mudcat.org: Origins: Fields of Athenry (Pete St.John)
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Origins: Fields of Athenry (Pete St.John)

DigiTrad:
FIELDS OF ATHENRY


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Fields of Athenry - Parody (25)
Tune Req: Fields of Athenry ROCK VERSION! (36)
Lyr Add: Down by the Clarin's Mossy Banks (10)
Where is Athenry? (49)
Fields of Athenry - performed upbeat? (121)
Fields of Athenry - Athenry of Fields (3)
Yes, but how low? (12)
Tune Req: Fields of Athenry (34)
Chords Req: Fields of Athenry (19)
Lyr Req: Hills of Athenrye? / Fields of Athenry (20)
Lyr Req: Oh no not the field of Athenry (47)
Lyr Add: Not the Fields of Athenry (10)
Lyr Req: Fields of Athenry (parody by Les Barker?) (11)
Look at those fields of Athenry (11)
Lyr Req: Fields of Athenrye? / Fields of Athenry (7)


GUEST 21 Apr 04 - 01:51 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 06 Apr 04 - 05:38 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 06 Apr 04 - 05:35 PM
Blackcatter 06 Apr 04 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,Noodles 06 Apr 04 - 04:00 PM
dianavan 10 Feb 04 - 09:05 PM
Teru 10 Feb 04 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Teadoir 21 Jan 04 - 05:25 PM
GUEST,Justin Fawsitt 30 Oct 03 - 12:30 PM
MartinRyan 20 Oct 03 - 10:01 AM
GUEST 20 Oct 03 - 02:18 AM
GUEST,brendanmaloney 20 Oct 03 - 01:03 AM
Green Man 28 Jul 03 - 09:33 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jul 03 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,Pat "the Verse" 27 Jul 03 - 05:23 AM
Big Tim 17 Jun 03 - 04:25 AM
GUEST 16 Jun 03 - 06:08 PM
Blackcatter 19 Sep 02 - 11:44 PM
Big Tim 19 Sep 02 - 01:49 PM
ard mhacha 19 Sep 02 - 11:06 AM
Shields Folk 19 Sep 02 - 10:14 AM
Teribus 19 Sep 02 - 10:08 AM
ard mhacha 19 Sep 02 - 08:38 AM
ard mhacha 19 Sep 02 - 07:11 AM
Teribus 19 Sep 02 - 07:01 AM
Big Tim 19 Sep 02 - 03:29 AM
Blackcatter 19 Sep 02 - 12:45 AM
Shields Folk 18 Sep 02 - 06:59 PM
ard mhacha 18 Sep 02 - 01:47 PM
Bearheart 18 Sep 02 - 01:10 PM
Teribus 10 Sep 02 - 09:25 AM
MartinRyan 10 Sep 02 - 05:52 AM
paddymac 08 May 02 - 07:44 AM
GUEST 08 May 02 - 07:06 AM
IanC 08 May 02 - 04:48 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 07 May 02 - 06:10 PM
DonD 07 May 02 - 04:10 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 06 May 02 - 11:14 PM
ard mhacha 31 Jul 01 - 05:29 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 30 Jul 01 - 06:18 PM
forty two 30 Jul 01 - 05:49 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 30 Jul 01 - 04:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Apr 01 - 09:22 PM
Big Tim 08 Apr 01 - 11:22 AM
John Moulden 08 Apr 01 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Victoria McDonnell 07 Apr 01 - 11:11 AM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Apr 01 - 10:01 AM
Fibula Mattock 06 Apr 01 - 09:34 AM
John Moulden 06 Apr 01 - 09:06 AM
Big Tim 05 Apr 01 - 01:54 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:








Subject: RE: Origins: Fields of Athenry
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Apr 04 - 01:51 AM

To Moloney,

   The more rock than traditional style of Fields of Athenry is by the Dropkick Murphys, Irelands call is by Irish Rebel.

GuinnessBoysof49


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 05:38 PM

You might, in particular, like this PDF version, since it includes the words....

Fields of Athenry in PDF


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 05:35 PM

Noodles,
At JC's Tune Index, they have tunes in many formats, including, MIDI, abc, and PDF...

Fields of Athenry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Blackcatter
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 05:28 PM

There are people at Mudcat who are usually happy to research the background of songs - just start a thread (after looking through the other threads on the song, which might have the info already) to ask the question.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: GUEST,Noodles
Date: 06 Apr 04 - 04:00 PM

Hi i am a big fan of the fields ot Athenrye and i was just wondering if any one had the music notes for it cause i think it would be great to be able to play it.


Regards
          Noodles
          -x-x-x-x-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: dianavan
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 09:05 PM

My favorite song! I nearly cry every time I hear it. I don't think it would have the same effect if it were recorded. There's something about the human quality of the harmonies and the sincerity with which it is sung.

d


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Teru
Date: 10 Feb 04 - 04:49 AM

When the FIFA World Cup was held in Japan and Korea in 2002, supporters for the Irish National Team sometimes sang this song as well as "Spirit of the Gael".

Does anyone know why the Fields of Athenry was chosen as the supporters' song ?

I know the wirter of this song is Pete St. John who wrote "Spirit of the Gael"...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: GUEST,Teadoir
Date: 21 Jan 04 - 05:25 PM

Personally, I rather like the song, whatever some might think.

The Dropkick Murphys routinely play an excellent version at their shows. Interesting to see sweaty punks shouting the verses back at the stage from the pit... Folk punk, who'ld've thought?

Which leads me to a question... Just how is one supposed to produce and release anything with out fear of legal repercussions? Especially when sometimes you just come across some one in a pub singing something you like and the devil if THEY know where the tune comes from? There is the Mudcat of course, but not everything's been so well researched as we see here in this thread...


Teadoir


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: GUEST,Justin Fawsitt
Date: 30 Oct 03 - 12:30 PM

The charm of "The Fields Of Athenry" can best be experienced in a crowded, boozy pub on ballads night. The simple cadence "Low lie the fields..." is hard to resist, especially after a few drinks, as the usual pub cacophany coalesces into a sort of harmony. Beautiful!
God, I wish I was there right now...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 10:01 AM

BrendanMalony

The singer (I imagine GUEST is right about the name) is a young traveller lad who often busks on Grafton St.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 02:18 AM

Brian O'Donnell, age 10.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: GUEST,brendanmaloney
Date: 20 Oct 03 - 01:03 AM

i just watched the movie veronica guerin, there was a version of this song played when she was shot. it was sung by a child with an incredible voice. has anyone here ever heard a version fitting this description? i can't find the information for it anywhere and i would apreciate any help


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Green Man
Date: 28 Jul 03 - 09:33 AM

Miserable bl**dy song.

Wonderful when sung in tune and close harmony tho.

:-)

D


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 05:32 PM

Of course Eric Bogle tries to get people to call it by the name he gave it, "No Man's Land".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: GUEST,Pat "the Verse"
Date: 27 Jul 03 - 05:23 AM

Who cares , at this stage we`re all tired hearing the song , and the couple of parodies are much better , a bit like Willy McBride really . Funny story , though , one evening at a trad/folk session
in Wicklow ,I received a request to sing either "Willy McBride" or "The Green Fields of France"!!!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Big Tim
Date: 17 Jun 03 - 04:25 AM

I went to see the fields a few years ago: there are an awful lot of them, surely Uncle Packie didn't own all of them!

The thing I liked best of Athenry is that there is a street there named after Thomas Davis.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jun 03 - 06:08 PM

Hey people!
I've just being reading through all the messages!

Can I just say that the fields of Athenry belonged to my late uncle Packie!

I now live in Belfast after moving from Galway sometime ago! But just reading some of these messages have made me remember the days we ran around those fields!

Anyway if you want to contact me e-mail me at jorgecelticfc@hotmail.com

I would appreciate some feedback!

Cheers
Low lie the fields


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Blackcatter
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 11:44 PM

"To attribute it to a deliberate policy of genocide on the part of the British government"

Maybe not genocide, but certainly little desire to aid the situation. Anyone who defends the British government during this period is ignoring the British governments own writings on the subject. This was not a 6 month famine. It lasted years. little was done, unlike in the rest of Europe. And yes, the majority of the population loss was due to emmigration - thank goodness. imagine how many more would have died if emmigration wasn't possible (See the famine that killed millions in 20th Century China, for an example).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Big Tim
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 01:49 PM

What's the authority for 500,000 dead in England? Personally I think that's utter rubbish. Hardly anyone died in England, or Scotland, which did suffer hardship in many areas of the Highlands, but no fatalities. See Prof Tom Devine's book on the subject. About 10,000 died in Belgium. Ireland suffered incomparably worse because there 40% of the pop were dependent on the potato for survival. That crop largely failed for 4 or 5 years and the government made little effort to supply alternative food: tho it was enonomically and logistically possible to do so. In that sense John Mitchel (not Mitchell) was right. The question I ask is: if England had suffered a similar disaster what the government have stood so idly by? Personally, I doubt it.

The decline in Ireland's pop was mainly due to emigration: caused by changes in farming practice: grazing instead of tillage, "sheep instead of people" in shorthand. Tha Famine made eviction easier for landlords and emigration more necessary, but it is simplistic to claim that it was the sole cause. Come in Pete St John!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: ard mhacha
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 11:06 AM

How silly of me to be out with those population figures, only half the population disappers, as The Times stated "In a few years a Celtic Irishman will be as rare in Connemara as a Red Indian on the shores of Manhattan" What a loving caring people. Ard Mhacha.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Shields Folk
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 10:14 AM

The figures given above of 500,000 dying as a result of the Blight in North East England would suggest that they did not "avoid the terrible plight of famine"

The fact that the urban centres in the North East of England were booming and could accomidate a displaced rural population goes someway to explain why there wasn't a large migration from the area. Indeed the growth of North East industry accomidated large numbers of Irish migrants peacefully into the urban industrial population.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Teribus
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 10:08 AM

Ard Mhacha you claim that I say that .

"....the English were helpful and beneficial."

I quote what Cecil Woodham-Smith stated in her book relating what aid was sent to Ireland. I also repeat what difficulties that relief effort had to overcome. I also state my own opinion that with the benefit of hindsight things could have been done differently to mitigate the effects of the famine.

You then ask the following question:

"England, Scotland and Wales also had potato blight, how did they avoid the terrible plight of famine."

The Highlands of Scotland certainly didn't avoid the terrible plight of famine and that is covered very well in John Prebbles book about the Clearances. The rest of mainland Britain suffered to varying degrees, the north-east of England particularly. Two things that tended to mitigate the effects of the blight in mainland Britain were, the reforms in methods of farming during the agrarian revolution a hundred years before, coupled with a far more developed transport system (roads, railways, canals, harbours, etc.).

I note that you still do not acknowledge that the blight affected not only the British Isles but the whole of Europe. Take a look at immigration figures to the USA and the countries of origin from where those immigrants came - then research the reasons why. Scandinavia was particularly badly affected and resulted in mass emmigration of Norwegians and Swedes to the United States.

In your second post you contend:

"In the historiography of the Famine so-called revisionist historians have tended to minimise the role of British government responsibility, in contrast to earlier nationalist historians and a long line of Irish revolutionaires who approvingly recalled John Mitchell`s famous dictum"The almighty indeed sent the potato blight, but the English created the Famine"."

Not surprising, really, as the nationalist historians and the "long line of Irish Revolutionaries" you mention had an axe to grind and a message to be got across - you are the one that later in your post refers to them as propagandists.

Surely if the British government were hell bent on genocide in Ireland they could have done it at a damn sight less cost to themselves (I refer you to my earlier mail on costs and contributions, and to Cecil Woodham-Smiths Book - and she in no way can be described as a revisionist historian).

The last paragraph of your last mail, I think is extremely well put and goes a long way to accurately explain how this period is viewed by many.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: ard mhacha
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 08:38 AM

From a lecture given by James Donnelly, Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the historiography of the Famine so-called revisionist historians have tended to minimise the role of British government responsibility, in contrast to earlier nationalist historians and a long line of Irish revolutionaires who approvingly recalled John Mitchell`s famous dictum"The almighty indeed sent the potato blight, but the English created the Famine".

This essay is deliberately intended as a challenge to the revisionist historiography of the Famine, in which Mitchell and other nationalist propagandists are dismissed as the creators of the baseless myth of genocide.

My contention is that the idea of genocide had taken firm root in Irish political consciousness long before Mitchell published his most influential works on the subject. And it is also my contention that while genocide was not committed, what happened during and as a result of the clearances had the look of genocide to a great many Irish contemporaries. Ard Mhacha.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: ard mhacha
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 07:11 AM

Teribus, Dr Gobbells would have found you a useful ally, according to you the English were helpful and beneficial. England, Scotland and Wales also had potato blight, how did they avoid the terrible plight of famine. Ard Mhacha.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Teribus
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 07:01 AM

Very informative post Tim.

Also a good point made by Shields Folk, but I doubt very much if you will get that admission.

That someone, AT THAT TIME, described it as being "Gods will", is, I suppose, one way of insensitively describing a natural disaster ( a prominent Hindu religious leader in India used the same words to describe the recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease - so it happens, even today). Could it have been averted - no. Could the effects have been mitigated - yes, with hindsight. To attribute it to a deliberate policy of genocide on the part of the British government after the event, requires an extremely selective study of political, economic and sociological history of the period in general (i.e Europe not just the British Isles).

One interesting footnote contained in C Woodham-Smith's book, "The Great Hunger", outlines the career of Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan after the famine. He went out to India as a provincial governor. Two of the states he was responsible for were hit by drought and resulting famine. He managed these crises well, due mainly to lessons learned from his earlier experiences in Ireland - hindsight is a great thing - learning from past mistakes and experience is greater and a lot more relevant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Big Tim
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 03:29 AM

Irish population figures:

1841 - 8,197,000, 1851 - 6,514,000, 1861 - 5,788,000, 1871 -5,398,000, 1881 - 5,146,000, 1891 - 4,680,000, 1901 - 4,459,000. Source; The 'History Today' Companion to British History.

The exact Famine death figure is unknown. It is generally estimated that about 1 million people died of starvation and (mostly) famine induced disease. The Famine was one of the major causes of the 1848 Young Ireland revolt, the founding of the Irish Republican Brotherhood in 1858 (which planned the Easter Rising) and the motivation for many Irishmen taking up arms. For example Dan Breen, who said "the thing that always hurt me ...was the genocide of the starvation in'47". The importance of the Famine cannot therefore be underestimated. The facts and the figures are terrible enough, there is no need to exaggerate or distort them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Blackcatter
Date: 19 Sep 02 - 12:45 AM

This has got to be close to the record for the oldest thread "naturally" refreshed over the years - it was started over 5 years ago. And I know there are several other Athenry Threads, because this is the first time I've added to this one, but I know I've added to others. I think I even started one last year...

pax yall


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Shields Folk
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 06:59 PM

Ard, your statistics may give the impression that six and a half million people died as a direct result of the Potato Blight and British Government Policy. I would appreciate if you would point out that this was not so.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: ard mhacha
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 01:47 PM

Population of Ireland 1841 9 million, population of Ireland 1849, 2 and a half million. What a magnifcent effort by England, after all according to one of their top ministers "it was God`s will".Ard Mhacha.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Bearheart
Date: 18 Sep 02 - 01:10 PM

Thanks for the hard work folks have done on this-- it's a favorite, and nice to know more about it.

This is what I like about Mudcat-- there are folks here who are truly dedicated. And while I can always find someone who gets excited about the same things I do, there's enough diversity that we can all work hard at different things and then pool our resources/info...I give thanks for those who have the resources and energy to do this kind of research. Thanks John M and others!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Teribus
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 09:25 AM

Pleasant enough song but wildly inaccurate in historical terms, if you read Woodham-Smiths book referred to in a post above.

Some examples to back up that statement:

No recorded instances of famine relief storehouses ever having been broken into. Plenty of demonstrations, but no break-ins, no thefts. Woodham-Smith investigated the option of hungry Irish commiting crime to escape the country by transportation - the only instances she could come up with were all in the north around Belfast and all were for common or garden burglary.

Convict transports to Australia left mainly from ports on the south coast of England - the ones that sailed from Ireland sailed from only two ports, Cork and Dublin. Popular myth has depicted these these as hell voyages - in fact loss of life averaged was very low as after the initial convoys captains were paid on the number delivered alive so they had a vested interest in their "cargoes".

There is also some belief that the famine was masterminded by the British Government to deal with the "Irish Problem". This ignores the fact that having first arrived in England the spores that carried the blight then swept throughout mainland Britain and Europe.

Some of the comments above seem to give the impression that the famine in Ireland was the only thing that the Government of the day had to deal with - it wasn't (one small example: in the same period in the north-east of England, round the Newcastle area in the same period over 500,000 people died as a direct result of crop failures and disease - put in context that amounts to half the recorded death toll for the whole of Ireland).

Aid for famine relief came from basically three sources:

The British Government - approx 9 million pounds.

The British Society of Friends (Quakers) - 2.5 million pounds

America (greatest contributers being among the Indian nations) - 1.5 million pounds

Very few American ships transported the emigrants (Passage was charged and passengers had to have goods or money to the value of £10 - they also had to be in good health). Charitable Aid shipped to Ireland from America on American vessels was charged at normal cargo rates, similar aid shipped on British vessels was transported free of charge.

Entry point for the bulk of Irish fleeing the famine was down the St. Lawrence - their main point of entry into the United States was Chicago, the emigrants crossing the Great Lakes. "City of Chicago" is a much better song and definitiely more accurate regarding this episode in history.

As to manufactured indifference those of you who can remember it - think back to the famine in Ethiopia and the Sudan - even with the entire world aware, with means of distribution at their disposal (ships, aircraft, helicopters, trucks) still thousands died each day. In the Ireland of the mid 1800's the only means of delivery was by sailing vessel and horse drawn wagons. Apply that to the west coast of Ireland where there were few ports, scant wharehousing and poor roads. To transport one wagon of relief supplies requires five wagons of forage for the draught horses - Not easy.

History viewed with present day values and taking individual incidents in isolatation is about the worst way of arriving at any conclusion you can get. Take whatever incident view that in the context of it's time, look at the big picture, then view that incident as seen from all sides - you then stand a better chance at arriving at the when's, the why's and the how's.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Sep 02 - 05:52 AM

Here's a LINK to the other "fields of Athenry" song mentioned earlier in this thread.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: paddymac
Date: 08 May 02 - 07:44 AM

From George Seto's, 07 May 02: "It is about poor innocent people and how they are victims of natural disasters."

The song is about poor and innocent people alright, but there was nothing "natural" about the disaster that was visited upon them. It was instead the result of deliberate policies of the British government rooted in economics, classism and racism/ethnicity. In short, it was an act of deliberate genocide, not a natural disaster.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: GUEST
Date: 08 May 02 - 07:06 AM

"nothing matters when your free" BOLLOX


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: IanC
Date: 08 May 02 - 04:48 AM

Something that interests me. I wondered if Pete St. John got the title from the "[battle]field of Athenree" where the invading army of (the Anglo-Norman) Robert the Bruce was defeated by the (Anglo-Norman) forces in 1316. Bruce had his brother Edward crowned King of Ireland, but it didn't last long. A reasonable account is here.

Just wondering.
Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:10 PM

From: http://www3.clearlight.com/~acsa/songfile/FIELDSAT.HTM
 
"The song was written in 1979 [by Peter St. John] and recorded by Paddy Reilly, whose best-selling single launched an album of the same name. However, over the past 17 years more than 400 cover versions have been made with conservative estimates on single sales put at five million. The song was based on a true story of the fate of one young couple during the Irish famine.
 
The song tells the story of Lord Trevelyan who brought a supply of corn back from America in a bid to battle starvation during the potato famine in the mid-nineteenth century. Unfortunately it was Indian corn too hard to be milled, so useless. However, local people thought it would save them and so broke into the stores, were arrested, and subsequently deported to Australia.
 
The song could be about anyone Scots, Irish, [or]English. It is about poor innocent people and how they are victims of natural disasters. It's easy to say why it's been so popular in Glasgow because in 1846, the year the song's set, over 150,000 Irishmen, women, and children fled to the city where many were treated with generosity. But I've heard the song sung everywhere from San Francisco to Melbourne."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: DonD
Date: 07 May 02 - 04:10 PM

I'm in awe of the research of John Moulden and the knowledge of Malcolm Douglas and so many others. In this case, the Devlin was NOT in the details.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 May 02 - 11:14 PM

Just noted that Peter St. John is still not credited with authorship of "The Fields of Athenry in the DT.
This thread has a lot of information and misinformation. For those who want the lyrics and a note on the song (© 1979) in a capsule, see : Fields of Athenry
(http://www.3pintsgone.com/lyrics/StValery/FieldsofAthenry.htm)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: ard mhacha
Date: 31 Jul 01 - 05:29 AM

I have been listening to and have been interested in folk music for the over the past fifty years and I can tell all of you that The Fields of Athenry was unheard of until the early eighties. It was never classed as a folk song by any of the local folk singers, but if you want to sing it do so, as songs go its a dam sight better than most.Oh, and yes Athenry is a dam sight better than most towns, I stayed in it overnight many moons ago, and there was no mention of the song. Slan Aed Mhacha.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 06:18 PM

Forty Two,

Try this version of Blowing in the Wind


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: forty two
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 05:49 PM

Well, after all these good words about TFOA, I must say that it is probably the best way for a punter in Ireland to make themselves seriously unpopular at a session. "Play us the Fields Of Athenry" is just about guaranteed to have you shown the door. Nice as the tune may be, I honestly believe it is played out for the time being. It'll come round again sometime. Maybe a bit like Blowin' in The Wind - it's time for it to come out of the closet again!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 30 Jul 01 - 04:03 PM

Sorcha posted a link to Pete St. John's Web-Page. He mentions that it's at the top of the Irish charts. http://www.petestjohn.com/


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Apr 01 - 09:22 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Big Tim
Date: 08 Apr 01 - 11:22 AM

Hear, hear, didn't really think you were too serious. Welcome back to Ireland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: John Moulden
Date: 08 Apr 01 - 08:05 AM

Thank you, Victoria, for withdrawing the remarks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: GUEST,Victoria McDonnell
Date: 07 Apr 01 - 11:11 AM

Oh, come on now John, I was just kidding!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 10:01 AM

Of course since "I'm for ever blowing bubbles" is the national anthem of West Ham Football Club in the East End of London, which has a fairly hard reputation, there are circumstances when singing or whistling it would guarantee some kind of fracas. Anything can cause trouble if you know where to look for it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Fibula Mattock
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 09:34 AM

Tim - you've reminded me! "My Lady of the Chimney Corner" has got to be one of the greatest love stories ever written, and I don't just mean the love between Alexander Irvine's parents, but the love he put into writing it. It's a fantastic book.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: John Moulden
Date: 06 Apr 01 - 09:06 AM

It's ironic that Pete St John should have chosen "I'm forever blowing bubbles" as the epitome of non-sectarianism. A long time ago (at least thirty-five years) before I was interested in keeping records of such things, a man from the then Irish Free State whom I had met in a Youth Hostel, told me that in his childhood he had been whistling or singing "I'm forever blowing bubbles" and had been told by one of his parents never to do so again - "That's what the British soldiers sang while they were torturing Kevin Barry."

I don't know whether it is true or untrue. Belief has nothing to do with truth.

What's sectarian is very subjective.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Fields of Athenry
From: Big Tim
Date: 05 Apr 01 - 01:54 PM

I've been on four continents and 28 countries, I've been in Athenry too, and found it no better or worse than than anywhere else in the world. In fact I found it as pleasant and peaceful as anywhere else in Ireland and I've been in all 32 counties. Victoria, I agree with you on another thread but not on this one.

Here is a selection from a Pete St John interview in the "Daily Record" newspaper (Scotland's most popular) Feb 19 1999. "It's a song about the potato famine in Ireland, it's that simple. I'd gone to Galway and read some Gaelic tracts about how tough life was in those dreadful times. The people were starving and corn had been imported from America to help them but it was Indian corn with a kernel so hard that the mills here in Ireland couldn't grind it. So it lay useless in stores at the docks in Dublin. But nobody trusted tha authorities, the Crown, to tell them the truth so hundreds of starving Irish marched on the city to get the grain. Some were arrested and shipped off to Australia in prison ships. I wrote a ballad about [in 1979], inventing Michael, Mary and a baby - a family torn apart because a husband stole corn to feed his family...all this information came from Galway so I set the song in Athenry, a little Galway village where the potato fields lay empty". The article was in the "Daily Record" becos the Song has acquired a controversial reputation here after being adopted by the fans of (Glasgow) Celtic, a "Catholic" football team. Pete finished up "it's a song about hard times in Ireland's history, a bit like Flower of Scotland is the same to the Scots. But bigotry? It's about as sectarian as I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles".

I can't vouch for the accuracy of Pete's research, but that is what the man has placed on record.

Recently I read Alexander Irvine's autobiographical novel "The Souls of Poor Folk" (1921)set with his family (which was Protestant) in Antrim town during the famine era. His family was starving, the boy (the young Irvine) stole some turnips from a field but his mother, the saintly heroine of his other great little novel "My Lady of the Chimney Corner", made him take them back.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 1 December 5:51 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.