The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #7985 Message #116251
Posted By: Philippa
21-Sep-99 - 06:48 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Siul a Ruin
Subject: Siúl a Rúin &Butternut Hill
The first American version I heard of Siúl a Rúin was called Buttermilk Hill. In John & Alan Lomax, "Folk Song:USA", 'Johnny has gone for a soldier' commences with the lines, 'Sad I sit on Butternut Hill'
I quote from the Lomax notes, which place the version in the American Revolutionary War:"Although Joyce, the Irish collector, identifies 'Shule Aroon' with the period between 1691 and 1745, when the Irish enlisted and fought with the armies of the French, its truly exquisite Irish melody has carried it into every quarter of America. Chanteymen on the clippers sung it at the capstan, lumberjacks had their version for the deacon seat, sodbusters made it over into a play-party tune, Negro children used it as a game song, and an old lady from Waco, Texas, sent it to us as a Cherokee Indian song, believing that her garbled Gaelic refrain was Cherokee. Our present version comes from John Allison, whose family have for generations lived on the west bank of the Hudson near Butternut Hill. One of the Allison family marched with Washington's army and heard the men singing this, the most haunting of American soldier's songs."