The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11606   Message #1816316
Posted By: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
22-Aug-06 - 02:40 PM
Thread Name: Lyr ADD/Origins: The Bard of Armagh
Subject: RE: Lyr. Add: The Bard of Armagh
The three-verse version quoted earlier was published in 1909 by Hughes in his "Irish Country Songs", with a splendid arrangement (for piano accompaniment), and was recorded by John McCormack on at least three occasions; with orchestra (!) in 1920, and twice in the 1930s, accompanied on piano first by Teddy Schneider and later by Gerald Moore. Thomas Campbell seems likely as the maker of the verses with regard to approximate period , BUT, I found in a late C19th collection of Scottish poetry a set of words by A Ritchie which are poetically inferior to the three verses published by Hughes, and hardly likely to be a copy of anything by Campbell (even if anyone would dare claim as his own the work of a noted poet). It's clear, then, that a few people have had a go at it.

This might qualify it as a "traditional"/"folk" song, but not in everyone's estimation. I was once dissuaded from offering it in a traditional singing competition because (and I quote), "it's just not.. you know...". I wonder what this reservation might reveal about hidden assumptions about what constitutes a "traditional" song; was the reservation simply because (in its familiar form) this song is just too poetically accomplished for some tastes, or attitudes? Any thoughts? (I've been deliberately vague, at present).