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Help: Origins of Carrickfergus

DigiTrad:
CARRICKFERGUS


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John Moulden 16 Jan 00 - 05:12 AM
John Moulden 16 Jan 00 - 08:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jan 00 - 08:26 PM
Henry/Annraoi 16 Jan 00 - 09:10 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 17 Jan 00 - 12:12 AM
John Moulden 17 Jan 00 - 05:23 AM
Neil Comer 17 Jan 00 - 12:05 PM
Peter T. 17 Jan 00 - 12:40 PM
John Moulden 17 Jan 00 - 02:08 PM
Bruce O. 17 Jan 00 - 02:36 PM
Martin _Ryan 17 Jan 00 - 06:05 PM
Henry 17 Jan 00 - 09:02 PM
Alice 30 Jan 00 - 10:44 AM
John Moulden 30 Jan 00 - 11:19 AM
alison 30 Jan 00 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,Annraoi 30 Jan 00 - 08:09 PM
Áine 30 Jan 00 - 08:17 PM
GUEST,an effusive Philippa 30 Jan 00 - 08:28 PM
John Moulden 31 Jan 00 - 08:38 AM
GUEST,Neil Comer 31 Jan 00 - 05:18 PM
alison 31 Jan 00 - 10:01 PM
John in Brisbane 01 Feb 00 - 12:24 AM
Brendy 01 Feb 00 - 12:44 AM
GUEST,Annraoi 01 Feb 00 - 03:33 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 06 Mar 00 - 02:44 PM
Alice 06 Mar 00 - 03:42 PM
Rick Fielding 07 Mar 00 - 11:03 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 07 Mar 00 - 02:36 PM
John in Brisbane 28 May 00 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,Annraoi 28 May 00 - 04:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 May 00 - 06:25 PM
John Moulden 28 May 00 - 06:31 PM
Frank McGrath 28 May 00 - 07:07 PM
John in Brisbane 28 May 00 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,Annraoi 28 May 00 - 09:11 PM
Alice 17 Sep 00 - 12:30 AM
GUEST,Ian M. 02 Oct 00 - 05:51 AM
Moleskin Joe 21 Oct 00 - 09:21 AM
Alice 09 Nov 01 - 10:41 PM
michaelr 15 Jan 02 - 09:57 PM
GUEST,Jim McFaul 12 Jun 02 - 05:11 PM
Wolfgang 13 Jun 02 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,Philippa 02 Aug 02 - 08:02 AM
GUEST 02 Aug 02 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Philippa 02 Aug 02 - 10:11 AM
spikeis 16 Oct 03 - 06:34 PM
Joybell 16 Oct 03 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,KEVIN 06 Apr 04 - 12:49 PM
Joe Offer 06 Apr 04 - 02:21 PM
GUEST 06 Jul 04 - 09:55 AM
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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: John Moulden
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 05:12 AM

Henry, I've been to Cambridge and have notes on the ballad sheets and song books there. The two significant collections of Ballads are those of Henry Bradshaw and Sir Frederic Madden. Both are indexed by title only in the Catalogue of the Bradshaw Collection (Cambridge, 1916) - I'll look it up. Madden has half a volume of Cork printed ballads.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE YOUNG SICK LOVER
From: John Moulden
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 08:13 PM

OK, you may all come round and see my red face - something I knew and had totally forgotten - and in consequence a lot of what I have been saying has had less foundation than it seemed. However, it does prove the worth of a forum such as this, almost invariably conducted in an atmosphere of respect and mutual exploration; each contributing and jogging hunches, aiding memory and combining clues.

Henry is responsible for my red face - he mentioned "THE YOUNG SICK LOVER" and it nagged me - a ballad sheet printed by Haly of Cork called "The young sick lover" - it's been a day long search but I find that I have a xerox of that very sheet, copied from the National Library of Ireland where it is filed in a portfolio by the key-word "Young" and my copy of it bears a note that it is largely Carrickfergus - I must be more systematic; I must be more systematic; I must be ....

It begins phonetically :

De vee ban osul, shol da lough lum
Es de chur, she souse dum forer gair,
[six more lines]

The second stanza is:

I wish I had you in Carrickfergus.
Agus ne fadde, o en nat shoon balle coun,
And I'll sail over the deepest water,
En naugh ne gra ga, agus ehe gallouh oum
The seas are deep, and I can't swim over,
No nor neither have I wings to fly,
I wish I met with some handsome boatman,
To ferry over my love and I.

[another stanza of 'phonetic' Irish]

And its Kilkenny it is supposed,
Where the marble stones are as black as ink;
With gold and silver I will support you,
But I'll sing no more 'till I get a drink;
I am always drunk, and seldom sober,
Constantly roving from town to town;
Now when I'm dead, and my days are over,
Come Molly asthore and lay me down.

[Irish stanza]

I've travelled this nation in desperation,
Through Flanders and all Germany,
And in my ranging and seranading,
My Molly's equals I could not see,
Her golden hair, and her limbs complete,
Her skin exceeds the lily fair;
It is what grieves me, that this fair one
Should take the sway from the County Clare.

[Final Irish stanza] (7 in all)

It thus appears that any criticism I may have levelled at Seán Ó Sé, Dominic Behan or Peter O'Toole was unjustified and as Henry says, given that Haly of Cork was printing around 1830 we have (with a certain amount of hindrance from me) successfully established a much firmer provenance for both Carrickfergus and the Macaronic. There are still questions - are Carrickfergus and Do bhí bean uasal really linked - do any of the macaronics bear clear relationship to one another - this is a question for Henry who is studying the matter. I'll send you a copy of the sheet.

The ones at Cambridge are not in either Bradshaw or Madden but among the series of volumes with press-marks SEL.2.93 to SEL.2.101 which are indexed in four card index drawers at the Rare Books Department. It would be worth getting them to look out the one printed by Troy of Limerick - differences are probable and will be revealing.

The text above begins to clear up the difficulty one contributor had in understanding the Kilkenny marble stones.

I'll confirm Haly's dates when I can get to a copy of the Bradshaw Index I cited above.

Sorry to be slow.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 08:26 PM

To be suspected of having written a song like Carrickfergus is the kind of criticism that I'd think Seán Ó Sé, Dominic Behan or Peter O'Toole would not be wholly averse to.

There's still the interesting question how the song got from 1830 to Peter O'Toole without anyone else ever apparently collecting it or putting it in print.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Henry/Annraoi
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 09:10 PM

Great stuff, John, At last I have contributed something of value to trad. song studies, as opposed to merely performing and hazarding guesses- albeit informed ones. Henry


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 12:12 AM

John, is the whole thing in "Phonetic" Irish? Or is there actual Irish words?


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: John Moulden
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 05:23 AM

Two things - first, to answer George - there are seven stanzas - four of which are Irish and three English; the Irish is given, not in conventional Irish spelling or the Irish alphabet but in a phonetic form using Roman letters and employing (mostly) the phonetic values of English spelling. Henry expresses it well above.

This brings me to my second point, a query. Henry and Philippa refer to the author of An tAmhrán Macarónach as Ó Muirthile. My copy of "A short bibliography of Irish folk song" gives the author of this book as Diarmaid Ó Muirithe and credits him with the editorship of a book on "The Wexford Carols" - my copy of that book says it's by Diarmaid Ó Muirithe. He has also recently compiled a book on the Folklore of Wexford but nowhere is he other than Ó Muirithe. Is he confused or am I?

I omitted to say that the last line of the final stanza is not in Irish but English:

For I choose to go with my own sweet-heart.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Neil Comer
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 12:05 PM

I probably shouldn't make my way back to this thread at this stage, but the phonetic Irish may shed some light on Ballgrand/Ballycran. The lines seem to read- Agus ní fada ón áit sin Baile Ciúin/Cuain ( and not far from that place 'Quiet/Harbour Town. Agus ne fadde, o en nat shoon balle coun,

John, Could you send me the other Phonetic Verse that you mentioned, and i'll try to decipher it


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Peter T.
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 12:40 PM

Hats off to all the detectives on this thread. We illiterate peasants have been following this story with increasing anxiety. You should all be together in a dusty pub somewhere beside the library of your choice, handing the sheets around, buying and backslapping with each new piece in the puzzle. Meanwhile, in the other corner, someone breaks into a certain song. Keep up the fine work.
yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: John Moulden
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 02:08 PM

Peter T has the right of it; none of this going to libraries has any point unless it allows us to make our or someone else's singing of a song more likely or more artistically convincing. Now that I've been reminded of the "extra" English verse, I may start singing this song again; it has been for far too long under the shadow of the Clancys.

Neil and Henry: the text is on its way (like the cheque is in the post) - I had (with my very limited knowledge of Irish) read that line as Baile Cuain/Ciúin and had the same thought.

And, Neil, you shouldn't be so diffident; anyone's seriously intended contribution is valuable, as this process has shown.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Bruce O.
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 02:36 PM

Let me add my congratulations. Good work.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 06:05 PM

John

That's "O'Muirithe" alright. Here's a reference you'll recognise.

Click HERE

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Henry
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 09:02 PM

Apologies all round, especially to you, John. Ó Muirithe is the gentleman's name. I must have been very tired when I misspelled his surname. Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread. Once more the value of the Intenet has been demonstrated. Henry


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Alice
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 10:44 AM

Thanks to you for providing another memorable Mudcat thread. To quote McGrath of Harlow's message,
"There's still the interesting question how the song got from 1830 to Peter O'Toole without anyone else ever apparently collecting it or putting it in print. "

Here is a mailing address to contact Peter O'Toole if anyone wants to ask him how he learned it.

Name: Peter Seamus O'Toole
Current residence: London
Address for correspondence: c/o William Morris Agency, 1 Stratton Street, London, W1X 6HB

Alice


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: John Moulden
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 11:19 AM

It would be better if only one person did this - and - since I've been the one insisting that no-one heard it in modern times before Peter O'Toole sang it for Dominic Behan - it had better be me - I will in time, communicate the result.


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: alison
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 06:29 PM

Great job everyone....... Ballygrand never sounded right to me....

I'd love to see the rest of the Gaelige if Annraoi or Neil can sort it out....

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 08:09 PM

This has turned out to be quite an interesting thread and is leading in directions previously unthought of. I can't really add to what I've said already as investigation is ongoing and as yet some problems remain unresolved, not the least of which is the decipherment of some of the Irish lyrics which might reflect some idiomatic usages or word-forms not presently current. As soon as the water clears a little I'll be back. Glad to have been of service. Annraoi


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Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
From: Áine
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 08:17 PM

Couldn't someone please translate the last verse of the lyrics given by Philippa in her post of 10-Jan-00 - 08:12 PM into Irish? That would give us something until one of the masters here give us the 'final' answer . . .

-- Áine


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SICK YOUNG LOVER
From: GUEST,an effusive Philippa
Date: 30 Jan 00 - 08:28 PM

I am as red-faced as John. I was fairly sure I'd seen "Do bhí bean uasal" in An t-Amhrán Macarónach, but after a quick glance at the titles list of a library copy, I returned to Mudcat and said that the song wasn't there. Of course, I didn't recognise the title "The Sick Young Lover".
And I'm the first one who gave the wrong surname for the book's author. I was writing on the spot, from memory. It's rather like confusing "Robinson" and "Robertson". There is a contemporary Irish author named Liam Ó Muirthile.

And I also muddled my words when asking about the air in Bunting's collection. I know that the two bilingual versions I posted are both sung to the same air as the English language "Carrickfergus", but I was asking what is the tune called "Do Bhí Bean Uasal" in the Bunting collection.

I've been back to the library to copy the lyrics of "The Sick Young Lover" from Ó Muirithe. As Annraoi says, he gives the original spelling of the ballad sheet in the appendix and gives a transliteration (if this is quite the right term!?) to Irish Gaelic spelling in the main text. It would appear that the sheet John Moulden has is the same text as given in Ó Muirithe. I notice only a few spelling differences and these could be typos, or else different readings of unclear words on the ballad sheet.
Verse 1) Moulden: "forer", Ó Muirithe: "foreer" Irish: faraor,faraoir (woe)
Verse 2) Moulden: "gra ga", Ó Muirithe: "gra gal", Irish: grá geal (bright love)
Verse 6)Moulden: "sway", Ó Muirithe: "swag" (In this case I'd opt for John's version. Notice the loan word "svae" used in the first verse of the first lyrics I contributed. Some time ago, Annraoi had to explain the expression to me; as I understand it means to come out the best among the competition. In an Irish verse of the broadsheet as given in the appendix, the spelling is rendered "swaugh". In both verses in the main text, it's "sway".

At Alison's request, here is the standard Irish as given by Ó Muirithe:

THE SICK YOUNG LOVER

Do bhí bean uasal seal dá lua liom
Is do chuir sí suas dom, fairíor géar
Is do ghabhas le stúrach na mallaí móra,
Is gur dhein sí cuach díom i lár an tsaoil.
Dá bhfaighinnse a ceann siúd faor áirse an teampaill
Is go mbeinnse arís ar m'ábhar féin
Is anois ó táim tinn lag is ná fuil fáil ar leigheas agam,
Is gan ach mo mhuintir ag gol im' dhéidh.

I wish I had you in Carrickfergus
Agus ní fada ón áit sin baile cuain,
And I'd sail over the deepest water
I ndiaidh mo ghrá geal is í ag éalu uaim.
The seas are deep and I can't swim over,
No, nor neither do I have wings to fly,
I wish I met with some handsome boatman
To ferry over my love and I.

Is tá a fhios ag Éire nach mar gheall ar aon rud
do dhearbhaíos féin a dhéanamh di,
Ach mar gheall ar mo chéad searc do dhein mé thréigint
Agus í ag déanamh spré suas dá clann iníon.
Tá an fuacht is an teas ag gabháil le chéile,
Is an tart ní féidir liom féin a chloí,
Is go bhfuil an leabhar orm ó Shamhain go February,
Is ná beidh mé réidh leis go Féile Mhichíl.

And it's in Kilkenny it is supposed
Where the marble stones are as black as ink,
With gold and silver I will support you,
And I will sing no more 'till I get a drink;
I am always drunk and seldom sober,
Constantly roving from town to town;
Now when I'm dead and my days are over,
Come, Molly, a stór, and lay me down.

Is do shiúlas Éire is an Mhumhain le chéile,
Agus ar fad síos go dtí an áit go mbíodh mo ghrá,
Agus ní bhfuaireas aoinne ar feadh an mhéid sin
Do dhéin mé pleasin' mar Molly Bhán.
Mná na hÉireann is a dteacht le chéile,
Cé gur treason dom a lua ná a rá,
Is go b'é deir gach aoinne do chlois na scéalta
Go dtug sí an sway léi ó chontae an Chláir.

I travelled this nation in desperation,
Through Flanders and all Germany;
And in my raging and serenading
My Molly's equals I could not see.
Her golden hair and her limbs complete,
Her skin exceeds the lily fair;
It is what grieves me, that this fair one
Should take the sway from the County Clare.

Is táim tinn breoite is mo chos dheas leointe
Ó ghaibh an ógbhean tharam isteach,
Is gur iarras póigín uair nó dhó uirthí,
Is go bhfaighinn féin fóirthint ach suí lena hais.
'Ochón mo chrá, is mo chumha go dóite,
Gan an oíche romham go mbeinn pósta leat';
'Nílim fós is ní bheidh go deo leat,
For I choose to go with my own sweetheart'.

verse 6 isn't a translation of verse 5, but it's in a similar vein.
A Néill, ar bhain mé an dúshlán agus an spórt uait? Well, you can still entertain yourself comparing the three versions of Do Bhí Bean Uasal on this thread. And is there any reason to use the spelling 'déidh' in one verse and 'diaidh' in another?


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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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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: alison
Date: 31 Jan 00 - 10:01 PM

Thanks Philippa....

slaine

alison


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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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: 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,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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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,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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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
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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