The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2276   Message #8890
Posted By: Wolfgang Hell
17-Jul-97 - 05:42 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Fiddler's Green
Subject: RE: Fiddler's Green
The origin of this beautiful song? It is English, written in 1966 by John Conolly (the DT's spelling, Connelly, is wrong), member of The Broadside from Grimsby. This group has played tradtional material as well as their own songs not caring much about strict definitions of Folksongs. Conolly and his fellow musician Bill Meek have contributed many fine songs which will find their way into tradition, among others "Grimsby Lads" (they grew up there) and "Men of the Sea". Roy Palmer in the Oxford Book of Sea Songs pays the following tribute to "Fiddler's Green':

" Ewan MacColl's 'Shoals of Herring', it is often paid the compliment by those who do not know its origin of being considered traditional. It has travelled all over the world, and is especially popular in Ireland..."

Falling short of the three-generation definiton of a Folksong (see that thread) by two generations (and think that its author, born in 1941, might even still be alive!), it is a song which can be said even now to live in oral tradition for many of the people singing this song have learned it from other people's singing. Within the short time of 30 years this song has travelled from "Fair Isle to Labrador, Bear Isle, and Norway, and cold Greenland shore" to borrow the chorus of another Conolly/Meek song. I guess the author would be proud that one could take his product for a song from Newfoundland.

Yours Wolfgang