The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #14520   Message #125598
Posted By: John Moulden
19-Oct-99 - 02:27 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Many Young Men of Twenty
Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
The context of this song, as I first heard it was in the play of the same name by John B Keane. It is the one with the baby in it and it has always been my understanding that he wrote it. Certainly there are no previous prints, nor any versions from tradition. All the performances are from groups like the Dubliners or the Wolf Tones or from popular Irish singers like Johnny McEvoy. This argues a recent origin and John B's is certainly the earliest. The reason for the two differing versions is presumably because someone needed a shorter song or because they needed it to fit a different context. As such it's quite quick - the first publication was late fifties/early sixties.