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Origins: Hills of Connemara

23 Feb 97 - 11:36 AM (#2491)
Subject: lyrics req. Hills of Connemara
From: e23sdl@morgan.ucs.mun.ca

If anyone has the wors to this song could you please drop me a line. Thank-You


23 Feb 97 - 11:56 AM (#2492)
Subject: Lyr Add: HILLS OF CONNEMARA
From: Valery Malin vmalin@ix.netcom.com

From Soodlum's Irish Ballad Book:

Hills of Connemara

Gather up the pots and the old tin can
The mash, the corn, the barley and the bran
Run like the devil from the Excise man
Keep the smoke from rising Barney.

Swing to the left and swing to the right.
The Excise men will dance all night.
Drinking up the tay till the broad daylight
In the hills of Connemara.

A gallon for the butcher, a quart for Tom,
A bottle for poor old Father Tom
To help the poor old dear along
In the hills of Connemara.

Stand your ground, it is too late
The Excise men are at the gate
Glory be to Paddy, but they're drinking it nate.
In the hills of Connemara.

(According to this book, it's a song about the production of "illicit" alcohol -- poteen, as it's called -- and the attempt by the Excise men to control it.)

Hope this helps.

Val

Click to play


16 Nov 07 - 04:05 PM (#2195537)
Subject: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: PeadarOfPortsmouth

I'm curious if anyone knows the origins of "The Hills of Connemara".

I couldn't find anything in the DT or forum searches, and I'm trying to be diligent in tracking down sources for any songs "on the set list".

Cheers,

Peter


16 Nov 07 - 04:30 PM (#2195553)
Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Peadar - It's unattributed in Soodlum's Irish Ballad Book (1982), page 94, the only printed source I could find. The lyrics and notes in the Digital Tradition are an exact transcription from Soodlum's, taken from the post from Valery Malin (above - I moved it here from another thread).
Note that the Digital Tradition has another version titled Gather Up the Pots, apparently from the singing of Owen McBride.

-Joe Offer-
For the sake of discussion, here are the Ditital Tradition lyrics ot "Gather Up the Pots":
    GATHER UP THE POTS

    Gather up the pots and the old tin cans
    The corn, the mash, the barley and the bran
    Running like the devil from the excise man
    Keep the smoke from rising, Barney

    Oh the excise men are on their way
    They're hunting all around for the mountain tay
    Oh they won't go away for the devil of a day
    In the hills of Connemaraugh

    Oh here's a bottle for Uncle Tom
    And here's a gallon for Father John
    To help the poor old man along
    Through the hills of Connemaraugh

    Well, stand your ground for it's too late
    The excise men are at the gate
    Oh, glory be to Jesus, they're drinking it straight
    In the hills of Connemaraugh

    @drink @Irish
    recorded by Owen McBride
    filename[ GATHRPOT
    SOF


16 Nov 07 - 04:52 PM (#2195565)
Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: Bernard

Odd that I've never seen this thread before! I've been singing this song for over forty years... learned it from Paul Murphy from Killough, County Down, when we were in the same folk trio at college - and I'm fairly sure the version the Grehan Sisters sang (or still sing?) was very similar:

Hills of Connemara

    Chorus:
    Gather up your pots and your old tin can,
    The mash, the corn, the barley and the bran,
    Run like the divvil from the Excise man,
    Keep the smoke from rising, Barney.

  1. Keep your eyes well peeled today,
    The big tall men men are on their way
    Searching for the Mountain Tae
    In the Hills of Connemara.

  2. Mountain breezes, as they blow,
    Hear their echo in the glen below,
    The Gun 'B' men are on the go
    In the Hills of Connemara

  3. A gallon for the butcher, a quart for Tom
    A bottle for poor old farmer John
    Put out those fires and run along
    In the Hills of Connemara

  4. Stand your ground, boys, it's too late
    The Excise Men are at your gate
    Glory be to God, but they're drinking it nate
    In the Hills of Connemara

  5. Swing to the left and swing to the right,
    The Excise Men will dance all night
    Drinking up tae till the morning light
    In the Hills of Connemara


17 Nov 07 - 05:33 AM (#2195797)
Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: GUEST,M.

I think it was written by Sean McCarthy of Listowel.


17 Nov 07 - 02:14 PM (#2196114)
Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: GUEST,Jim I

After reading this I googled Sean McCarthy and found this. I did knew about "Step it out Mary" and "Shanagolden" but not about "Hills of Connemara"

http://www.chivalry.com/cantaria/mattie/mccarthy.html


19 Nov 07 - 01:40 PM (#2197626)
Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: PeadarOfPortsmouth

hmmm...I didn't see mention of Hills of Connemara on the McCarthy page, nor was it listed on the song list for the Peggy Sweeney album of his work. Am I missing something?

Anyway - Thanks, Joe, for tying my query to the previous thread. I did find the lyrics to both in my initial search, but I haven't had any luck regarding the origins of the song. The search continues, and until shown otherwise - Trad. ;-)

Cheers,

Peter


19 Nov 07 - 04:03 PM (#2197757)
Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: Dave the Gnome

I was pretty sure it was McCarthy as well - I had one of his song books that I am convinced had 'Hills' in it. But the songbook seems to have disappeared! :-(

D.


19 Nov 07 - 04:11 PM (#2197761)
Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: Dave the Gnome

Aha! Not found the book but found this snippet about the Finuge weekend

We were lcuky enought to catch this event about five or six years ago. It was wonderful. Anyway - Why you may not be able to see the link is the original McCarthy title is, apparantly 'Mountain Tae', as you will spot about halfway down the home page.

Mystery solved. It was the caretaker in a mask all along...

:D


19 Nov 07 - 04:13 PM (#2197763)
Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: domo

Hi,
It was wriiten by Sean McCarthy and is on his CD "The Wandering Man" ,first released in 1970 by EMI AND re-released in 2002 by EMI the shamrock series.The reason you failed to track it is that Sean gives it the title "Mountain Tae". Great CD.


19 Nov 07 - 04:14 PM (#2197764)
Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: Dave the Gnome

PS - Got to love the typing on the site. Wonder if jOhn was involved:-) The crossroads at Finuge is the only place I have seen an English style pub in the area - I am sure there are more but this was very distinctive. And very large. Just as well seeing as the Thatched House was dry and between every act there was a mass exodus to the pub:-)


19 Nov 07 - 04:32 PM (#2197785)
Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: PeadarOfPortsmouth

Thanks for solving the mystery! Great up-tempo song that I've heard for years, but never knew the origins. As a new folkie, I want to make sure I'm giving proper credit...thanks for help!

Peter


20 Nov 07 - 03:53 PM (#2198606)
Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: Gulliver

In the last version above (which was the one I learned long ago), I believe "Gun 'B' men" should read "Gombeen men". A gombeen was a kind of shady wheeler-dealer down the country.

Good to have found the author.

Don


20 Nov 07 - 04:16 PM (#2198628)
Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)

I learned this from the Clancy's (in the late 60s I'd guess from the song folder it's in - I wasn't as good at keeping source details in those days!) under the title of The Mountain Tay. The words were substantially the same as posted by Bernard above with the exception of the verse:

A gallon for the butcher, a quart for Tom,
A bottle for poor old Father John
To help his prayers and his hymns along,
In the Hills of Connemara.

Mick


22 Nov 07 - 08:56 AM (#2199862)
Subject: RE: Origins: Hills of Connemara
From: Snuffy

The tune appears to be a speeded up version of Coulter's Candy