The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20056   Message #207328
Posted By: Susanne (skw)
05-Apr-00 - 06:28 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Tommy Linn
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Tommy Linn
Thanks, Bruce. I have an Irish version called Brian O'Lynn. Apparently 1802 was not the earliest date for this song family:

[1975:] [A] possible relative of Tam Lin's, Brian O Lynn (who may be a burlesqued son of the Irish god-mother Danu) crops up in comic songs in Ireland, Scotland and America, and the first printed version of Brian's song, in 1568, called him Tom a Lin. (Karl Dallas, notes 'The Electric Muse' 13)

[1979:] The tune is taken from Pili cat ban and the words were learned in childhood by Colm O'Lochlainn. Sam Henry [...] found some old records about a man from Cashel, Portglenore, which makes reference to a Brian O'Lynn, who on 18th April 1786 was appointed both Grand Juror and Apprizor. Under the signatures of the Grand Jurors he found the following couplet:
Brian O'Lynn was a Scotchman bold
His head it was bald and his beard it was shorn
The Scottish version of this song is Tam o' the Lin. It may have been an English satire upon the rude shifts and unruffled complacency of the savage Gael - whether Irish or Scotch. (Peter Kennedy, Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, quoted in Loesberg I, 55)