The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #33361   Message #2697089
Posted By: GUEST,John Kirkpatrick
10-Aug-09 - 02:31 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Bonny Woodhall/Bonny Wood Green
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Bonny Woodhall/Bonny Wood Green
One version called Bonnie Woodgreen (note the spelling) is set in a townland near the village of Kells (no, not the famous one!) which located near the town of Ballymena in County Antrim, N. Ireland. The reference to "Kells Barracks" would refer to the practice of signing-up for the army at the local police station, while "Larne Harbour" was one of the main routes from the Province to the mainland of England.
There is no verse about Africa; other variations include:
"There's a neat little spot called Ballymacveigh" (again, this is in the Kells area)
"They're wearing white aprons in bonny Woodgreen"

The soldiers' girlfriend would seem to have worked in John Ross's linen factory near to Woodgreen: this factory still exists, although it is now a dyeworks rather than a linen mill.

It's always amazing to see how some traditional songs were adapted to suit the local area where they were being performed