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Help: Origins of Carrickfergus

DigiTrad:
CARRICKFERGUS


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GUEST,Veronica 26 Mar 10 - 02:08 AM
GUEST,Billy Finn 09 Mar 10 - 03:19 PM
MartinRyan 19 Jan 10 - 10:32 AM
GUEST,Aingaelainn Ní Dhochartaigh 19 Jan 10 - 05:59 AM
GUEST 19 Dec 09 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Kevin Prior 01 Sep 09 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Roy McLean 20 Aug 09 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,GUEST, Roy McLean 16 Aug 09 - 07:20 PM
GUEST 26 Apr 09 - 04:23 PM
GUEST 20 Mar 09 - 07:52 AM
GUEST,Jeff 18 Mar 09 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,kevin Prior 01 Aug 08 - 07:02 PM
GUEST,Andrés García 12 Jul 08 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,meself 09 Jun 08 - 05:19 PM
GUEST 09 Jun 08 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,Jim 09 Jun 08 - 02:36 PM
Big Al Whittle 15 Mar 08 - 04:05 AM
GUEST,Greycap 14 Mar 08 - 09:32 PM
GUEST,Annessia Capps 14 Mar 08 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,Annessia Capps 14 Mar 08 - 08:53 PM
Reiver 2 14 Mar 08 - 04:25 PM
Big Tim 14 Mar 08 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Annessia Capps 14 Mar 08 - 12:37 PM
GUEST 06 Dec 07 - 12:02 AM
GUEST 16 Jul 07 - 08:08 AM
GUEST,Billy Finn, Ballyshannon 10 Jul 07 - 08:42 PM
MartinRyan 05 Jul 07 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,Billy Finn, Ballyshannon 04 Jul 07 - 07:54 PM
MartinRyan 29 Jun 07 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,LiamA 29 Jun 07 - 06:06 AM
GUEST,California Will 28 Jun 07 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,Mark 26 Jun 07 - 08:53 AM
GUEST,Mark 24 Jun 07 - 06:41 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Jun 07 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Billy Finn, Ballyshannon 21 Jun 07 - 09:06 PM
GUEST,Elvis 11 Oct 06 - 02:29 PM
GUEST 30 Sep 06 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,Elvis 30 Sep 06 - 10:56 PM
Effsee 25 Jun 06 - 08:10 PM
Willa 25 Jun 06 - 05:44 PM
Effsee 25 Jun 06 - 01:56 PM
MartinRyan 25 Jun 06 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 08 Mar 06 - 03:56 AM
MMario 07 Mar 06 - 02:57 PM
GUEST,dobby 07 Mar 06 - 02:54 PM
MartinRyan 26 Feb 06 - 01:55 PM
Little Robyn 25 Feb 06 - 05:03 PM
Hrothgar 17 Feb 06 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,tmalone@bu.edu 16 Feb 06 - 05:47 PM
MartinRyan 19 Dec 05 - 12:09 PM
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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Veronica
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 02:08 AM

Wow! Such dedicated people! I'm doing an essay on this song for one of my first year University subjects, and this site was such a well of information (even if it did sort of kill my printer!) Thankyou all for being so interested in this song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Billy Finn
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 03:19 PM

Still not really solved. It is a bit like the Turin Shroud...probably we will never know for sure.
Billy Finn.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: MartinRyan
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 10:32 AM

I think THIS is the song Laisirfhiona sings. If so, it's normally sung to another tune and has, I think, no connection to the Carrickfergus/Do bhi bean uasail family.

Regards

p.s. a sample HERE


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Aingaelainn Ní Dhochartaigh
Date: 19 Jan 10 - 05:59 AM

Hi

I think we need to have a look at An Gleanntán Uaigneach, Lasairfhíona Ní Chonaola collected this from her Grandmother in the Aran Isles.

I believe this song could have been originally in Gaelic, then fused with English after.

There is a link on Lasairfhiona's website for the lyrics but it doesn't work, probably because there's a fádá in the title.

I asked once for the lyrics but never got a response. I could try again. If I translate them there may be a bit more info to work from.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 10:24 AM

Master McGrath was a champion Greyhound that beat all the English champions


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Kevin Prior
Date: 01 Sep 09 - 05:43 PM

Just a note. Luke Kelly turned up at a folk club I was at in St Albans in the early 60s. he sang a few songs, one of which was 'A Ballad of Master MgGrath'. At the conclusion of his singing he held up a book, which was 'Irish Street Ballads' published by Colm O Lochlainn in Dublin, and told the audience that it was one of the main sources for his songs. The last line of the song (as in the book was 'Three cheers for old Ireland says Master MgGrath'. i heard the other version later.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Roy McLean
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 02:44 PM

On reading it over again I think my post above is rather unfortunately worded towards the end when I start going on a bit about the Dubliners. I seem to be accusing them of being bigots. This seems on reflection to be a bit unfair and I apologise for it. The point I am trying to make is that sometimes the Dubliners seem to be giving support, albeit inadvertently, to those bigots who like to proclaim that only those who are catholic and republican are really Irish. As far as I am concerned an Ulster Orangeman (which I am not by the way) is as Irish as someone in the Ancient Order Of Hibernians. The only difference between the Orangeman and the Hibernian, is that the Orangeman's ancestors fought the English twice - in the American war of Independence and in the Ulster Rebellion of 98! It is time we accepted that within Ireland there are two main traditions and got on with it, if only for the sake of our children! I believe each of these traditions has a right to have its music and other cultural output respected,recorded and recognised as being an intrinsic part of its essential Irishness. This is especially important as the musical tradition in the north from Antrim and Down across to Donegal is so rich and unique. At the moment this is not happening. Very few "protestant" songs are recorded by the main Irish folk groups. I can only remember two - "The Old Orange Flute" and "Roddy McCorley" out of hundreds! Sadly, for many people Ireland rather than the Republic stops at the border.

At the time of my last post, I was a liittle worked up as I had been having an argument with my friend Finn who maintained that "Master Magrath" was a republican song from Dublin. He based this largely on the fact that it ended with the words, "Up the Republic called Master Magrath". I was explaining to him that "Magrath" was a northern song written by a guy in Lurgan as far as I know, about a largely non political, Northern sporting experience and that the Dubliners had taken it upon themselves for whatever reason to change the last line and insert the reference to the Republic. What I call, "The pissing dog syndrome"!


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,GUEST, Roy McLean
Date: 16 Aug 09 - 07:20 PM

To Martin Ryan,
Sorry I havent managed to turn up anything really new about "Carrickfergus". Just all the old stuff about macaronics, "The Young Sick Lover", etc, etc. The problem is that most of the singers I come across are strictly "oral", ie. they do not keep written music of any kind, but just pass on songs orally between each other as part of the local folk tradition. However, I had/have extensive family connections in the Carrickfergus area and have turned up a few interesting points.

Firstly, just across Belfast Lough from Carrickfergus is the village of Ballygrot near Helen's Bay. This is an ancient place with a old hill fort. More importantly for the origins of the song, is the fact that local people tend to refer to it as, "Ballygrat" or Ballygrant", the GROT ending being far too germanic for the local tongue. Locals quite naturally assume the character in the song is fanatasising about crossing Belfast Lough from Carrickfergus to Ballgrat/Ballygrant to see his childhood sweetheart one last time. Interestingly, long ago there used to be local boat races from Carrick to Ballygrat. It seems to me that Ballygrat is more plausible for inclusion in the song than the often cited Ballygrant in Islay, Scotland, though many people do feel that the song has a distinct Scottish flavour. There are stories about homesick Scots mercenary soldiers many hundreds of whom must have passed through Carrickfergus over the centuries.

Secondly, I remember my grandmother, who was from Carrickfergus, talking about going to a place called Ballygrant as a child and her fond memories of it. It was as if it were a special place where local children played, so it would not have been across the lough. However, despite checking I can not find any place called Ballygrant on the Carrick side of the lough.

My own personal feeling is that this song is a mixture of different songs.

To Finn,
Sorry friend, the last line of the original Master Magrath is "Three cheers for ould Ireland" or "Good luck to ould Ireland" or something like that. There was no mention of "The Republic" which of course didnt come into existence until much later. Im afraid it was yet another cheap shot by the Dubliners who were not content with the noble, inclusive sentiment embodied in the phrase "Ould Ireland" and instead replaced it with the devisive and semi-sectarian "Republic". They were probably pissed off that Lord Lurgan(the owner and backer of Master Magrath) was a protestant Ulsterman, though like my protestant grandfathers he was no doubt proud to call himself an Irishman before the Dubliners and other bigots started telling people that only those who were republican and catholic were really Irish! By the way, it also should be, "she is the belle of Belfast City" as any songwriter worth his salt can tell you. Dubliners at it again. Just sing it over to yourself a few times - "Dublin" just doesnt sound right! You need the juxta-positioning between "Belle" and "Belfast" to make it really work.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 09 - 04:23 PM

The Irish Rover LP actually came first in '60, Ireland Sings in '66. So what Domo you're calling a variation or inversion is actually the first recording we have. Was this the tune related to Behan by O'Toole -- it would seem so as Behan credits O'Toole on the LP. If that's the case was it indeed O'Riada who put the lyrics to the tune we now associate with the song sometime between the Behan recording in '60 and the Clancy's '64?


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Mar 09 - 07:52 AM

Hi Jeff,
Dominic Behan recorded 2 versions of "Kerry Boatman" The first version on his l/P "Ireland Sings" has the same melody as thecommon version by the likes of the Clancy Brothers. The version on his L/P "The Irish Rover" is a variation, or inversion, of the origional melody, not really a different tune. Most posts on this topic concentrate on the lyrics, and related lyrics. The very same melody is used for a song called "An Gleanntan Uaigneach (The Lonely Valley), the lyrics of which are totally unrelated. Lasairfhiona Ni Chonaola has recorded this on her CD "Flame of Wine" and tells us she learned the song from her grandmother,Peige Bean Ui Chonaola of Inishmaan, the Aran Islands. So,did this tune origionally come from the Aran Islands or did the Islanders import it from the mainland?
It's a pity I did'nt know she recorded this when I went to see her perform last year.
                                     Domo


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Jeff
Date: 18 Mar 09 - 11:50 PM

I don't know if anyone is still out there but there are still a couple of holes in this history I wonder if anyone can help with.

First, as Billy Finn inquired almost two years ago here, is the Dominic Behan recording of "The Kerry Boat Song", recorded in 1960, the same tune as that later credited to O`Riada?? I finally have located a copy of the LP which should be in the mail shortly so I guess I'll be able to report if no one else can answer. Unfortunately it will be a couple of months before I'll be able to get my hands on the LP to listen to it.

And second, has anyone been able to tie down the respective contributions of Richard Harris/Peter O'Toole to the version performed by Behan? Would be nice to know and pehaps Mr. O'Toole still recollects.

Jeff


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,kevin Prior
Date: 01 Aug 08 - 07:02 PM

There is a ballad sheet in the Bodleian Library (accessed online), the words of which seem to be largely an amalgam of the songs which we know as Carrickfergus and Peggy Gordon. With some additional general purpose verses. It is dated as between 1780 and 1830. I cannot make out all the words, but those whch I can are below.

Bodleian Library
allegro Catalogue of Ballads

Copies: Harding B 25(894

I'm often drunk And Seldom Sober

Printed and sold by B. Walker near the Duke's
Palace, Norwich

MANY cold winters nights I've travelled,
Until my locks were wet with dew,
And don't you think I am to blame,
For changing old love for new.

Chorus
I'm often drunk and seldom sober
I am a rover in every degree
When I'm drunking I'm often thinking
How shall I gain my love's company.

The seas are deep and I cannot wade them
Neither have I wings to fly
I wish I had some little boat
To carry over my love and I.

I leaned my back against an oak
Thinking it had been some trusty tree
At first it bent and then it broke
And so my lover proved to me.

In London City ????? ?????
The streets are paved with marble stones
And my love she ??? ??? ??????
As ever trod on London ground

I wish I was in Dublin city
As far as e'er my eye could see
Or else across the briny ocean
Where no false love can follow me.

If love is handsome and love is pretty
And love its charming when first its new
So as love grows older it grows bolder
But fades away like the morning dew

I laid my head on a cask of brandy
It was my fancy I declare
For when I'm drinking I'm always thinking
How I shall gain my loves company

There is two nags in my fathers stable
They prick their ears when they hear the hounds
And my true love is as clever a young women
As ever trod on England's ground

You silly sportsmen leave off your courting
I'll say no more till I have drank
For when I'm dead it will be all over
I hope my friends will bury me


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Andrés García
Date: 12 Jul 08 - 06:24 PM

I find the song absolutely great, I play it with my guitar and my fiddle. How interesting was to find the origin of the song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 05:19 PM

"Outside of the traditional aisling theme, the words don't make a lot of sense."

Not to you, apparently. I don't know anything about the "aisling theme', but I find the poem quite moving - and the words to make a great deal of sense ...


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 03:39 PM

FWIW Peadar O Riada used to have a reference on his website under the section where he speaks of melodies composed by his father with the purpose of letting them drift off into the mainstream where he said they smiled, whenever Carrickfergus was played on the radio, at the thought of the royalties that could have been collected.

That reference is not there any more as far as I can see but may be worth pursuing.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 02:36 PM

The song sounds to me like an English translation of an Aisling
Ireland portrayed as a lost love
Outside of the traditional aisling theme, the words don't make a lot of sense.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 15 Mar 08 - 04:05 AM

This is what I said on this thread in 2004 and nobody found the poem I was talking about . However I did ask on the Liam Clancy message board and I got the answer:-

"probably I should remain silent with all this scholasticism(not even sure if thats a word!) in this thread.

However if I may pass on my own observations.

A couple of years ago I saw the Clancys do this on video. they prefaced it with an Irish poem, and it made their reading of it very clear. Afterwards I e-mailed Liam and he gave me the poem which was from the penguin Book of Irish poetry.

The song is about a drunkard who has been robbed of his capacity to act - go and see his love - maybe she's across the water - but more probably the gulf is because of what the drink has done to him. the marble stones black as ink are his future headstone. Togeteher the poem and the song was as stark and and intense as anything Robert Johnson achieved (and I love the work of RJ).

The Clancys were often accused of minstrelsy and offering a shobizzed up view of Irish music. But their reading of that particular song was a masterpiece of theatre."


HIGH AND LOW

He stumbled home from Clifden fair
With drunken song, and cheeks aglow.
Yet there was something in his air
That told of kingship long ago.
I sighed -- and inly cried
With grief that one so high should fall so low.

He snatched a flower and sniffed its scent,
And waved it toward the sunset sky.
Some old sweet rapture through him went
And kindled in his bloodshot eye.
I turned -- and inly burned
With joy that one so low should rise so high.

-- James H. Cousins


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 09:32 PM

all the intellectual stuff aside, a great song and tune, isn't it?
I learned it from my Irish wife, who does a belting job on it. Luckily for me, I can play guitar(which she can't) so I do it from time to time on request.
I stayed a week as Dominic Behan's house guset in the mid-60's with Dave Brady, but never did find out any info on this lovely song.
Roger Knowles


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Annessia Capps
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 08:54 PM

Excuse the misspelling or "Orla" Fallon's name in the last post


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Annessia Capps
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 08:53 PM

I love the version sung by Oral Fallon (celtic woman) but i did not realize that there were so many questions about the song or so many differening versions and lyrics. It seems there is always someone out there trying to "make it better". Putting the music to the lyrics was a beautiful match up but I wish people would have left the lyrics alone. I have found so many differing versions it is hard to tell what the original lyrics might have been. I wonder if even the The Young Sick Lover is in its original form now that I have seen the corruption of those lyrics as well.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Reiver 2
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 04:25 PM

The notes on Carrickfurgus in "Folksongs and Ballads Popular in Ireland" (Vol.I) just say, "A very evocative old song; parts of the lyrics can be found in the folksongs of most English-speaking countries. 'The Water Is Wide' is an English/Scots version which is also known in America." This raises the question, why only English-speaking countries? Is is possible that similar lyrics or sentiments exist in the folk traditions of non-English-speaking countries?

The Joan Baez songbook has this note for "The Water is Wide." "Originally part of a long Scots ballad, 'Lord Jamie Douglas,' all that remains are these few verses which constitute the emotional core of that ballad. Most singers know it in another form as 'Waly, Waly,' by which title it was known as far back as the early 18th century. It remains one of the most beautiful and evocative of all British lyric folksongs." "Lord Jamie Douglas" is not in the Digitrad. Nor do I find it in Child's "English and Scottish Popular Ballads." Child ballad #204, is titled "Jamie Douglas," but I can't see any resemblance to Carrickfergus, The Water Is Wide or Waly,Waly. That led me to think that "Lord Jamie Douglas" and Child's "Jamie Douglas are not the same.

But hold everything!! "The Viking Book of Folk Ballads of the English-Speaking World," (Albert B Friedman, ED., Viking Press, 1956), has this notation for "Jamie Douglas": "In 1681, after eleven years of marriage, James, Marquis of Douglas, head of the great Scottish family. formally 'put aside' his wife. The ballad of 'Jamie Douglas' registers the marchioness's complaint against James Lockhart of Blackwood (in reality William Lawrie, called Blackwood), whom she accuses of having maliciously alienated her husband from her. The ballad's dramatic first-person style deserves comment, but of greater interest is the curious connection between 'Jamie Douglas' and the lyric complaint, 'Waly, Waly, But Love Be Bonny'. As many as four stanzas of the lyric have infiltrated certain versions of the ballad. Since the lyric is so much more smoothly integrated than the ballad, one deduces that this moving lament of an abandoned girl about to become a mother is the older song. Seemingly the girl's situaation was so much like that of the discarded marchioness that borrowing was inevitable."

An interesting thing here is that the "Waly, Waly" expression appears in two stanzas of Version B but not at all in Version A (which is the only version in Child's book). Version B makes no mention of Jamie Douglas or "Blackwood." (There are a few lines in the two versions that ARE the same, but only a few.) Also, the girl in Version B, although no longer "a maid" appears to be childless (in the last stanza she laments, "if my young babes were born," while in the final stanza of Version A the marchioness says, "Fare thee well, Jamie Douglas! Be kind to the three babes I've born to thee." Version A is, thus a ballad based on actual persons, while in Version B the individuals are either un-named, unknown or fictitious.

It would seem that in many instances the supposed "links" between songs are very tenuous, sometimes involving only the borrowing of a line or two of the lyric or a reference to a similar situation or expression. I'm not sure if the "borrowing" of a single line or two can properly be considered evidence for a "source" of an entire song or ballad. Anyway, I doubt if this clarifies anything about "Carrickfergus," but may be of some interest to some researchers of "original" sources. And, oh, yes - if the song is based on "Jamie Douglas" it's older even than Peter O'Toole! ;-)

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Big Tim
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 01:37 PM

The Young Sick Lover is definitely an early version of Carrickfergus as I've just checked my copy of the original ballad sheet by Haly, Printer, Hanover-Street, CORK. However, it doesn't mention Ballygrand. I think that the Clancy brothers may well have invented the name. It certainly isn't an Irish townland name. Ballycastle is a well known, fair-sized town in north Antrim. I don't think that it has anything to do with Ballygrand or Carrickfergus.

The music given by Behan in his book 'Ireland Sings' looks quite different from the music for Carrickfergus, but as I can't read music I can't say for sure.

If anyone who can read music wants to PM me an email address, I will send them the music for both songs.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Annessia Capps
Date: 14 Mar 08 - 12:37 PM

I have read a lot of the threads on this subject of Carrickfergus. The last thing I read was a thread from John Moulden, Someone named Henry, Phillipa, among other and they came up with a song called The Young Sick Lover that dated back to 1840 I believe. I am unsure if the tune is the same but words are almost exact. Everyone calls this song a love song but reading all the very many differing versions and verses I tend to feel that it is a song of love for country and wanting to go home to die. I have never found a Ballygrand while looking for it but the closest I have found is a cemetery called Bally Castle cemetery. Could the grand be a separate word describing the cemetery as being grand?


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Dec 07 - 12:02 AM

It is is all that I know, an Ed Reavy tribute and tune. His fiddle tune. . .

JFG


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jul 07 - 08:08 AM

My final thoughts on the matter.
In this thread, we learn that Dominic Behan sang a version of Carrickfergus called The Kerry Boatman in 1963 and this featured on his LP The Irish Rover.
Well, if the 1963 version has the same melody as that which features on O` Riada sa Gaiety (1969), it is then less likely that O` Riada composed it.
Can anyone come forward to confirm if the melody on Behan`s song and the melody on the version in O`Riada sa Gaiety are one and the same?
The Irish Rover album is very difficult to locate...I haven`t heard Behan`s song.
It`s amazing that those close to O`Riada cannot clear the matter up once and for all.
Billy Finn


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Billy Finn, Ballyshannon
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 08:42 PM

The sleeve note on Do bhi bean uasal (There was a lady) also known as Carrickfergus on O Riada sa Gaiety reads as follows
`Track 8 melody composed by Sean O`Riada ; inspiration taken from a traditional tune`.
So, somebody has definitely decided that O`Riada composed the melody.
Was the `traditional tune` mentioned in the blurb The Waters are Wide? This song does sound like a simpler version of the Carrickfergus air.
Billy Finn


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: MartinRyan
Date: 05 Jul 07 - 05:54 AM

I would happily take Nicholas's word for it!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Billy Finn, Ballyshannon
Date: 04 Jul 07 - 07:54 PM

So, I repeat, could people like Sean O Se, Eamon De Buitlear, Paddy Molony or O`Riada biographer Tomas O Canainn confirm if the melody for Carrickfergus was composed by Sean O`Riada? On the sleeve notes of the updated version of the 1969 album O Riada sa Gaiety, O `Riada is named as composer of the melody of the Carrickfergus. So, could somebody come forward and clear up the mystery? Nicholas Carolan is fairly sure that O`Riada composed the melody in the 1960`s.
Billy Finn


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 07:43 AM

LiamA

Neatly summarised! The balladsheet is usually titled "The Young Sick Lover", as mentioned earlier. How confident are you about the 1960's origins of the tune? I'm inclined to agree but am open to persuasion either way!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,LiamA
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 06:06 AM

Hello all,

Interesting discussion here. As far as I can see, the title Do Bhí Bean Uasal [There Was A Lady] is from an 18th century macaronic ballad sheet, where verses in Irish (Gaelic) and English intertwine. The actual melody itself, although similar to "The Water is Wode" is not older than the 1960's. But the words themselves, in the Irish version are quite old.
"Do bhí bean uasal" is recorded as one of the best early examples of macaronic ballads in Ireland. Ó Riadas compilation includes this song (Ó Riada sa Gaiety) and it is a fine example of the Irish traditional music revival that occured from the 1960's onwards with the development of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,California Will
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 06:26 PM

Well, lads and coleens...you'll be after needin' some help with Irish history here, I see.

#1. Carrickfergus was the headquarters of the Scots-English army brought over to "pacify" the rowdy folk of Ulster and elsewhere, ya see.
#2. Kilkenny was the place where the Statutes of Kilkenny (i.e. "But in Kilkenny, the laws are written...") originated. These statutes prohibited Irish being spoken or Irish to intermarry with English or Scots. So, a love between one and t'other would have been prohibited, no matter how much gold and silver he had to "support her."
#3. Hence, the tale is one of some poor Irish lad probably in love with an English or Scots soldier's daughter. His "childhood friends and close relations" have likely been slain or immigrated away, and also likely he may have been a "rebel" and is "on the run," a vagabond wandering with no home, and a whiskey monkey on his back. Poor lad.

Hope this helps!


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 08:53 AM

Sorry I took down the last youtube clip.
The audio on this version is better

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_RMKkzJoJM


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 24 Jun 07 - 06:41 AM

Can't help any with the origins of the song but I've just posted a great version of Carrickfergus on youtube. I'm biased I know as he plays in a band with me, but it's really worth a listen to Robbie's beautiful voice.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUKgtUzzXUw


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 01:43 PM

So Elvis sends off a query arising out of this thread, and back comes the answer citing this thread as a possible place to look for the answer...

I love that - it's like something out of a story. Or a song.

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I've seen that road before
It always leads me here...


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Billy Finn, Ballyshannon
Date: 21 Jun 07 - 09:06 PM

Surely Eamon De Buitlear, Sean O`Se, Paddy Molony or any of Ceoltoiri
Cualann or the Chieftains could confirm if the melody for Carrickfergus was indeed composed by Sean O`Riada.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Elvis
Date: 11 Oct 06 - 02:29 PM

I really tried to!
Today I received an answer, and look:

Dear Elvis,
Thank you for taking the time to send in your query regarding "Carrighfergus".   Loreena is away from the office at this time, preparing for the release of her new album next month, and so I haven't been able to discuss your query with her. I did a bit of research, though, and found this: http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=16707
Perhaps you will find something interesting in that discussion of the song.
Best regards,
Stacey.

Well, there is not an appropriated answer, but shows that this topic is really meaningfull! =)


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 11:05 PM

Maybe you could take care of that for us.?


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Elvis
Date: 30 Sep 06 - 10:56 PM

Absolutely fantastic this topic! Congratulations to you all!
Someone has e-mailed Loreena McKennitt asking from where she heard this song? =P


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Effsee
Date: 25 Jun 06 - 08:10 PM

Willa, I'm sorry I don't have any more details of John's source, he may have told me but it was a long time ago.......and strong drink had been taken! Where did you hear it from? Maybe this should be added to the DT ?


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Willa
Date: 25 Jun 06 - 05:44 PM

Effsee
I do sing the version with your second verse-it makes more sense to me that way.Do you have any more details of John Doonan's source?


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Subject: Lyr Add: CARRICKFERGUS
From: Effsee
Date: 25 Jun 06 - 01:56 PM

Since this thread popped up, I had a look in the Digitrad at the lyrics and I realised it was different from a version given to me by the late John Doonan in the early eighties. He always thought that there was something missing in the tale and his researches in Ireland had discovered two new verses(at that time). So, essentially the same as DT but now with a new verse 2:-

CARRICKFERGUS

I wish I was in Carrickfergus,
Only for nights in Ballygrant
I would swim over the deepest ocean,
Only for nights in Ballygrant,
But the sea is wide and I cannot swim over
Nor have I the wings to fly
I wish I could meet a handsome boatsman
To ferry me over, my love to find.

The night is dark, and the sky's uneasy,
The mighty ocean is tossed and wild,
When my true love, Bridget Vassey,
She crossed the ocean, left me behind.
Left me behind to count my losses,
And see my darling in every glass.
How sweet is loving, yet I am crying,
How long the dark night takes to pass.

My childhood days bring back sweet reflections
Of all those happy days of long ago,
My boyhood friends and kind relations
Have all passed on now like drifting snow.
I'll end my days an endless rover,
Soft is the grass, my bed is free.
Ah, to be back now in Carrickfergus,
On that lonesome road, down to the sea.

But in Kilkenny, it is reported,
They have marble stones there, as black as ink
With gold and silver I did support her,
But I'll sing no more 'till I get a drink.
I'm drunk today, and I'm seldom sober,
A handsome rover from town to town,
Ah, but I'm sick now, my days are numbered,
Come all you young men and lay me down.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Jun 06 - 01:24 PM

Uh oh!


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 08 Mar 06 - 03:56 AM

There's a Ballygrant on Islay, not Ballygrand.

"Young men" appears to be a modern invention. The line in "Young Sick Lover" ballad sheet is "come Molly astore (love, darling) and lay me down".

I suspect that the Clancy Brothers changed the lyrics quite a bit, as they did with many other songs, and this is the basis of most versions that we hear.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: MMario
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 02:57 PM

"handsome" is obselete synonym for "handy"

the "come all ye young men and lay me down" is (I'm told) a reference to pallbearers and burial


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,dobby
Date: 07 Mar 06 - 02:54 PM

Balllygrand is on the isle of islay, which would explain the nights in ballygrand and not ballygran ( LIMERICK). Ballygrand is directly north of Northern Ireland...i would swim over...
I GET a bit confused about the gender of the composer...in one moment he/she is saying ..i would find me a handsome boatman to ferry me over...then says my boyhood friends...also.. a handsome rover from town to town.....also then come all ye young men and lay me down.? was he gay? a tart? tomboy? curiousity. ps I am from Carrickfergus and singin it this saturday night...carolyn dobbin


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: MartinRyan
Date: 26 Feb 06 - 01:55 PM

Not yet! Haven't been in touch with him lately - but will do so at some stage
Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Little Robyn
Date: 25 Feb 06 - 05:03 PM

Did MartinRyan ever contact Nicholas? Any answer yet?
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Hrothgar
Date: 17 Feb 06 - 05:59 AM

Been reminded recently of this verse (sung as a second verse), fromthe singing of Theo Bosch in the 1960s:

I lay me down here beside the waer,
Alone I'll rest me in my grief and woe
And if there's no-one who will assist me
Throughout this country I alone will go.
I'll go a-roving all through this nation
Through Meath and Connaught and County Down
Through Clare and Mayo to the County Wexford
Ah, but I'm weary now, so I'll lay me dowm

Now, in Kilkenny ...... etc.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,tmalone@bu.edu
Date: 16 Feb 06 - 05:47 PM

Thanks for the background of this great tune.

I am researching a variant of the tune in American Shape-note tunebooks.

Does anyone hear C'fergus in the below tune? It is noted in 1850's.

PARTING FRIENDS (the author says he learned the air from his mother)

http://www.pilgrimproduction.org/sacredharp/rockymt1996/music/29.mp3

or this one It is noted in 1844.

FULFILLMENT
http://www.pilgrimproduction.org/sacredharp/maquoketa/music/21.mp3


I also have one more from 1805.

i would love your thoughts and feedback on the possible relationship of these tunes.

All the Best,

Tom Malone
Boston University
www.SingIngalls.org
tmalone@bu.edu


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: MartinRyan
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 12:09 PM

Ard Mhaca

I know Nicholas well - and will ask if there's a connection, when I get a chance.

Regards


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