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ADD: Uncle Dan McCann

Maryrrf 10 Mar 02 - 11:52 AM
Matthew Edwards 10 Mar 02 - 05:03 PM
Matthew Edwards 10 Mar 02 - 05:19 PM
Maryrrf 10 Mar 02 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Liberty Belle 10 Mar 02 - 06:37 PM
Matthew Edwards 10 Mar 02 - 06:39 PM
Gabriel 24 Apr 17 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Niamh 24 Apr 17 - 03:24 PM
oldhippie 24 Apr 17 - 08:06 PM
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Subject: Uncle Dan McCann
From: Maryrrf
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 11:52 AM

This is one of those annoying requests. There is a song I can't get out of my head, and I think it was on a collection of Irish music - one of those compilation CD's, which I lent out to somebody and never got back. I can't remember who sang it. The song was called "Uncle Dan" and it started out "I've lately wandered over here to search for me Uncle Dan..." It's about a nephew searching for his uncle who comes to America in 1861 and fights in the Civil War. He finally finds him and he's become a congressman or senator or something. Anybody have the lyrics or know who sang it?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dan
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 05:03 PM

Rebecca "The Celtic Bard" was looking for this last year, and I eventually found it for her and added it, but it is buried in a long thread so I'm not sure whether a search will retrieve it for you easily. Anyway it can be found on my post dated 01-Jul-01 on this thread Uncle Dan McCann as I transcribed it from the singing of Ken Hall, who got it from Frank Harte.


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Subject: Lyr Add: UNCLE DAN MCCANN
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 05:19 PM

I'll copy the lyrics to here so that it should turn up on future searches.

UNCLE DAN MCCANN

Well I lately wandered over here to look for my Uncle Dan,
He left the town of Galway in the year of '51,
Where he got to I don't know
I've searched this country high and low,
But back to Galway I can't go,
Without my Uncle Dan.

Chorus:
So have you seen my Uncle Dan?
Typical bit of a Galwayman,
Came out to the USA in the year of '51.
If any of you neighbours living here
Have seen or heard of him anywhere,
You'd oblige me if you'd help me find
My Uncle Dan McCann.


Well let me tell you about my Uncle Dan
He thought he was a mighty man,
Swam the River Liffey twice a day
He could run three laps of Phoenix Park,
And dance and sing just like a lark,
And he wasn't afraid to go home in the dark,
My Uncle Dan McCann.

So have you seen my Uncle Dan McCann?
Typical bit of a Galwayman,
Fought throughout the Civil War in the year of '61.
He was supple and nimble in every joint,
He wasn't afraid of the bayonet point,
He belonged to the right in '69,
My Uncle Dan McCann.

Chorus

Well I found my Uncle Dan McCann,
Very good for a shantyman,
He has a seat in Congress, and the saviour of his clan.
He helps to write America's laws,
But his heart and soul is in Ireland's cause,
God help the man who opens his jaws
To my Uncle Dan McCann.

Repeat chorus

This is a transcription from the singing of Ken Hall, featured on the splendid CD as close as can be on Fellside FECD155. He says that he learned this "seemingly slight song" from the Napoleon of Irish song, Frank Harte, and that it is "starting point for anybody interested in the fascinating story of the Irish in America."

I would be intrigued to learn how old the song actually is. In spite of the dates given in the song, I would guess it to be of much more recent origin.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dan
From: Maryrrf
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 05:37 PM

THANK YOU!!!! I thought this one was hopeless. I'm delighted to have those lyrics and yes, if anybody knows anything about the background of the song I'm curious, too. By the way, would would that "He belonged to the right in '69 mean??


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Subject: Lyr Add: UNCLE DAN MCCANN
From: GUEST,Liberty Belle
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 06:37 PM

I have just filled in a few of the words in capitals that you were curious about, at least that was the way that I heard them.

Liberty Belle.

Repeat chorus

Came out to the USA in the year of '51.
If any OLD neighbours living here
Have seen or heard of him anywhere,
You'd oblige me if you'd help me find
My Uncle Dan McCann.

Well let me tell you about my Uncle Dan
BY GOD he was a mighty man,
HE Swam the River Liffey twice a day
He could run three ROUNDS of Phoenix Park,
Dance and sing just like a lark,
And he wasn't afraid to go home in the dark,
My Uncle Dan McCann.

So have you seen my Uncle Dan McCann?
Typical bit of a Galwayman,
Fought throughout the Civil War in the year of '61.
He was supple and nimble in every joint,
He wasn't afraid of the bayonet point,
He belonged to the FIGHTING 69th,
My Uncle Dan McCann.

Well I found my Uncle Dan McCann,
A VERY SUCCESSFUL YANKEE MAN,
He has a seat in Congress, and HE IS LEADER of his clan.
He HELPED to write America's laws,
But his heart and soul is in Ireland's cause,
God help the man who opens his jaws
To my Uncle Dan McCann.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dan
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 06:39 PM

Glad to help Mary. Assuming that I have transcribed the lyrics correctly, I would guess that "belonging to the right" refers to his having been on the 'right' side (not meaning 'right-wing') in some political issue of the day - but whether American or Irish politics is meant I can't tell.
I don't know how early the Irish became engaged in American politics, and yes I do know that the Scots Irish played a significant role in the War of Independence, but I am thinking more of the generation who migrated in the 1840's and 50's.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dan McCann
From: Gabriel
Date: 24 Apr 17 - 02:43 PM

The 69th Infantry Regiment was a New York infantry regiment of the United States Army. It has a fascinating history. It was founded by Irish revolutionaries in the 1840's. They were known as the "Fighting Irish". It played a prominent part in the Civil War. It's heritage is continued in successor regiments.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dan McCann
From: GUEST,Niamh
Date: 24 Apr 17 - 03:24 PM

From Mick Moloney's sleeve notes on his album/Book "Far from the Shamrock Shore" 2002



Song #10 Me Uncle Dan McCann



I first heard this delightful song on a 78 rpm recording made in the late 1920s by County Wicklow born singer and Uillean Piper, Shaun O'Nolan. Nolan was a good traditional musician but at heart he was a vaudevillian who sang in a hearty rough country style with a minimum of finesse but plenty of theatrical enthusiasm. The late Waterford banjo player, Mike Flanagan, of the famous Flanagan Brothers also knew the song and told me it was very popular in the 1920s and 30s in New York. The song combines a good-humored joviality with a sense of pride in the extraordinary social and political accomplishments of the post-famine immigrant Irish. Beginning in the 1860s, the Irish began to exert a remarkable effect in American political life gaining power predominantly as members of the Democratic Party political machines in the large urban areas particularly in cities such as Boston, Chicago and New York. Preparing them for their meteoric rise to power in American urban politics was the experience they had gained in political organizing back in Ireland in the years before the famine. From the 1820s on they had learned first hand about the effectiveness of grassroots political organization through involve-ment in the Catholic Emancipation movement led by Daniel O'Connell. They had learned over and over again the hard lesson of achieving political gains under a repressive regime that denied them fundamental civil rights such as the right to vote and own property. In their fight against colonialism they had learned how to operate successfully outside conventional legal and political machinery. This acumen was to prove invaluable in dealing with the fluid world of American urban politics where the rules had yet to be written.    Their political style was based on the notion of hierarchical reciprocity which dominated social relationships in the rural Ireland they had come from -- basically that of favors given and received and favors due. The story of Uncle Dan McCan's life in America and his continuing affection for Ireland represented the pinnacle of the Irish achievement in 19th century American politics.

Here's a video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMjJcZ6Ib6Q


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Uncle Dan McCann
From: oldhippie
Date: 24 Apr 17 - 08:06 PM

Maryrrf - the compilation CD is "Song of the Green Linnet". Disc 2, cut 3 is Mick Moloney's version. Also on his "Three Way Street" CD


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