The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #43706   Message #1362892
Posted By: Joe Offer
22-Dec-04 - 04:22 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req/Add: Brian O'Lynn & Tam o' the Linn
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Brian O'Lynn
The entry for this song in the Traditional Ballad Index is titled Brian O'Lynn (Tom Boleyn). I would think the base title should be Tam O the Linn. Here's the Ballad Index entry:

Brian O'Lynn (Tom Boleyn)

DESCRIPTION: Vignettes about Brian/Tom. Each describes a situation he finds himself in and ends with his comment, e.g., "Tom Bolyn found a hollow tree / And very contented seemed to be / The wind did blow and the rain beat in / 'Better than no house,' said Tom Bolyn."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1849 (Halliwell, citing a book printed c. 1560; reputedly mentioned in The Complaynt of Scotland, 1548)
KEYWORDS: poverty talltale humorous clothes
FOUND IN: Ireland Britain(England(All),Scotland) US(Ap,NE,So) Canada(Newf) Australia
REFERENCES (12 citations):
Randolph 471, "Bryan O'Lynn" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph-Legman I, pp. 155-157, "Brian O'Lynn" (2 fragmentary bawdy texts, 2 tunes)
Belden, pp. 501-502, "Tom Bo-lin" (1 text)
Flanders/Brown, pp. 178-179, "Old Tombolin" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy 290, "Brian-O-Linn" (1 text, 1 tune)
SHenry H480a+b, pp. 52-53, "Bryan O'Lynn" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Hodgart, p. 199, "Brian O Linn" (1 text)
BrownII 189, "Bryan O'Lynn" (1 text)
O'Conor, p. 64, "Bryan O'Lynn" (1 text)
Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 35, "O'Brien O'Lin" (1 text)
DSB2, p. 27, "Bryan O'Lynn" (1 text)

Roud #294
Thomas Moran, "Brian-O-Linn" (on FSB10)
Tony Wales, "Bryan O'Lynn" (on TWales1)
Notes: Sam Henry claims that Bryan O'Lynn (fl. 1770-1793) was an "apprizer" and grand juror in Cashel during the years specified. - RBW
Randolph-Legman offers good notes on sources to this ballad. - EC
A variant of the melody to this song is a popular fiddle tune in Ireland.
I'm wary of the "Complaynt of Scotland" (1549) citation until I see it. The title given, "Thom of Lyn," and the title "Ballet of Thomalyn," licensed 1558, are both perilously close to "Tam Lin," which is not only the name of a ballad (Child 39) but also a fiddle tune. And in our indexing of "Tam Lin", we note a reference from 1549 -- is that "Complaynt of Scotland"? The plot's getting thicker, says Brian O'Lynn. - PJS
Plus there is the report that Charles Dibdin wrote a piece, "[Poor] Tom Bowling." Could this have given rise to the "Tom Boleyn" version? - RBW
Two of nine broadsides for this ballad as "Bryan O'Lynn" at Bodleian Library site Ballads Catalogue is printed in Gatesheadn between 1821 and 1850, shelfmarks Harding B.11(480), Harding B.25(307). - BS
File: R471

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