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DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery

DigiTrad:
MCCASSERY


Related thread:
Info: Maccafferty (15)


Joe Offer 06 Feb 21 - 10:37 PM
Joe Offer 06 Feb 21 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,# 06 Feb 21 - 11:25 PM
r.padgett 07 Feb 21 - 08:18 AM
Charmion 07 Feb 21 - 08:32 AM
MartinNail 07 Feb 21 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,henryp 08 Feb 21 - 10:18 AM
GUEST,# 08 Feb 21 - 02:13 PM
The Sandman 08 Feb 21 - 02:42 PM
The Sandman 08 Feb 21 - 02:43 PM
r.padgett 09 Feb 21 - 04:14 AM
GUEST,henryp 09 Feb 21 - 06:46 AM
GUEST 09 Feb 21 - 07:02 AM
GUEST,henryp 09 Feb 21 - 09:46 AM
Richard Mellish 09 Feb 21 - 09:58 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 09 Feb 21 - 12:23 PM
GUEST 11 Feb 21 - 04:44 AM
GUEST,henryp 11 Feb 21 - 08:58 AM
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Subject: DTStudy McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 10:37 PM

The Digital Tradition lists this song as MCCASSERY. In his Folk Song in England, A.L. Lloyd identifies the song as McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery.

Here are the Digital Tradition Lyrics:

MCCASSERY

Kind friends take warning by my sad tale
As I lay here in Strangeways Gaol
My thoughts, my feelings, no tongue can tell
As I am listening to the prison bell.

When I was seventeen year of age
Into the army I did engage.
I did enlist with a good intent
To join the Forty Second Regiment.

To Fullwood Barracks I did go
To serve some time at that depot.
From trouble there I necer (never) was free
Because my captain took a dislike to me.

When I was stationed on guard one day
Some children came near me to play,
My officer from his quarters came
And ordered me to take their parents' name.

My officer's orders I did fulfill
I took their name against my will.
I took one name instead of three
"Neglect of Duty" was the charge against me.

In the orderly-room next morning I did appear
My C.O. refused my plea to hear,
Anf (And) quickly he had signed my crime
And to Fullwood Barracks I was then confined.

With a loaded rifle I did prepare
To shoot my captain on the barrack square;
It was Captain Neill that I meant to kill,
But I shot my colonel against my will.

I done the deed, I shed his blood,
And at Liverpool Assizes my trial stood;
The judge he says, "McCassery
Prepare yourself for the gallows-tree."

I have no father to take my part
I have no mother to break her heart,
I have one friend, and a girl is she
Would lay down her life for McCassery.

In Liverpool City this young man was tried
In Strangeways, Manchester, his body lies.
And all you young soldiers who pass his grave,
Pray: Lord have mercy on McCassery.

From Lloyd, Folk Song in England. Sometimes called McCafferty.
See also CROPPY2
@soldier @jail
filename[ MCASSERY
TUNE FILE: MCASSERY
CLICK TO PLAY
RG

    Except for the corrections shown in italics, the DT lyrics and melody are a correct transcription of the song on pages 263-264 of A.L. Lloyd's Folk Song In England.
    -Joe Offer-


Here are Lloyd's notes:

    In period and to some extent in flavour “The rambling Royal” resembles the most famous, most persistent and best-loved of all our army songs of disaffection, the ballad variously called “McCassery”, “McCaffery”, “McCafferty”, though it must be said that James Cronin’s snuffy temper offers strong contrast to the whingeing self-pity of the barrack-square assassin. We may take it that “McCafferty” was composed very early in the second half of the nineteenth century; if so, the mention of Strangeways crept in later, for that bleak prison was not built until the 1870s (some versions more feasibly refer to Walton Gaol, Liverpool). Again, the author was presumably an Irishman, to go by the ballad’s atmosphere, its hero’s name, and the fact that its tune is a variant of that favourite Irish air for unruly texts such as “The rambling boy”, “Charlie Reilly the robber”, and the Wexford insurgent song of 1798 called “The croppy boy” (from which the ‘I have no father’ motif is lifted). “McCafferty” has seldom appeared in print but there is hardly a regular soldier who does not know a version of it, and during World War II it was adopted as the anthem of a parachute commando regiment, the 2nd Special Air Service. It is said of “McCafferty”, as of other dissident songs, that it was a punishable offence to sing it in the army; but that is legend. The ballad’s peculiar importance has been recognized by country singers, and in the early days of the Second World War, during the Saturday night sing-song in the little pub of Eastbridge, Suffolk, with the bar-parlour crowded with soldiers stationed nearby, the good ballad-singer Jumbo Brightwell prefaced his performance with the remark: ‘I will now sing “McCassery” because that’s a song that’ll mean a lot to these boys here.” Mr. Brightwell’s version ran like this: (the DT lyrics)


Here is the Traditional Ballad Index listing for this song:

McCaffery (McCassery)

DESCRIPTION: A young man enlists in the 42nd Regiment; mistreated by his captain and confined to barracks for a trivial offense, he decides to kill the captain. He accidentally shoots his colonel instead, and is tried (at Liverpool Assizes) and hanged.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1962 or 1966 (collected from Caroline Hughes)
KEYWORDS: army violence crime execution homicide punishment revenge death soldier
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland,England(West)) Ireland
REFERENCES (4 citations):
MacSeegTrav 86, "McCaffery" (1 text, 1 tune)
Dallas-CruelWars, pp. 170-172, "McCaffery" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hamer-Green, pp. 47-48, "McCaffery" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, MCASSERY

Roud #1148
RECORDINGS:
May Bradley, "Calvery" (on Voice08)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Gallant Forty-Twa" (subject: 42nd Highlanders or Black Watch) and references there
cf. "The Croppy Boy (I)" [Laws J14] (tune for Voice08)
NOTES [173 words]: Hall, notes to Voice08, re "Calvery": "The story in the ballad is true in all its essentials. Patrick McCafferty was born in Mullingar, Co. West Meath, and in October 1860 enlisted at the age of seventeen in the 32nd Regiment.... McCafferty was tried at Liverpool Assizes and was hanged in Liverpool in front of Kirkdale gaol on January 11th, 1862. [ref. Roy Palmer, ed., The Rambling Soldier (Alan Sutton, 1985).]" Yates, Musical Traditions site Voice of the People suite "Notes - Volume 8" - 1.3.03 has a more detailed account. - BS
When I met this song, I was surprised to find a soldier from the 42nd Regiment (the famous Black Watch) being tried in Liverpool; their base is in Perth. The likeliest explanation is that several sources confused the obscure 32nd regiment (which was, improbably enough, the Cornwall Regiment) with the famous 42nd, for which see songs such as "Wha Saw the Forty-Second." - RBW, (PJS)
(In the May Bradley version, which is on Voice08 and transcribed in Hamer-Green, it's the Royal Artillery anyway.) - RBW
Last updated in version 5.0
File: McCST086

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2020 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: ADD: McCaffery (Travellers' Songs)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 11:24 PM

MCCAFFERY

I was scarcely year eighteen years of age,
O, to join the army I was in full advance;
O, to join the army I was a-Full in defence,
For to join the (Forty for some) regiment.    (Forty-second)

Now, as I was put there all on guard one day
Three soldiers’ children came out to play;
They gave me orders for to take their names —
Well, I took one’s name there out of three.

I done the deeds, I shot his blood,
In old Liverpole his body lays.
O captain (mewater) I was content to kill
For I shot my colonel all against my will.

Well, I’ve got no mother to take my part,
I’ve got no father to break (my) heart.    (his)
I had one friend and a woman was she,
She would lay her life down for me again.

Singer: Caroline Hughes

Notes:
86 MCCAFFERY
A young man, McCaffery/McCafferty/McCassery, enlists in the Forty-Second Regiment (now known as The Black Watch), where he suffers victimisation at the hands of his captain. Con?ned to barracks for a trivial offence, his resentment builds up to the point where he determines to kill his persecutor. When the opportunity arises, he shoots his colonel by mistake. He is tried in a civil court (Liverpool Assizes is the most frequently cited venue), is found guilty and is finally hanged.
In spite of important narrative de?ciencies in Mrs. Hughes’s text, her rendition of the song was greeted by her listeners with a good deal of respectful comment: ‘That’s a true song, that really happened. That poor unfortunate young man was hanged with nobody to speak up for him.’ ‘He was Irish and the officer had it in for him. Because he was Irish, he was always pickin’ on him.’ Billy Cole, a young Wiltshire Traveller, was more explicit: ‘It was in the 1914 War, and he shot the colonel right through his heart. But he really meant to shoot the captain. And the only one to stick up for him was a girl, and a friend was she, and they hung him at Walton Gaol in Liverpool.’
The 1860s and 1880s are often given as dates for the events described but in point of fact the ballad’s historicity is a matter of considerable uncertainty and doubt. Whether the story is indeed fact or fiction, it has given rise to a song which is widespread throughout Ireland and the British Isles. Two world wars have undoubtedly contributed to the ballad’s dissemination and for tens of thousands of young men inducted into the Armed Forces ‘McCaffery’ has been a first introduction to traditional song.


Source: #86, pp 272-274 in Travellers' Songs from England and Scotland by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger (University of Tennessee Press, 1977)


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: GUEST,#
Date: 06 Feb 21 - 11:25 PM

https://books.google.ca/books?id=P6NACwAAQBAJ&pg=PT236&lpg=PT236&dq=Ewan+MacColl,+%22McCassery%22&source=bl&ots=EOJzM7g4tR&sig=A

Scroll down just a bit to   86 McCassery

s/b 86 McCaffery


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: r.padgett
Date: 07 Feb 21 - 08:18 AM

Last added verse has

Now come all you young officers of the present day,
Just treat your men with Civilitee,
For if you don't there's sure to be,
Another hard case like Mccaferty

Ray

ps Roy Harris (who did National service) had a verse which had "The judge banged on wood"

Not sure when National service was no longer obligatory ~ I think after 1945 ~ Mccafferty would have joined up as an alternative to to the Workhouse probably


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Feb 21 - 08:32 AM

R.Padgett: In the version of this song I know, McCaffery “left the factory with a full intent / To join the Thirty-Second Regiment”.

The army was no way to get rich, or even mildly prosperous, so I’d say he was hoping for a bit more excitement in life.

National Service continued in Britain until 1960. Men born in 1938 were the last age cohort to be called up.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: MartinNail
Date: 07 Feb 21 - 10:09 AM

The best account of the history of this song in Roy Palmer's The rambling soldier : life in the lower ranks, 1750-1900, through soldiers' songs and writings / edited by Roy Palmer. Harmondsworth, Middlesex : Peacock Books, 1977. pp. 119-126.

Palmer spells the name M'Caffrey but says that "the name appears, not only in the ballads, but also in the contemporary press, in a variety of spellings".

The Regiment was the 32nd, the Cornwall Light Infantry, based at Fulwood Barracks, Preston. The 42nd, the Black Watch, was a lot better known which presumably accounts for their being confounded in many versions of the ballad.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 10:18 AM

From History Ireland; 'McCafferty...the story of the song mccafferty the story of the song
Includes lyrics from the late Patrick Loughran, Lurgan, County Armagh. Note; The inquest was held in Preston, and the trial in Liverpool.

Lancashire Evening Post Thursday, 28th February 2019
The Ministry of Defence has announced that Fulwood Barracks in Preston will stay open for five years longer than originally planned.
The barracks - which houses the Lancashire Infantry Museum as well as being a working barracks - had been slated for closure in 2022.
However, the MoD has now announced that it will not shut until 2027.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: GUEST,#
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 02:13 PM

"Subject: RE: Mudcat Worldwide Singaround - On Zoom TODAY!!!
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 01:53 PM

i am not saying i am right, but i have only ever heard it as mcCafferty in over 50 years on the uk folk scene, mcCafferty seems to be definteley the most popular name"

You posted that to the wrong thread.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 02:42 PM

When did national service finish in the UK?
1960
National Service ended in 1960, though periods of deferred service still had to be completed. The last national servicemen were discharged in 1963. it started january 1949


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: The Sandman
Date: 08 Feb 21 - 02:43 PM

national service1947
After the Second World War (1939-45), the young men of Britain were called upon to meet new challenges in a rapidly changing world. National Service, a standardised form of peacetime conscription, was introduced in 1947 for all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 30.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: r.padgett
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 04:14 AM

Thanks for the new information ~ I have never seen until now the 32nd Regiment in the song ~

Regarding National Service through time I was pleased that NS didn't include me (b47) and of course during the WW11 there were protected occupations like miners and farmers ~

Peace time we had voluntary career soldiers and no doubt as in navy ns press gangs it was still expensive to maintain a high number of personnel

Of course a minimum number of combatants would have needed to have been in place ~ experienced a well as anyone who could stand would also have been needed to make the number up in War time

Ray


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 06:46 AM

Henry's Songbook; McCafferty

Susannes Folksong-Notizen English Notes;
[1967:] ...and the fact that its tune is a variant of that favourite Irish air for unruly texts [...] The croppy boy (from which the "I have no father" motif is lifted). (Lloyd, England 246)

In fact, McCafferty's father had deserted McCafferty and his family;
[1983:] Patrick McCaffery was born in Co. Kildare in October 1842. His father was an asylum governor who, upon being cleared of charges of misconduct, took off alone for America. Mrs. McCaffery was unable to support the boy, so she sent him to England to stay with a friend, Mrs. Murphy of Mossley near Manchester, where, at the age of 12, he started work in the mill. (Davie Redman, Southern Rag 16, p. 21)


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 07:02 AM

If he was "18 years of age" and that 1842 date has any validity, it could well be about 1861, when the blockade of the Confederate South was taking hold. Lancashire was highly dependent on slave cotton, and may mills were on short time or closed. For a young man without family support, joining the army might seem an option preferable to starvation.

This period gave rise to other compositions, including Samuel Laycock's Welcome, Bonny Brid- a poem about the additional stress on an already stretched family, due to the birth of another child.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 09:46 AM

Eventually [McCaffery] returned to Mossley and was employed in a Stalybridge cotton mill as a piecer. It was this job that he left on October 10th 1860 to take the Queen's shilling and enlist in the 32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry). After enlistment he was sent to Fulwood to train with 11 Depot Battalion and then posted to 12 Coy, the 32nd Regiment. (Lancashire Infantry Museum)

The Lancashire Cotton Famine, also known as the Cotton Famine or the Cotton Panic (1861–65), was a depression in the textile industry of North West England, brought about by overproduction in a time of contracting world markets. It coincided with the interruption of baled cotton imports caused by the American Civil War and speculators buying up new stock for storage in the shipping warehouses at the entrepôt.

The boom years of 1859 and 1860 had produced more woven cotton than could be sold and a cutback in production was needed. The situation was exacerbated by an overabundance of raw cotton held in the warehouses and dockyards of the ports and the market was flooded with finished goods, causing the price to collapse, while at the same time the demand for raw cotton fell. The price for raw cotton increased by several hundred percent due to blockade and lack of imports.

The inaccessibility of raw cotton and the difficult trading conditions caused a change in the social circumstances of the Lancashire region's extensive cotton mill workforce. Factory owners no longer bought large quantities of raw cotton to process and large parts of Lancashire and the surrounding areas' workers became unemployed and went from being the most prosperous workers in Britain to the most impoverished. (Lancashire Cotton Famine, Wikipedia)


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 09:58 AM

This thread gives me an opportunity to contribute Pete Nalder's supplementary moral to the song.
Now all young squaddies, come listen to me.
Take your small arms drill a little more seriously.
So, when you're shooting, you can be sure
You'll hit the bastard that you're aiming for.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 09 Feb 21 - 12:23 PM

I collected a few verses from an old cowman called George Hirst in Dorset 1985. No new words, but he believed that you could be sent to the glass house for singing it.


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 04:44 AM

If Henryp is right, McCaffer(t)y must have some other reason to abandon secure employment and enlist. Soldiering was very much a last- choice option after Crimea. Even at the height of Imperial jingo it was looked down on (except for officers of course)= see Kipling, "It's Tommy this and Tommy that..."


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Subject: RE: DTStudy: McCassery and McCafferty - and McCaffery
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 11 Feb 21 - 08:58 AM

McCaffery, it appears, was a drifter.

Patrick McCaffery was born in Co. Kildare in October 1842. His father was an asylum governor who, upon being cleared of charges of misconduct, took off alone for America. Mrs. McCaffery was unable to support the boy, so she sent him to England to stay with a friend, Mrs. Murphy of Mossley near Manchester, where, at the age of 12, he started work in the mill. After a while he left the mill and drifted to Liverpool where he seems to have had occasional minor brushes with the police. During this time he befriended a police constable who was to reappear briefly later in his life. Eventually he returned to Mossley and was employed in a Stalybridge cotton mill as a piecer. It was this job that he left on October 10th 1860 to take the Queen's shilling and enlist in the 32nd (Cornwall) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry). After enlistment he was sent to Fulwood to train with 11 Depot Battalion and then posted to 12 Coy, the 32nd Regiment. (Lancashire Regimental Museum; A Fearful Tragedy)

The American Civil War - and blockade of the South - did not affect the cotton industry until late 1861.

The impact of the conflict on the Lancashire cotton industry took some time to take effect. On 17th April 1861 Fort Sumter fell to the Confederate forces. There had been a 4 months supply of cotton in Liverpool on New Year's Day 1861. During the next months imports continued as normal and a 5 month supply had been accumulated. It was a generally held view that the war would not last long and that stocks were sufficient to see the industry through. The North blockaded the southern ports, but cotton prices remained steady throughout that year and only at the end did speculators in cotton become active. However by October 1861 mills in Lancashire began to run on short time, or to close altogether and applications for help to the poor law unions began to flood in. (Cotton Town; The Cotton Famine)


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