The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59062   Message #953884
Posted By: Felipa
16-May-03 - 01:34 PM
Thread Name: Cearc Agus Coileach
In the introduction to his section on humorous songs in Songs of the Irish (1960, 1981), Donal O'Sullivan writes that the Irish are more known for 'wit' and a sense of the ludicrous than for 'humour' and that sometimes the wit can be quite cruel. He cites songs from other sections of his book as well, including 'Eoghan Cóir' and says of the selected 'humourous songs', 'The killing of a cock, the affection of a gouty old man, the riotous behaviour of a drunken mob, the death (real or supposed) of an objectionable husband - such are the typical subjects for Irish fun. This is not to suggest, of course, that these pieces are not amusing …but that the humour is of a grim sort seems undeniable.'

O'Sullivan used different sources for the tune and text of Cearc agus Coileach. As he explains in the introduction to Songs of the Irish, often collectors of tunes have not had much Irish while collectors of lyrics were not competent at musical notation. The tune was collected in Connacht, nut Munster.
Tune: Citizen April, 1843, 23, noted by Henry Hudson from Patrick Coneely, Galway.
Text: Bunting MS. 21, 16 and MS. 10,119, collated with An Gaodhal, May, 1888, 805; Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, XVI, 74; An Stoc, June, 1920, 2 and April, 1925, 5