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Lyr Req: The Holy Ground (from The Wolfe Tones)

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THE HOLY GROUND


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: This Is Holy Ground (12)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Holy Ground (15)


Clifton53 17 Nov 99 - 12:57 AM
Reiver 2 17 Nov 99 - 06:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 99 - 07:12 PM
raredance 17 Nov 99 - 07:27 PM
Reiver 2 17 Nov 99 - 08:32 PM
Susan A-R 17 Nov 99 - 11:02 PM
Bobby 18 Nov 99 - 01:32 AM
Callie 18 Nov 99 - 01:46 AM
Wolfgang 18 Nov 99 - 05:22 AM
18 Nov 99 - 09:46 AM
Clifton53 18 Nov 99 - 11:35 AM
Wolfgang 18 Nov 99 - 11:52 AM
Lesley N. 18 Nov 99 - 06:11 PM
18 Nov 99 - 08:27 PM
Clifton53 19 Nov 99 - 12:42 AM
Abby Sale 12 Aug 01 - 07:46 PM
Charley Noble 13 Aug 01 - 08:46 AM
GUEST,Reiver 2 13 Aug 01 - 02:08 PM
Dicho 13 Aug 01 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,oundlejenny@hotmail.com 04 Aug 02 - 03:33 PM
Charley Noble 04 Aug 02 - 08:47 PM
Joe Offer 07 Aug 02 - 01:24 AM
Joe Offer 07 Aug 02 - 01:31 AM
GUEST 04 Jul 04 - 08:48 AM
michaelr 04 Jul 04 - 04:42 PM
GUEST,GUEST 11 Apr 13 - 08:38 PM
Gulliver 26 Jun 14 - 05:46 PM
Jim Dixon 20 Jul 14 - 11:39 AM
JJ 21 Jul 14 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 21 Jul 14 - 04:21 PM
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Subject: The Holy Ground
From: Clifton53
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 12:57 AM

I'm looking for lyrics to "The Holy Ground", not the famous one we all love, but another I've heard by The Wolfe-Tones,concerning life on a whaling ship.

I remember most of it, but a little unclear on some parts.

Also, is this one of those song titles that serves many different songs besides these two??

Thanks

Clifton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Reiver 2
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 06:45 PM

Give a few of the lyrics so I know which version is "the famous" one and which is the other one.

The one I'm familiar with is the "Fine girl you are!" version that starts "Adieu to you my Ireland, A thousand times adieu. We're going away from the Holy Ground..."

I saw in a recent thread (can't remember which one) that the Holy Ground was a port district in I think, maybe Cork? (Somebody refresh my memory on that.) I had always heard that it was the name of a specific and well-known pub, frequented by sailors and whalers, but never knew the location. Hope someone will provide the definitive answers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 07:12 PM

There's a Welsh version too, "Swansea Town" it's on Stan Hugill's record "Shanties from the Seven Seas", with me in the chorus somewhere.

Stan Hugill's book "Sailortown" (1967), about all the ports in the world in the years of sail has a section about the Holy Ground, in Cork, or as it was then known, Queenstown (where incidentally the Titanic last stopped to take on passengers - the listy of steerage passengers from there on a website somewhere makes curious reading..

"When the men got ashore here they would head for a rather squalid part of the port known as the Holy Ground where there were many taverns and the fishermen and wtaerfront workers of Cobh had their being. Some say that, as well as this curious name being the name of the district, indays gone by it was also the nickname of the brothel quarter of Queenstown."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: raredance
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 07:27 PM

There is another "modern & written" song with the "Holy Ground" title on a Mary Black album. She also does a version of the traditional song on the same album, i.e. two "Holy Grounds" on one album. The album not coincidently is titled "Holy Ground".

rich r


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Reiver 2
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 08:32 PM

Glad to get the information clarified re. the Holy Ground. Thanks! I don't know the Mary Black version, but the "old" version is a great song! Is the Mary Black song the one you were inquiring about, Clifton53? I have only 3 recordings by the Wolfe Tones and none of them include any version of The Holy Ground.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HOLY GROUND (Gerry O'Beirne)
From: Susan A-R
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 11:02 PM

I suppose it complicates the situation further, but I learned one sung by Andy Irvine (I believe) about a man who leaves Ireland and ends up in the American southwest, dying in battle. I'm not sure if it's the Mexican war, or the Civil War

THE HOLY GROUND
(Gerry O'Beirne)

I was born on the holy ground
A running boy in fields of clover
Living in the grandeur of
My father's home

By the side of the swirling sea
I spent my days in childhood wonder
And the rocks I held in my young hands
I never thought they'd slip away

The sun . . .
The wind blew high as I was leaving
And I sailed so very far
Looking for adventure

But I could not stay where the city streets
proclaimed so loudly man's endeavors
Though music is a goodly thing
In fine company.

The wilderness took my breath away
Under a sun that never falters
A man needs to find his way
where no one ever goes.

There's more, but it slips my mind, and I have no idea of who wrote it (probably learned it in some ilicit fashion, as I've learned many songs, bootlegged radio stuff.)

Susan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Bobby
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 01:32 AM

The Irish version of the "Holy Ground " refers, I believe, to a red light district some where in the South. The original song is said to be Welsh and sings the praises of "Old Swansea Town".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Callie
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 01:46 AM

Susan A-R's version (quoted above) is the same one as Mary Black's "modern" one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 05:22 AM

Luka Bloom also sing a 'Holy Ground'. He often writes his own songs, but I don't know whether he did in this case.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From:
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 09:46 AM

The version posted by Susan was written by Gerry O'Beirne. Tow additional verses are:

It was in the south that my new home lay
With a dark eyed boy and wild horses
With humming birds and roses
There in old Mexico.

There the winds of change they blew so far
Of liberty and revolution
And it seemed that each man heard in his breast
the drumming of a nation

repeat 1st verse in Susan's post


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Clifton53
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 11:35 AM

We shipped on the Angeline, me boys, bound for the arctic sea,
Where the cold winds blow with frost and snow, it's as cold as it can be,
Where the cold winds blow with frost and snow, but the good ol' ship she did roll,
'Twas then that I thought that I'd like to be back in the Holy Ground once more.

This is just one verse, the chorus:

Once more, boys, once more, the Holy Ground once more,
Was then that I thought that I'd like to be back in the Holy Ground once more.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 9-Aug-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Wolfgang
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 11:52 AM

These words sure remind me of GO TO SEA ONCE MORE, though there's quite a way from 'last night I slept with Angeline' to 'we shipped on the Angeline, me boys'. I'd bet that the tunes are identical.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Lesley N.
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 06:11 PM

The "Holy Ground" is a quarter of Cobh (once known as Queenstown), which was inhabited mainly by fisherman, so the song is also known as The Cobh Sea Shanty. The Holy Ground is actually a set of Irish lyrics to the songs, The Lass of Swansea Town. (This info according to a source I didn't note - I had it on my page before I was a fanatic about such things.)

I have the lyrics to all three and a midi by Brian Hicks at The Holy Ground (http://www.contemplator.com/folk3/holygrnd.html).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From:
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 08:27 PM

Sounds to me quite likely the lad in Gerry O'Beirne's song would have been fighting in the St Patrick Brigade with the Mexicans against the Americans.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Clifton53
Date: 19 Nov 99 - 12:42 AM

I knew this would be interesting.

Reiver II, the song I seek is on the Wolfe-Tones "Rifles of the I.R.A. record. I have never heard the Mary Black version referred to earlier. Nor is it the "fine girl you are" version. Wolfgang's lyrics are the same meter and rhyme scheme.

"We weren't long in the Artic Sea when we had spied a whale,

With harpoon in my icy hand, to hit I dare not fail,

With a harpoon in my icy hand, I shot, but struck before,

Twas then that I thought I'd like to be back in the Holy Ground once more". Chorus

Thanks all, Clifton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Abby Sale
Date: 12 Aug 01 - 07:46 PM

So last night I was watching The History Channel (as I often do) and about 2:00 am they ran a program on the history of urban prostitution. They concentrated (until I fell asleep) on a Revolution-era several blocks square section of old New York (Manhattan) behind St. Paul's Church. It was the red-light district - prostitution and other seedyish professions and, obviously, called The Holy Ground.

Seems that when the Brits took New York, they made extensive use of the social amenities there and created quite a sexy environment all together. As a novelty & as officers and gentlemen all over the place and with so many of the Colonials off fighting elsewhere, the young ladies, both proper and less so got themselves into the party scene that sprung up.

Anyway, the area seems to have taken shape under the Holy Ground name by about 1770 and thrived for some time. This is pre-clipper ship, of course, and may have preceeded the Irish Holy Ground. Or been named after the Irish one - they didn't say. Maybe like the robin, the local bird's nest came to be called the Holy Ground wherever Brits travelled in the World.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Charley Noble
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 08:46 AM

Clifton, it does appear that the version of "Holy Ground" you are looking for overlaps with "Go to sea No More." What's unclear is whether it's a modern re-write of "Go to Sea Once More" or an older adaptation. I've never run across it before but it looks like an interesting version, be it newer or older. I bet the tune is similar. Maybe it's all a product of collective memory loss.;-)

Abby, I was also musing over the New York City "sister" neighborhood.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HOLY GROUND and OFF TO SEA ONCE MORE
From: GUEST,Reiver 2
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 02:08 PM

(I'm having to re-type this whole post as my computer froze just as I tried to submit it the first time. Aarrgh!)

You're right Clifton53, The Wolf Tones do a version of "The Holy Ground" on Rifles of the IRA. It's the same tune, but different lyrics from what we sang as The Reivers in British Columbia back in the '70s and 80s. The version we did went like this (we learned it I think from a Dubliners recording):

THE HOLY GROUND

(FINE GIRL YOU ARE!) (shouted!)
1. Adieu to you my Ireland, a thousand times adieu.
We're going away from the Holy Ground and the girls that we love true.
We will sail the salt sea over, And then we'll turn for shore,
To see again the girls we love and the Holy Ground once more.

CHO: (FINE GIRL YOU ARE!)
You're the girl I do adore,
And still I live in hopes to see
The Holy Ground once more
(FINE GIRL YOU ARE!)

2) I see the storm arising, I see it coming soon
And the sky it is so cloudy you can scarcely see the moon.
And the good old ship she was tossing about; the rigging was all tore.
And still I live in hopes to see the Holy Ground once more

CHO:

3) And now the storm is over and we are safe on shore.
We will drink a toast to the Holy Ground and the girls that we adore.
We will drink strong ale and Porter and make the rafters roar.
And when our money is all spent we'll go to sea once more.

CHO:

We also did another song called "Off to Sea Once More" which did not mention the Holy Ground, but had the line "last night I slept with Angeline" that Wolfgang refers to. (Hello again, Wolfgang!) I have this on a recording by The Buskers about whom I know very little (ie. nothing!)

OFF TO SEA ONCE MORE

1) When first I landed in Liverpool, I went upon a spree.
Me money at last, I spent it fast, Got drunk as drunk could be.
When me money was all gone, It was then that I wanted more
:||But a man must be blind for to make up his mind, to go to sea once more||:
Once more, boys, once more. Go to sea once more.
(Repeat lines between :|| and ||:)

2) Last night I slept with Angeline too drunk to roll in bed.
Me money was new, me watch was too. In the morning with them she fled.
As I roamed the streets about, The whores they all did roar,
:||"There goes Jack Sprad, the poor sailor lad, he must go to sea once more!"||:
Once more, boys, once more. Go to sea once more.

3) I shipped on board of a whaling ship Bound for the Arctic Sea.
Where the cold winds blow the ice and snow, (Jamaica rum 'twas free.)
Worse to bear I'd no oilskins (I'd spent all me money ashore.)
:||'Twas then that I said that I wished I was dead; Could go to sea no more||:
No more, boys, no more. Go to sea no more.

4) Come all you jolly sea-faring lads and listen to me song.
When you come off those long, long trips I pray you won't go wrong.
Take my advice, drink no strong drink Or go sleeping with those whores.
:||Get married instead, spend all nights in bed And go to sea no more.||:
No more, boys, no more. Go to sea no more.

I think there has been some cross breeding and hybridization accurring between at least two songs, probably more. One of the neat things that happens with folk music, though it often leads to confusion. Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Dicho
Date: 13 Aug 01 - 02:22 PM

New York's "Holy Ground" likely has nothing to do with the Irish "Holy Ground." Names like this tend to spring up in several places. In Budapest, the "fun" district with the food, wine, women and song was known for a time as the "New World." It is an in-joke about Dvorak's "New World" Symphony and apparently shared by Dvorak himself.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: GUEST,oundlejenny@hotmail.com
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 03:33 PM

does anyone have the words? Please send them if you have. Thanks, Jenny
E-mail sent.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 08:47 PM

Guest-scroll up and check what's posted above and I think you'll have a start on several variants of this song.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HOLY GROUND (Gerry O'Beirne)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 01:24 AM

The song Jenny wanted was the recently-composed one from the Mary Black "Holy Ground" album (Black also has a traditional "Holy Ground" on the album. Susan A-R posted most of the song above, but there's the whole shebang, taken from Mary Black's Website.
-Joe Offer-



THE HOLY GROUND
(Gerry O'Beirne)

Lyrics:
I was born on the holy ground
A running child in fields of clover
I was living in the grandeur
Of my father's land
mmm...

By the side of the swirling sea
I spent the days of childish wonder
And the rocks I held in my young hands
I never felt them slip away

Well the sun shone bright upon the waves
And the wind blew high as I was leaving
And I sailed so far away
Looking for adventure
mmm...

But I would not stay where the city streets
proclaimed so loudly man's endeavours
Though music is a pretty thing
in fine company
And the wilderness took my breath away
I felt I had to find my way
Where no-one ever goes
mmm...

It was in the south that my new home lay
With a dark eyed boy and wild horses
With humming birds and roses there
in old Mexico

There the winds of change they blew so far
Of liberty and revolution
And it seemed that each man heard in his breast
the drumming of a nation
mmm...

Repeat the first verse


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HOLY GROUND (from Mary Black)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 01:31 AM

Here are the lyrics to the other "Holy Ground" from the Mary Black album. they're closely related to the lyrics posted above by Reiver2.
-Joe Offer-


THE HOLY GROUND (Trad)
Songwriter: Traditional. Arr. Jimmy Crowley / Mary Black

Lyrics:
Farewell my lovely Johnny,
a thousand times adieu
You are going away from the holy ground
And the ones that love you true
You will sail the salt seas over
And then return for sure
To see again the ones you love
And the holy ground once more

You're on the salt sea sailing
And I am safe behind
Fond letters I will write to you
The secrets of my mind
And the secrets of my mind, my love
You're the one that I adore
Still I live in hopes you'll see
The holy ground once more

I see the storm a risin'
And it's coming quick and soon
And the night's so dark and cloudy
You can scarcely see the moon
And the secrets of my mind, my love
You're the one that I adore
And still I live in hopes you'll see
The holy ground once more

But now the storms are over
And you are safe and well
We will go into a public house
And we'll sit and drink our fill
We will drink strong ale and porter
And we'll make the rafters roar
And when our money it is all spent
You'll go to sea once more
You're the one that I adore
And still I live in hopes that you'll see
The holy ground once more


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 08:48 AM

fare thee well my lovely dinah a thousand times adieu


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: michaelr
Date: 04 Jul 04 - 04:42 PM

The "Dinah" line quoted above by Guest is how Jimmy Crowley begins his version. Mary Black changed it to "Johnny" and made minor chnages to the verses to sing it from a female perspective.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 11 Apr 13 - 08:38 PM

There seems to have been a red-light district in Liverpool called the Holy Ground as well, and it was in an area (Scotland Road)where the land-owner was the local church. Maybe that was the original one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground
From: Gulliver
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 05:46 PM

This, the second-last verse, appears to be missing from the above:

In the fields where the guns did play
I fell there with many another
Where the sage brush grows and the desert wind
Is blowing free


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE HOLY GROUND (from The Wolfe Tones)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 20 Jul 14 - 11:39 AM

This is the song that Clifton53 originally asked about:


THE HOLY GROUND
As sung by The Wolfe Tones on "Rifles of the I.R.A." (1970)

1. As I roved into Frisco, boys, I went upon a spree.
I drank and gambled all night long, got as drunk as I could be.
I drank and gambled all night long till I could drink no more.
'Twas then that I thought that I'd like to be back in the Holy Ground once more.

CHORUS: Once more, boys, once more, the Holy Ground once more,
'Twas then that I thought that I'd like to be back in the Holy Ground once more.

2. I shipped on the Angeline, me boys, bound for the Arctic Sea,
Where cold winds blow 'mid frost and snow, was as cold as it could be,
Where cold winds blow 'mid frost and snow, but the good old ship she did roll.
'Twas then that I thought that I'd like to be back in the Holy Ground once more.

3. We weren't long in the Arctic Sea when we had spied a whale.
With harpoon in my icy hand, to hit I dare not fail.
With the harpoon in my icy hand, I shot but struck before.
'Twas then that I thought that I'd like to be back in the Holy Ground once more.

4. When you're aboard a whaling ship with storms and gales afore,
Your mind is in some public house that lies upon the shore.
Your mind is in some public house that lies upon the shore.
'Twas then that I thought that I'd like to be back in the Holy Ground once more.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground (from The Wolfe Tones)
From: JJ
Date: 21 Jul 14 - 06:52 AM

I learned the "Fine girl you are" version from the Clancy Brothers...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Holy Ground (from The Wolfe Tones)
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 21 Jul 14 - 04:21 PM

just to add to the confusion, Willie Mitchell, butcher of Campbeltown, had a similar song called 'Campbeltown Once More'- I know Pete Shepheard collected it at a Blairgowrie festival in the sixties& he sent me the words a while back- can't find them now, anyway, Pete is the source.
Also, Bob Roberts the Thames barge skipper used to sing 'Swansea town'- again not sure if he ever recorded it...


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