 06:17 PM
smuggler 27 Jul 03 - 07:35 PM
belfast 28 Jul 03 - 09:03 AM
michaelr 28 Jul 03 - 07:33 PM
GUEST 30 Jul 03 - 03:34 PM
vectis 30 Jul 03 - 07:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Jul 03 - 07:59 PM
GMT 31 Jul 03 - 04:07 AM
GUEST,Cork 19 Aug 03 - 02:05 PM
UB Ed 19 Aug 03 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 20 Aug 03 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,ruamusic@eircom.net 03 Sep 03 - 08:13 PM
Cllr 03 Sep 03 - 08:23 PM
GUEST,Chris M 04 Sep 03 - 04:06 PM
GUEST 15 Oct 03 - 10:05 AM
Oaklet 15 Oct 03 - 10:56 AM
GUEST 30 Dec 03 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,Holly 11 Jan 04 - 12:20 AM
ducksy 11 Jan 04 - 06:54 PM
Richard Bridge 17 May 04 - 03:52 PM
GUEST 17 May 04 - 03:58 PM
Richard Bridge 17 May 04 - 04:08 PM
Pogo 17 May 04 - 10:18 PM
Strupag 18 May 04 - 04:12 PM
GUEST 18 May 04 - 04:23 PM
greg stephens 18 May 04 - 04:25 PM
GUEST 19 May 04 - 05:02 AM
Mark Cohen 19 May 04 - 05:38 AM
GUEST,Chris Murray 20 May 04 - 05:37 AM
Noreen 20 May 04 - 05:56 AM
Big Mick 20 May 04 - 12:08 PM
Amos 20 May 04 - 01:09 PM
GUEST,Gloria 18 Jul 04 - 08:44 PM
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Subject: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: szarak@writeme.com
Date: 30 Apr 97 - 08:48 AM

I know this from Christy Moore's "Ride On" (great song):

True you ride the finest horse I've ever seen, standing 16",1'or 2' with eyes wild and green.

Does anybody know what the hell is "16",1' or 2'"

Thanks in advance.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 30 Apr 97 - 09:24 AM

Hands! Unit of measurement of horses.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: szarak@writeme.com
Date: 04 May 97 - 04:42 PM

Thanx Martin.

I'm no good at horses, but I like Christy Moore.

Bye


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 02:14 PM

dick seek a horsie man instead


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Big Tim
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 03:02 PM

I hate this song!


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 06:07 PM

1 Hand is 4"


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Strupag
Date: 26 Jul 03 - 07:08 PM

But the real question is: To what does "see you" allude to? Is CU an organisation?


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: zanderfish3 (inactive)
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 04:42 AM

what is this song about anyway.
incidently it was written by Jimmy MacCarthy


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Amergin
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 04:51 AM

i always figured "see you" meant goodbye....as in see you later...

as for what the song is about ...there have been theories about death and dying...the faeries...and who knows what else...


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST,JB
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 08:23 AM

I have stopped singing this song at gigs simply because I feel like an idiot as the words make absolutely no sense at all. It becomes all the more absurd when a multitude join in the chorus and they don`t know what they are singing about.

Even Christy himself kinda admitted he hadn`t a clue what the song was about.

JB


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Dipsodeb
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 11:12 AM

sounds absolutely fantastic when played by Dave K.... followed closely by the Stray Dogs version.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 11:47 AM

I've always had a feeling it might be about Shergar.

But essentially it's about longing for someone or something you know you can never have. You're on foot trudging through the mud, and she's up there riding a fine horse, and you can't even aspire to get closer. And she might be a symbol for poetry or freedom orv whatever it is thta is out of reach for you.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 12:14 PM

Whatever the song is about its great fun to play on whistle.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Big Tim
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 03:09 PM

I don't really hate the song but I do think it's somewhat overrated.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: sweetfire
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 04:22 PM

"16 1 or 2" is simply the height of the horse. 16 being the number of 'hands' and there are 4" to one hand.

I like singing the song but do sometimes feel a little stupid singing the first verse to new crowds...


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Roughyed
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 06:01 PM

Maybe I am not looking deeply enough but it always seemed to me that the general meaning of the song was plain. It appears to me to be a song of lost love, longing and lust. There has apparently been a physical relationship "I turn to face an empty space, where you used to lie" but this is over and the emotion is like "a claw against my gut". The image of the lady in question riding off on a high horse works on a few levels (I assume that 16.1 or 2 is high)from the metaphorical (getting on your high horse) to the erotic (Lady Godiva where are you) to the actual (saddling up and galloping off). Her former presence is seen as a "spark that lights the night" i.e. her beauty lit up his lonely existence.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 06:11 PM

"lie" is of course ambiguous, since it could also mean telling a lie.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Roughyed
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 06:17 PM

Excellent. I'd missed that. It's even better written than I thought.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: smuggler
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 07:35 PM

We play this every gig. Its a great song. Poweful when we have the full instruments going. Fiddle, whistle, guitar, melodeon, mandolin, bass and a pile of voices on the chorus.
We have a great time singing it and a lot of people comment on it.
Just sheer enjoyment!!


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: belfast
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 09:03 AM

I can't really see what difficulty there is about the meaning of this song. Once you've got the bit about the height of horses being measured in hands, and considered the possible ambiguity of the word "lie" , the meaning seems fairly obvious. Jimmy MacCarthy might be able to tell us that it was connected with some event or relationship in his life. This would not change the meaning of the words of the song. At best we would have another set of words telling us what he intended to mean. We bring our own images to it, imagining stories that gave rise to these words. None of this changes the meaning. The words are there, simple words, and they are easy to understand.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: michaelr
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 07:33 PM

In his autobiography/songbook "One Voice", Christy Moore comments:

"Ride On" has been one of my most popular songs and has been recorded by many singers. Many people wonder what it's about but Jimmy MacCarthy keeps that to himself. All we need to know is what it means to us individually.

I have lived every word and line of this song, sometimes in more ways than one."


For a quite different arrangement from Christy's minimalist take, check out Mary Coughlan's version (from "Under the Influence") which features a blazing, Jimi Hendrix-like uillean pipes solo by Davy Spillane.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jul 03 - 03:34 PM

Love this song, but I am not mad on Christy Moore's version.

I do feel a bit uncomfortable about the words sometimes, and I had a laugh at some of the comments above !

Ride on, though, eh ?


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: vectis
Date: 30 Jul 03 - 07:45 PM

16 1 or 2 is the height of the horse measured in hands of 4inches to the hand. The measurement is from the ground to the withers ( the bump where the neck and the body meet).


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Jul 03 - 07:59 PM

That's a big horse, but they come bigger. Here is a page which gves an idea.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GMT
Date: 31 Jul 03 - 04:07 AM

I used to do 'Black is the Colour' then drift into 'Ride On' seemed like a nice blend to me, but that's me.

Cheers Gary


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST,Cork
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 02:05 PM

Very indept insight into Ride On!! Well done lads, i used to just sing
it and hope no one asked me what the hell it was about!!! Now i know!!


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: UB Ed
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 02:49 PM

Isn't "ride" slang for another act between consenting adults?


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 20 Aug 03 - 11:30 AM

this from here http://www.ruaworld.com/lyricsrideon.htm

Ride On

Music & Lyrics by Jimmy MacCarthy (Universal Music Publishing UK)
Arranged & Orchestrated by Gloria Mulhall
Language: English.


In the words of Jimmy MacCarthy himself;

"...purely and simply, it is a song of parting. The parting of lovers, the parting of emigrants from their homeland and friends, the parting when illness or accident takes the life of a loved one ... Life is hard. Ride On."

Extract taken from 'Ride On in Song and Story' by Jimmy MacCarthy © Jimmy MacCarthy 2002. Published by TownHouse Dublin

True you ride the finest horse, I have ever seen,
Standing sixteen, one or two, with eyes wild and green,
You ride the horse so well, hands light to the touch,
I could never go with you no matter how I wanted to.

Ride on, see ya, I could never go with you
No matter how I wanted to.

When you ride into the night without a trace behind,
Run the claw along my gut, one last time.
I turn to face an empty space where once you used to lie,
And smile for the spark that lights the night
Through a teardrop in my eye.

Ride on, see ya, I could never go with you
No matter how I wanted to.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST,ruamusic@eircom.net
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 08:13 PM

great to see that the real meaning is included! We've just recorded the song and in my humble opinion it is one of the greats. "Some people may think that I just throw paint at the canvas, but there is an exactitude and detail in the placing of every word and phrase until I am satisfied that the lyric is absolutely watertight" - Jimmy MacCarthy writing on lyrics. I enjoyed every second I spent working on it and only hope I've done it justice in my arrangement.

Gloria Mulhall
Rua


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Cllr
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 08:23 PM

best version of this IMHO is by Steve Hunt now living down in the cornwall area the passion behind the lyrics and presentation style by Mr hunt just made it "oh good this is a great song" sort of moment. I realise this doesnt add much to the debate but I do like it 8-)Cllr


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST,Chris M
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 04:06 PM

I read somewhere that's it's about the 'struggles'.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Oct 03 - 10:05 AM

The 16 I think refers to the height of the horse measured in Hands
:->


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Oaklet
Date: 15 Oct 03 - 10:56 AM

I thought it was a tribute to the most labour-saving of all the types of lawnmower.


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Subject: RE: Christie Moore
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 03:58 PM

Hello!

Does anybody have the notes of Christie Moore's "Ride On"?

Thanks very much, best wishes from Munich, Germany,
Florian (fwalzer@gmx.de)


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST,Holly
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 12:20 AM

What if the song is "sung by a horse" whose mistress has ridden off on some powerful new stallion (I know that stallions are not meant to be ridden, but it makes a good image...and innuendo) The "claw" could be spurs, while the "where you used to lie" could be the old horse's back or a place in the hay for the beloved mistress on long nights in the stable. "I could never go with you no matter how I wanted to" is the old horse's lament at having been sold to the glue factory...c'mon, use your imagination! It's a great song, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: ducksy
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 06:54 PM

Is it true that                               Jimmy MacCarthy used to be a apprentice jockey and now owns a stud farm in County Wicklow?.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 May 04 - 03:52 PM

Just passing through...

I think the interpreters should consider that perhaps this is written from the feminine point of view.

The rider might be male - the usual pun, but many female riders would not prefer a horse of this size, and the remark about light hands - as a mark of surprised assessment is more likely to be made of a male rider than a female. Women usually have lighter hands (Princess Anne excepted).

Comparably the reaction to the thumbnail from above the hipbone towards the groin is I think more characteristic of the female sexual response than the male.

Again, it is more usually the female who is constrained by social circumstance to remain behind and not to roam.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST
Date: 17 May 04 - 03:58 PM

the authors comments are above. Perhaps people should read them.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 May 04 - 04:08 PM

Did that.

You object to the possibility of insight, guest?

Or think authors always tell all?

Blithering idiot.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Pogo
Date: 17 May 04 - 10:18 PM

The first time I had ever heard it played at all (and the only version I am familiar with) was by Steve Caroll and the Bograts and they played it in a Irish pub themed resturaunt. It was bodhran, mandolin(? I think?) and guitar and I was probably the only sober one listening |OD But man they went off on an incredible riff with the bodhran and it completely blew me away...the version I have on my CD is pale in comparison, definitely one of those life-pausing moments when the music gets in your blood. I've loved the song ever since.

The mention of the horse with green eyes always makes me think that's its a fairy mistress who's had her little fling with a mortal guy and then takes off to the fairy world again, a sort of Belle Dame Sans Merci (sp?) leaving him to pine away and die hence the claw along my gut line.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Strupag
Date: 18 May 04 - 04:12 PM

Hi guest
"Date: 17 May 04 - 03:58 PM

the authors comments are above. Perhaps people should read them."

What do you mean by that?
Has Jimmy MacArthur contributed to this thread or what?


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 04 - 04:23 PM

see the qoute posted by bill Kennedy


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 May 04 - 04:25 PM

Father Ted and Dougal's inimitable Eurovision song contest entry on the subject of horses is a a rather devastatating parody of this song. Or if not technically a parody, perhaps a homage.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST
Date: 19 May 04 - 05:02 AM

I see it as a night visiting song with an emotional take rather than a narrative take. To me the rider is a man and the singer is a woman constrained by duty, race, custom, family, W.H.Y.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 19 May 04 - 05:38 AM

Wait a minute, you can't fool me. Horses don't have hands.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST,Chris Murray
Date: 20 May 04 - 05:37 AM

When we were last in Ireland we got chatting to a man in a pub (a very rare sight - a man in a pub in Ireland) and he told us that it's about 'the troubles' and pro-IRA. He seemed to think that the joke is on the English as we enjoy it without realising the deeper significance, like so many of the songs that Christy Moore sings. According to him, Jimmy MacCarthy's comments are there to pull the wool over our eyes. Bearing in mind Christy's liking for singing songs with a hidden political meaning, this wouldn't surprise me at all.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Noreen
Date: 20 May 04 - 05:56 AM

I think the joke is on the English if you believe what this 'man in a pub' said, Chris. I'm sure he knows that the English are only too keen to believe that everything in Ireland has a hidden meaning relating to 'the troubles' and the IRA.

I am absolutely sure that there are far more Irish love songs that have nothing to do with 'the troubles' and the IRA than those that do.


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Big Mick
Date: 20 May 04 - 12:08 PM

That is pure rubbish. It is a love song, pure and simple.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: Amos
Date: 20 May 04 - 01:09 PM

Love is rarely either, Big Mick. But I sure agree with your point of view about the song.

A


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Subject: RE: Ride On/Christy Moore
From: GUEST,Gloria
Date: 18 Jul 04 - 08:44 PM

I guess it will mean whatever who reads the lyrics takes it to mean. To me though, the author's thoughts are more than an 'interpretation', they are the true meaning of the song and worthy of more than a passing nod.


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