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Help: Origins of Carrickfergus

DigiTrad:
CARRICKFERGUS


Related threads:
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Shape-note tune and Carrickfergus? (12)
(origins) Origins: Carrighfergus (2) (closed)
Lyr Req: IrishSinger - Who?Kalilegus/Kilkenny/Ink (18)
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(origins) Lyr Add: Carrickfergus (full version?) (11) (closed)
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Seige of CarrickFergus-Capture of Carrickfergusby (11)


GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 19 Dec 05 - 08:16 AM
ard mhacha 19 Dec 05 - 05:26 AM
MartinRyan 18 Dec 05 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 18 Dec 05 - 01:58 PM
JedMarum 17 Dec 05 - 03:08 PM
ard mhacha 17 Dec 05 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,Philippa 17 Dec 05 - 10:15 AM
MartinRyan 17 Dec 05 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,Johnnyboy 29 Apr 05 - 09:44 PM
Fliss 29 Nov 04 - 04:58 PM
Tannywheeler 28 Nov 04 - 11:35 PM
Fergie 28 Nov 04 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,Betsy 10 Jul 04 - 10:40 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jul 04 - 04:07 AM
Big Tim 10 Jul 04 - 03:02 AM
Big Al Whittle 10 Jul 04 - 02:17 AM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Jul 04 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,Stewart G 09 Jul 04 - 03:05 AM
GUEST 06 Jul 04 - 09:55 AM
Joe Offer 06 Apr 04 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,KEVIN 06 Apr 04 - 12:49 PM
Joybell 16 Oct 03 - 06:59 PM
spikeis 16 Oct 03 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,Philippa 02 Aug 02 - 10:11 AM
GUEST 02 Aug 02 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Philippa 02 Aug 02 - 08:02 AM
Wolfgang 13 Jun 02 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,Jim McFaul 12 Jun 02 - 05:11 PM
michaelr 15 Jan 02 - 09:57 PM
Alice 09 Nov 01 - 10:41 PM
Moleskin Joe 21 Oct 00 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Ian M. 02 Oct 00 - 05:51 AM
Alice 17 Sep 00 - 12:30 AM
GUEST,Annraoi 28 May 00 - 09:11 PM
John in Brisbane 28 May 00 - 07:35 PM
Frank McGrath 28 May 00 - 07:07 PM
John Moulden 28 May 00 - 06:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 May 00 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,Annraoi 28 May 00 - 04:23 PM
John in Brisbane 28 May 00 - 08:50 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 07 Mar 00 - 02:36 PM
Rick Fielding 07 Mar 00 - 11:03 AM
Alice 06 Mar 00 - 03:42 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 06 Mar 00 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,Annraoi 01 Feb 00 - 03:33 PM
Brendy 01 Feb 00 - 12:44 AM
John in Brisbane 01 Feb 00 - 12:24 AM
alison 31 Jan 00 - 10:01 PM
GUEST,Neil Comer 31 Jan 00 - 05:18 PM
John Moulden 31 Jan 00 - 08:38 AM
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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 08:16 AM

Martin: dunno where from originally but he was living in Drumconrda Road, Dublin in 1920. His house was being used as a safe house by Sean Treacy and Dan Breen. It was raided; two Tans killed, Treacy and Breen escaped; Tans killed Prof Carolan in retaliation.
(I visited the house recently: now owned by a religious order).

I don't know at which Uni he was a Prof, or what his subject was.

PS something more relevant: I have a copy of "Young Sick Lover" ballad sheet. The posting of it by John Moulden is absolutely accurate (as you would expect).


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: ard mhacha
Date: 19 Dec 05 - 05:26 AM

Nicholas Carolan the presenter of, Come west along the road, is from County Louth.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 04:34 PM

Big Tim

Dunno - where was the Professor from?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 18 Dec 05 - 01:58 PM

A small aside, is Nicholas Carolan related to Professor Carolan who was murdered by the Black and Tans in 1920?


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: JedMarum
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 03:08 PM

Great stuff!

I love the song ... sing it frequently. It always surprises me when a boisterous, busy, rousing crowded pub reuests the song, and sings along. Music hath charm ...

"the Water is Wide" reference certainly places no demands on these two song be related though, in my opinion. Many songs use whole phrases from one another without there being a need for direct relation. Water is Wide tells a wholly different story, even though the passing thought of a wide gulf between you and your home/love may be commonly expressed in both songs.

Thanks to all for their research and thoughts on this great song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: ard mhacha
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 02:58 PM

Martin, I never miss this programme, Carolan come up with some great footage, Sean O`Se could have had a better accompianist.

Although I have been to many a session, I never ever heard the song until around the late 1960s.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 10:15 AM

the verse alleged to be by Gerry Fox is my favourite but is least frequently sung, perhaps because it is a recent addition


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: MartinRyan
Date: 17 Dec 05 - 08:21 AM

Nicholas Carolan, Director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive presents a TV show of archive material on Irish Music, mostly from early TV programs. Last night he played a clip of Sean O'Se singing Carrickfergus (outdoors, accompanied by a 5-row button accordion, but that's another story!) in 1983. He (Nicholas) remarked that while the words could be traced to a Cork broadside called "The Young Sick Lover", mentioned above, he could find out nothing about the tune! O'Se sang with Sean O'Riada's Ceoltoiri Cualann and Nicholas strongly suspected that O'Riada had written the tune, some time n the 1960's.
Interesting.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Johnnyboy
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 09:44 PM


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Fliss
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 04:58 PM

A irish musician friend of mine Gerry Fox says he wrote the following verse after a drinking session with Brendan Behan and Peter O'Toole.

My childhood days bring back sad reflection
Of happy times spent so long ago
My boyhood friends and my own relations
Have all passed on like melting snow
But I spend my days in endless roaming
Soft is the grass and my bed is free
Oh to be home now in Carrickfergus
On the long road down to the salty sea

Gerry is in his 70s and was in an irish group in the 50s & 60s. He plays fiddle and was an All Ireland CHampion in his youth.

Ill ask him about it when I next see him at a session.

slan
fliss


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Tannywheeler
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 11:35 PM

I always thought of the line as:

"To ferry me over, my love and I..."    Only from hearing the Clancy's version, not from looking it up.    Tw


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Fergie
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 08:31 PM

"And in Kilkenny it is recorded on marble stones there as black as ink".
In Kilkenny you will find a very dark grade of limestone that when polished takes on the appearance of black marble. Most of the older buildings are constructed from this limestone and many are dressed and inscribed, it was also favoured as material for making tombstones.

Fergus


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 10:40 AM

After all the wonderful effort everyone seems to have (enjoyably) expended on researching and sharing this thread - I hope this will give a different dimension to the matter and a wry smile may ( or may not ) be in order
I got this after a session last week from an English person who plays Irish Pipes :-

"When we were playing Carrickfergus I was trying to explain that (in my traditional version) there should be no rhythm on the accompaniment. Slow airs have long improvised pauses on the pipes. In versions like Van Morrison's of course there is no problem. I fear I may not have explained this very well since, when I am playing the pipes, it is hard to be diplomatic!"

I have been playing, accompanying and singing this song since I learned it ( I thought ) from the Clancy Brothers green book +/- 1965 and I was accompanying him on guitar using finger style at which I am competent - having played for many years now.
I am also one of those wierdos who never bought records, tapes or C.D.'s so have little knowledge of Mr.Morrisons efforts and I felt a bit Pee'd-off at this rebuff - in fact I thought it was quite rude.

As I said a different slant on the thread ........


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 04:07 AM

ah sorry big tim , you got rifling through me drawers, but I can't find that e-mail from Liam, and its on the last computer.

Maybe a Clancy's fan out there knows of which I speak.......it would be an impertinence to ask Liam again I suppose.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Big Tim
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 03:02 AM

Fair comment, wld. What was the name of the poem?


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 02:17 AM

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.

Like millions of others I used to watch Val Doonican every week on his tv show sing this song and I used to think he probably fancied himself in his fancy pullover - a handsome rover from town to town....

Like I say a pleb's eye view....


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 09:59 AM

I can't add anything useful on Carrickfergus, but there have been quite a few discussions here concerning The Water is Wide; probably the most comprehensive is Water Is Wide - First American Version.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Stewart G
Date: 09 Jul 04 - 03:05 AM

Quite an amazing thread ! I came upon it in trying to deduce connections of The Water is Wide (which I presume to be largely an American (?) adaptation and abbreviation) and the obviously Irish "Carrickfergus" >

Carrickfergus would seem then to be an amalgam of an early Gaelic melody and song with the later infiltration of English verses...)not an unusual occurrence) ....the definite wherabouts of Carrickfergus is obviously still open to conjecture (?) but from some of above posts it would seem the origins of the Gaelic song are likely from the south of Ireland rather than the north.The modern English versions have obviously travelled far and wide like many other celtic ballads)
(As a Scot, I know the Ballygrand place name has been assumed by some to be the district of Ballygrant on Isle of Islay, close to the Antrim coast but this can be seen as yet another geographical super-imposition and further corruption from the gaelic "baile cuain" )

Anyway would it be fair to speculate that the melody would perhaps precede any of lyrics in evidence and that at any rate both must be from early 18th Century ?


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jul 04 - 09:55 AM

I have been told it is as old as some instruments that are made, in ireland it dates back to when they imigrated (im sure) as they wish they was in carraigfergus "the original name" so they must not of been there, its a song about home.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 02:21 PM

Kevin, with all the threads we have on this song, we may have exhausted it. Most of the information, however, is in this thread. I found a version and a comment on the version buried in another thread. I thought I'd post them here, to keep things together. I closed off the "Carrickfergus" threads that didn't go anywhere, to avoid splitting the discussion too much.
-Joe Offer-
Thread #29963   Message #381683
Posted By: Nynia
24-Jan-01 - 08:53 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Carrickfergus (full version?)
Subject: Lyr Add: CARRICKFERGUS

Mary tells me that I sing more verses than are currently in the DT, so here's the version I sing. Most people seem to sing Van's shortened version these days.


CARRICKFERGUS.

I wish I had you in Carrickfergus
Only four nights in Ballygrand
I would swim over the deepest ocean
The deepest ocean to be by your side
But the water is wide I cannot get over
And neither have I wings to fly
Oh I wish I could find me a handy boatman
To ferry me over to my love and die

The night was dark and the sky uneasy
The mighty ocean was tossed and wild
When my own true love, sweet Bridget Vessey
She crossed the ocean and left me behind
Left me behind to count my losses
And see my sweet darling in every glass
How sweet is living, but yet I'm crying
How long the dark night, it takes to pass

My childhood days bring back sad reflection
Of happy times spent so long ago
My boyhood friends and my own relations
Have all passed on like melting snow
But I spend my days in endless roaming
Soft is the grass and my bed is free
Oh to be home now in Carrickfergus
On the long road down to the salty sea

And in Kilkenny it is reported
On marble stones 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 to the day and I'm seldom sober
A handsome rover from town to town
Oh but I am sick now and my days are numbered
So come all ye young men and lay me down

Twelve months from now in Carrickfergus
Enquire for me and you'll see my grave
The greenest turf in all of Ireland
Will cover me as I take my rest
My troubles done, my wandering over
I'll go no more, from town to town
I'm going home now to Carrickfergus
I'll get some young men to lay me down.

Nynia

Thread #29963   Message #382701
Posted By: GUEST,Annraoi
25-Jan-01 - 08:24 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Carrickfergus (full version?)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Carrickfergus (full version?)

Sorcha, indeed.
Carrickfergus is well discussed in former threads but the last word has not yet been said. The verses above quoted are non-traditional with the exception of one and four.
The earliest version was first recorded in ballad sheets from pre-Famine Ireland and was in both Irish and English. The latest examples collected in the field date from the 20th century and were also macaronic. In the re-popularisation of the song in the "revival" of the 1960's, the Irish verses were omitted, thus mutilating the song.

Annraoi


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,KEVIN
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 12:49 PM

G'day everyone!
Where have you all gone? Nothing since Oct '03?
I just watched the movie "The Matchmaker" and was greatly taken by a song sung in a contest in a pub in that movie. I found the song "Carrickfergus", and then found this site.
I cannot claim to have any knowledge of old Irish songs, but I really enjoy this music and have followed this thread from the first entry.
Please don't stop now!
Cheers,
Kevin


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Joybell
Date: 16 Oct 03 - 06:59 PM

Great work. Just wanted to add my thanks too. I'm a long way from those wonderful dusty old libraries, but my heart is there.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: spikeis
Date: 16 Oct 03 - 06:34 PM

I've just come back from my yearly jaunt to the emerald Isle, and met a very nice linguistics expert, whose hobby was ancient gaelic!! (whatever does it for you!!) And his twopenny worth is that the words are miss translated. The mysterious "Ballygran" is translated as - sort of "good home" -was the nearest he could explain, and the other reference to "In Kilkenny it is reported on marble stones there as black as ink" - is that it dates to the period where they were not allowed to practice their religion, and used to mark or lightly scribe the religious text on stone, so it could be "erased" when the need arose.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 10:11 AM

Of course, it is possible that Joyce's informant had learned the song from a broadsheet!


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 09:58 AM

And ""na bailtí m&#ra" should read "na bailtí móra" I must have forgotten to type 243 after &# (using the type of code that seems least likely to be corrupted)

In the second part of the 19th century [The Petrie Collection of Ancient Music of Ireland, 2 vols, Dublin University Press 1855-82], George Petrie wrote (as has been summarised in a previous message)

"Of the words now sung to this air in the Munster counties, Mr [PW] Joyce has also given me a copy, as taken down by himself; but it presents such an incongruous piece of patchwork, half Irish, half English, collected, apparently, from recollections of various songs, that of the Irish portion a single stanza is as much as I can venture to select from it. This stanza, as Mr Curry acquaints me, belongs to the old Irish song which has given name to the melody, and which, though now rendered worthless by corruptions, was one of no ordinary interest and merit."

(I think that means he thought the original was of especial interest) Here is the "single stanza" (with old spelling) and Petrie's translation of it:

'Bí bean óg uasal,
Seal dá luadh liom,
'S do chuir sí suas dhamh,
Céd fáraoir gér;
Is tá ghábhar le stuaire
A m-bailtibh muara,
'S gur dhein sí cuag dhíom,
Ar lár an t-saoghail.
Dá bh-faghainn-si a cenn rúd
Fé lia 'san teampull, 'S go mbeinn arís seal
Ar m'ádhbhar féin,
Do shiúbhalfainn gleannta
'Gus beanna reamhar choc
Go bh-faghainn mo shean-shearc
Arís dhom' réir.

There was a young gentlewoman
And I, once talked of;
But she rejected me
To my sharp grief;
And then I took up with
A city dasher,
Who made a jackdaw of me
Before the world.
But could I get her head
Beneath the gravestone,
And that I once more
Were my own free self,
I would traverse valleys
And rough-topped mountains
To seek again more favour
From my old true love.

Petrie didn't have a high opinion of the English-language verses:

"Amongst the doggrel English verses sung to this air, as taken down by Mr. Joyce, there is a stanza which I am tempted to quote as an amusing example of the characteristic expression for tender sentiment, mixed with discordant levity and incongruity of thought, which are so often found in the ordinary Irish peasant love-songs, composed in the English language. Such incongruity, however, should, at least to some extent, be ascribed to the corruptions incident to verses having only a decaying traditional existence amongst a class of people still almost illiterate.

'Kilkenny town it is well supported,
Where marble stones are as black as ink;
With gold and silver I will support you, -
I'll sing no more till I get some drink!
I'm always drinking, and seldom sober;
I'm constant roving from town to town:
Oh, when I'm dead, and my days are over,
Come, Molly storeen, and lay me down.'

"It seems sufficiently apparent that the above stanza was not composed in one of those intervals of sobriety which the writer confesses to have been with him of rather rare occurrence."

What would Petrie make of the present popularity of those verses and of the "peasants" who sing them nowadays?!

Next step … can we unearth a manuscript from Mr Joyce?


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 08:02 AM

I notice that what was once ó now looks like an empty box - it may depend what computer your're using. On this one Niall Comer appears to be writing in Japanese, as do I on 30 Jan. See my unsigned message of 14 Jan. "na bailtí móra" should read ""na bailtí m&#ra", "Ní fada ón áit sin" should read "Ní fada ón áit sin"

George Petrie has already been mentioned, The song appears in his WAncient Music of Ireland" first published in the 1850s and also available in reprint editions (Dublin: Dolmen, 1968; Cork Univeristy Press, 2001) See the introduction written by Petrie in 1855. There he refers to an entry in Bunting: "The very common air called "The rambling boy," and a corrupted version of it, with a fictitious second part, which he calls Do bi bean uasal, or "There was a young lady," - obtained, as he states, from R. Stanton. of Westport, in 1802". I don't know (yet) what air Bunting published under that title, but Petrie has a bi-lingual song (much as given earlier in this thread) called "Bhí bean uasal" ...I'll type out lyrics and comments later.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Wolfgang
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 06:47 AM

If 'valise' is correct it should be 'sa valise'. Nothing to find.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Jim McFaul
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 05:11 PM

Fascinating reading about one of my favourite songs, coming not far from Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland. One additional aspect that perhaps someone could confirm. In my student days, back in the sixties, a French student in my digs had a folk record containing a song which was definitely the same tune as 'Carrickfergus' but called if memory serves me right 'Son Valise'. My French friend insisted it was an old French song but was it simply a modern cover version? Apparently the words of the French version had a very similar theme as Carrickfergus I knew.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: michaelr
Date: 15 Jan 02 - 09:57 PM

I just found this thread. Fascinating reading, and topnotch scholarship! Especially since "Carrickfergus" has been one of my favorite songs since I first heard it sung (the Clancys version) in the 80s.
But why stop here? It's quite believable that Peter O'Toole could have gotten the song from Richard Harris since the two of them seem to have done a bit of carousing together in their younger days. And Harris released several albums of folk and other songs in the 60s. Do any Mudcat survivors of the great folk scare remember or even own these?
Seems worth a follow-up, and revival of this thread. Maybe one of you tireless detectives can find out how to contact Harris.
~Michael


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Alice
Date: 09 Nov 01 - 10:41 PM

Today I was listening to a CD of the cowboy singer Michael Martin Murphy, when I was suddenly jolted to attention by the melody of Carrickfergus. He was singing cowboy lyrics he had written using the same melody, a song called "Summer Ranges". In the CD notes he wrote, "This melody is an old Irish air, as are many of the cowboy songs of the 19th century. The words are mine, inspired by a magical summer in Red River, New Mexico when my daughter Laura, at age 13, won the rodeo queen contest. I was moved to compose a piece about the nostalgia we all feel for the summertime of life." M.M.M.

This thread is one of my favorites. Any word from Richard Harris?

Alice


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Moleskin Joe
Date: 21 Oct 00 - 09:21 AM

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?


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Ian M.
Date: 02 Oct 00 - 05:51 AM

For what it is worth the sleeve note to O'Riada a sa Gaiety, written by Sean MacRaomoinn, attributes the words of Do bhí bean uasal to Cathal Bui Mac Giolla Gunn.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Alice
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 12:30 AM

Philippa (or someone) may we have a translation of the gaelic in the verses you posted? Thanks.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 28 May 00 - 09:11 PM

Steady, Mouldy !! It gets dangerous at our age !!! One could also add "Moll / Mal / Pol Dubh an Ghleanna" In "Carrickfergus" / "The Young Sick Lover", the reference is to "Molly, a stór" = Molly, my dear. Annraoi


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 28 May 00 - 07:35 PM

Didn't expect the Molly Bawn to be relevant, just hoping to add a penny-wight to the accumulated knowledge. Interesting that John records five Molly B's. Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Frank McGrath
Date: 28 May 00 - 07:07 PM

Mighty research Mouldy.

There's a letter in the post for you. No cheque though I'm sad to add.

God Belss and keep up the great work.

Frank McGrath


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: John Moulden
Date: 28 May 00 - 06:31 PM

At least five:

This one; Molly Bawn (Polly Vaughan); Molly Bawn, why are you pining; Molly Ban and Brian Og; and Molly Bawn so fair which has the line "The curve of her ankle a Duchess might covet" - Those were the days!

but it's not relevant.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 May 00 - 06:25 PM

So that's three Molly Bán's, counting in this one


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 28 May 00 - 04:23 PM

John from Brisbane (Fair Bris ? :-)) Different Molly Bawn, I'm afraid. I had thought I had all the necessary information for a paper on this song. Indeed, I had already started on it when one further possible link to exp[lain the occurrence of "Carrickfergus" so far south (the song appears to be Munster in origin) when a casual conversation with a friend revealed a direct link between the West Cork flax growing industry in the C19 and the Linen industry of the North. I must withold any publication til I suss this one last (?) link. Annraoi


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Subject: Lyr Add: MOLLY BAWN / FAIR MOLLY (Samuel Lover)
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 28 May 00 - 08:50 AM

This may not advance the cause at all but here are the lyrics to Molly Bawn. Regards, John

MOLLY BAWN (OR FAIR MOLLY).
Samuel Lover.

OH, Molly Bawn, why leave me pining,
All lonely, waiting here for you?
While the stars above are brightly shining,
Because they've nothing else to do.
The flowers late were open keeping,
To try a rival blush with you ;
But their mother, Nature, set them sleeping,
With their rosy faces wash'd with dew.
Oh, Molly Bawn, &c.

Now the pretty flowers were made to bloom, dear,
And the pretty stars were made to shine
And the pretty girls were made for theboys, dear,
And may be you were made for mine ;
The wicked watch-dog here is snarling, H
e takes me for a thief you see ;
For he knows I'd steal you, Molly, darling,
And then transported I should be.
Oh, Molly Bawn, &c.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 07 Mar 00 - 02:36 PM

Another request--Could someone please summarize the story, as it now stands? Maybe I have an attention deficit, or maybe my glasses need to be re-perscribed--but I have gotten thoroughly confused as to which melodies are in and which are out, which lyrics are connected and which aren't--And if someone could paste the appropriate links, for melodies in lyrics into one post--

Am I asking to much? If I am, sorry--this collective research is my favorite part of Mudcat--nnd I love this song, but know nothing about it--or should I say that I knew nothing about it?


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Mar 00 - 11:03 AM

Go for it John. I was heading in the same direction a month ago, and got as far as a Toronto actor who's a friend of O'toole's, but was imformed of your quest for the "Holy grail", so "go the last mile"! We wait with baited breath.

This is fun!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Alice
Date: 06 Mar 00 - 03:42 PM

thank you, John, for getting this far! -alice


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 06 Mar 00 - 02:44 PM

Peter O'Toole and the Young Sick Lover

I have had a telephone call (this afternoon) from Peter O'Toole's agency giving the following information concerning how Peter O'Toole came to have this song to communicate to Dominic Behan:

Peter O'Toole heard most of the song, words and tune, in 1946. from a Niall Stack, who called it Molly Ba/n - the agent said P O'T spent his childhood in Kerry so we assumed that was where - and it fits with the name used by Behan, which is otherwise inexplicable: "The Kerry Boatman."

Peter O'Toole's said that his version was augmented and altered later from a version sung to him in 1957 by the actor, Richard Harris. [This is a very stagey story.]

Peter O'Toole remembers singing the result to Dominic Behan who wrote it down.

There is thus a linear connection between Young Sick Lover, Molly Ba/n and "Carrickfergus."

Would there be any sense in asking Peter O'Toole to deconstruct what he now remembers?

I'm thinking of contacting Richard Harris' Agency - any better ideas?


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 03:33 PM

A cautionary note is worth sounding at this juncture. It seems increasingly likely to me that the song is made up of at least two other songs, one quite conceivably from the North, hence Carrickfergus, so that to treat it vis a vis its ultimate origin as one unit might lead to dubious conclusion. As I have already said, I am awaiting texts from the Folklore Department in Dublin to firm up my own ides. Will keep the thread informed, though it might take a little while. Annraoi


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Brendy
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 12:44 AM

And now for another definition!
I was always under the impression that this song originated in County Clare; The Fergus being the river that runs through Ennis.
I know nothing of the history of the song, and indeed some extensive research has been done already, as has been seen above.
The old gentleman who told me this was from Sixmilebridge in Co. Clare, and I had no reason to doubt his sincerity. Considering that most of the references in the song, despite the ambiguous name in the title, are in the southern half of the country lend credence to the idea that it is not indigenous to the North East.
Food for thought, again.
Breandán


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 12:24 AM

Thanks to all for the great detective work. I had reported in another thread that an Irish old timer had learned it as a child. I reognise that this is hardly primary research A friens has just sent me this note re a recent visit to Carrickfergus.

"I don't know if I have already told you but when asking a cousin how to get to Carrickfergus and showing him the map he told me that this one (in the North) was not the one of which the song had been written. He claimed that there was another in the South. But try as we all could we did not find the other Carrickfergus.

I tend to think that he just couldn't stand such a beautiful song being linked to a North of Ireland Town although

he lives in the North himself.

Any possibility that there is another location in the South, likewise Bally____?

Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: alison
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 10:01 PM

Thanks Philippa....

slaine

alison


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Neil Comer
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 05:18 PM

Philippa, Buíochas le dia gur bhain tú an dúshlán uaim! I'll have a look back through the thread


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: John Moulden
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 08:38 AM

I've just posted to Peter O'Toole, c/o his agent, a request for information on his knowledge of the song. Don't hold your breath.

The text I have is that printed on a ballad sheet by Haly of Cork (c 1840) - this is almost certainly (95%) a print identical with that used by Diarmaid Ó Muirithe.


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