Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafebrownie

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Explore: Raglan Road 2

DigiTrad:
RAGLAN ROAD


Related threads:
Favorite versions Raglan Road youtube (29)
Help: Who wrote the tune to Raglan Road??? (80)
She changed the words to Raglan Road (130)
Raglan Road - Recorded versions (89)
Lyr Req: Raglan Road, is it 'pledge' or 'play' ? (69)
A recording of Raglan Road? (10)
(origins) Origins: Sinead O'Connor--Raglan Road (6)
(origins) Analysis of Raglan Road (129) (closed)


McGrath of Harlow 04 Feb 02 - 06:03 AM
michaelr 04 Feb 02 - 11:26 PM
Fergie 10 Feb 02 - 05:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Feb 02 - 09:56 PM
Fergie 17 Feb 02 - 02:06 PM
GUEST 18 Feb 02 - 06:59 AM
shanty_steve 18 Feb 02 - 07:27 AM
Murray MacLeod 18 Feb 02 - 07:39 AM
Peter T. 18 Feb 02 - 09:37 AM
shanty_steve 18 Feb 02 - 10:36 AM
M.Ted 16 Mar 02 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,Jim from Cleveland 18 Mar 02 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,A friend 08 May 02 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Comfort 05 Aug 02 - 09:09 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 06 Aug 02 - 09:24 AM
GUEST 06 Aug 02 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha. 06 Aug 02 - 12:46 PM
GUEST 06 Aug 02 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 07 Aug 02 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,cindyc 29 Aug 02 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,JTT 29 Aug 02 - 12:01 PM
shanty_steve 30 Aug 02 - 05:55 AM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 30 Aug 02 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 30 Aug 02 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 30 Aug 02 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,epresleylives@yahoo.com 03 Sep 02 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,epresleylives@yahoo.com 03 Sep 02 - 01:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Sep 02 - 01:47 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 09 Sep 02 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Barry Ian Fiore 27 Sep 02 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,Jon 22 Oct 02 - 09:14 AM
GUEST,Tim 25 Oct 02 - 02:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Oct 02 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,pat 22 Feb 03 - 11:36 AM
GUEST,liam, tipp 01 Mar 03 - 09:48 PM
M.Ted 02 Mar 03 - 12:51 AM
mg 02 Mar 03 - 01:10 AM
GUEST,Mark A. 14 Apr 03 - 02:57 AM
GUEST,wives41@hotmail.com 02 Aug 03 - 04:28 PM
GUEST 20 Sep 03 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,sharyn 21 Sep 03 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,Luke Boyd 30 Sep 03 - 01:48 AM
GUEST,JJ Skye 24 Jan 04 - 08:00 PM
GUEST,JJ Skye 24 Jan 04 - 08:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jan 04 - 09:32 PM
GUEST,-pc 17 Mar 04 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,JMcGough1@comcast.net 03 Apr 04 - 11:04 PM
GUEST,JTT 04 Apr 04 - 04:52 AM
Murray MacLeod 04 Apr 04 - 08:03 AM
Peter T. 04 Apr 04 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,Guest Border Fox 04 Apr 04 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,eileen 05 Apr 04 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Paul B. 10 Jun 04 - 10:55 AM
Dave Bryant 11 Jun 04 - 05:29 AM
Fergie 11 Jun 04 - 09:14 AM
Dave Bryant 11 Jun 04 - 10:37 AM
ard mhacha 22 Jun 04 - 01:48 PM
GUEST,David Parr Liverpool UK 22 Aug 04 - 03:28 AM
GUEST,Tick Mick 22 Aug 04 - 07:19 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Aug 04 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,JTT 22 Aug 04 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,Lough Neagh 23 Aug 04 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,McGrath 23 Aug 04 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Lough Nay 24 Aug 04 - 03:51 AM
Big Tim 24 Aug 04 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 24 Aug 04 - 10:57 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Aug 04 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,JTT 24 Aug 04 - 01:43 PM
Big Tim 24 Aug 04 - 02:53 PM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha. 24 Aug 04 - 05:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Aug 04 - 07:52 PM
Big Tim 25 Aug 04 - 04:28 AM
GUEST,JTT 25 Aug 04 - 06:18 AM
GUEST 25 Aug 04 - 08:47 AM
Big Tim 25 Aug 04 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha. 25 Aug 04 - 05:09 PM
Eric the Streetsinger 11 Sep 04 - 06:50 PM
Susanne (skw) 12 Sep 04 - 06:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Sep 04 - 06:51 PM
GUEST,SteveH 12 Sep 04 - 08:59 PM
Susanne (skw) 13 Sep 04 - 07:56 PM
GUEST 14 Sep 04 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,Liam 08 Oct 04 - 05:57 AM
Murray MacLeod 08 Oct 04 - 12:28 PM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 08 Oct 04 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,maurneen_14@hotmail.com 10 Dec 04 - 10:29 PM
GUEST 10 Dec 04 - 10:35 PM
GUEST,wilddior 14 Jan 05 - 04:23 PM
GUEST,Kate 29 Jan 05 - 07:15 PM
ard mhacha 30 Jan 05 - 05:28 AM
MuddleC 05 Mar 05 - 04:03 PM
MuddleC 05 Mar 05 - 04:21 PM
GUEST,QLeV 10 Mar 05 - 11:09 PM
MuddleC 15 Mar 05 - 09:50 PM
GUEST,JTT 16 Mar 05 - 08:19 AM
GUEST 01 Apr 05 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,Leadfingers 01 Apr 05 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,Leadfingers 01 Apr 05 - 07:00 PM
GUEST,Leadfingers 01 Apr 05 - 07:01 PM
MuddleC 01 Apr 05 - 07:45 PM
GUEST,skinned_knuckles 05 Sep 06 - 06:54 PM
scottasbj 28 Dec 06 - 10:47 PM
GUEST,carfar 29 Jan 07 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Quinny 19 Feb 07 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,meself 20 Feb 07 - 03:59 PM
Declan 20 Feb 07 - 07:46 PM
GUEST,Colingra 18 Mar 07 - 04:15 PM
Jim Lad 18 Mar 07 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,meself 18 Mar 07 - 05:38 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 19 Mar 07 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Kenny V 20 Mar 07 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Irish Mike 20 Mar 07 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,meself 20 Mar 07 - 10:30 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 09 Apr 07 - 07:29 AM
Tootler 09 Apr 07 - 07:24 PM
Tootler 09 Apr 07 - 07:41 PM
GUEST,The Scotsman 22 Apr 07 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,Kev Bhoy 31 Aug 07 - 04:16 PM
GUEST,dermot o connor 10 Sep 07 - 07:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Sep 07 - 07:16 PM
Gulliver 10 Sep 07 - 09:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Sep 07 - 09:24 AM
Gulliver 11 Sep 07 - 09:37 PM
Mr Happy 12 Sep 07 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,wayfarerer 24 Sep 07 - 10:34 AM
mg 25 Sep 07 - 12:15 AM
Declan 25 Sep 07 - 03:02 AM
GUEST,Neil D 25 Sep 07 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,wayfarerer 29 Nov 07 - 03:43 PM
GUEST,Wenke 17 Dec 07 - 12:40 AM
GUEST,Jen 17 Dec 07 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,Galway Blake 05 Jan 08 - 11:13 AM
GUEST,phil 16 Jan 08 - 06:47 PM
Murray MacLeod 16 Jan 08 - 08:11 PM
GUEST,Jen 23 Jan 08 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,doryman 22 Mar 08 - 06:15 PM
meself 23 Mar 08 - 12:47 AM
GUEST,doryman 23 Mar 08 - 10:55 AM
Big Tim 23 Mar 08 - 12:25 PM
meself 23 Mar 08 - 03:08 PM
Big Tim 23 Mar 08 - 03:31 PM
meself 23 Mar 08 - 06:15 PM
Big Tim 24 Mar 08 - 04:42 AM
RobbieWilson 24 Mar 08 - 09:24 AM
RobbieWilson 24 Mar 08 - 09:29 AM
RobbieWilson 24 Mar 08 - 09:37 AM
RobbieWilson 24 Mar 08 - 10:13 AM
Big Tim 24 Mar 08 - 12:39 PM
Tootler 24 Mar 08 - 01:23 PM
Big Tim 24 Mar 08 - 03:18 PM
Tootler 24 Mar 08 - 04:37 PM
Big Tim 25 Mar 08 - 12:51 PM
Murray MacLeod 25 Mar 08 - 06:54 PM
Big Tim 26 Mar 08 - 08:24 AM
GUEST 27 Mar 08 - 10:37 AM
RobbieWilson 27 Mar 08 - 11:08 AM
Thompson 28 Mar 08 - 04:36 AM
Thompson 28 Mar 08 - 04:49 AM
Big Tim 28 Mar 08 - 11:07 AM
Thompson 29 Mar 08 - 06:31 AM
Big Tim 29 Mar 08 - 08:10 AM
Thompson 29 Mar 08 - 08:19 AM
Big Tim 29 Mar 08 - 10:47 AM
Thompson 29 Mar 08 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Jay 07 Apr 08 - 12:51 PM
GUEST,Shawna 08 Apr 08 - 12:19 AM
GUEST,andrew 05 May 08 - 05:57 PM
GUEST,susi 06 May 08 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,guest SD 09 May 08 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Guest SD 09 May 08 - 01:42 PM
Big Tim 10 May 08 - 09:36 AM
Fiolar 15 May 08 - 08:13 AM
Big Tim 15 May 08 - 10:20 AM
Big Al Whittle 01 Jul 08 - 10:51 PM
GUEST,Paul 24 Aug 08 - 05:41 AM
GUEST,Patrick 04 Sep 08 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,Billy from Celbridge 05 Sep 08 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Billy from Celbridge 05 Sep 08 - 06:25 AM
Big Al Whittle 05 Sep 08 - 07:13 AM
GUEST,meself 05 Sep 08 - 12:31 PM
Thompson 06 Sep 08 - 04:27 PM
RobbieWilson 06 Sep 08 - 06:59 PM
Big Al Whittle 07 Sep 08 - 07:31 PM
Gulliver 07 Sep 08 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,awandererplays 12 Sep 08 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Emmet 11 Oct 08 - 04:56 PM
Big Al Whittle 12 Oct 08 - 04:30 AM
GUEST,wayfarer 13 Oct 08 - 11:26 PM
GUEST,awandererplays 13 Oct 08 - 11:35 PM
GUEST,guest billy from cork 26 Oct 08 - 12:04 AM
GUEST,Colin, Woking, Surrey 26 Oct 08 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Jim 21 Dec 08 - 12:31 PM
Big Phil 21 Dec 08 - 02:44 PM
ard mhacha 22 Dec 08 - 02:07 PM
Murray MacLeod 22 Dec 08 - 05:33 PM
ard mhacha 23 Dec 08 - 04:51 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Dec 08 - 08:44 AM
ard mhacha 23 Dec 08 - 09:21 AM
meself 23 Dec 08 - 01:33 PM
ard mhacha 24 Dec 08 - 05:30 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Dec 08 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,samferguson 24 May 09 - 11:12 PM
meself 25 May 09 - 12:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 May 09 - 07:37 PM
michaelr 26 May 09 - 11:43 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 May 09 - 03:44 PM
GUEST,Quicksall 05 Jun 09 - 03:52 AM
meself 05 Jun 09 - 09:37 AM
ard mhacha 28 Aug 09 - 10:36 AM
ard mhacha 28 Aug 09 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,Rockall 01 Jan 10 - 03:38 PM
michaelr 01 Jan 10 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,JohnNoZ 09 Feb 10 - 11:15 PM
GUEST 05 Sep 10 - 05:14 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 05 Sep 10 - 05:33 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 05 Sep 10 - 05:39 AM
Desi C 05 Sep 10 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,Bob Marley 15 Oct 10 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,Desi C 15 Oct 10 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,dsweeney 01 Dec 10 - 08:25 AM
BobKnight 01 Dec 10 - 10:45 AM
RobbieWilson 16 Mar 12 - 11:16 PM
RobbieWilson 16 Mar 12 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,Ralph Wigg 09 Jun 12 - 06:19 AM
GUEST 16 Oct 12 - 12:06 PM
Amos 26 Apr 16 - 02:04 PM
Helen 26 Apr 16 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,michaelr 26 Apr 16 - 05:08 PM
Steve Shaw 26 Apr 16 - 07:33 PM
Amos 27 Apr 16 - 07:02 PM
Steve Shaw 27 Apr 16 - 07:57 PM
GUEST,Desi C 28 Apr 16 - 11:45 AM
Helen 29 Apr 16 - 11:31 PM
Amos 30 Apr 16 - 09:03 PM
GUEST,Guest 05 Nov 16 - 04:32 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 02 - 06:03 AM

This lengthy thread seems to have taken on a new life, and its too long for some people. So here is part two - and I'll put in a bunch of the recent posts to maintain continuity (for people who can't load the old one.):

Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: GUEST,Jonny-boy Date: 23-Dec-01 - 11:04 AM Shop: Sally The images drawn up to me by this poem/song have always been so powerful that they stun me. A depiction of the progression of time and place when a new passion unfolds with references to the seasons, earth and sky as time moves on is amazing and universally human. Love imagined, gained and lost with respect to those places and points in time is brilliant and real. A poet, dreamer and admirer, who blinded by the physical beauty of his infatuation, tries to super-impose his own intellectual meanderings on one who seems either unable or unwilling to grasp the depth of his passion ends up frustrated and alone....I think the last line is only sadness.....


Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: GUEST,ulysses Date: 23-Dec-01 - 12:52 PM

There was once a great alto sax player - I won't give his secret away by naming him - who was widely praised for his sensitivity in showing the inner meaning of the ballads he played. After he died, his wife confessed that he could never remember lyrics and never knew what the songs he played were about.

Just sing the song.


Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: McGrath of Harlow Date: 23-Dec-01 - 04:27 PM

Not knowing the words wouldn't necessarily mean he didn't understand what they were about. All depends what you mean by knowing a song. A lot of people sing songs, and are word perfect, without beginning to know them. I'm sure it works the other way too - people who can't remember a line, who know the song inside out


Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: derrymacash Date: 23-Dec-01 - 06:44 PM

And the dead arose and appeared to many ... (i.e. the sudden re-emergence of this thread).


Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: GUEST,no one important Date: 02-Feb-02 - 09:56 PM

it's simply a song about "loss". The beauty in this poem/song is that the more that you read and the more that you analyze, the more you find that it just brings you back to the feelings that you felt when you first heard the song; when you knew nothing of what its "meaning" was. I understand the authors' motivations more clearly and I understand the historical setting/backround more clearly, but the emotion evoked was there before I knew any of this, and it is still there.


Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: GUEST,no one important Date: 02-Feb-02 - 10:23 PM

Sorry to continue on a long deceased thread. Sorry to chime in at all, in fact, but my fingers keep typing.

I look at a sculpture and I say "Wow, that is one stunning sculpture."

As I'm looking, I hear a historian explaining the significance of the subject, the history of the sculptor and a few interesting tidbits of information describing both the subject's and the sculptor's lives at the time that the piece was actually produced.

It's all extremely interesting and I'm very happy to have learned all of this, because it certainly does create an understanding, of certain aspects of the work, that I didn't have before.

But when it's all been said and done, I still look at the sculpture and say "Wow, that is one stunning sculpture."

The work speaks for itself.


Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: Bonnie Shaljean Date: 02-Feb-02 - 11:12 PM

My own interpretation of the "queen of hearts" and the "not making hay" lines is that they both reflect the idea of summer, and its symbolism possibly links them. In this bright warm season (of youth?) she is industriously at work, while he by contrast is not - though the sun is shining and the chance may not come again. This idea of passing time that is gone forever also finds resonance in the first line of the poem, which I BELIEVE (though I'm relying solely on memory so please only one person at a time shoot me down if I'm wrong)is that it's not on an "autumn" day but an AUGUST day (check a poetry anthology - songbooks can get it wrong too). If so, it changes the opening season (though in August summer is nearing its end) and the song then progresses through time to late autumn/early winter, as do his hopes. And finally there is no season evoked at all, only ghosts. This could also be an oblique reference to the difference in their ages.

I actually once met a lady (now dead) who had known Hilda, and I'm annoyed now with my younger self for not plying her with questions! All I can remember of our one conversation on the subject (years ago) was that Hilda was a very charismatic character and many people besides the poet were attracted to her. The poem beautifully captures that elusive quality.


Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: GUEST,misophist Date: 03-Feb-02 - 12:42 AM

To paraphrase another Irishman, W B Yeats, Poetry is never about what the author puts in, it's about what the reader takes out. If poetry were nothing more that saying exactly what you mean, in the most powerful language at hand, All of Churchill's better speeches would be taught in the Universities. The key to true is ambiguity, mood and mode. Precise understanding? Shit.


Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: McGrath of Harlow Date: 03-Feb-02 - 09:15 AM

I think you are likely right about that Bonnie, though almost everyone seems to sing autumn - autumn goes more naturally with the fallen leaf, but logically, what'd he be doing making hay (or not making hay) in the autumn?

Dick Gaughan, I note, has it as August, and I think he'd have likely checked with the text. But a rapid trawl through Google seems to indicate that it's been recorded more often as autumn.


Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: GUEST Date: 03-Feb-02 - 10:24 AM

I don't think the August vs autumn thing is that big of a deal. We know what the poet is getting at--summer is spent, the prospect of youthful love gone, that sort of thing. I do get the sense that the leaves are about to fall, ie that the end is perceived as being near, not yet arrived. So August works better in that sense, because the poet has had an epiphany about the girl--realizes that he is not to win her. The place he is in is one of poignant resignation to the fact that there is no romantic relationship between them. He isn't looking back in bitterness (that would be a winter season), he is still in the warmth of some sort of relationship with her, but knows it won't go beyond the point it has reached.

I believe the "enchanted way" reference may be to the Grand Canal mentioned above, or to St Stephen's Green (Kavanaugh also mentions Grafton street). There is a strong sense of place in the poem, and that part of Dublin is the place. It is the most romantic part of the city really. Trinity is just north of the Grand Canal and Grafton Street ends at St Stephen's Green, and then as you walk through the green towards Leeson St, on the south end it empties out at least in the direction of the Grand Canal, where Kavanaugh's statue is found between Baggot and Leeson Sts.

This is sort of an aisling poem in English, but it also was written more as a song, than a poem. The angel reference would be a reference to the aisling, rather than the speirbhean, I think. Trifling difference to some, but not if you are trying to evoke the aisling convention. Speirbhean would be more of a political allusion, rather than a romantic literary one, in the Irish sense.

I do think the Queen of Hearts is a mawkishly sentimental throw away line. Kavanaugh, like every other poet, wasn't above or beyond a bad line here and there. It is a bit clumsy for the metre of the verse, I think. But he did well putting the verse to the tune, considering he was a much better poet than songwriter.


Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: McGrath of Harlow Date: 03-Feb-02 - 11:45 AM Shop: Diana I can't see that, in association with tart-making, there's anything sentimental about the phrase Queen of Hearts. Forget the Princess Diana stuff which may gets in the way of the phrase for a lot of people these days. (And note it's not "queen of my heart" - making it "of hearts" has quite different associations.)

I know it's easy to use the term ironic to get away with anything, but in this context I definitely think there's an ironic tinge to it. Sardonic too. And that goes double for the last line, which I'd definitely read as having a self-mocking colouring.


Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: Herga Kitty Date: 03-Feb-02 - 01:08 PM

I heard,from a friend who knew Kavanagh, that Deirdre Manifold claimed to have been the inspiration for the poem. But he knew a lot of women...

Kitty


Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: GUEST Date: 03-Feb-02 - 07:24 PM

BTW, the lovely Cantaria website has an MP3 of this by Donal Hegarty, and a lovely reference to this Raglan Road thread on Mudcat here:

http://www.chivalry.com/cantaria/lyrics/raglan-road.html


Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road From: GUEST,Arkie Date: 04-Feb-02 - 01:28 AM

Where I grew up, "making hay" meant you were getting somewhere", you were making progress. Conversely, not making hay, meant "getting nowhere", making no gain. I suspect that's what Kavanaugh intended. Nice to see this thread. I heard this song for the first time about a week ago and have been charmed by it.


The other thread got too long, so I moved some of the later messages over here.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: michaelr
Date: 04 Feb 02 - 11:26 PM

The Mudcat at its best! I've been singing the song for years and am grateful for the depth of analysis found in this thread. It's also one of the most beautiful airs.

Cheers,
Michael


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Fergie
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 05:35 PM

The Enchanted Way is simply the name of a Street in Dublin it is close to Raglan Road. The Queen of Hearts is a referance to the fact that one of the women that Kavanage was involved with worked in a confectionery shop and served tarts (of the apple and strawberry variety) to the customers. The referance to "a quiet street where old ghosts meet" I have been told to that this is a referance to a street in Dublin which is reputed to have been a haunt for ghosts before street lighting came in, it certainly sounds more poetic than the name of the street Haddington Road. Fergus


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Feb 02 - 09:56 PM

"The Enchanted Way is simply the name of a Street in Dublin" - not simply; Kavanagh takes hold of the name to put in the song, to mean something more.

It's the same as the way a skilled photographer will frame a picture to mean something - all the things in the picture are there is real life, but the way they are picked out, that's the art of it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Fergie
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 02:06 PM

I agree entirely Mc Grath of Harlow but it is important that people ubderstand the context of the referances within the song if they wish to indulge in analysis.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 06:59 AM

I always thought the Queen of Hearts making tarts was something to do with Alice in Wonderland!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: shanty_steve
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 07:27 AM

Exactly so, guest. In my opinion, "the queen of hearts ... I not making hay" couplet is not about her working in a bakery, and him being a farmer. Rather, making hay refers to the Irish saying "make hay while the sun shines", meaning that you should take advantage of opportunities to be productive, because those opportunites are fleeting. The queen of hearts section is adapted from "the queen of hearts baked some tarts" from Alice in Wonderland. By changing it to "still baking tarts", Kavangh is contrasting how the woman he loved got on with her life in a productive way, whereas he was overwhelmed by his love (or obsession) for her, so that his whole life stood still. I would disagree about the enchanged way referring to a specific street in Dublin. I've lived here for a long time, and I've never come across such a reference. Rather, I would suggest that the enchanted way refers to the magical feeling you get when you first get involved with someone special. Finally, a few weeks back, there was a debate over whether the first verse refers to an August day or an autumn's day. I would suggest that there isn't that much difference between the two. In Ireland, autumn officially starts on August 1st.

Stephen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 07:39 AM

Excellent analysis, Steve.

FWIW, doing an advanced search on Google for "The Enchanted Way" and "Dublin" produces no evidence of a street known as "the Enchanted Way".

Not that that actually proves anything, of course....

Murray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Peter T.
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 09:37 AM

I don't think much of the Queen of Hearts line, as I have said, but one thing that could be said about the "tarts" line is that it links to the felt undercurrent of prostitution and desire throughout the song. "of a deep ravine, where can be seen, the worth of passion's pledge" is, to my mind, a reference to eyeing where students went with prostitutes for a few minutes near the university. First time I heard the song, I assumed it was about the poet and a prostitute he demeaned himself with -- all that streetwalking in the song -- (didn't know about the history) -- but the song has that feel about it. Or I have completely projected it into it, of course.

yours, Peter T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: shanty_steve
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 10:36 AM

One of the great thing about a poem such as this is that different people can take so many different things from it. And it doesn't really matter whether our interpretation is right our not, as long as it means something to us. For what its worth, my interpretation of the deep ravine line is that Kavanagh and Hilda never had a full blown affair, but he experienced enough of her to realise how fantastic such an affair might have been. They were on the edge of great passion, without ever actually falling in to it. BTW, it does seem clear that the woman in question was not a prostitute. See my posting of Nov 29th on the previous thread. Rgds, Stephen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Mar 02 - 06:50 PM

If you think of the woman in the song as a personification of fame, rather than as a real woman, then many of the oblique passages become clear--the song is about becoming enamoured with fame, writing to gain more fame, and having fame ultimately pass one by--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Jim from Cleveland
Date: 18 Mar 02 - 06:53 PM

A friend gave me a home made video of his camping trip with his wife and pets at the Lake. He played the Van Morrison version as background for this endeavor. I listen and listen and it brings tears to my eyes, over and over again. I am not certain of the why of these tears. Perhaps it is being able to identify with another individual who knows intimately what it feels like to have had the enchanted way turn into a dead end at one point in ones life......I must say that the tears are a peculiar mix of pain and joy and affirmation and wonderment. Is it the lyric? Morrisons delivery in such a soulful fashion? It took a while for me to learn the lyric as my mind does not comprehend the words initially when I hear a song. Rather I hear the passion and emotion and the tone and texture first. It took many replays to learn the words and their meaning. This thread helped immensely.......I sing it daily, unconsciously, over and over, like when I was an adolescent and sang my first Beatle songs over and over. That was 35 yrs ago. Thank you all for the input.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,A friend
Date: 08 May 02 - 08:35 AM

It is said that a star shines brightest before it falls. Anna Maria Horgan tragically died in the early Summer of her life one week ago. For the first time in many years, tears forced their way from my eyes upon hearing a most beautiful renditions of Raglan Road by the acclaimed musician Seamus Begley at her funeral mass. Like Kavanagh, Anna knew well the feeling of failed love. Yet in the last few months of her life, a major change occured in her life, Anna found love. For a potentially brilliant legal career Anna gave it all up to help local charities and study poetry. She must have surely pitied Kavanagh, a poet whom she so well liked. She must have felt his despair, echoed his anguish yet passed it off as but a fleeting moment. Grief or self-pity could not consume Anna, Anna consumed life, particularly in those last few wonderful months. 'Let grief be a falling leaf' - a line with which she would undoubtedly concur. Until I find my way to that 'quiet street, where old ghosts meet' - Anna, Rest in Peace.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road
From: GUEST,Comfort
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 09:09 PM

I like the Fergie definition of the meaning of this song. There are several good interpretations, and - as they say - "the truth lies somewhere in between", probably.

Thanks folks. Helped me to gain some understanding. Have been quite intrigued by the song for a long time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 09:24 AM

Dublin Pub Life and Lore: An Oral History by Kevin C. Kearns is an interesting read for many reasons, not the least of which are varius discussions by publicans and patrons on the personalities and habits of Kavanagh, Behan, O'Brien and others, including the assertion by a barman who claims Kavanagh told him the woman in Raglan Road was the wife of a Government Minister, I think. I'll look through it again and see if it says anymore, but I'd recommend the book to all to read, with a tear for all that has been lost with change, especially the old recipe barrel aged Guiness that every old timer in the book rhapsodises about. 'The likes of which will not be seen (nor drunk! again.'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 11:50 AM

Well, I just reread this whole thread again! It is a classic one, to be sure.

The thing that leaped out at me when reading it again after a long while away is the split of opinion between people who seem to be familiar with Irish poetry and traditional song in particular (and therefore tend to interpret it in that specific Irish cultural context) and those who have little to no knowledge of the Irish poetry and traditional song contexts, who read things into the poem/song from a more generic sentimental/romantic point of view.

I prefer the Irish interpretations that value the bitterness, actually. Much more Irish that way!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha.
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 12:46 PM

Good on you guest, your summing up should close this thread. Ard Mhacha.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 01:05 PM

Queen of Hearts/I not making hay + their class differences. See the post that gives the synopsis on Kavanaugh's life from the biography by Antoinette Quinn in the previous thread.

Also, I think we Irish-oriented folk decided that the cultural context argues for the interpretation of the August/June sort of age difference between the two. Kavanaugh was 35 when he came to Dublin, the lady who is the subject of the poem was a student at Trinity, hence just getting her start in life.

I'm with Dick Gaughan's interpretation for August, not autumn on the age issue. Yet, I also disagree with him, as I think the seasonal metaphor works beautifully for the "poetry of place" in the poem, which is the area around Trinity College, St Stephen's Green, and the Grand Canal, of which Kavanaugh was so fond. In autumn when the leaves have changed and begin to fall, I don't think there is a more romantic place on earth.

As to the end of the song--let me say this with an Irish sensibility. It is a much better song than it is a poem then, isn't it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 09:59 AM

from the aforementioned 'Dublin Pub Life & Lore', the barman at McDaids for forty years or so, Paddy O'Brien, has this to say:

"I was very fond of Paddy Kavanagh. People would say he was an old grouch, but he was anything but. He was a very alive, simple-minded man. And a genius. I didn't realise it at the time. No, I just saw him as a country man. But behind all that you had all this beautiful stuff. Do you know this poem 'Raglan Road'? Well, he wrote that for a woman. Her husband at the time was Minister for Education and his wife was a tall raven-haired lady and Kavanagh fell in love with her. And that ballad, 'Raglan Road', is to her. Now when you read that it's so full of passion and so full of Kavanagh. And I'd say to meself, 'Jesus, how the hell could he flow out with that sort of stuff?', the man that was always in here telling jokes and this sort of stuff...."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,cindyc
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 07:36 AM

What a marvelous discussion this message board has provided!!! I've learned a lot about Patrick Kavanagh and "Raglan Road", especially I tried hard to figure out what it implies by "the queen of hearts still making tarts and I not making hay", " That I had wooed not as I should a creature made of clay.", "When the angel woos the clay he'd lose his wings at the dawn of day"

Being a non-Irish, I haven't had chance to come accross any Irish ballads and poetries. The first time I heard Raglan Road it was recited by an Irishman I met in Shanghai not long ago. The words captured my heart instantly as they portrayed a broken heart and a lost love.

Thanks to these who made the contribution


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 12:01 PM

Of course, Raglan Road is also part of an area popular with another kind of tart - perhaps one manufactured by some goddess-like Queen of Hearts ;)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: shanty_steve
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 05:55 AM

Just to back up Bill Kennedy's contribution from 7th August, Hilda Moriarty, the subject of the poem, went on to marry Donagh O'Malley. O'Malley later became minister for education, and a very significant one at that. If memory serves, he was the person who introduced free secondary school education in Ireland. Stephen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 12:29 PM

From "Modern Irish Lives" - "Donough O'Malley (1921-68), politician, born Co Limerick...Fianna Fail TD for Limerick, 1961, Minister for Finance 1961-65, Minister for Health 1965, for Education 1966-68, ...introduced free secondary schooling, which was arguably the most important development of the century in Irish education...his cavalier and zestful attitude to life endeared him to many of his contemporaries, although it alienated senior members of FF and the civil service, who disliked O'Malley's disregard for conventional approaches to the formulation and announcement of public policy." The book does not cover the personal lives of individuals so there is no reference to his wife or the reason he died so relatively young. Re Kavanagh's love of the Royal Canal, Brian Behan tells an hilarious story about this, tho probably greatly exaggerated. Anyone interested?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 12:45 PM

yes, please


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 01:26 PM

Bill: I'm sorry we don't agreee on Donovan/Dylan! From Brian Behan's "The Brothers Behan" pages 74 -5, "In November 1958 an enemy of Paddy[Kavanagh] spiked his drink and then when he was leaving McDaids pushed him over a 14 foot wall into the canal he loved so well. He was expected to drown, or if not that to die of pneumonia as he had only one lung by this time. Paddy was reciting a poem to himself as he ambled along. "Lord commemorate me where there's water," he intoned. At that point his abductor stole up behind him saying, "I'll give you water, you fuckin mad poet" and he dumped him in the drink, "that's the end of him, the old bollux". But his anger gave him the will to survive. Drawing on all his resources he pulled himself to safety and went to the flat of a female friend to recover. Before long he was back on the piss again. One night when Paddy sat down to have a drink, who walked in but the man who had pushed him! Paddy relished the moment,likening it to Macbeth seeing Banquo's ghost at the feast. Some years later though the two became good friends. It turned out the man had objected to an article Paddy wrote denouncing Dublin's underworld, but was now consumed with remorse for what he had done. Paddy told him not to worry, that there were no hard feelings. Shortly after the man's wife gave birth to a slightly handicapped child and the man believed this to be a sign of God punishing him. You wouldn't see the like of it in the Abbey! He asked Paddy to come to his house and try to heal the baby by laying on hands and Paddy obliged. Who needed John Charles McQuaid [catholic Bishop] when you could have Paddy Kavanagh working miracles on your progeny! When Brendan[Behan] heard of these events, his reaction was, I suppose you could say, to the point."There's no way that clumsy bastard pulled himself to safety" he roared, adding equally endearingly, "I can't wait to get my hands on the fucking bollux who pulled him out".

Somehow this doesn't seem so funny as the first time I read it. Sounds extremely apochrypal, Bill perhaps you could check with the barman to see if there's a kernel of reality to it. PK also had some awful things to say about Bishop McQuaid, mentioned above and, dear contributors, for American academic analysts of his poetry. But I couldn't repeat them here!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road
From: GUEST,epresleylives@yahoo.com
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 01:13 PM

In the first verse he refers to 'walking along the enchanted way' despite 'seeing the danger'. This is about walking down raglan road, a street in Dublin (now quite posh), and having bumped into a dangerous girl, prostitutes used to hand out there. He thought to himself 'let grief be a fallen leaf At the dawning of the day'. There are lots of oak trees on Raglan road and this migth be his way of saying that at this time, he had no regard for anything.

***Excerpt1: On Grafton Street in November We tripped lightly along the ledge Of the deep ravine Where can be seen The worth of passion's pledge

Here he simply talks about himself and others walking swiftly along Grafton Street and seeing the windows displaying lots of riches, eg. Jewelery, which represent 'The worth of passion's pledge'. At that time grafton street was a window shoppers paradise.

***Excerpt2: 'The Queen of Hearts still making tarts And I not making hay Oh I loved too much And by such and such Is hapiness thrown away'

Here he states that this prostitute was still turning tricks i.e. 'still making tarts' while he was making very little money 'I not making hay'. This may be about unfullfilled ambition etc. and excellently describes the absolute loss at having anything to do with such a women, 'Oh I loved too much, And by such and such, Is hapiness thrown away'. Here he describes that too much love can take away your ability to achieve happiness. His love was so strong that he met with this women.

***Excerpt3: 'I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign That's known to the artists Who have known the true gods of sound and stone And word and tint, I did not stint, I gave her poems to say. With her own name there and her own dark hair Like clouds over fields of May.'

He then goes on to describe the amount that he gave this woman as being greater than simple objects, he gave her poems to say, so in a way he has no pity for her. She now has a rich set of experiences, 'poems to say'.

***Excerpt4: On a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow That I had wooed not as I should A creature made of clay -

Here he says how he sees this lady of the nigth on streets where 'old ghosts meet'. Dublin was a very small place in Kavanaghs time and he may well have bumped into her on occasion. He then restates his mistake of having wooed not as he should and how she would run away quickly as if 'made of clay'.

***Excerpt5:

'When the angel woos the clay he'd lose His wings at the dawning of the day.' And finally he states the personal cost of this love i.e. 'lose His wings' and earlier in the poem 'Is hapiness thrown away'.

Having once been an angel, he had messed with a person 'made of clay'. This was very wrong to him, and he was so full of guilt that he felt he had compromised his very ability to achieve happiness and was without wings. A Catholic up-bringing in Ireland meant that you were virtually sinless as a youngster moving to Dublin, so delicate that a sin made guilt inevitable, especially when you Use one 'made of clay'. Maybe this is part of the reason Paddy drank so much. Maybe he thougth of himself as being bad, for a small mistake he had made. His mistake seems to have been the thougth 'let grief be a fallen leaf, At the dawning of the day'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,epresleylives@yahoo.com
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 01:35 PM

In the first verse he refers to 'walking along the enchanted way' despite 'seeing the danger'. This is about walking down raglan road, a street in Dublin (now quite posh), and having bumped into a dangerous girl, prostitutes used to hand out there. He thought to himself 'let grief be a fallen leaf At the dawning of the day'. There are lots of oak trees on Raglan road and this migth be his way of saying that at this time, he had no regard for anything.

***Excerpt1: On Grafton Street in November We tripped lightly along the ledge Of the deep ravine Where can be seen The worth of passion's pledge

Here he simply talks about himself and others walking swiftly along Grafton Street and seeing the windows displaying lots of riches, eg. Jewelery, which represent 'The worth of passion's pledge'. At that time grafton street was a window shoppers paradise.

***Excerpt2: 'The Queen of Hearts still making tarts And I not making hay Oh I loved too much And by such and such Is hapiness thrown away'

Here he states that this prostitute was still turning tricks i.e. 'still making tarts' while he was making very little money 'I not making hay'. This may be about unfullfilled ambition etc. and excellently describes the absolute loss at having anything to do with such a women, 'Oh I loved too much, And by such and such, Is hapiness thrown away'. Here he describes that too much love can take away your ability to achieve happiness. His love was so strong that he met with this women.

***Excerpt3: 'I gave her gifts of the mind I gave her the secret sign That's known to the artists Who have known the true gods of sound and stone And word and tint, I did not stint, I gave her poems to say. With her own name there and her own dark hair Like clouds over fields of May.'

He then goes on to describe the amount that he gave this woman as being greater than simple objects, he gave her poems to say, so in a way he has no pity for her. She now has a rich set of experiences, 'poems to say'.

***Excerpt4: On a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow That I had wooed not as I should A creature made of clay -

Here he says how he sees this lady of the nigth on streets where 'old ghosts meet'. Dublin was a very small place in Kavanaghs time and he may well have bumped into her on occasion. He then restates his mistake of having wooed not as he should and how she would run away quickly as if 'made of clay'.

***Excerpt5:

'When the angel woos the clay he'd lose His wings at the dawning of the day.' And finally he states the personal cost of this love i.e. 'lose His wings' and earlier in the poem 'Is hapiness thrown away'.

Having once been an angel, he had messed with a person 'made of clay'. This was very wrong to him, and he was so full of guilt that he felt he had compromised his very ability to achieve happiness and was without wings. A Catholic up-bringing in Ireland meant that you were virtually sinless as a youngster moving to Dublin, so delicate that a sin made guilt inevitable, especially when you Use one 'made of clay'. Maybe this is part of the reason Paddy drank so much. Maybe he thougth of himself as being bad, for a small mistake he had made. His mistake seems to have been the thougth 'let grief be a fallen leaf, At the dawning of the day'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 01:47 PM

So any female walking down a street has to be assumed to be a prostitute? And in nobody's language has "making tarts" ever meant turning tricks. Being a tart is one thing, making a tart is quite another.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 09 Sep 02 - 03:20 PM

in another thread I have added Jennifer Warnes lyrics to the same air that Patrick Kavanagh use, 'Dawning of the Day'. see Lyr Add: Too Late Love Comes Jen. Warnes (Raglan) - titled so it will also show up if one searches 'Raglan'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Analysis of Raglan Road
From: GUEST,Barry Ian Fiore
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 04:08 AM

"I gave her the gifts of the mind."

This song has a special meaning for me. So life imitates art! (Only the details, like the names of streets, change. I read somewhere that Paddy Kavanagh was around 39 and she was around 20.)

The line about the angel losing wings to creature of clay--I hear overtones of a love-theme from Celtic myth. Nice touch! Unfortunately, I have nothing to add to all the learned and informed analyses.

All I know is that something indescribable--between ultimate pain and bliss--happens to me when I hear a particular rendition of the song. I'm referring to the Van Morrison and Chieftains one. There's just nothing else that even comes close. Forget all the other versions!

And, strange as it may sound, I come out of it almost thankful for the experience of losing the wings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 22 Oct 02 - 09:14 AM

I'm with Barry. Van's is the version I like best, and I too am always better for having heard it. I'll add this. Even if the "tart" reference is refering to a prostitute, I hardly think she is thought of that way by the poet. There is something real in the longing that says she is his love, and the loss is too well described to be petty jealousy. It's real...to me anyway.

Peace, Jon


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Tim
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 02:57 PM

Sorry to make this thread any bigger BUT

I notice two things (1) the nursery rhyme "The King and Queen of Hearts" by Charles Lamb has approximately the same cadence as "Raglan Road" and may also have been sung to the "Dawning of the Day" air. This would symbolize a lost of youth as does Pete St. John's "Ring a Ring a Rosie" in "Rare Auld Times." (2) Also in the sub-stanzas of "The King and Queen of Hearts", the queen is compared to Anne Boylen who was executed for unfaithfulness. If nursery rhyme was indeed sang to the "Dawning of the Day" I would vote for the former although I am intrigued by Jimmy C's Dublin/harlot allusion.

BTW, here is the nusery rhyme in full:

http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/rp/poems/lambc6.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Oct 02 - 08:54 PM

I don't think there's any suggestion that Charles Lamb (and Mary) Lamb wrote the nursery rhyme - what they did was use it as a basis for a jeu-de'esprit expanded version. (A bit like the expansion of the Man in the Moon that Tolkien had Frodo perform in the Lord of the Rings.)

I've never heard the nursery rhyme sung to the tune, but it fits well enough, and the suggestion doesn't seem at all unlikely. Maybe one of the "haunting childrens rhymes" such as Pete St John refers to in the Rare Ould Times.

And if that were so, overhearing it on a Dublin street might have been the germ of Raglan Road, rather than a flourish added on as decoration. The grit in the pearl, and therefore maybe more acceptable for those who find the line irritating. (A lot of mights there, of course.)

Van Morrison's version? Tastes clearly differ on that as well. But then, why shouldn't they?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,pat
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 11:36 AM

suppose its too late to join in now?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,liam, tipp
Date: 01 Mar 03 - 09:48 PM

sorry, i only came upon this site today and the thread was closed so ill post in this one.
Firstly the DEFINITIVE AND BEST version version of this song is Luke Kelly's. Van Morrison and Sinéad O' Connor? Pfaff!
A few points on the poem/song:
the queen of hearts line seems to be getting a lot of attention so my take is that while maybe a little out of place, the line has relevance- in kavanaghs eyes she was the queen of his heart, but she was making tarts, i.e uninterested or uncommited.While he was not making hay-he was preoccupied by her, while he should be doing something worthwhile-either concentrating on his work, or the country reference of making hay back in his native area.
The third verse is obviously about him trying to educate her, and in my opinion that while maybe a little condescending, it shows the depth of feeling he had, that he let her into his world.
The final verse, i think has been misconstrued a little.
"That I had wooed not as i should a creature made of clay"
I think that Kavanagh realises now that he put this woman on a pedastal, almost made a godess of her, but now he realises that she was an ordinary person "a creature made of clay", and he regrets the over-adoration of her.
Finally i think that the final line is meant to mean that kavanagh thought himself to be on a higher level to the woman (an angel) and when he wooed his lessers (the clay) he was brought back down to earth(he'd lose his wings), that he had notions at the time that were shot down due to the break up of this relationship.

Cheers and wish me luck in the leaving.
Come on Tipp!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Raglan Road
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 12:51 AM

Might as well offer my opinion that the woman is a personification of fame, who the writer pursued at the expense of his work, and who eventually passes him by--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Raglan Road
From: mg
Date: 02 Mar 03 - 01:10 AM

oh this is too good a song to be a personification of anything but a woman he loved and lost..just my opinion of course..

mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Mark A.
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 02:57 AM

I have enjoyed this discussion immensely. I became interested in this song by hearing Joan Osbourne's version sung with the Chieftans. In the near future I will try listening to other versions. I originally just looked for the words through Google and came upon this discussion. The song is very moving and many of the interpretations I
read strike a chord with me. Many do not. I do feel it is important to understand what the author is saying. Not in a literal sense necessarily, but certainly the feelings evoked should be sympathetic to what the author felt.However, good poetry meets us where we are as individuals and perhaps its meaning for us individually is all
that matters.

I have my own interpretation of this song that is similar in aspects to some of the responses above. The question of who the woman is, or for that matter who the author is, historically is not what gives this poem its power. Nor is the local setting that the images of the poem are hung on. Likewise, if its power rested on understanding Irish
poetry and folksongs then this poem would fall on far more deaf ears. These 'facts' help but are not critical to sense the deep feeling that inspired Kavanagh's poem. I think in all good poetry, the poet starts with an experience and draws form his heritage and familiar images to clothe his/her inspiration.

RAGLAN ROAD
(Patrick Kavanagh)

On Raglan Road on an autumn day
I met her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare
That I might one day rue
I saw the danger
Yet I walked
Along the enchanted way
And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf
At the dawning of the day

Kavanagh has a sense of fear or warning that the yearnings he felt immediately could lead to a deep hurt that he might regret. The enchanted way may be a street but is more likely a newfound path sparkling with the promise of love. In his confidence and inspiration he lets his worry fall away from him as something past, something dead
and incosequential, as he enters a new day, a new life.

On Grafton Street in November
We tripped lightly along the ledge
Of the deep ravine
Where can be seen
The worth of passion's pledge
The Queen of Hearts still making tarts
And I not making hay
Oh I loved too much
And by such and such
Is happiness thrown away

Here I think as someone above mentioned Grafton street may hold the baubles of evidence of a passion's pledge. But the ledge and deep ravine are the 'razors edge' (- the tension) and the 'gulf' (- the gap) in vision and response in romantic longing and unrequited love. The Queen of Hearts . . . probably does refer to Alice in
Wonderland. But also as someone else mentioned the imagery is layered and dense not literal. The woman is or was a queen in his heart and must be for others. She is busy in her life and also is still is titillating others. On the other hand he is getting nowhere with her. (And I not making hay) He believes now that he loved her too much or
in the wrong way. Perhaps the way he loved her was frightening or not intelligible to her. I am sure she knew he loved her just that his love was a bit scary a bit too deep. She turns from him and happiness is thrown away.

I gave her gifts of the mind
I gave her the secret sign
That's known to the artists
Who have known the true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint, I did not stint,
I gave her poems to say.
With her own name there and her own dark hair
Like clouds over fields of May.

He held nothing back. He gives her all his best thoughts, he disclosed the mysteries that deep love reveals - the secret that is known to the likes of Walt Witman and all the other visionary poets and artists - sensing that connection with spirit immanent in nature - sound and stone. He shares words and colours, gives her poems to say - poems about her and her beauty - her beautiful hair, her charms, as deep as the dark billows over a bright sunny flowered field in may. Nothing is held back.

On a quiet street where old ghosts meet
I see her walking now
Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
That I had wooed not as I should
A creature made of clay -
When the angel woos the clay he'd lose
His wings at the dawning of the day

This quiet street may be the where they met. The image of the pair, their hands intertwined, have become just a ghost in his imagination. Or perhaps the ghosts just symbolize things that are past. She sees him and must scurry away. She cannot love him as he hoped. He has to come to terms with this. Part of the coming to terms is trying
to understand why it did not (or could not) work out as he hoped. He muses that he did not love her as a human. His longing and yearning were of such a nature it drew him close to the angels and to God. (She could not respond to such a love.) It is the angel in him, his touch with God, that woos her - a normal woman, which inevitably he must lose. He must then lose his wings that the love inspired. He loses that inspiration and returns to the last line of the first verse. He hast lost his wings just as surely as the fallen leaf - which he had discounted as not being important yet foreshadowed his fall from grace.

My interpretation is just that. I love this song as Joan Osbourne has sung it. It has inspired me to find the words and read al the comments posted on both threads regarding its meaning. With their help, and in reading other poetry, I have tried to interpret the poem in a way that is consistent with the deep feeling it evokes in me. I hope that it is relevant in some way for someone else out there. Mark A.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,wives41@hotmail.com
Date: 02 Aug 03 - 04:28 PM

Can any one send me chords for this song. I heard the Chieftains version. I would like to learn to play it. As for what it means--for me anyway--most of it is all too painfully obvious (Especially when juxtaposed with "Never give all the heart" from the same album.) Every way is enchanted when you are in love and any misstep is death. She was the angel. He gave her tokens and poems laden with meaning and none of it availed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Sep 03 - 08:25 PM

I am fascinated by the third verse. I want to know anything anyone can tell me about the 'secret sign', who 'the true gods of sound and stone' are and so on. thanks


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,sharyn
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 01:30 PM

Guest, "the true gods of sound and stone and word and tint" are artists, the way I read it: musicians, scuptors, writers, painters. He's sharing with her the best and most beautiful things he knows, including his own poems.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Luke Boyd
Date: 30 Sep 03 - 01:48 AM

"I gave her gifts of the mind
I gave her the secret sign
That's known to the artists
Who have known the true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint, I did not stint,
I gave her poems to say.
With her own name there and her own dark hair
Like clouds over fields of May."

    This may be a bit risqué but in the old Celtic mysteries "gifts of the mind" and "the secret sign" are clear and common references to passing on one's knowledge.
    First one must give "the gifts of the mind" which allows the other to perceive things in the correct manner. Then one must give them "the secret sign"; this is a bit harder to describe but simplified can be likened to a spiritual "tattoo" or marking which acts as a kind of "Magician card" allowing one access to both the Otherworld and the confidence of others of like mind.
    Practitioners of the arcane were often called bards or artists and all artistic achievement was considered to be an extension of the same root ability.   The "true gods (note plural) of sound and stone" seems a clear reference to the Irish deities predating the Christian invasion.
    Working hypothetically and using the assumption that he's trying to initiate this girl the rest of the verse is also fairly blunt if one possesses a basic understanding of the practice. "Word and tint" as well as giving her poems to say refers to the practice of reciting poems in a certain manner, an extremely common means of casting a spell, something like the mantras of Hinduism. (This can be seen in almost every story in Irish/Celtic mythology.)
    "With her own name there and her own dark hair" is a reference to an initiatory experience. "Like clouds over fields of May" is a bit more vague but refers to a failed initiation or something going horribly wrong in the process. Clouds are a common metaphor for the haze of illusion that hangs over human existence which is lifted during initiation. Something akin to the enlightenment of Hindu/Buddhist tradition but not quite.
    I would add that poetry and mysticism have been linked in all surviving Celtic traditions since mythic times. This can me seem in the likes of Taelsin (Welsh), Merlin (Welsh, Breton, Cornish), and Cuchalain (Irish) as well as many more modern poets and playwrights.
    I would add that this does not conflict with anything written previously, it was common for such knowledge to be passed from mate to mate and then on to their children. It seems to me the whole poem refers to a man encountering a woman he finds to me beautiful and attempting to bring her in to his world. This attempt fails due to her being made of "clay", or her not being capable of understanding such things.
    By attempting to drag her into his world for his sake and not hers he is doing "not as he should" and as a consequence she instead drags her into her world, hence he loses his wings. (Note the very clear indication of the angel as male.)
    Whatever the meaning it is indeed a truly beautiful work and I mean no offense by this interpretation. I also agree totally agree with the statement about metaphors with multiple meanings. I offer this as yet another dimension of this masterpiece.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,JJ Skye
Date: 24 Jan 04 - 08:00 PM

I have but skimmed prior comment herein only but it occurs to mention that the probing, plunging and diving into of unknown depths can sometimes lead to the unexpected onset of severe cranial trauma, not to mention a certain constipation of the intellectual function: Raglan road is any road, Grafton street is any street.....Autumn, November, May; time passes; Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl. It is a sad thing-beautiful too; it is the way life is. Enjoy on.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Swimming with Behan....
From: GUEST,JJ Skye
Date: 24 Jan 04 - 08:19 PM

When he was once asked, and by what would have been called 'a snooty nosed, BBC type' drama critic, what it was his play was 'actually about', noted Irish Playwright, Brendan Behan (since deceased) famously replied, "Well now Sir, I don't know if I would be able to tell you that at all, but I will tell you that I like to swim in the sea; I don't know what it is actually about at all, this swimming in the sea; I just know that I like it." Quite so, Mr. Behan.
I have but skimmed prior comment herein yet it sure occurs to mention that the probing, plunging and diving into of unknown depths can sometimes lead to the unexpected onset of severe cranial trauma, not to mention a certain constipation of the intellectual function: Raglan road is any road, Grafton street is any street.....Autumn, November, May. Time passes. Boy meets girl; boy falls in love with girl; boy loses girl. It is a sad thing---beautiful too; provacative, compelling and true; it is the way life is. Enjoy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jan 04 - 09:32 PM

" boy falls in love with girl"   "Man falls in love with woman" is more the way of it...

And the point isn't pinning down "the facts", it's getting a clearer appreciation of the images andnthe language.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,-pc
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 04:17 PM

I've always "felt" that Stonehenge was made by sound, with the help of the true gods.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,JMcGough1@comcast.net
Date: 03 Apr 04 - 11:04 PM

I get the gist of the poem because I've been there and done that including sensing the danger, tripping along, etc. for those who are looking for deep Celtic mysticism and meaning, you have too much education and too little experience. My first love had dark hair too and morals less Catholic than mine. I was used and my life put on hold for ten years. In short, I fell passionatly in love with a narcicistic person of less education and intelligence who wound up running away from me because her feelings for me were less sincere but not less passionate than my feelings for her. In short, she enjoyed the passion but knew that it wouldn't work as a marriage but I was to naive to see that. It's an age old story told told beautifully. When set to music, it brings tears to my eyes and sad memories to mind.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 04:52 AM

I'm sure Kavanagh is rolling around in his grave laughing at all the deep theories based on his simple love poem!

It may be apposite to mention that it's sung to the tune of Fáinne Gheal an Lae (the Bright Dawning of the Day), a traditional song - if anyone wants to read something into that, go on, it'll make even more fun!

I love Kavanagh's view of my city. Coming as he did from the mountainy country of the northwest, where three-quarters of the view is a huge sky full of racing clouds, he has a great view of a city which must have felt to him like the depth of a ravine.

Someone on the radio the other day - Ben Kiely, maybe? - said that Kavanagh lived in Baggot Street because it was so reminiscent of a market town, with the wide street, rows of shops and pubs, and the bridge at the end.

In relation to class, well, Kavanagh was pretty well got. His family ran the Monument Creameries, and he was in no way the impoverished farmer often imagined.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 08:03 AM

I had never realised before that Fáinne Gheal an Lae was a traditional song, I had always thought it was a traditional air.

You never stop learning, do you ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 03:17 PM

Joan Osborne sings this??? Be still my beating heart. Where is that coat......?

yours,

Peter T.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Guest Border Fox
Date: 04 Apr 04 - 04:58 PM

JTT, Kavanagh came from County Monaghan on the Armagh border in the north -east.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,eileen
Date: 05 Apr 04 - 06:15 AM

The impression I recieve from this song..listening AND performing, is that the "male lead" in the song considers himself to be lofty and ethereal and tries to bring the "female lead" up to his "standards" and finally realizes (at the same point in which she clearly shows him she is not interested) that she is a "mere mortal" (ie.feet of clay)and as often happens in real life situations...that which cannot be attained is sour grapes. Probably a less romantic impression than some...but who says people can't think themselves better than others? Even poets. From tragedy is born beauty.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Paul B.
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 10:55 AM

A truely fascinating and informative thread on one of my favourite ballads. At the risk of showing my total ignorance, I would just like to add one consideration on the symbolism of "at the dawning of the day".

A number of posts have seen this as an optimistic note - a pointer to a new beginning or rebirth. I have an alternative reading which is more in seeing the dawning of the day as the end/death of the night. That is to say the end of the magical dark hours where drinking, dancing, carousing and the ever-titillating possibility of ending up in a clinch with the object of your affections has been and gone, now replaced by the cold light of reality and the necessity of shambling back to your lodgings (or a coffeehouse for the full pig breakfast, money allowing). Whether relevant or not, one can't help but be reminded of the pre-Christian celtic practice in measuring the passing of time by nights rather than days (hence fortnight for e.g.).

Also, though this surely cannot be relevant, the mention of "the gods of sound and stone" brings to mind a mind-boggling TV documentary I saw a few years back on some fella had accidentally discovered acoustic properties to stone circles and other neolithic monuments like Newgrange etc. I can certainly attest to the acoustic "amplifier" effects of Stonehenge from summer solstices past.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 05:29 AM

The phrasing of the third verse has been discussed already, but I'd like to add my two-and-a-half-pen'orth.
In all the published versions of the poem (ie not as a song) that I have seen, the line
And word and tint. I did not stint,
has always had a full-stop after the word "tint" which to me signifies that the it is part of the phrase
That's known to the artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone and word and tint.
I agree with the previous posting that suggests that these probably refer to the muses of Music, Sculpture, Poetry, and Painting.

It is noticeable, however, that whenever the words are written as song lyrics, the period tends to be replaced by a comma, implying that "And word and tint" is part of the following phrase. Probably this is because the tune itself makes this a preferable phrasing, but it does alter the meaning considerably.

Incidently, who was the first person to associate the poem with the tune ? - I have seen it variously claimed as, Kavanaugh himself, Luke Kelly, and Joan Osborne.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Fergie
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 09:14 AM

It was Kavanagh himself who set the poem to the tune 'Fáinne Gheal an Lae' this translates literally as 'Bright ring of morning' which is essentially The Dawning of the Day, hence 'and I said let grief, be a falling leaf, at the dawning of the day'

Fergus


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 11 Jun 04 - 10:37 AM

That makes sense given the last line of the first verse. I wonder how he expected the words to br phrased then.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: ard mhacha
Date: 22 Jun 04 - 01:48 PM

Raglan Road Music Festival.--A celebration of music, poetry, theatre, and song will be held in Patrick Kavanagh`s birthplace Iniskeen County Monaghan from Friday July 30th until Sunday August 1st.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,David Parr Liverpool UK
Date: 22 Aug 04 - 03:28 AM

"That I had wooed not as I should A creature made of clay"


My interpretation of this phase tells me that Patrick Kavanagh's love was not returned.

He likened his love as wooing a piece of porcelain (fine clay).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Tick Mick
Date: 22 Aug 04 - 07:19 AM

Of course it means that, even I knew that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Aug 04 - 08:24 AM

It seems to me that there's a self-mocking side to the song that people often miss.. "There was I so high and flighty, with my poems and my notions I was some kind of higher beings, bringing her up to my level - I burnt my wings a bit there all right..." The mood is rueful rather than tragic.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 22 Aug 04 - 04:35 PM

I used to know the words of Fáinne Gheal an Lae years ago (fáinne an lae - literally the ring of the morning - refers to the way that the dawning sun makes a ring at the horizon) many years ago, but only remember fragments. It started "Ar maidin moch, do gheabhas amach, ar bruach Locha Léin" (Early in the morning I went out on the bank of Loch Lene). I'll just google a bit and see if I can find it... I think it's an aisling, as far as I remember - you know, the 18C verse form where a wandering poet meets a beautiful woman who seeks his help; love songs in the form of nationalist anthems or vice versa, depending on your taste.

Le Fainne Geal An lae

Trad. / Music: Perry Rose

"Ar maidin moch
do gabhas amach
ar bhruach Locha Léin.
An Samhradh 'teacht
an chraobh lem ais
'gus banta mine réidh
Cé gheobhainn lem ais
ach an cailin deas
le fainne geal an lae"

English Translation :
One morning early as I walked forth
By the margin of Lough Lene
The sunshine dressed the trees in green
And summer bloomed again
I left the town and wandered on
Through fields all green and gay
And whom should I meet but my colleen deas
At the bright ring of the day

(I don't know what "Perry Rose" refers to. Oh, and this is only one verse; as far as I remember there were five or six.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Lough Neagh
Date: 23 Aug 04 - 03:12 PM

This is my favourite version, well before Paddy Kavanagh`s Raglan Road, try Googling The dawning of the day [Irish Song] and you will find what you are looking for.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,McGrath
Date: 23 Aug 04 - 06:36 PM

It's not a "version" - they are completely different songs, with a shared tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Lough Nay
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 03:51 AM

McGrath you are right, but it was close.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE DAWNING OF THE DAY
From: Big Tim
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 05:23 AM

They are different songs, but close indeed. I wonder how much the earlier song influenced Kavanagh's? "With gentle words I courted her", isn't that different from "I gave her poems to say". And the theme of lost love is the same, yes, no?

The version below is the one that was popular in Ireland in Kavanagh's day (his song was published in 1946). It's based on the translation by Edward Walsh (1805-50), from Derry

THE DAWNING OF THE DAY

At early dawn I once had been, where Lene's bright waters flow,
When summer bid the groves be green, the lamp of light to glow,
And on by bower and town and tower, through fields all green and gay,
Whom should I meet but a colleen sweet, at the dawning of the day.

No cap or cloak this maiden wore, her neck and feet were bare,
Down to her waist in ringlets fell, her golden, glossy hair,
A milking pail was in her hand, she was lovely, young and gay,
Outshining far the morning star at the dawning of the day.

On a mossy bank I sat me down, this maiden by my side,
With gentle words I courted her, I asked her "Be my bride",
She said, "Young man don't bring me shame" and swiftly turned away,
And the sun's first light pursued her flight at the dawning of the day.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 10:57 AM

Thanks Tim, I much prefer these words to the Raglan Road "version", can only be done justice by a good Tenor.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 11:13 AM

Horses for courses. That's pleasant enough, but I'd rate Raglan Road far higher. And I'd disagree about the "good Tenor" as well. More times than not I find the voice gets in the way of the song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 01:43 PM

Kavanagh would certainly have known Fáinne Gheal an Lae - it was sung much more then than it is now. But I don't know if he even intended Raglan Road to be sung to the same tune.

As for the use of the phrase "the dawning of the day", there are certain phrases that are stock in Irish ballads; this, I think is one of them. Another is Yeats's favourite "I shall arise and go now". Kind of like "I woke up this morning" in blues.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 02:53 PM

Sorry Ard, I'm with McG on this one, Kavanagh's lyric is pretty much independent of the original: though inspired by it, it's "better"; or at least more meaningful for more modern times. It has to be kept in mind though, that Walsh's version is a translation and has probably been "prettified". Because it rhymes (and so sweetly and neatly) in another language, it's artificial. I'd love to see, and understand, the original lyric in Irish. Ard, I do have a (very) good tenor, Michael O'Duffy, singing it, from 1948, too late for Kavanagh. I wonder where Kavanagh learned it? Any info on older recordings?

As Tom Munnelly said yonks ago on Mudcat, Kavanagh himself sang the song to the old air, the film is in RTE archives. A short clip of it was shown on the Luke Kelly tribute on RTE in '99, of which I have a copy. (Paddy was a god-awful singer, worse than me!).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha.
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 05:37 PM

Tim, I have John McCormack singing The dawning of the day, and as the great man died on 1945, you will have a job trying to locate an earlier version.
I have heard this song at many a Feis throughout the late 1950s and always performed by Tenors, and McGrath the only person who got in the way may have been the fat lady coming out a wee bit early, give me a fine Tenor singing this song in preference to some guitar twanging warbler.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 07:52 PM

The Count was a great man, and a lovely singer, and the Irish Tenor heritage is a splendid one and long may it continue - but the smooth beauty of the voice can get in the way of the song for me, and that's a personal idiosyncrasy.

But the world isn't divided between Tenors and guitar-twanging warblers. For one thing there's the Sean Nos tradition, and that's where this song fits most satisfactorily for me. Both these songs in fact.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 04:28 AM

Ard, you got the date of the McCormack recording? I'd guess that was the one that PK was familiar with. "Raglan" was written some time over the winter of '44/45 (published in'46).                                          

Finbar Wright, my favourite tenor, has recorded "Raglan" but I was quite disappointed with his interpretation. I think it was somewhat lacking in passion. My favourite version remains the one by that notorious banjo twanger, Luke Kelly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 06:18 AM

Pick, pick, pick... but I wouldn't really see Fáinne Gheal an Lae as sean-nós. It's too rhythmic, or maybe it's that the rhythm is too simple. Beautiful song, though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 08:47 AM

Tim, The date given for the recording by John McCormack of, The dawning of the day, 29-8-1934,[PW Joyce, Old Irish air, arrangement by N Clifford Page.]
Most of McCormack`s recordings are now on CD, a bit of Googling will lead you to the many companies which sell them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 10:23 AM

Thanks GUEST. 1934 fits the chronology very well. Of course Kavanagh could simply have learned the song from anyone without ever having heard any recording. McCormack though was probably the ultimate source. (I have quite a few McCormack tracks on CD but not that one).

Edward Walsh's "Dawning" is in the Penguin Book of Irish Verse, edited by Brendan Kennelly. It's very similar to the one above but probably closer to the original as it was translated directly from Irish, whereas later versions were edited, changed and "improved" all-English efforts.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha.
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 05:09 PM

Tim , Sorry I was the Guest, I am having a wee cry for the poor `gers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Eric the Streetsinger
Date: 11 Sep 04 - 06:50 PM

Hi folks- here's a nice long thread, I've skimmed it and enjoyed it and if I've missed someone relating what I have to say, then I'm sorry.
I first heard Raglan Road from a streetsinger on Grafton Street in Dublin. He wrote the words down for me, and I have been doing the song ever since. This was around 1990 or 91. This busker explained to me that Wim Wenders had built his film "Wings of Desire" around the lyric to "Raglan Road" and perhaps its because of this that my primary love of the song is for the narrative.
The "speaker" is an angel, a muse, or perhaps both.
He sees a woman and falls for her.
He knows it will be his downfall,(I saw the danger, yet I walked
along the enchanted way!") but he
says "Let grief be a falling leaf!" at the dawning of the day.
(i.e. "throw caution to the wind!") The danger is becoming to attached to only one charge- when he has many others to look after. He shirks his responsibility in order to follow her.
As an angel or muse, he can't communicate directly with her, so he shows his love in a different way.
"I gave her gifts of the mind.
I gave her the Secret Sign, that is known to the artist
(who has known the true god of sound and stone!)

I always took this to mean he inspired her, as a muse inspires an artist, by placing images or ideas into her mind directly through magical means.
"Word and Tint I did not stint- I gave her poems to say!" almost like a possesion. "With her own name there, and her long black hair like clouds over fields in May!"      
When he begins, again, to refer to hair and physical beauty, he has strayed too far from his role.
His desire becomes a physical desire, inappropriate for a muse.   
I always wonder what its like for him at this point-
does he actually see a way to get into her world, or is it just wishful thinking?
Wim Wenders' angel actually discovers that he can give up his wings, and enter the physical world, but the price is mortality, pain, to share the imperfections in the world of clay! And takes the plunge!

"On a dark street where old ghosts meet I see her... walking...away   from me so hurriedly.
My reason must allow that I had wooed not as I should.
(A creature made from clay.")
He's beginning to question his own actions here, isn't he?
It is not right for an angel/muse
to love a human being beyond the rules of his created function/destiny.
She, being mortal, has passed on,
leaving him, the immortal, alone and sorrowful.
In the end, he has relented of his "wooing".
That's why she's walking away from him,
and why its on a street where "old ghosts meet!"
She being mortal, has passed away, and he, immortal, is left behind.
Had he taken the next step in wooing her, he would, in fact, have lost his wings, but he doesn't, finally.
He turns back from the abyss.
I love that line-
"When the angel woos the clay he'd lose his wings."
and then he's back "at the dawning of the day," when he saw her first,
and said "let grief be a falling leaf!"
Perhaps a bit literal, but that's my reading.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 12 Sep 04 - 06:21 PM

In her autobiographical book 'Are You Somebody?' Nuala O'Faolain claims to have heard that Joan Ryan, wife of Eoin Ryan (whoever they may be), was the woman Kavanagh wrote Raglan Road about. She also claims to have shared a flat with him for a few months (in the sense that both of them happened to be lodgers at the same time).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Sep 04 - 06:51 PM

So am I alone in thinking there's a dry self-mocking humorous touch to the poem? Not joky, but a wry awareness of the comic side of life, even when it's serious.

Even especially when it's serious, because that's often how you get through those times.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,SteveH
Date: 12 Sep 04 - 08:59 PM

Well, I've always taken the phrase "When the angel woos the clay he'd lose/his wings at the dawn of day" as "dry, self-mocking (humour)"   You know, poets have such a marvellous way of putting things but, if the subject doesn't give a toss about poetic sentiments, the poor wee verses end up writhing on the ground at the feet of said subject.
There is some very good stuff on this thread. I quite like Eric the Streetsinger's thoughts on the song. I've always loved this song, and love to sing it - it first struck me because of a personal situation at the time I first heard Dick Gaughan sing it.
   I'm a bit of a Philistine when it comes to grasping the full meaning of songs. Often, for me, it's a few phrases and the general strength of the song that lodges it in my heart. A bit like how I drink wine or beer, a particular aspect of the "flavour" strikes me and I often overlook the finer nuances (what do you mean "a hint of chocolate"?).
   Anyway, I don't often get by here- post even less- but this is enjoyable. thanks to all.          SteveH


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 07:56 PM

McGrath, I wouldn't call it humorous, but certainly self-mocking. It seems to me his head knows perfectly well what hasn't reached his gut yet - that he's been making a fool of himself!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 05:07 AM

Right on the nose Susan, the lady strung the oul country fool along.
During Kavanagh`s time in Dublin he was getting a bit naughty with another lady when she objected, on boarding her bus home Kavanagh shouted out,"I hope your`e a bit cheaper the next time".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Liam
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 05:57 AM

I recently started singing this song again not having listened to the words properly for years. (By the way I think Van the man makes a horlicks of it frankly!) Each line can be interpretated a million ways. The lines which give me the most trouble are to do with clay. (One of) my interpretations is that(the)woman is like the statue in the story of Nebuchudnezzr in the Bible: dazzlingly beautiful on the outside but made of cheap clay underneath.In the story the feet are smashed and the statue topples. The poet, his love unrequited, comes to the realisation that his would-be lover is not the godlike creature he at first saw but, by her rejection of him, an ordinary soiled mortal. He is distraught at his discovery and also very bitter. Even an angel (a creature of heaven)let alone a mere man, were he to woo the most beautiful woman on earth (a creature of clay), would be destroyed by such fickleness in the same way. The word clay in Ireland is often used to refer to the ground , the earth, a grave and so there is a reference to bodily beauty being ephemeral ultimately returning, through death, to earth while real beauty, poetry, art etc last for ever.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 12:28 PM

I had always thought Patrick Kavanagh to be a bit of a dry stick, but I warmed to him when I discovered that he had a deep love of horse-racing, and spent much of his time jousting with the bookmakers on Irish racecourses.

I would love to go back in time and quaff a pint or two with the man.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 12:36 PM

Patrick Kavanagh was very interested in sport he played in goals for his local gaelic football team Inniskeen, he wouldn`t have been an Irishman if he hadn`t fancied a bet on the horses.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,maurneen_14@hotmail.com
Date: 10 Dec 04 - 10:29 PM

On Raglan Road on an Autumn Day, I met her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare that I may one day rue.
I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way
And I said let grief be a falling leaf at the dawning of the day.
HE WAS ATTRACTED TO HER AND WANTED TO HAVE SOME PLEASURE IN LIFE THOUGH HE KNEW THE CONSEQUENSES WOULD NOT BE GOOD.

On Grafton Street in November, we tripped lightly along the ledge
Of a deep ravine where can be seen the worst of passions pledged.
The Queen of Hearts still baking tarts and I not making hay,
Well I loved too much; by such and such is happiness thrown away.
SHE WAS BEING SENSIBLE, WANTED TO GET MARRIED MAYBE, (PLANING AHEAD),
HE JUST WANTED TO HAVE SOME GOOD TIMES AND NOT WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING.

I gave her the gifts of my mind. I gave her the secret sign that's known
To the artists who have known true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint. I did not stint for I gave her poems to say.
With her own dark hair and her own name there like the clouds over fields of May.
SHE DECIDED THAT SHE DID NOT LOVE HIM ANYMORE DESPITE HIS WOOS, SO HE KILLED HER AND BURIED HER, (MAYBE HE BURIED HER WITH HIS POEMS AS A GIFT AT HER GRAVE). HE BECAME MAD (LIKE A THUNDERSTORM.)

On a quiet street where old ghosts meet, I see her walking now
Away from me, so hurriedly. My reason must allow,
For I have wooed, not As I should a creature made of clay-
When the angel woos the clay, he'd lose his wings at the dawn of the day.
THEY ARE NOW SEPERATED. HE HAS VISIONS OF HER. HE KNOWS THAT HE WILL NEVER FIND FORGIVENESS. HE KNOWS THAT HE HAD DONE SOMETHING TERRIBLE. HE WAS NOT CAREFUL WITH SOMEONE WHO WAS DESIGNED SO PERFECLY. HE IS REFFERED TO AS THE ANGEL~LOVER~HE FELT AS IF HE HAD TO RISE ABOVE THE GROUND WHEN HE WAS WITH HER~A HEAVENLY FEELING. HE SHOULD HAVE LOVED HER AS SHE DESERVED TO BE LOVED, BUT WAS NOT LOOKING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND HAS SINNED.~THEREFORE, HE LOST HIS WINGS.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Dec 04 - 10:35 PM

The above is my understanding of the song - It's one of my favourites and is hard to make out It's a real mystery, but it's kind of fun, like solving a puzzle. ~Maureen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,wilddior
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 04:23 PM

God bless the Irish! All sadness and beauty. "Raglan Road" is a great poem that remains fresh and strong. For some reason James Joyce's "The Dead" to my mind. He loves her, and longs to be loved by her as she loves the dead boy from her childhood. But it aint going to happen. How sad for the both of them.

I need a drink.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Kate
Date: 29 Jan 05 - 07:15 PM

I heard Raglan Road one day and it stopped me in my tracks. IMHO, it is about loving someone but knowing in the back of your mind that it probably won't work out.
But, having said that, in loving, you are not able to deny the love and the want for love.
So therefore, one denies the foreshadowing that things will eventually crash and burn.
It's really sad but it caught my attention because of the honesty that one might not want to admit even to themselves.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: ard mhacha
Date: 30 Jan 05 - 05:28 AM

Aye, poor oul Paddy strung along by a "cute hoor".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: MuddleC
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 04:03 PM

An interesting thread, one which will make me think more of this troubled man , next I sing it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: MuddleC
Date: 05 Mar 05 - 04:21 PM

more grist to the mill......
http://www.pearsecom.com/Ireland/poems/raglanroad.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,QLeV
Date: 10 Mar 05 - 11:09 PM

I'm of the feeling that Raglan Road has some deeper esoteric meaning. Perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but upon my first encounter with the piece, I assumed Yeats had written it (owning to his membership in the Golden Dawn). That aside, the whole piece sounds like a Neophyte's journey through the early stages of a Rosicrucian initiatory process.

Any thoughts?

Q


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: MuddleC
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 09:50 PM

hello GUEST cheeky...It's "passion's pledge"... It's named after the statute of Jesus "The Passion's Pledge" which is situated outside the Church on the "Deep Ravine" which is the laneway leading from Grafton Street towards Powerscourt.

..can anyone confirm this ?

As the new Powerscourt Centre is in William Street South, the quickest way from Grafton Street is via Johson Court, cutting across Clarendon Street and down Coppner Row. In the angle formed by Grafton St.,Johnson Court and Clarendon Road is the church of St. Teresa's .
This Church was established by the Discalced Carmelite Community They pledge to live the central part of their life in prayer and a whole lot of other pledges
(see http://www.ocd.ie/default.asp?article=the%20rule), one of which is 'Your loins are to be girt with chastity', so, NO fraternising!!!- and a solitary existence is required, so walking out with the Queen of Hearts is a no-no. Perhaps this is the knife-edge dilemma....?
-is this the worth of passions pledge???????!!!! no nookie!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 16 Mar 05 - 08:19 AM

Senator Eoin Ryan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 12:36 PM

I was just going to confirm the same thing about the deep ravine and St. Teresa's with the statue. That's the way I heard it. My father and mother knew Paddy Kavanagh quite well and he was often in our house. Both my parents are still alive and my father has often told me that that is the meaning of the deep ravine. What a beautiful piece of poetry. That reminds me, I must get him out for a pint soon and discuss this poem again "...oh the cat and the cradle and the silver spoon..."

;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Leadfingers
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 06:59 PM

I must admit I dont see the point of stripping a poem down to its basic parts !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Leadfingers
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 07:00 PM

If it doesnt work as a poem or song , then sort out WHY !!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Leadfingers
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 07:01 PM

But when it works , WHY worry !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: MuddleC
Date: 01 Apr 05 - 07:45 PM

so, is 'the deep ravine' Johson court and is there a statue??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,skinned_knuckles
Date: 05 Sep 06 - 06:54 PM

That I have wooed not as I should
a creature made of clay.

Upon the discovery of a would-be love, there is a temptation to fill in all the unknown aspects of a person with favorable characteristics and qualities. Over time one inevitably discovers that many of those unknown areas are not in fact as had been previously hoped. This can be especially poignant upon the collapse of a relationship when all those hopeful assumptions fall to the wayside and what remains can appear to be as insignificant as a lump of clay.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: scottasbj
Date: 28 Dec 06 - 10:47 PM

I just heard/saw Loreena McKennitt sing this song on You Tube, from Barnes and Noble to introduce her new Ancient Muse. I know I have heard this before. What strikes me about the song is just how 'Irish' it is. Meaning that I feel like I am walking down Grafton Street. It does for me what Irish/Celtic music has always done for me. It makes life liveable, when it didn't seem that it was. There is an inner voice that speaks to me through this kind of music that has carried me through life's struggles when I was out of strength. That is about as well as I can explain what I feel when I hear this.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,carfar
Date: 29 Jan 07 - 07:54 AM

Fascinating thread.
Just a note on the "making hay"..........probably from his Monaghan roots but could be connected to the Irish proverb "Make hay while the sun shines". Basically this means get on with whatever you are doing while you can.... He was hoping to develop the relationship........She wasn't having it ....... He's not making hay.

I love the Luke Kelly version.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Quinny
Date: 19 Feb 07 - 11:26 PM

Micheal O'Muircheartaigh recently selected this song as one of his all time favourites, he taught Luke Kelly in the Lawrence O'Toole school in Dublin and knew Hilda Moriarty's family in Dingle, Kerry. They were both doctors and very well respected.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 20 Feb 07 - 03:59 PM

Is anyone else surprised to see the saying, "make hay while the sun shines", described as "Irish"? Comment, explanation?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Declan
Date: 20 Feb 07 - 07:46 PM

Sorry to introduce a note of grim reality into such a romantic discussion, but I believe that "making hay" is a euphamism for having sex. Despite the fact that there were many tarts (prostitutes) available in the area. Mount Street Bridge (on the Grand Canal) was/possibly still is an area where these ladies were available for business, he wasn't getting any.

The notion that the deep ravine is something to do with the statue seems a bit far fetched to me, although a statue of the passion does exist between Grafton Street and Clarendon Street.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Colingra
Date: 18 Mar 07 - 04:15 PM

I'd say, in relation to the angel reference in this poem, the whole section involving angels and clay could be interpreted as having a certain meaning in a religious sense. Obviously the old cliches are there, the creation of man from clay in God's image, the angel, are classic representations of religion in poetry. Man, made of clay, and angels, the heavenly choir, are not supposed to engage with each other and through these constructs Kavanagh is, by way of my interpretation, attempting in these few lines to grapple with the topic of self sacrifice. for an angel to lose his wings is a fall from grace with god, and this happens because of wooing the creature made of clay. Kavanagh is trying to show that the love he is reflecting on in this poem is one which the protagonist is willing to sacrifice all he possesses, even grace with god, to fulfill.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Jim Lad
Date: 18 Mar 07 - 04:33 PM

Ah Colingra:
            If only "Meself" could read and understand your post!
How simpler life would be in Tatamagouche. We are of like mind.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 18 Mar 07 - 05:38 PM

I heard that!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 12:21 PM

I see this thread has been "refreshed" again, and there are a couple of things I can usefully add; with regard to the myriad interpretations and facets and subtleties, isn't it great that Poetry (unlike legal, or technical, prose) doesn't have to have one, certain, changeless meaning? It's not a case of "either...or", but of "both...and" and indeed "and...and...and". Secondly, for all that the long phrases and enjambments make this a very difficult song to sing well, or properly(taking account of sense, structure, rhythm and rhymes), there can be no doubt that PK himself intended it as a Song, not a poem which happens to fit "Fainne g. an L." and has "Dawning of the Day" phrase included; there was a BBC documentary the other night, "Folk Hibernia", which included a short film clip of the man himself singing the first few lines of "Raglan Road" to the familiar air. Finally, John McC also sang a translation (I think a bit different from that given by Big Tim above, in August of 2004) in a film of 1929, "Wings of the Morning"; the film's about a racehorse of that name, Henry Fonda's the male lead, and the Count has a sort of cameo part, as himself, singing three songs (Moore's "Endearing Young Charms", "Killarney" by Balfe and Falconer as well as "The D of the Day"). As far as I recall, the first line goes, "One morning early, as I roved out by the margin of Lough Leane..."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Kenny V
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 01:17 PM

I always thought that Luke Kelly got permission from Kavanagh to put this poem to music and it was kelly that chose the air. Also if the poem should read august day and not autumn day how does the falling leaf fit in? I would have thought that falling leaves are more autumnal.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Irish Mike
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 09:56 PM

If one is not aware of the clasical Irish symbols, the queen of hearts is sort of a femal cupid who makes "tarts". The woman was hot stuff or for sale. And can "not making hay" be another phrase for "I wasn't asleep"? But he got overly involved and loved too much.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 10:30 PM

'And can "not making hay" be another phrase for "I wasn't asleep"?'

Not as far as I know. Maybe you're thinking of "not sawing logs"?

Anyone else?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 07:29 AM

This is a lovely version. Great back-up with Mark O'Connor and Jerry Douglas.

Youtube link


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Tootler
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 07:24 PM

Here is Luke Kelly singing it with a tantalising bit of info on how he got the song from Poet himself.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Tootler
Date: 09 Apr 07 - 07:41 PM

Guest meself wrote.

"Is anyone else surprised to see the saying, "make hay while the sun shines", described as "Irish"? Comment, explanation?"

That has niggled me while I was reading the thread through so I googled the phrase and came up with this.

MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES -- "Act while conditions are favorable. The grass that is going to be used as hay needs to be dried after it is cut: rain is likely to spoil it. The farmer, therefore, sought to cut hay on a day when it seemed likely that the sun would be around for that day and one or two more. John Heywood listed the advice as proverbial in 1546: 'When the sunne shyneth make hey.'"

John Heywood was a writer born in Coventry in 1497 and he published a collection of proverbs in 1562. That suggests to me the saying is English in Origin, not Irish.

Correct me if I am wrong but would not Ireland still have been largely Gaelic speaking in the mid 16th century? If that's the case it seems to me unlikely that a proverb of this nature, in English, would have come out of Ireland, though doubtless there were Gaelic equivalents. I suspect it is more likely that the saying was carried from England to Ireland at a much later date.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,The Scotsman
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 03:20 PM

A lovely poem, very poignant and moving. Patrick Kavanagh was a mystic and this poem comes as close as he got in his writings to the carnal reality of life.

That ravine has a distinctly sexual aura about it though I doubt that Kavanagh was fully aware of this in his conscious mind. He only tripped lightly along the edge and did not fall in as other female friends of his have testified.

The tension in this poem between the poet's art and his love for a woman reminded me of this line by W B Yeats.......

—"the intellect of man is forced to choose, perfection of the life, or of the work."

The choice was already made for Patrick Kavanagh as his wooing was doomed to failure. He was too old for the girl and he thought they could both share his rarified world which could never happen. She now runs off when she sees him coming.

I quite like the line beginning The Queen of Hearts, it doesn't jar with me at all. When you have been as much in love as he was it is sometimes necessary to poke a little fun at the object of your desire and so also at yourself. This isn't a love poem, it is a poem about an enchantment from which you have escaped or perhaps just the poet's foolishness. But having been once on the "enchanted way" you can never regret it. Anyway Patrick Kavanagh kept his wings.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Kev Bhoy
Date: 31 Aug 07 - 04:16 PM

I've just listened to this song/poem for the first (or by now second/third) time being performed by Sinead O'Connor on the "Common Ground" compilation and, having thoroughly enjoyed her rendition, looked for the lyrics on the interweb which led me here. I know it's well down the thread now but I'd like to comment that what at first seemed to me to be simply a superb song has been totally enhanced by reading this thread (plus the previous one dating back to 2001) and all the contributors merit a huge thanks from a simple listener such as me! Slainte as Glaschu!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,dermot o connor
Date: 10 Sep 07 - 07:08 PM

Let me add a handy link to this SIX YEAR OLD THREAD (wow):

http://www.rte.ie/laweb/ll/ll_t03i.html

It's a page from RTE (the Irish TV network), with clips from 1979 - interviews with Benedict Kiely, the first person to see the finished poem, and in interview with Hilda Moriarty (the woman in the poem):

http://www.rte.ie/laweb/smil/t03/t03i_hmoriarty_gt_tv.smil


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Sep 07 - 07:16 PM

I rather think this one will run as long as What is Folk? does... But be more interesting, on the whole...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Gulliver
Date: 10 Sep 07 - 09:01 PM

As regards the comments above re "Making hay while the sun shines", my de Bhaldraithe dictionary translates this (into Irish) as "Buail an t-iarann nuair atá sé te", which literally means "strike while the iron is hot". I think he was ruefully admitting to himself that he wasn't getting anywhere with Hilda. I read some details of this hapless affair in a biography of Kavanagh, probably the one written by his brother Peter.

Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 09:24 AM

I'd have thought the more central meaning would have been "I wasn't getting on with the work I had to do, writing poems" - but of course it's got other meanings as well. That's poetry for you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Gulliver
Date: 11 Sep 07 - 09:37 PM

The whole poem is about his fascination for Hilda.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Mr Happy
Date: 12 Sep 07 - 07:12 AM

Hilda Moriarty was the mother of Daragh O'Malley who plays opposite Sean Bean in the TV drama 'Sharpe'

See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daragh_O%27Malley


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,wayfarerer
Date: 24 Sep 07 - 10:34 AM

It is a bit Yeatsian then innit? Like most good poems it works on more than one level. On the surface it's a story of unrequited love. The poet falls in love with a beautiful woman who is a bit of a philistine and is unmoved by the poems and songs he dedicates to her. She is an unwilling/unresponsive muse. On a deeper level it's about the inability for the carnal and the spiritual to coexist. Probably Paddy was a good Catholic boy at one time. Like Balzac said after a night in the brothel, "Alas, there goes another masterpiece!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: mg
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 12:15 AM

Was Kavanaugh from the Dingle area? I know it is a Dingle name, as in Moriarty (as is Garvey). I can recognize the set of names from there now...mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Declan
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 03:02 AM

Mary,

Kavanagh wasn't from Dingle, but Hilda was.

Kavanagh was from Co Monaghan in the north of the country.

He met (or at least saw) Hilda on Raglan Road in Dublin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 25 Sep 07 - 12:26 PM

Wikipedia says the original title of this poem is "Dark Haired Myriam Ran Away". It was changed by THE DUBLINERS when they started playing it. Is anyone familiar with whether this is tue or not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,wayfarerer
Date: 29 Nov 07 - 03:43 PM

check this version out. he changes lyrics but it seems to work and i like the way it flows: "myspace.com/awandererplays2007"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Wenke
Date: 17 Dec 07 - 12:40 AM

Thank you all for this incredible thread still going strong after 6 years now!
I am trying to translate and adapt The dawning of the day/Ragland road into Spanish, setting the action in the port of Valparaiso, Chile, as a story about an Irish sailor falling in love and losing the girl because his ship is bound to sail. It´s part of a project of adapting beautiful traditional songs from the many countries whose people have immigrated to this town over the centuries, as my family who came from Norway in the 'forties.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Jen
Date: 17 Dec 07 - 10:15 AM

It's great to see so much varied debate and interpretations of this song.

I was really surprised recently when I attended a three-hour lecture on Patrick Kavanagh, and "Raglan Road" was not brought up once! When I mentioned it at the end, the lecturer kind of looked at me. It was one of Kavanagh's poems that he seemed least familiar with. But for me when reading through his collection, it's the one that really stands out! I love the language of it, especially the line "On a quiet street, where old ghosts meet, I see her walking now..."

It's the song I probably sing most in sessions, so I'm singing it usually at least once a week, yet I never tire of it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Galway Blake
Date: 05 Jan 08 - 11:13 AM

Young Dubliners do a magnificent rendition of Raglan Road on "With all due respect"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,phil
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 06:47 PM

As an Irishman and a poet and lover of Irish music and poetry(i put it this way because I'm a melodic poet, I find the analysis of the song/poem being about a sailor to be so utterly contemptible that it does not merit debate. Are you off your trolley?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 08:11 PM

..."Are you off your trolley? " ...

wonderfully evocative phrasing from a "lover of Irish music" and a " melodic poet".

melodic poet, my arse ......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Jen
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 01:23 PM

"Wikipedia says the original title of this poem is "Dark Haired Myriam Ran Away". It was changed by THE DUBLINERS when they started playing it. Is anyone familiar with whether this is tue or not."

It was originally called that. Peter Kavanagh (Patrick's brother) said how although it was based on Hilda Moriarty, Patrick used the name of Peter's girlfriend as a cover. That was on its first publication (I think in The Irish Times, sometime around 1946?). I don't know about The Dubliners changing the name - it is referred to as "On Raglan Road" or "Raglan Road" in Kavanagh's poetry collections. I presume it was just on its first publication that it was referred to by the Miriam name?

As well, someone mentioned whether Kavanagh himself or The Dubliners had put the words to the air "The Dawning of the Day." I'm pretty sure it was Kavanagh. He also mentions the air elsewhere in his poetry (e.g. in "Inniskeen Pipers Band" I think the poem is called).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,doryman
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 06:15 PM

Wow.
I keep coming back to this thread and the richness of the responses to this song is inspiring. It's really what draws you to this music.

That said, I've sung this song many times and always with the recollection of someone once telling me that the song was written by a member of the Dubliners who worked a day job as a teacher and found himself tempted by the young girls at the school. The song was his expression of their untouchable status. Just as the "creature made of clay" is untouchable to the angel. Severe penalty the result of transgression: mortality for the angel, dishonor and prison for the teacher.
Not exactly high minded intellectual analysis, but I couldn't help telling the story.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: meself
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 12:47 AM

Well ... based on all I've read on this and the other threads on the song, I think we can safely say that it was not written by one of the Dubliners ... !

Funny, though - that is the kind of story that would emerge from somewhere, and someone would swear was true ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,doryman
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 10:55 AM

I guess it must be another example of the fabled "folk tradition" happily mutating along.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 12:25 PM

In the book 'Irish Ballads' (1996), Benedict Kiely, then working with Kavanagh on the 'Standard' newspaper recalled,                                                                                       
'As we sat talking in that newspaper office, [in] came Patrick Kavanagh with a few sheets of paper in his hand…could we sing that ["On Raglan Road"] he said, to the tune of the "Dawning of the Day"'.

So Kavanagh himself set the melody, not Luke Kelly, or anybody else.

The poem was indeed originally called 'Dark Haired Miriam Ran Away' and Miriam was indeed a girlfriend of his brother Peter.

The poem first appeared in the 'Irish Press' newspaper on 3 October 1946 (tho I don't know which title was used on that occasion).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: meself
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 03:08 PM

Speaking strictly as someone who knows absolutely nothing about the matter except what he's read in these threads, I wouldn't say that the above necessarily 'proves' anything, if there is a real contention. Questions could be asked: Is this Kiely remembering accurately? Is it possible that Kelly or someone else had suggested the melody or actually sung it to Kavanagh previously, and he was trying to decide if it worked or not? Does Kiely have some personal reason for not wanting to see Kelly get any credit for the song? Etc.

(I'm not trying to shoot down your contribution; just thinking out loud).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 03:31 PM

Benedict Kiely was talking about 1945 or 46 when Luke Kelly was aged about 5 or six! You're right meself, you know nothing about the matter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: meself
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 06:15 PM

As I said. Take Kelly's name out of my second question and my questions still stand, however. Sorry if you don't like them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 04:42 AM

I just can't imagine Ben Kiely (1919-2007) lying about something like that. He was a man of great integrity. In 1999, RTE did a docu on Luke Kelly in which he sang 'Raglan Road' and no mention was made of him having played any part in suggesting the traditional melody. Surely if he had that was the time to say so. In fact Kavanagh sang the song to Kelly in the Bailey pub in Dublin around 1966. So Luke got the whole song, words and melody from Paddy.

Kavanagh lived at 19 Raglan Road, Dublin 1943-44. So he may well have spotted Hilda Moriarty on that very street. Hilda was a medical student, later a prominent psychiatrist. She died in 1991. When Kavanagh first met her, he was engaged to Nola o'Driscoll, daughter of Michael Collins' sister Margaret. The Kavanagh/Hilda "romance" was certainly well over by 10 January 1946, when Kavanagh published a short story, 'The Lay of the Crooked Knight', wryly describing how he pretended to change to please her,                                                               

'He put on an artificial accent…he had been fond of his bottle of stout…the lady advised him to take sherry…she told him not to smoke cigarettes except with a holder…she chose new clothes for him. "Bedad, I ought to plaze you now" he said in his excitement, showing the old vulgar tongue in all its grossness'.

Then one evening,

'He rang her on the phone, she was out...later that evening he rang again. Still not in…he went down the town…he could hardly believe his eyes…it was indeed she walking with a man whom the knight placed as…active young country solicitor.'

When Kavanagh died, Hilda sent a wreath of red roses shaped as an 'H'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 09:24 AM

You could always watch and listen to mr Kielty himself rte kavanagh page and then weigh this up against your recollectio of what someone once told you ,before you casting aspersions on the mans word


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 09:29 AM

On the recent bbc4 documentary they showed a short clip of Paddy K himself singing the song. Does anyone know when this was from and if the whole thing is accessible?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 09:37 AM

In fact if you watch all the clips on the rte page you will see Luke Kelly is in the room while Mr Kietly tells his story and he does not challenge it in any way. Incidentally Kelly says that Kavanagh suggested he should sing "Raglan Rd", rather than either Miriam or the dawning of the day perhaps adding a little weight to the idea that the song already had this title rather than being subsequently renamed by the Dubs. Not at all conclusive but perhaps just a little more weight in the scale.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 10:13 AM

I've watched the clip of kavanagh singing Raglan Rd and the bit of Self Portrait Documentary. They seem to me to be different parts of the same session: he is wearing the same jacket, shirt and tie. The clip is from 1962, several years before Luke Kelly's one and only meeting with the man, which kind of settles the issue beyond the reach of those who would doubt Kiely's word. It also settles the Autumn, August debate.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 12:39 PM

Thanks for that link Robbie, great to see a photo of Hilda in her old age. Kavanagh's poem 'Bluebells for Love', considered by critics to be his best love poem, (tho I don't think so) was also inspired by Hilda. (btw, It's Ben Kiely, not Kielty!).

Kavanagh has a 20 track CD called 'Almost Everying'. He 'sings' only one song, the rest being poetry readings. Sadly, 'On Raglan Road' is not included.

Kavanagh's 'Collected Poems' (1964) gives the title as 'On Raglan Road' and the air as 'The Dawning of the Day'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Tootler
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 01:23 PM

I think the point "meself" was making is that without I vital piece of information - the date when the event described in Big Tim's post of 23 Mar 08 - 12:25 PM, then the assertion that "Kavanagh himself set the melody, not Luke Kelly, or anybody else" was not proven.

This was cleared up by Big Tim in his subsequent post, though I did think, Big Tim, that if you had gone back and read your original post more carefully, you might have picked up the point that "meself" was making and there was really no need to be so huffy. We did not all know what you evidently knew, nor was there any reason why you should have assumed we did.

In fact once you had given us all the information, it cleared up for me the issue of who chose the tune for Raglan road which did seem up till then to have been a bit uncertain.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 03:18 PM

The point 'meself' was making was that Kiely's comment in his book couldn't be trusted. He didn't offer any kind of evidence. I don't know if he has some kind of agenda or not. Whatever, it's a daft idea.

Kavanagh worked for the 'Standard' between August 1945 and April 1947. I suspect that Kavanagh took the lyric into the office shortly after he had written it, very probably in 1945.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Tootler
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 04:37 PM

That's not how I read it. But perhaps we should leave it at that is it's not worth bickering over.

Your adding the dates subsequent to "meself's" message certainly cleared things up in my mind which had been left hazy as a result of earlier discussions on this and other Raglan Road threads.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 12:51 PM

Yea, OK Tootler.

Last time I was in Dublin, about 3 years ago, I took a pic of 19 Raglan Road (and the Grand Canal bridge that Paddy fell over, thrown over according to him). If anyone wants to see them, just PM me their email. (The pics aren't particularly good as I was pretty new to the digi camera at the time).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 06:54 PM

I don't think there is a link on the thread so far to the (all too brief ) clip of Kavanagh singing the fragment of Raglan Road, so Here it is,

Kavanagh's brief segment occurs within the first ninety seconds.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 08:24 AM

Thanks Murray.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 10:37 AM

Please excuse me if this link has already been given somewhere in this very long thread. I came across this version of Raglan Road the other day on YouTube which begins with Patrick Kavanagh singing part of the first verse unaccompanied, which is then merged into Luke Kelly singing the rest of the song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBndHNJoC0k

Cheers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 11:08 AM

above as a clicky
the two clips merged are the ones discussed earlier on the rte raglan rd page


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 04:36 AM

Reading this with half attention - is someone trying to make the case that Luke Kelly *wrote* Raglan Road??? Heavens!

If so, it's simply settled; the poem's first date of publication should be well enough known.

Kavanagh, a sad, bitter alcoholic genius, was one of a group of poets of the first generation of the Irish state, along with Donagh MacDonagh, Valentin Iremonger, Brendan Behan, Pádraig Fallon, Ben Kiely - I'm just reeling off names here, and have left many honourable poets unnamed.

He came from a fairly well-off family - wasn't his family the owner of the Monument Creamerires? - but as a poet he lived a rather hand-to-mouth life.

He was known in all the newspapers, where he worked as a freelance - he'd wander into the Catholic Standard and start writing a piece on a typewriter there, then unreel the roll of paper and wander onwards to The Irish Times or The Irish Press and continue.

When he came to file his copy, it would be multicoloured and in different typefaces from all the typewriters he'd used to make up the story.

One legend has him interviewing the Beatles for the Catholic Standard, but I don't know if that's true or not. Seems to be apocryphal, unfortunately.

These young poets of the 1940s brought out literary magazines such as The Bell in which they published new work, and also sold poems, articles and stories abroad.

The next generation - the generation of the Dubliners - came out of a new vision of the same tradition. People like Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew have links to Behan and his extended family, and also to the theatre world of the time.

Luke Kelly's beautiful interpretation of Kavanagh's poem is just that, an interpretation.

By the way, Wikipedia lists On Raglan Road as having been first published in the Irish Press in October 1946 under the title Dark-Haired Miriam Ran Away.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 04:49 AM

Again, Wiki - the full version of Fáinne Gheal an Lae. My knowledge of 18th-century Irish isn't great - or even modern Irish - but I think some of the spellings may be the result of mistaken scanning. My translation is rough and loose.

    Maidin moch do ghabhas amach,
    Ar bruach Locha Léin;
    An Samhradh teacht's an chraobh len'ais,
    Is ionrach te ón ngréin,

    Ar thaisteal dom trí bhailte
    poirt is bánta mine réidhe,
    Cé a gheobhainn le máis ach an chúileann deas,
    Le fáinne geal an lae.

(Early morning, I went out by the banks of Loch Lein. Summer coming, the branch beside me wonderfully warm from the sun; me travelling through the village, fields and medows smooth and tidy, who comes towards me but that nice girl, at the bright dawn of the day.)

    Ní raibh bróg ná stoca, caidhp ná clóc;
    Ar mo stóirin óg ón spier,
    Ach folt fionn órga sios go troigh,
    Ag fás go barr an théir.

    Bhí calán crúite aici ina glaic,
    'S ar dhrúcht ba dheas a scéimh,
    Do rug barr gean ar Bhéineas deas,
    Le fáinne geal an lae.

(My young darling from the sky wore no shoe or stocking, cap or cloak, but a fair mass of golden hair fell feet to the grass. A milking-pail in her grasp, and the dew nicely ....dunno... some comparison to Venus... at the bright dawn of the day.)

    Do shuigh an bhrideog sios le m'ais,
    Ar bhrinse glas den fhéar,
    Ag magadh léi bhios dá maiomh go pras,
    Mar mhnaoi nach scarfainn léi.

    'S é dúirt í liomsa, "imigh uaim,
    Is scaoil ar siúl mé a réic",
    Sin iad aneas na soilse ag teacht,
    Le fáinne geal an lae.

(The maiden sat down by my side, on a green grassy bench, I was prompt in flirting with her, to be my wife and not to separate. She said to me: "Go from me, and let me go, you rake." That's it, with the light coming up, at the bright dawn of the day.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 11:07 AM

His father James was a cobbler: not dirt poor but certainly not well off.

He didn't interview the Beatles. He denounced the cult of the Beatles but then declared him 'a Beatle fan'. He praised Ian Paisley, then a real bogeyman in the Republic. He liked to gain attention by saying outrageous things. He was certainly an awkward customer. Personally, I think his 'genius' is somewhat overated. But if his 'soul' and Yeats' technical poetical skills could have been combined, that would have been some poet!

Antoinette Quinn's biography 'Partick Kavanagh' (2001) is a fair, detailed and critical account of his life and work.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Thompson
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 06:31 AM

Ah yes, but his cousins were creamery kings, and an uncle, wasn't it, was The Bird Flanagan - he was woven in with the political aristocracy. He got regular payments - "the creamery money" - from family interests.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 08:10 AM

According to Quinn, the Monument Creamery belonged to John Ryan. He knew Kavanagh well but the two weren't related. Ryan did treat K to an odd meal in the Creamery in Grafton Street and a drink or two in the Bailey (which as far as I can remember Ryan owned) but he didn't provide regular subsidy or sponsorship. Bishop McQuid also slipped K an odd fiver. But K was always broke. He owed everybody: family, friends, bank, publishers (advances didn't last long), landlords, gas man, electricity board, etc.                                                               

'Woven into the political aristocracy', what's the source of that questionable statement?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Thompson
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 08:19 AM

My memory is vague, but it was an aunt of Kavanagh's, I think, who was mixed up in the creamery.

The political aristocracy: follow the line through The Bird Flanagan.

He was always broke, this is true; he was a jobless alcoholic poet, which isn't generally a great career choice if you want to make money.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 10:47 AM

But surely if he was a member of the 'political aristocracy', he wouldn't have been so broke?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Thompson
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 11:38 AM

Not necessarily. Some of my family are rich; I'm not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Jay
Date: 07 Apr 08 - 12:51 PM

Any interpretation of the poem/song should begin with the realization that "her dark hair" does not refer to the hair on her head.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Shawna
Date: 08 Apr 08 - 12:19 AM

Wow! Just found this thread. . .learned a whole lot about Raglan Road in an evening. My head hurts.

Anyway, I'll admit to being a 'Janey-come-lately'. My interpretation is based on nothing but my own opinion after having listened to, and loved, this song for a long time.

I'd like to hear what others think of my thoughts. . .

Even if the lyrics are inspired by a real-life heartbreak, I've always thought it was couched in terms of a mortal poet falling in love with a fairy queen.

He knows her for what she is, and that relationships between mortal and fairy always come to no good. (. . .I saw her first and knew/that her dark hair might weave a snare/That I might one day rue.)

Such is her ethereal charm, and the impetuousness of poets, that he gets involved anyway. (. . .I saw the danger, yet I walked/Along the enchanted way) with the 'enchanted way' being the path to underhill, the Lands Between, Fairyland, however you wanted to name it, and/or a reference to falling in love.

He decides to cast aside all thought of woe past or to come (. . .and I said let grief be a fallen leaf/At the dawning of the day.)

Where they 'trip lightly across the ledge/ of a deep ravine where can be seen/ the worth of passion's pledge'. the deep ravine is a lover's leap, and the 'worth of passion's pledge' is (metaphorically) the broken bodies of those who have died for love. 'Tripping lightly' means that they are being reckless, even though they know the danger because of what has happened to those gone before.

the Queen of Hearts reference, I'll admit has always stumped me. I've always thought it had something to do with Alice in Wonderland, but couldn't quite tease it out.

'Making hay' I've always thought was short for 'making hay while the sun shines.' In my family, one generation off the farm, that phrase was used to mean 'having fun, sexual or otherwise, while the opportunity presented itself.'

'I loved too much, by such and such, is happiness thrown away.' Clearly, intense passion can, and often does, lead to intense misery.

'I gave her the gifts of the mind, I gave her the secret sign. . .' OK, here I think he's playing with te old legends of 'bard as initiate' and is betraying (or at least reavealing) the secrets of mortal mages to his fairy lover.

'And word and tint, I did not stint'. . .before I saw the actual lyrics, I'd always thought it was 'with words intent', which to me makes more sense.

Perhaps he is an artist as well as a poet, and is praising her in paint and in poetry.

'I gave her poems to say/ with her own name there, and her shiny dark hair/ like clouds over fields of May.'

He writes her love poetry. Clear enough.

Now, IMHO, the song skips over the breakup and straight into the aftermath. 'where old ghosts meet' refers to meeting up with an old lover. . .in a sense you are both changed, and 'ghosts' of who you were when you were together.

and who among us hasn't walked hurriedly away from an old boy/girlfriend one chances upon unexpectedly, hoping that he/she hasn't seen us.

'For I have wooed, not as I should, a creature made of clay. . .' He *should* have wooed a mortal such as himself, a 'creature made of clay' instead of the ethereal fairy.

'For when the angel woos the clay, he'll lose his wings at the dawn of the day.'

OK, here's where my interpretation breaks down. Wouldn't be the first time that fairies have been equated with angels, and there is a long tradition of fairies losing their immortality and angels losing their wings over the love of a mortal. But shouldn't the pronoun be feminine. Three posibilities: 1) Paddy got sloppy. 2) The 'he' is the universal 'he' . . .as in back in the day when talking of a generic individual in writing, said invidiual was always presumed to be masculine, as in 'the doctors, they did this ' or 'the doctor, he did this'; 'the soldiers, they did this', the soldier, he did that.' Or in this case, 'the angels, they lose their wings' 'The angel, he loses his wings.' or 3) I haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

Anyway, in a nutshell, poet meets fairy queen, they fall in love, it ends unhappily off-stage, (perhaps because she is unwilling to sacrifice her immortality?). He sees her once again, she walks away without speaking to him, and he is mourning for what was lost.

So that's my take. Opinions?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,andrew
Date: 05 May 08 - 05:57 PM

It's a lament arising from the FALL FROM GRACE that is inevitably part of the human condition.
For me as a practicing Catholic, the poem has tremendous Christian-pagan tension. (angels; gods of stone and sound)
Deeply we long to live as pure spirit in this fallen material world but we get tempted and we get weak and we fall.
I wrote a play with an ex-monk in it. Why did he leave the monastery? For the pull of the world and the pull of the flesh.
Is the flesh inherently evil? Of course not. The uni-fleshness of the God-Christ has verily instituted a unitive sacred mystery (i.e. the marriage sacrament as a reflection of Christ's bond).
Note the poem has all sorts of gift and exchange references but none are of the blood or heart (the greatest sacrifice/gift we can make) or of nuptials (the form of the gift).
I think the Beatles lyric that responds well to this song is 'he-ey, you've got to hide your love away'. But only until after the vows of course.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,susi
Date: 06 May 08 - 10:00 PM

I thought she'd filched his poetry and upstaged him, as with Baez and Dylan when I heard the song.

" with her own name there and her long black hair etc".

It's truly amazing how long this discussion is and also evident that those contributing haven't read all offerings. (Myself included)

"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,guest SD
Date: 09 May 08 - 01:38 PM

I was thinking about singing song but i am hesitant as a friend told me that he thought the song was about a promiscuous woman that was wrote by Patrick after they had fallen out.
I find this to be an extremely narrow minded view. I think that he shows his dislike to things that she is fond of be it sex or otherwise. He is attracted to her beauty and it is the way that this beautiful girl can view the world lives is what is annoying him. I also get the feeling that this girl was rather flippant with his thoughts and poems.
This is something that hurt Patrick deeply he cant understand how she can dismiss these things that are so important. He then comes to the realization that h could never have a relationship with her or any girl like her. It is big moment in Patrick's life.
This song is so great i could go on for ages. but i was just looking for some other insights into the song


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Guest SD
Date: 09 May 08 - 01:42 PM

I was thinking about singing this song but i am hesitant as a friend told me that he thought the song was about a promiscuous woman and that it was wrote by Patrick after they had fallen out.
I find this to be an extremely narrow minded view. I think that he shows his dislike to things that she is fond of be it sex or otherwise. He is attracted to her beauty and it is how this beautiful girl views the world that annoys him. I also get the feeling that this girl was rather flippant with his thoughts and poems.
This is something that hurt Patrick deeply he cant understand how she can dismiss these things that are so important to him. He then comes to the realization that he could never have a relationship with her or any girl like her. It is big moment in Patrick's life.
This song is so great i could go on for ages. but i was just looking for some other insights into the song


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 10 May 08 - 09:36 AM

I think that too many people are reading too much into this song. It's a great song but a fairly straightforward one in essence: about an older man falling for a much younger woman of a percieved higher social class.

'I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way and I said let grief be a falling leaf'.

Actually Kavanagh's 'grief' over the relationship was short lived.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Fiolar
Date: 15 May 08 - 08:13 AM

I haven't read all the thread so please excuse if this is already mentioned. 'Cattters may like to know that there is also a "Raglan Road" in the city of Manchester.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Tim
Date: 15 May 08 - 10:20 AM

Yea, Lord Raglan.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Jul 08 - 10:51 PM

I have been trying to put my thoughts together about this song on this webpage, after a friend played Pete Rowan's excellent version. there are a few typos as it was done today, and I have tried to put together a version that makes sense for me.

I know it will be radically different to some ears and the worse for that, but hopefully some of you will get my drift.

http://bigalwhittle.co.uk/id29.html

I hope to add more explanation at some point. There seems to me to be a sort of Empsonian ambiguity in the choice of Raglan.   Raglan was of course, one of the toffs at the Charge of the Light Brigade. And there is perhaps a hint of flawed heroic enterprise, or maybe a confession of inward corruption in his empire of poetry - providing the backdrop.

best wishes

big Al Whittle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Paul
Date: 24 Aug 08 - 05:41 AM

In reply to Seany on 23/01/01, I believe that "And I said, lef grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day" means that he doesn't really care about grief so he wants it to be discarded,like a fallen leaf, at the start of his day.

On the matter of 'of the deep ravine where can be seen the worth of passion's pledge' I think that he is trying to say that if you look from high ground you can see what it means to pledge your passion and feelings to your lover.

And for the last line 'secret sign' that is know to artists who have known the true gods of sound and stone, this could mean that some people have learnt the beauty of listening to people's words rather than listening to his own heart.

Hope this helps you. If not, I can be contacted at paulkenmir@hotmail.co.uk


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Patrick
Date: 04 Sep 08 - 06:13 PM

I just heard the song sung by Luke Kelly on the movie "In Bruges" and this caused me to explore and I ended up on this "blog". I am in the process of getting over a younger lady I met from Mecknes and the sentiments expressed in the song suit my mood. I lived near Raglan Rd, and in Baggot St. in the past and had heard the song discussed in the past. I think the lady from Mecknes could be made of stone and if I return to Morocco to pursue her I will lose my wings.Thanks Patrick. But i might still go.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Billy from Celbridge
Date: 05 Sep 08 - 06:11 AM

This is an extrordinary thread, it sarted in 2001! Marvellous theories, interpretations mixed with truths, half truths, blind guesswork and nonsense. The thread has such a life of its own that I'm half reluctant to add in some facts in case I dampen its spirit but there is much speculation about who the "her" is.

It is fairly well accepted that the poem, written by Patrick Kavanagh in 1946, was the result of his obsession with Hilda Moriarty in 1944. Far from being a bakery worker or a prositute from Dublin, Hilda was the daughter of a doctor from Kerry. She was beautiful and intelligent. Once she did a screen test in Hollywood for a part which was given to Maureen O'Hara (The Quiet Man?).

She met Kavanagh in a Dublin pub in 1944 while she was a medical student at University College Dublin. She was 22. Kavanagh was 42 at this time, strugging with his writing and living in a bed-sit on Raglan Rd.and he appears to have become obsessed with her. She never reciprocated but they were at least friendly for a time. She read his poetry and books.

At some stage he told her that he wasnt able to write anymore, apparently she teased him that there was only so much you could write about farmyards - write about love. His response was Raglan Road. She graduated as a medical doctor in 1945. Kavangh remained obsessed and virtually stalked her until in 1947 she married Donogh O'Malley who later bacame the Irish Minister for Education.

Hilda travelled widely with O'Malley, she met JFK, Fidel Castro and at some stage became friends with Richard Harris. She is only known to have met Kavanagh once more before he died in 1967. Her husband died in 1968. She ran for his seat in Limerick, supported by Richard Harris who actually sang "Camelot" at her campaign hustings. She didnt win (lost out to her husband's nephew Dessie O'Malley). She died in 1991.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Billy from Celbridge
Date: 05 Sep 08 - 06:25 AM

Apologies for the duplication of information re Hilda, I was reading the old (closed) version of this thread, I only saw some of the recent stuff when my message was posted here. I have'nt caught up yet but the innaccuracies seem to have been long since addressed by others.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 05 Sep 08 - 07:13 AM

Just want to say John MacLaughlin has added a fine essay to my webpage all about this song.

For those who don't know:-

John McLaughlin is a native of Donegal's Inishowen Peninsula, long resident in Scotland. He is the author of the acclaimed book 'One Green Hill: journeys through Irish songs' (2003).


I'm hoping before long to have a whole website devated to Raglan Road. If anyone else has contributions - I'd be pleased to hear from them. Bonnie Shaljean is working on a contribution and Declan who runs the Dublin folk club has offered an amusing parody. I just need to think up something vaguely intelligent to say introducing all this lot!


http://bigalwhittle.co.uk/id29.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 05 Sep 08 - 12:31 PM

"I'm half reluctant to add in some facts in case I dampen its [this thread's] spirit ... "

It is very unlikely that adding facts will do anything to dampen the spirit of a Mudcat thread!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 04:27 PM

I somehow don't think the man who wrote
this had any notions about faerie queans.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 06:59 PM

Shawna and Big Mick,

It strikes me that you both have this the wrong way round; PK sees himself, the poet, as the divine, the angel and her as the creature made of clay who he has tried to elevate. It's him who has the high-brow gifts to give. It's "I (who) have wooed, not as I should a creature made from clay". While she may have been financially much better off than him he publically he still looked down on her as small minded after the parting of their ways.

It's one reason why I dont really like to over-analyse this beautiful piece because it strikes me that if you do you have to conclude it revolves around a poets contempt for lesser mortals. Better to let the images of the love and beauty in the first three verses swim around, even the wistful regret of the first half of the final verse than to dwell too long on the conclusion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Sep 08 - 07:31 PM

Just a quick note to say that John mclaughlin has donated two pictures to the website - one showing the house on Raglan Rd where Kavanagh lied and the other showing the spot where he was chucked (or fell)into the river.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Gulliver
Date: 07 Sep 08 - 09:28 PM

WLD, that's an interesting essay on PK. It ties in with what my family knew of him--we lived next to the corner of Raglan Road and Pembroke Road, and my parents knew him and Brendan Behan. Don


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,awandererplays
Date: 12 Sep 08 - 03:46 PM

well i'm not sure what the hell it all means but it sure is fun to sing!

here's my take on the tune...

click here


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Emmet
Date: 11 Oct 08 - 04:56 PM

Great song/poem.....great site.....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 04:30 AM

Interesting wanderer - the way you do Raglan Road reminds me a little of how Jack Elliot used to sing Danville Girl.

I liked the Finisterre track - is that one of your own?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,wayfarer
Date: 13 Oct 08 - 11:26 PM

Thanks for that, weelittledrummer. I'll check out Ramblin' Jack's "Danville Girl" and have a listen.

No, I didn't write "Finisterre." Actually I found it on a June Tabor album, "Freedom & Rain," the one she did with The Oyster Band. I believe Ian Tefler, one of the band members wrote it and June certainly sings it brilliantly. I do think it's a great relatively undiscovered jem and wanted to draw attention to it, so I'm glad you noticed it and liked it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,awandererplays
Date: 13 Oct 08 - 11:35 PM

to avoid confusion: yes, wayfarer and wanderer are one and the same.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,guest billy from cork
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 12:04 AM

"when the angel woos the clay he lose his wings at the dawning of the day" refers to soul returning to the body after a night of flight in the dream state."i have wo'od not as i should, a creature made of clay" refers to his feeling of love so strong and complete that a mere mortal could not appreciate it so , like all of us, she rejects what she cannot handle or fathom.
i for one really like the version recorded by van morrison and the chieftains.

mailto:bulldeco@roadrunner.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Colin, Woking, Surrey
Date: 26 Oct 08 - 04:53 PM

My Dad used to play Peter Rowan's up-tempo version of this song when I was very young. This, for me, is still my favourite version:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=yXIVYQ7_IzM

In my opinion, the song is actually helped by being a little quicker and the harmonies really add feeling.

As for the lyrics, I certainly never understood them when I was younger, but I now find them absolutely fascinating. And I have actually spent the better part of the weekend reading through the two threads on this song!

"Raglan Road" really hits home and moves me like no other...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 12:31 PM

Like the others who have written before me, I've spent hours reading about the fascinating history and interpretations of this beautiful song. I was in search of interpretation of the lyrics when I found this site and would just like to add that despite being a hugh Van Morrison fan and despite listening to the many other great versions mentioned above, my favorite is still the version I first heard by Mark Knofler (www.youtube.com/watch?v=zftcuVQDcNM). I'm surprised no one else mentioned this version and highly recommend giving it a look if you havent already.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Phil
Date: 21 Dec 08 - 02:44 PM

Hi GUEST Jim,

Have a listen to Mr Kelly singing this song, be prepared to be amazed.

LUKE - simply the best.   

Phil*


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: ard mhacha
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 02:07 PM

Luke and look for no one else, unsurpassed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 22 Dec 08 - 05:33 PM

I have had extensive correspondence over the years with people who really knew Patrick Kavanagh.

I can state with certainty that nobody who actually knew him ever liked him.

the barmen , in the few pubs where he was still allowed to be served, may have been entranced by his fame, but the neighbours and locals in Dundalk who had to put up with his quirks and peccadilloes were less besotted.

from what I can gather from the people who knew him, he appears to have been an extremely egotistical, selfish, and uncaring person, and I now believe that the words of Raglan Road should be analysed with this in mind.

this of course , does not detract one whit from the fact that Raglan Road is the most wonderful poem ever written in the English language.

weird ..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: ard mhacha
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 04:51 AM

No doubt Murray he was a cranky oul bastard,but there have been many a person in the literary world of a similar disposition.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 08:44 AM

I think no one was more aware that he was 'damaged goods' - than Kavanagh, himself.

He must have felt himself set apart from the people he was born amongst very early.

You know there are so many Irish singers going round selling the colour postcard Celtic idyllic Ireland - it really is the most fatal/profitable way for an Irish artist to go.

And you get none of that with Kavanagh. His work is full of the tales of the casual cruelties, the illogicalities, the unyielding nature of the soil itself.

And really nowadays, when the world's greatest poet is Seamus Heaney - you have to ask yourself - whose voice does Heaney remind you of? Surely not Yeats with all his abstractions and clever bits of esoteric knowledge. Kavanagh must surely have been an influence.

Kavanagh must have suffered agonies being so much a fish out of water in Dublin. But in truth he was a fish out of water everywhere. And that must be a hell of a situation to live in, when you socially at ease nowhere, unless you're too drunk not to care.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: ard mhacha
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 09:21 AM

A fair assessment WLD, and reading Kavanagh`s Tarry Flynn and The green fool, would have any one agree with all you have written.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: meself
Date: 23 Dec 08 - 01:33 PM

"No doubt Murray he was a cranky oul bastard,but there have been many a person in the literary world of a similar disposition."

True. And many a person of a similar disposition who hasn't left any significant cultural artifact behind.

(By the way, my understanding is that not everyone who met Yeats was enamored of him. Don't know about Heaney!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: ard mhacha
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 05:30 AM

Seamus Heaney from all I have read and seen in the Irish media, comes across as a sociable and pleasant person, without blemish.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 06:15 AM

Very true Ard, but no one's fool. Though obviously a republican and sneered by the other side as 'the laureate of violence', he has been very careful not lend his endorsement to any specific political party - so far as I know.

Like Kavanagh - his view of things is not a simplistic one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,samferguson
Date: 24 May 09 - 11:12 PM

My interpretation is that the writer fell in love with a figure on a grave stone in a cemetary and imagined an affair with her including the end of this affair. Thus the references to ghosts and enchanted ways. The seasons frame the timing of his imaginary love.
Whatever the meaning it is a fantastic song and like a lot of people I first heard it on the In Bruge sound track.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: meself
Date: 25 May 09 - 12:53 AM

I must not have noticed this the first time around:

"Raglan Road is the most wonderful poem ever written in the English language."

I don't know what "the most wonderful poem ever written in the English language" is, but I don't think this is it. It's a good poem, but there are many good poems.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 May 09 - 07:37 PM

Kavanagh didn't think it was his best poem, I understand. Not that that in itself determines the matter.

I still find it strange that so many people, singing or listening, fail to detect the element of wry humour in the poem.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: michaelr
Date: 26 May 09 - 11:43 AM

McGrath, I'd be interested in your pointing out the humourous bits.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 May 09 - 03:44 PM

For one there's

"The Queen of Hearts still making tarts
And I not making hay"


And for another

"That I had loved, not as I should
A creature made of clay,
When the angel woos the clay, he'll lose
His wings at the dawn of day."


The rueful humour that goes with a touch of wry self-mockery.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Quicksall
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 03:52 AM

I have become obsessed with Ragland Road. I got a CD of Irish music from the Goodwill (of all places), and that song was on it. I have listened to it over and over, drawn by its sadness and mystery. I know nothing of Kavanaugh except what I have read here, but I wonder if he didn't start with his own love affair and embellish it just to make it more interesting/ dramatic. . . sort of like spicing up your personal journal entries for posterity. LOL. Anyway, until I read these posts, I thought when they tripped along the ledge and saw passion's worth that they had disposed of their love child. How far fetched it that? After reading this thread, the song makes a lot more sense to me, but I sort of liked just trying to find my own interpretation by feeling blindly in the dark. It could mean anything that I wanted it to mean.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: meself
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 09:37 AM

No need to "embellish" anything. He fell for a woman; she decided that he wasn't her type; he didn't immediately give up; she took to avoiding him. A common enough experience - why, I'll wager this pipe in my mouth that there are some on this very list who have been through similar experiences.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 10:36 AM

Very appropriate for this Thread the man himself describing his many-sided personality,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ays_c0JXAU


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: ard mhacha
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 10:40 AM

And his Monaghan accent gone, I never would have guessed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Rockall
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 03:38 PM

Hi all. Just came across this thread and have read all contributions. I am in no way musically or poetically gifted in any aspect of either of these fantastic gifts.

Mark Knofflers music always interests me and I have just discovered he had sung 'Raglan Road' along with Donal Lunny. This touched a chord with me - as follows. Ten years ago, at my late wifes funeral mass, a local musician played 'Raglan Road' during the communion cermony - a chill went up and down my spine as it is, to this day, the most touching song I have ever heard. My late wife worked for a period in Baggot Street and used to walk to and from work along Raglan Road. Like the poem/song my wife had her own 'dark hair' and I can clearly remember thinking of this as the music played during the mass - scary. I didn't even know the musician at the time and had not requested either him or the song. I discovered afterwards that the musician had got up and played Raglan Road at his own wifes funeral some years earlier - that takes guts. The musician is known locally as 'Big Paddy' and his rendition and voice are as close as you can get to the Luke Kelly version. I have always regarded Luke's version as the definitive recorded version. I actually do not like Mark Knofflers version.
I have always had an interest in the story behind Raglan Road, ever since my wifes death, and have visited the road on many occasions since - I get great peace and comfort walking along Raglan Road humming the song to myself - 'on a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see her walking now......' I have read all the threads and it is difficult now to choose the real story behind the words - I will stick with my own thoughts as they are still so so dear to me.

I have had a very enjoyable few hours.

Happy New Year and best wishes to you all


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: michaelr
Date: 01 Jan 10 - 04:00 PM

Thank you Rockall for your contribution.

Mark Knopfler did indeed sing the song as part of the 1996 inauguration of Irish language TV station TnaG, for which Donal Lunny organised a two-week "session" in the then brand new Temple Bar Music Center. Highlights were released on the CD "Sult - Spirit of the Music".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,JohnNoZ
Date: 09 Feb 10 - 11:15 PM

An amazing thread!

I would add that (as mentioned above), the represented fall from grace is important to the poem. There is a form a idolatry to the "angel" allowing himself to love too much and in the wrong way the one "made of clay".

It seems that he knows better, but throws caution to the wind, and it ends as he knew it must.

I think that, if the "made of clay" element were removed, so would much of the significance of the fall. However, it still seems arrogant to have up that kind of value separation between himself and the girl.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 05:14 AM

Didn't read the whole thread, so this may have been mentioned, but the last line sounds like a reference to the legend of Icarus to me: Reckless young man flies too high, the sun bakes the clay off his arms and he loses his wings and falls.

Also 'making hay' is slang for having sex, so I think there is a double meaning in that line, especially coming after the bit about tarts. Sounds like there's some bitterness about her taking other lovers while he cannot move on.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 05:33 AM

Kavanagh & Kelly singing though not at the same time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 05:39 AM

Note the faces in the audience, Besides Ciaran MacMathúna, who probnably was the presenter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Desi C
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 03:15 PM

I'm wary of adding theory onto theory, especially when the only person who can tell us the truth took that truth to his grave. but when I started performing Raglan Road thinking it was simply the best unrequited love song, I began hearing another theory quite regularly. Then on one of many trips back home to Kilkenny I came acrooss an old guy who gives lectures on Kavanagh and turned out he had studied under Kavanagh at Uni in Dublin. The theory I had been hearing was a code in the tradition of Irish fable ballads. This man Jim partly agreed but in his opinion Kavanagh had always been very bitter about the unofficial Irish censoriship system that kept his book Tary Flin off the shelves and the derision he recieved from oficial quarters over his outspoken views about the links between Government and religion. So he used the imagery of Dublin and onlyn perhaps some unrequieted love to weave quite on intricate fable. The fact that he is decribed as being a somewhat bitter and vry outspoken man, think gives weight to the belief that he wrote Ragland Rd (originally titled Dawning Of The Day, Luke kelly re named it Raglan Rd) To have his say and go to the grave knowing he finally had his say and left a mystery behind. And after talking to many people it's the theory I prefer to believe, from what I've learned Kavanagh just wasn't sensitive enough of people's feelings, not to name his urequited love, because that love who spurned him was in fact Ireland herself!

Desi C


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Bob Marley
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 06:48 AM

what does he mean in the last two lines of the poem?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 08:43 AM

Raglan road is always worth another walk down. What the various phrases in the Song mean is a secret Kavanagh took to his grave. The various places are ones that he regularly visited when he would walk by the liffy and sit in contemplation.

But having talked to some of his ex students and others in Ireland who have researched the man, I strongly belief that the 'unrequited love' is in Fact Ireland itself, Or more the relationship between church and state in Ireland, which he was very passionate and critical about, and he often fell foul of Ireland's hidden censorship unpublished laws. Those I've spoken to tell me that he very much wanted to leave his views behind, but probably rightly feared they would be supressed by the state. So he resorted to one of Irelands oldest form of protest, the Musical fable. And Raglan Road, or as it was originally titled Dawning Of The Day is such an example. Like most Irish writers he had a great love for his country, but hated the Churches involvement in state and vice versa. By all accounts it made him quite a bitter and unhappy man, the love of a country that didn't show love in return

He is described as having been very strong minded and said what he felt. Was there a real lady who spurned his affections, there were rumours of affection for a student. But unrequited ladies of love, almost never go unnamed in in Irish traditional songs, if only to be given the trad name Rose of'

Kavanagh used to perform te poem in sessions where he met and became great friends with the late Luke Kelly. It's recorded that Kelly persuaded him to let him put it in Song, Kavanagh apparently said he had to persuade Luke! But Luke did put the tune to it and renamed it Raglan Road, for legal reasons as there were already at least two other works named Dawning Of The Day, and so in my opinion was born one of the Greatest of Ireland's love songs, be it land or Lafy

Desi C
The Circle Folk Club


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,dsweeney
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 08:25 AM

I've just dropped this in here so if it's a bit out of place, sorry. I've always thought the song was about how you spot someone and instantly fall in love with them, knowing you will never get to know them as they are complete strangers. Hence the " snare " and unhappiness that he knows will follow the brief glimpse of this beautiful woman.
          The singer Dido has claimed the woman in question is an aunt of her fathers and she has a song called " Grafton St. " on her latest album. She was a student nurse from around the way and went on to be considered one of the most beautiful women in Ireland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: BobKnight
Date: 01 Dec 10 - 10:45 AM

Having just done a wee bit of research on the subject of, "Incubus," supernatural entities that haunt human females with sexual dreams, I discovered that they were said by some scources to be angels who having lain with human females, were stripped of their wings and cast down from heaven.

"When the angel woos the clay he'll lose, his wings at dawn of day."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 16 Mar 12 - 11:16 PM

It is good to return to old friends and after 3 years away from this thread to meet Desi who I have met in the real, touchy smelly world since writing here.

I had never thought of this in any allegorical sense but I could see that Kavanagh might see his experience or at least his view of that as having parallels with the state of the State: he was a man of no small ego. This does not diminish my reading of he closing lines as suggesting he sees himself, the angel, falling for falling for a lesser soul.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 16 Mar 12 - 11:20 PM

Having read the posts for the last three years since I last interjected in this discussion and coming up with some thoughts I forgot to say what I came in for which was that I just watched a youtube clip where Luke Kelly said that he had asked Kavanagh If he could sing this, where the version of the story which I remember has Kavanagh asking Kelly If he would sing it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Ralph Wigg
Date: 09 Jun 12 - 06:19 AM

Try listening to Joan Osborne's version wuth the Chieftains.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: found this on a web site
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 12:06 PM

I found this on a web site which might be of interest. It,s a letter PK wrote to Hilda saying he dosn,t love her anymore.

IS THE day of love letters over, now that we communicate by email or text, or by poking people on Facebook? Bridget Hourican, literary editor of The Dubliner magazine, reminds us of the heady days of love missives, when the sight of her beloved's handwriting could send a woman into a tizzy, in her new book, Straight From The Heart, Irish Love Letters.

The collection includes letters from James Joyce to Nora Barnacle, from Charles Stewart Parnell to Katherine O'Shea and Michael Collins to Kitty Kiernan.

The 40-year-old poet is writing to the great unrequited love of his life to tell her that he no longer loves her. Hilda Moriarty was a stunning 22-year-old medical student when Kavanagh developed an obsession with her, stalking her around Dublin and even to her family home in Dingle.

62 Pembroke Road.

31 May 1945.

My dearest Hilda,

Please do not take exception to the address of 'dearest' or think it a presumption on my part. I am no longer mad about you although I do like you very very much. I like you because of your enchanting selfishness and I really am your friend - if you will let me.

I should not, perhaps, write this letter to you without you replying to my other, but I am in such a good humour regarding you that I want you to know it. Remembering you is like remembering some dear one who has died. There has never been - and never will be - another woman who can be the same to me as you have been. Your friendship and love or whatever it was, was so curious, so different.

Write to me a friendly letter even if I cannot see you. I met Cyril in the Country Shop and he was looking well,

Believe me, Hilda,

Yours fondly,

Patrick.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Amos
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 02:04 PM

I return to this lovely thread with a deep sense of loss for the many voices here who shared deep sensibilities and energetic research, flights of opinion and a sense of awe for the beauties that are all rolled up in Paddy Kavanagh and his song, the historical tidbits, the fine analysis, and all the rest--all exchanged in courtesy and civil respect for views alike or different.

By sorry contrast, the range of insult and vituperation which colors so many of our threads modernly is a great embarrassment, and brings pangs of regret for the loss of this kind of brilliant Mudcat discourse.

As to the song, this thread has single-handedly converted me to a lover of it, and I will study it up in the hopes of being able to do a decent rendition of it, these many miles and years away from its source.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Helen
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 03:26 PM

Greetings to the lovely Amos.

I appear to be back at Mudcat after a few years absence while only infrequently checking in here.

I'll read all of this thread later, on your recommendation, when I get home from work this afternoon (Oz time).

I was never a fan of Van Morrison but he converted me to a love of the song Raglan Road when I heard his version, recorded with The Chieftains on the Irish Heartbeat CD.

(You must be a special person, Amoss, because you have a cyclone named after you LOL)

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,michaelr
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 05:08 PM

It's entropy, Amos. Lamentable but not preventable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Apr 16 - 07:33 PM

For years I've been dying to tell Kirsty that this is one of my eight desert island discs. Dammit, she has yet to ask me. It would always have to be sung by Luke. I've always been more of a tunes man, but I'll always make an exception for Luke. Oh, and Sandy Denny.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Amos
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 07:02 PM

A delight to see your shapely typography again, Helen. This is the typeface that launched a thousand poetic efforts concerning an orange and a bicycle seat, if I recall. :D

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 27 Apr 16 - 07:57 PM

The mind boggles. An orange and a bicycle seat? Omigod...😜


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 11:45 AM

I began studying this song some 10 years ao when I first performeed it. Since then I've read just about everythin on it and talked to Irish somg experts both here in the UK and back home in Ireland, plus I've met some who knew Patrick Kavanagh, by all accounts not an easy man to get to know and a rather bitter angry figure in his latter days. It's my belief the song is one of unrequited love, firstly in relation to Hilda Moriarty, a most beautiful woman that he was aquainteed with in his 40's when she was ab out 20. There;s no evidence that they ever had a relationship though he certainly 'fancied' her, as did the likes of Fidel Castro and John F Kennedey both of whom she met,

It was Hilda who one day Teased Kavanagh for writing what she called "too much agrcultural poems" and "why not write about people" he duly produced the poem later renamed Raglan Road. But his real unrequited love was Ireland in the shape of the Irish government, he was hugely critical of the Cathlic churches involvment in matters of state and vice versa. He also felt he never got the recognition of the state while others, particularl his former friend Brendan Behan became a showbiz celebrity feted my the English and American media. He was once heard to say outside Behan's Dublin appartment "look at him the auld queen lording it up there while I can't sell an article. And there I'm sure was the birth of 'the Queen of hearts' line. Fact is Behan was a great humerous charmer while Kavanagh had become often too drunk to write. Raglan Road I'm sure was written in Classic Irish fable form so that Kavanagh could finally have is say and leave Ireland frustrated by never telling people what exactly the song meant. In my opinion one the greatest pieces of Irish literature, though never recognised in life Kavanagh's words have since been imortalised, I think it should be sub titled Up Yours Ireland


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Helen
Date: 29 Apr 16 - 11:31 PM

Ah, Steve Shaw, you're gonna regret asking that question! I'll just have to refresh the orange and the bicycle seat thread for your enlightenment.

Sorry, Amos, I misspelled your name. It was probably a subconscious slip because my nephew Amos is usually called Moss by friends and family.

Helen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: Amos
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 09:03 PM

Helen--no harm, no foul!

What an interesting insight into the slightly battered profile of old Kavanagh. Thanks do much for your post, DesiC! The line about the Queen ("and I not making hay") makes perfect sense in that context!

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Explore: Raglan Road 2
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 05 Nov 16 - 04:32 PM

The reason for the poem.....

http://www.irishidentity.com/extras/gaels/stories/hildaomalley.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 25 September 12:34 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.