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Take Kathleen home to where?

21 Mar 98 - 12:55 PM (#24262)
Subject: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Austin

Here in Ireland it is generally thought that the song, I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen is an Irish one. I understand, however, that it is American and that 'home' to Kathleen is Germany. Has anyone got the details so that I can authoritively disillusion a few people? --Regards, Austin.

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21 Mar 98 - 01:07 PM (#24263)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Earl

It was written by Thomas P. Westendorf and published in 1876 by John Church & Co., Cincinnati. I think you're on the right track.


21 Mar 98 - 04:22 PM (#24286)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Richard

Maybe think of it as being Irish because a quarter of cavalry office's sing it to Maureen OHara, who I beleive was playing an irish woman, in a John Wayne move. Wayne was a calvalry officer. Might have been Horse Soldiers, can't remember.

Richard


21 Mar 98 - 05:49 PM (#24292)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Alice

If this helps any, the song is included in "The Greatest of All Irish Songs", Mills Music, Inc, NY, NY, ©1932. It does give Thomas P. Westendorf as the composer and author, but I think it was intended for the American "market" of sentimental Irish songs. Alot of non-Irish composers and writers wrote songs and lyrics for that popular market. For example, another song in the book is "Tears of The Shannon", words by Giselle Eichert and N.T. Granlund, and music by F.Henri Klickmann.
I always thought of it as a "commercial" American song written about returning to Ireland. alice


21 Mar 98 - 07:10 PM (#24295)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Sir

I don't know why I remember this because, although I was as much a fan of the show as any 12 year old in 1967, I am not a "trekkie" but a drunken Irish-American member of the Enterprise crew sang the song on a "Star Trek" episode.


21 Mar 98 - 07:11 PM (#24296)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Sir

I don't know why I remember this because, although I was as much a fan of the show as any 12 year old in 1967, I am not a "trekkie" but a drunken Irish-American member of the Enterprise crew sang the song on a "Star Trek" episode.


22 Mar 98 - 03:03 PM (#24341)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: leprechaun

As I remember it, that was O'Reily, on the Enterprise, and he wasn't drunk, but fantasizing that he was a great Irish tenor. They had flown through a space warp or were infected by a space virus or some such, and the affected crew members were deluded into living their fantasy on board. As I remember, Ensign Sulu had a samurai fantasy. O'Reily locked himself in the communications center and treated the entire crew to several hours of I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen, apparently the only song he knew, and he effectively slaughtered it. I'd like to see that episode again, because years ago I didn't have the interest in the music.


23 Mar 98 - 08:12 AM (#24398)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Earl

Maybe it's a filk song.


24 Mar 98 - 02:43 PM (#24514)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: judy

Austin,
You're totally right;

Notes from Soodlum's Selection of Irish Ballads Vol.2:

"Thomas Paine Westendorf, who was an American, was said to have written this song for his wife, Jenny, who was also living in America. They were both of German origin and longed to visit their homeland."

Disillusion away!

enjoy!
judy


24 Mar 98 - 10:19 PM (#24545)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Alice

Judy... Great revelation!! (But why didn't he write "I'll Take You Home Again Jenny"?) ;-) alice


24 Mar 98 - 11:51 PM (#24549)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: judy

Alice,

Maybe he didn't want to reveal his wife's real identity to the world. (*wink*) Like some people on the internet.

Seriously, probably went better with the tune

enjoy! judy


25 Mar 98 - 11:37 PM (#24628)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: leprechaun

So apparently this song was borrowed/appropriated by musicians of Irish descent. Did something similar happen with "Spanish Lady?"


26 Mar 98 - 11:56 AM (#24643)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Alice

This reminds me of notes in a Clancy/Makem songbook regarding the drinking song, 'Cruiscín Lán'. "The music of the chorus sounds more German than Irish, but the sentiments are universal to any drinking man."

alice


26 Mar 98 - 10:29 PM (#24696)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Casey

I'd have to agree with Alice. It would appear that the German songwriter wrote an Irish song. I don't doubt he wrote it for his German wife, but had he wanted to write a German song his " bonnie bride " would have been Gretchen.


27 Mar 98 - 10:20 AM (#24732)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Earl

The book _Popular Songs of the Nineteenth Century_ by Richard Jackson has some interesting notes on "Katheeen." He begins with this statement on researching old songs: "There can scarcely be many other bodies of 'nonfiction' on a single subject so riddled with casual scholarship (where it is present at all) and heady whimisicallity."

Apparently there have been a number of conflicting stories about when, where, why and for whom the song was written. Interestingly, going back to Germany or Ireland is not listed among them. One has his wife, bereaved over the death of their son asking the husband to take her home from Louisville to New York (which of course is not across the ocean.) Another has her asking to go back to Bowling Green, Virginia from Europe where they had gone to recover from the death of their son. Some say she died on shipboard of a broken heart and was buried at sea.

There was an article written for the Music Library Association in 1948 called "Getting Kathleen Home Again" which supposedly clears everything up. Westendorf's wife was named Jennie and was born in Ogdensburg, New York. They lived in Indiana and never went to Europe. The song was written as an "answer" to a song called "Barney, Take Me Home Again" written by Westendorf's friend and sometime collaborator, George W. Persley. Although it's not stated this way, it appears that it was an American with a German last name writing a popular "Irish" song.


27 Mar 98 - 10:46 AM (#24737)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: judy

great researching. Thanx

enjoy! judy


23 Jan 99 - 05:18 PM (#55388)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Lesley N.

To renew an old subject that was rekindled on another thread -

According to _The American Treasury: 100 Favorites_ by Theodore Raph (Dover Publications), "Katheleen" was written in 1875 by Thomas Westendorf, a public school music teacher in Plainfield, Illinois. Westendorf wrote the tune for his wife Jeanie, while she was visiting her home town of Ogdensburg, New York. The first public performance of the tune was in Plainfield's town hall.

In 1876 it was one of two most popular songs in America - the other being "Grandfather's Clock".

Super trivia - Evidently Thomas Edison liked it so much he got an autographed copy of the song and put it in his museum in Detroit...


03 Oct 00 - 11:43 AM (#310979)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: rabbitrunning

My grandmother (who was born in 1896) used to talk about Irish tenors sometimes, both to quote a line from a poem that she loved that went "They shot a man like Lincoln and let that tenor live" and also to sing some of her favorites. "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" was a standard part of the repertoire of any vaudevillian tenor -- and from what she said, they were always billed as "Irish" no matter where they came from. But tenor voices were very popular in music halls in the days before electrical amplification. Like sopranos, they could be heard more clearly to the back of the hall, and were well-suited to the florid popular style of the day.


03 Oct 00 - 11:56 AM (#310993)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Steve Parkes

Interesting to see who songwriters' parents named them for: Thomas Paine Westendorf and Henry Clay Work (My Grandfather's Clock); Henry Clay was the son of Cassius Clay (not that one!), and both were big names in what we now call Civil Rights, and Tom Paine needs no introduction from me. New thread subject, if anyone wants to kick it off!

While we're at it, does anyone know 'Barney, Take Me Home Again'?

Steve


03 Oct 00 - 12:01 PM (#311003)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: rabbitrunning

Well, no... but while I was searching the DT I found BARNEY AND KATIE. I wonder if it's related?


03 Oct 00 - 12:27 PM (#311016)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: SINSULL

I understood that he made enough money from royalties that he did take her home. Or did my Dad make that up?


03 Oct 00 - 02:14 PM (#311121)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: kendall

He probably took poetic license with the name just as Steven Foster did with " I dream of Jeannie." The lady he was courting was named Inez, but, it just didnt flow, so, he used the name of her sister, Jeannie when Inez snubbed him. More trivia? he also wrote "way down upon the PEE DEE River, not Suwannee. He never saw the Suwannee.


03 Oct 00 - 03:14 PM (#311199)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: GUEST,Barry T at work

In a similar theme, another Irish tune that's not is When You and I Were Young, Maggie.

The music was by an American, and the lyrics by a Canadian. The hills referred to in the lyrics I wandered today through the hills, Maggie are the hills near Hamilton, Ontario! 8-0


03 Oct 00 - 10:40 PM (#311582)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Bob Bolton

G'day,

Steve: I seem to remember reading (possibly in a Dover collection of "Great Irish Songs" - many written by very un-Irish Americans) that Westendorf wrote I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen in the form of a reply to Barney, Take Me Home Again ... written by an acquaintance.

I need to look at the book when I get home, but that's my memory.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


04 Oct 00 - 01:27 AM (#311680)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: DougR

The movie you are thinking of was "Rio Grande," with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Dick Foran and the Sons of the Pioneers sang "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen," to the two after dinner one evening. The film was one of a trilogy of Cavalry movies directed by John Ford.

DougR


04 Oct 00 - 02:20 AM (#311704)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: SingsIrish Songs

I've only heard the background info about Westendorf's wife going back to Ogdensburg, NY to visit family...

Here's a link for the vintage sheet music for BARNEY TAKE ME HOME AGAIN from The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music.

Also, this is some of the information (from Levy site) found on the cover page:

Title: Barney, Take Me Home Again! Song and Chorus.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Words by Arthur W. French. Music by Geo. W. Persley.
Publication: Cincinnati: John Church & Co., 1875.
First Line: Barney, dear, I'd give the world to see my home across the sea
First Line of Chorus: Oh, take me home, yes, take me home, to where my heart will know no pain
Dedicatee: To My Friend Thos. P. Westendorf, Plainfield, Ind.


05 Oct 00 - 11:05 PM (#313272)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Bob Bolton

G'day again,

I looked in what proves to be called Popular Irish Song, by Dover Press, and the entry says that Westendorf wrote the song "~ ... in answer to his friend's song Barney, Take Me Home Again. I guess that this makes it written for the US market in Irish style songs ... if not actually Irish ... but when did that ever bother the Irish?

If it mentions green - or rhymes with it - or ends in a fight - it must be Irish!

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


05 Oct 00 - 11:16 PM (#313280)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: GUEST,Liland

Just off the top o' me head I'd be inclined to imagine the average Irish person might understandably leap to the subliminal assumption that the lady was none other than Kathleen Mavourneen herself. I'm a bit surprised I haven't noticed that influence mentioned above.

Liland
Not known to be Irish
(Though there is an eighth unknown in my ancestry)


06 Oct 00 - 12:16 AM (#313310)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: GUEST,guest still

If I hear it from Wolfgang I know it will be the correct information.


06 Oct 00 - 08:34 AM (#313420)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Wolfgang

I can't add anything, sorry.

Wolfgang (I only could provide some links to posts in which I have given wrong information)


10 Oct 00 - 01:46 PM (#315606)
Subject: RE: Take Kathleen home to where?
From: Fiolar

Bugs Bunny fans will remember him singing "I dream of Jeannie, she's a light brown hare." M
    Thread closed because it's been a frequent target for Spam. Please post to one of the other threads crosslinked above. Thanks. -Joe Offer, Music Editor-