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Origin: Avondale (Dominic Behan)

15 Sep 98 - 02:55 AM (#38168)
Subject: Irish 'love affair' one century ago?
From: Ezio

I've just retrieved from DT's database the lyric of 'Avondale', a very lovely song written by Dominic Behan. The note at foot says:
«This song is about Parnell, the leader of the Irish Home Rule Movement in the 1880s. After a scandal about his sex life, his supporters, under a campaign of hatred by both the English press and the Catholic church, deserted him and he died shortly afterwards. MJ»

My knowledge of Irish history is very very poor. I had a look at an encyclopaedia, but I found only a few lines about Parnell. I would like to know some more about this song and Parnell scandal (by the way, at the present sex scandals are in!). Thank you

P.S. HERE you can listen at the song as sung by Al O'Donnell.

15 Sep 98 - 04:28 AM (#38179)
Subject: RE: Irish 'love affair' one century ago?
From: Martin Ryan

Parnell's full name was "Charles Stewart Parnell". A net-search on that produced a number of good sites including this one, on Avondale - his house in Wicklow, just south of Dublin:



p.s. Behan appears to have "borrowed" (without attribution), the air of an Orange song called "The Orange Maid of Sligo" (see DT). I always wondered where the air came from - and why you never heard it used for anything else!

16 Sep 98 - 01:38 AM (#38281)
Subject: RE: Irish 'love affair' one century ago?
From: O'Boyle

Other songs make reference to the scandal. In "come out ye black and tans" one line reads, "Let us hear you tell, how you slandered great Parnell, When you got him well and truly persecuted." Also in the James Joyce book, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" the story begins shortly after Parnell's death and there are some wonderfully written scenes dramitizing the debate.


16 Sep 98 - 05:00 AM (#38290)
Subject: RE: Irish 'love affair' one century ago?
From: Martin Ryan

Joyce's interest came from his fatehr, who had ambitions to stand for election in the Parnellite interest, and worked on behalf of some candidates.


17 Sep 98 - 10:01 AM (#38422)
Subject: RE: Irish 'love affair' one century ago?
From: skw@

Parnell had a long-standing relationship with Mrs. Kitty O'Shea. Years later, when Irish Home Rule threatened to be successful her husband, Captain O'Shea, who'd known and apparently not objected to the relationship, filed a divorce and cited Parnell as co-respondent. Parnell was disgraced and deserted by most of his own party. There has been a whiff of suspicion ever since that someone, somewhere may have paid good money to Captain O'Shea for getting divorced... That's just off the top of my head. If anyone is interested I could look up more when I get home. - Susanne