The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152267 Message #4114737
Posted By: GUEST,John Moulden
29-Jul-21 - 03:45 PM
Thread Name: Mrs. McGraw - origins
Subject: RE: Mrs. McGraw - origins
Paddy Berry and I link this song with some others that date from around 1835. Among them is The Bantry Girl's Lament which definitely concerns the civil war in Spain of that time, the first of the so called Carlist wars, of which there were three. the United Kingdom sent volunteers commanded by General Sir George De Lacy Evans. The other songs we associate are 'The brave volunteers', 'The loss of the Francis Spaight' and 'The volunteer's departure for Spain' (which appear in cheap print).
It's clearly satire and I strongly doubt its origin in any kind of music hall or anywhere else than in Ireland though it was probably written for the ballad trade. The Roud index earliest reference is a print which Roud dates 1813-1832 which muddies but doesn't change my opinion.