The other night I sang "The Kerry Recruit" (a version based on The Dubliners' version) at a singers' circle. Someone asked me what the chorus meant, and I told her it was nonsense, possibly decayed Gaelic, more likely (since it's a stage-Irish song) nonsense meant to sound like Gaelic.
Then I started wondering: could the stage-Irish "Kerry Recruit" be based on an older traditional song (not much older, since it's about the Crimean War -- unless it's a reworking of an older song about a different war)? If so, is the "nonsense" chorus based on an actual, meaningful Gaelic chorus?
Does anyone know about this?