The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11606   Message #2679292
Posted By: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
13-Jul-09 - 02:44 PM
Thread Name: Lyr ADD/Origins: The Bard of Armagh
Subject: RE: Bard of Armagh
As in the case of most recordings of this song that I've ever heard, John McCormack's is of the arrangement by Herbert Hughes, in his "Irish Country Songs" of c.1910 (there are, I think, four volumes); actually, there are at least three recordings by McC. one from 1920 and two others from the 1930s. In one of these, for an American wireless programme, he's accompanied on piano by Edwin Schneider; in the other, by Gerald Moore. The earliest version has orchestral accompaniment. In every case, he sings three verses, approximating to the first, fourth and sixth of the version given by JedMarum above. I agree with Martin Ryan that there's a literary feel to the song, though I doubt if it's as early as Thomas Campbell, for the following reason. In a collection of largely Scottish songs from about 1880, there's a set of words ascribed to one A Ritchie, poetically inferior (in my view) to the versions quoted above (the last line is simply, "she loved PB, the Bard of Armagh".