The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #51331   Message #781440
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
11-Sep-02 - 03:01 PM
Thread Name: Help: The Flower of Magherally
Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
The supposed association with the Bronte family may derive from a marginal note in one of the archive sets of Songs of the People, where someone has written "Hugh Bronte's bride". Apparantly Hugh Bronte was married to Alice McClory in the church at Magherally, Co. Down (I don't know the date), but I wouldn't like to guess whether there's any real connection; it doesn't really seem very likely. (See Sam Henry's Songs of the People, ed. Gale Huntington, 1990: H220, p.243). The set in Henry came from Dominick Maguire of Coleraine (1928). Notes: "...A charming little song from Co. Down. The exigencies of rhyme required a humorous substitution of "the great titter-a-tally O", the reference being in all probability to Damer, of Shronhill, near Tipperary, the richest man in Ireland about the year 1800, or it may be a corruption of "the great Tetrarch Ali O!" as the old song makers were very fond of learned allusions".

The set in Colm O Lochlainn's Irish Street Ballads (1939) has just the comment "Air from Cathal O Byrne, Belfast. **BS". The latter indicates that the text was from a printed ballad sheet, but no details are given.

This song is number 3009 in the Roud Folk Song Index. So far, only four examples are listed, all from the North of Ireland.

The text in the DT unfortunately names no source, but it may perhaps be the set printed in Sean O Boyle's The Irish Song Tradition.