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Bandon, West Cork

Young Buchan 31 Mar 10 - 06:16 PM
johnadams 31 Mar 10 - 08:54 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Apr 10 - 03:39 AM
Jim Carroll 01 Apr 10 - 04:20 AM
Kevin Sexton 01 Apr 10 - 05:16 AM
GUEST 21 Dec 12 - 11:32 PM
GUEST 21 Dec 12 - 11:42 PM
Rog Peek 22 Dec 12 - 04:17 AM
The Sandman 22 Dec 12 - 08:44 AM
MartinRyan 22 Dec 12 - 08:47 AM
The Sandman 22 Dec 12 - 08:54 AM
MartinRyan 22 Dec 12 - 08:56 AM
MartinRyan 22 Dec 12 - 09:01 AM
MartinRyan 22 Dec 12 - 12:16 PM
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Subject: Bandon, West Cork
From: Young Buchan
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 06:16 PM

This started out so straightforwardly...
I have just been reading J. O. Walters' "Close the Wicket Gate" - basically a reminiscence of Bandon before and after WW2.
She quotes a little locally composed song:
"The following song to the air of The Rising Of The Moon was written about the members [of the Allin Institute Band] when they were at the height of their popularity around 1937:
    As I was out last New Year's Eve I thought I heard a band,
    And through the streets of Bandon the music sounded grand.
    When Geraldin played up Auld Lang Syne, the tune for old time's sake,
    The horse stopped dead and shook his head and 'twas harmonised by Jake.
    They played around the town that night, 'twas worth your while to wait.
    They played us out of '37 and into '38.
(Author unknown but probably written by Lizzie May Cohalan [former Munster step-dance champion and local Dance Teacher who died in 1958])"

SO... I was just going to put it on record in case anyone was interested, and in case anyone knew whether there was any more of it.
But before starting up a new thread, to avoid the Wrath of Joe, I thought I'd better check in case it was already there. So I typed in Bandon. And all that came up was The Bold Tenant Farmer.
I'll just say that again - all that came up was The Bold Tenant Farmer. No Blarney Stone - "Twas on the road to Bandon, one evening in July." So I typed in Blarney Stone - what I got was "Twas on the road to Banyon". I even tried a wider Google. Same result.
Now, I have always sung that song as The Road To Bandon. I'm not asserting that because I sing it, it's right! But if I'm wrong - where in Hell (or in Eire) is Banyon? Anyone know?
    Unfortunately, the people who seem to fear the Wrath of Joe, are the very ones who don't need to. If it's an honest mistake, I simply combine threads. If it's the 19th copycat thread or the 100th anonymous post from the same person, THEN the Wrath of Joe begins to appear.
    -Joe Offer, usually not wrathful-

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Subject: RE: Bandon, West Cork
From: johnadams
Date: 31 Mar 10 - 08:54 PM

I don't know where Banyon might be but your post immediately invoked a childhood memory of hearing Delia Murphy singing 'Three Lovely Lasses (in Banyon)'.

Google provided the following YouTube recording.

Three Lovely Lasses

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Subject: RE: Bandon, West Cork
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 03:39 AM

This is the version of the song as sung by the Clare singer Tom Lenihan.
I have included Tom Munnelly's extensive note to it from the Book/cassettes of Tom L's songs Mount Callan Garland (lovely collection - well worth having).
Jim Carroll

The Bandon Blarney Stone

It was in the town of Bandon one fine morning last July,
I met an Irish cailin, she winked as she went by.
Says I: 'I came from Galway and I'm lonesome and alone,
And won't you kindly tell me where I'll find the Blarney Stone?'

Says she: 'There's Blarney Stones in Kerry, there's Blarney Stones in Clare,
There's Blarney Stones in Dublin, oh, they're plenty in Kildare.
There's Blarney Stones in Wicklow, there's a big one in Athlone.
Yerra, the devil a town in Ireland but you'll find a Blarney Stone".'

2 Says she: 'I know you come from Galway, I can tell that by your brogue.
I never met a Galway man but was an awful rogue!
But as long as you're a stranger where the River Shannon flows,
The only Blarney Stone I know is underneath my nose.'


Her Irish smile did broaden, she winked a roguish eye.
My heart did start to jump and, oh, I thought I'd surely die.
I rolled her in my arrums and she never made a moan
When I kissed the bloomin' roses from the Bandon Blarney Stone.

"Do you know that wherever I go, fifty, sixty, maybe a hundred strangers'd walk up to me [and say] "Will you be sure and sing 'The Blarney Stone'?" You see? Whether they were Corkmen or what, they would always [ask for it]. . . . There is some swing in it, there is. There is some attraction in it."

'Ireland's Own, God bless it, is the bane of any folklore collector's life.' This comment was written by Dr. Séamas Ó Catháin in 1980. He laments the difficulties involved in sorting out booklore from folklore and notes that: 'The very best folklore collectors in the field have always shown by the fruits of their labours that they instinctively understood the intricate implica¬tions of these problems. With an unerring instinct for the genuine article they simply got on with the job of making a permanent record of Irish oral tradition in all its many facets for the benefit of posterity and future generations of Irish people.' Not possess¬ing this 'unerring instinct' myself, I freely admit that the problems of sorting the oral from printed literature as sources are frequently beyond me. The question is made more complex by the fact that a skilled storyteller may, as Ó Catháin says: 'add or subtract, censor or embellish at will, drawing on a store of traditional motifs and narrative techniques . . .'. But surely the written word has always influenced oral tradition (and vice versa) in the sense that in most cases illiterate informants would have had occasional contact with literate merchants, priests, teachers etc. even in the most isolated communities? This process has been studied, in the case of story¬telling, by Séamus Ó Duilearga who has noted the influence of a collection of stories, Royal Hibernian Tales, a chapbook published c. 1824, on oral tradition.
In a society that is mostly literate nowadays one has to come to terms with informants who will find material in print and add it to their oral repertoire. This is a fact of life, though I can quite empathise with the sentiment of Ó Catháin's essay which implies that the purely oral story (if such a thing nowadays exists) has somehow an 'edge' on material which can be shown to be influ¬enced by print. I became aware of this prejudice within myself when recording a storyteller a few miles from Tom. A man from whom I had taken down a number of long stories attributed all of them to his grandfather who had died in 1918. Nevertheless, from force of habit I persisted in asking about the source of tales on their conclusion. When he finished a story during our fifth recording session I asked: 'Can you tell me anything about that story?' He replied: T remember reading it in P.W. Joyce's Old Celtic Romances:'My heart sank. 'You didn't get it from your grand¬father?' 'Oh, I did, of course. Anyway, Joyce had it all wrong.' Such relief!
To admit to this prejudice is to align oneself with Child and his already-cited feeling that the products of the broadsheet presses were 'a veritable dunghill'. But we in this century now know that the ballad-sellers helped keep alive many genuinely traditional songs (e.g. song 4) and disseminated them throughout the countryside. The broadsheet vendors may have vanished from the streets of Ireland and penny ballads and chapbooks may no longer be available at fairs, nevertheless, Tom's source for this song, Ireland's Own, still flourishes. In many respects this weekly magazine fulfils the same needs as the ballad-seller, for it has carried at least one page of songs in every issue since its founda¬tion in the early years of this century. Aimed at a mainly rural and emigrant audience it has reflected the prevailing tastes of a high percentage of Irish singers throughout this period. The song page acts as an Exchange and Mart wherein requested songs are printed and others are sought for. Over the years sentimental and patriotic doggerel, vaudville, pop songs and quite a large number of traditional songs have appeared, all being grist to the Ireland's Own mill, as is the very popular song Tom sings here.
'The Bandon Blarney Stone' was published in sheet-music form by Walton's Musical Galleries of Dublin in 1936 and its authorship ascribed to Seamas Kavanagh. That the song had been doing the rounds considerably earlier than that is proved by the fact that a recording of it was made in America by Shaun O' Nolan, 'The Wicklow Piper', in 1926 (see Song 36).

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Subject: RE: Bandon, West Cork
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 04:20 AM

Sorry, half asleep when I posted above; realise it's not what you're looking for (I have never been able to find the Mudcat retrieval button).
It occurs me that Bannion might well be a Townland name (I grew up with Delia Murhy's song - now usually remembered as Frank Harte's 'Three Lovely Lasses of Kimmage').
Jim Carroll

"Townland, a division of land of varying extent. The smallest, of around 1 acre, is Mill Tenement in Co. Armagh; the largest, of 7,012 acres, is Sheskin in Mayo. There are over 60,000 townlands in Ireland, constituting the smallest recognized administrative division. Their origins are various, relating to ancient clan lands, Anglo-Norman manors, plantation divisions, or later creations of the Ordnance Survey. Though formerly bases for the levying of tithes and land valuation, they no longer have any administrative significance.
Despite their name, townlands do not necessarily contain urban centres. In Northern Ireland a campaign to preserve townland names in postal ad¬dresses has received official backing."
Oxford Companion To Irish History

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Subject: RE: Bandon, West Cork
From: Kevin Sexton
Date: 01 Apr 10 - 05:16 AM

If it's of any interest, Maragaret Barry recorded a version of 'The Blarney Stone' on an LP called 'Queen of the Tinkers' published by Top Rank in 1960. I bought a copy from a market stall but have never seen written reference to this record, although it contains some songs of hers not published anywhere else, as far as I know:

Come Back Paddy Reilly
She Moved Through the Fair
The Cottage With the Horseshoe
Down By The Broom/Pigeon on the Gate
Her Mantle So Green
The Leprechaun
If You Ever Go Over To Ireland
The Blarney Stone
The Boys of the Town/The Killeshandra Lasses
The Half Door
Lovely Derry on the Banks of the Foyle

(I guess you know about this, Jim. If not, let me know; it would give me an opportunity to part-repay a favour.)

But, coming back to the original question, she definitely sings 'Bandon' (she would, coming from Cork) and the text is much as quoted above from Tom Lenihan, though with lots of small changes as you'd expect. Unfortunately (as you can imagine from a publisher like 'Top Rank') the LP had no supporting notes.

Top Rank and Margaret Barry - clash of cultures !

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Subject: RE: Bandon, West Cork
Date: 21 Dec 12 - 11:32 PM

Hi All,

"The Blarney Stone", as recorded by Margaret Barry, is one of my (many) favorite Irish songs. I'd like to find the music so I can do an arrangement on the mountain dulcimer.

The version I know is from an old Folkway Records album called "Irish Songs in London Pubs". The recording was apparently made in a pub, and so the recording quality sounds like you're listening to an old 78 record. I checked on Amazon and they sell the album in CD format or in MP3 format. Some other good songs were on it too (as I recall). But "The Blarney Stone" was the most memorable song.

Well, maybe I'll have more luck searching on "The Bandon Blarney Stone", so thanks for the lead.


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Subject: RE: Bandon, West Cork
Date: 21 Dec 12 - 11:42 PM

I found a link to the Folkways website where you can hear the first part of the song. It sounds better than I remember it, perhaps it has been re-mastered for the CD release. Here's the URL:

You can get info on other songs on the album as well, like "The Rocks of Bawn" (another favorite of mine).


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Subject: RE: Bandon, West Cork
From: Rog Peek
Date: 22 Dec 12 - 04:17 AM

There's no townland listed here as anything like Banyon or Bannion.


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Subject: RE: Bandon, West Cork
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Dec 12 - 08:44 AM

delia murphy sang a dublin song,it has no connection to bandon, three lovely lasses from bunnyan, the song is sometimes known as thre lovely lasses from kimmage.
bandon is famous as a protestant town, even the pigs are protestant

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Subject: RE: Bandon, West Cork
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 Dec 12 - 08:47 AM

The "Kimmage" and "Banyon" songs are quite different.


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Subject: RE: Bandon, West Cork
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Dec 12 - 08:54 AM
is the tune any different?

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Subject: RE: Bandon, West Cork
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 Dec 12 - 08:56 AM

BTW I have a vague memory that there is a mention of where Delia Murphy got the song Three Lovely Lassies in her biography I'll live till I die - but can't place it at the moment.


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Subject: RE: Bandon, West Cork
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 Dec 12 - 09:01 AM


Same tune - Kimmage (where I was reared!) is a skit on Bannion


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Subject: RE: Bandon, West Cork
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 Dec 12 - 12:16 PM

Aidan O'Hara in his biography of Delia Murphy, suggests she may well have learned it from Donagh MacDonagh who published a book in the '40's which included it and several others which Delia recorded. Arrangements were usually by Arthur Darley - who accompanied Delia on several recordings. While it is possible the flow was in the other direction, O'Hara thinks it unlikely.


p.s. Must go back and check out MacDonaghs collection online.. and check out the story next time I'm in ITMA.

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