The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #83746 Message #1543334
Posted By: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
16-Aug-05 - 02:55 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Bantry Girl's Lament
Subject: RE: Origins: Bantry Girls lament
Bantry is one of County Wexford's ten baronies, and one of the biggest, situated in the mid west of the County. It includes Enniscorthy, Killanne and New Ross. In the 1798 Rebellion, rebel regiments were often named after baronies. For example, John Kelly (of Killanne) was a Colonel of the Bantry Regiment. Other Wexford baronies famed in song are Forth, Bargy and Shelmaliere, all in the south of the County.
Delia Murphy's version (1941), almost certainly the first recording of the song, is in almost word for word agreement with O'Lochlainn, except that she omits the fourth verse, starting, "At wakes or hurling matches your like we'll never see". It's seems probable that she found it in O'Lochlainn's first ballad book, 1939, though she did have an extensive song collection of her own, picked up from a wide variety of sources. Basically, Delia was Ireland's first lady of folk. A 22 track CD was issued in 2001, "Delia Murphy: the Legendary Queen of Irish Folk Singers".
O'Lochlainn says that the melody is a variant of "Dawning", not identical. Personally, I can't hear it but then O'Lochlainn was a much better musician than me. He was taught the pipes by "old" Seamus Ennis, father of renowned piper "young" Seamus Ennis, 1919-82. It was said of O'Lochlainn that he only had to hear a tune once and he "had" it. He didn't read music and would carry the tune in his head until he got some one to write it down, often Gerald Crofts. It's also said of him that he wasn't above changing traditional lyrics, so it would be interesting to see what the lyrics are in Sparling's "Irish Minstrelsy". Any takers?