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Tune Req: O'Duffy's Ironsides, on Ronnie Drew LP

GeoffLawes 25 Apr 10 - 11:55 AM
Fred McCormick 25 Apr 10 - 12:18 PM
GeoffLawes 25 Apr 10 - 01:15 PM
Fred McCormick 25 Apr 10 - 01:46 PM
mikesamwild 25 Apr 10 - 11:13 PM
mikesamwild 25 Apr 10 - 11:31 PM
mikesamwild 27 Apr 10 - 09:28 AM
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Subject: Tune Req: O'Duffy's Ironsides, on Ronnie Drew LP
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 11:55 AM

Can anyone name the tune, described as traditional, which is used by Ronnie Drew (of the Dubliners) for the song O'Duffy's Ironsides which was on his LP GUARANTEED.

Guaranteed, Ronnie Drew, Record Cover and Track List

Someone has suggested Slatter's Mounted Foot from structure and phrasing, but if anyone who has the LP can definately identify it I would be very grateful.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: O'Duffy's Ironsides, on Ronnie Drew LP
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 12:18 PM

The tune is The Valley of Knockanure. I should point out however, that Eoin Ó Dubhthaigh was a notorious fascist (note the reference to blueshirts, which was part of the National Guard uniform), who compared himself favourably to Hitler and Mussolini, and who led the Irish Brigade, which fought on the side of Franco.

I am surprise that Ronnie Drew of all people would want to sing a song about such a crud.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: O'Duffy's Ironsides, on Ronnie Drew LP
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 01:15 PM

Thanks Fred, great to track down the tune so quickly. The song is a piss take, written as an attack on O'Duffy by DIARMUID FITZPATRICK, a communist opponent of Duffy's. The original eight verse ballad was reduced to four verses, either in the course of oral transmission or by Brenadan Behan who used it in his play Richard's Cork Leg, in which Ronnie Drew performed the song.

At the bottom of a Mudcat thread HERE,is probabably more about this song than many would wish to know ( but not you I would think).

Thanks, Geoff Lawes


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: O'Duffy's Ironsides, on Ronnie Drew LP
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 01:46 PM

Geoff,

Sorry. A bit of a kneejerk reaction on my part. I'd only heard the 30 second soundclip, which certainly didn't come across as a piss take, to me at any rate. I should have realised that RD wouldn't go championing someone of the fart right, especially not the odious Mr Duffy.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: O'Duffy's Ironsides, on Ronnie Drew LP
From: mikesamwild
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 11:13 PM

My dad Sam used to sing Slattery's Mounted Foot and played it as a hornpipe on mouthorgan which I still play too.But he never mentioned the other versions. He recognised that Slattery was a piss take of amateurish soldiering but as a number of his pals from Spain were also IRA men he told me they were 'the business'
Nice to know the name of the original.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: O'Duffy's Ironsides, on Ronnie Drew LP
From: mikesamwild
Date: 25 Apr 10 - 11:31 PM

This comment is related to The Spanish Civil War thread


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: O'Duffy's Ironsides, on Ronnie Drew LP
From: mikesamwild
Date: 27 Apr 10 - 09:28 AM

Good info on Wikipedia

The lyrics to the song "Slattery's Mounted Foot" (also known as "Slattery's Mounted Fut," "Slattery's Light Dragoons," and "O'Slattery's Light Dragoons") were written in 1889 by the 19th Century Irish musician Percy French. The song is representative of French's comic works. The tune of the chorus differs from that of the main lyrics.

[edit] Lyrics
"Slattery's Mounted Foot"
by Percy French (1889)
You've heard of Julius Ceasar and the great Napolean too,
And how the Cork militia beat the Turks at Waterloo;
But there's a page of glory that as yet remains uncut,
And that's the warlike story of old Slattery's Mounted Fut.
This gallant corps was organised by Slattery and his son,
A noble-hearted poacher with a double-breasted gun.
And many a head was broken, aye, and many an eye was shot,
When practising maneuvers in the Slattery's Mounted Fut.
Chorus
And down from the mountains came the squadrons and platoons,
Four-and-twenty fighting men and a couple of stout gossoons;
When going into action held each musket by the butt,
We sang this song and marched along, the Slattery's mounted Fut.
Well, first we reconnoitered 'round O'Sullivan's Shabeen—
It used to be a chop house but we called it the canteen;
And there we saw a notice which the bravest heart unnerved:
"All liquor must be settled for before the drink is served."
So on we marched, but soon again each warrior's heart grew pale,
For rising high in front of us we saw the county jail;
And when the army faced about, 'twas just in time to find,
A couple of stout policemen had surrounded us behind.
Chorus
And down from the mountains came the squadrons and platoons,
Four-and-twenty fighting men and a couple of stout gossoons.
When going into action held each musket by the butt
We sang the song and marched along, the Slattery's mounted fut."
"We'll cross the ditch," our leader cried, "and take the forward flank;"
But yells of consternation here arose from every rank;
For posted high upon a tree we very plainly saw:
"Trespassers prosecuted, in accordance with the law."
"We're foiled!" exclaimed bold Slattery, "here ends our grand campaign,
'Tis merely throwing life away to face that raging drain;
I'm not as bold as lions but I'm braver than a hen,
And he that fights and runs away will live to fight again."
Chorus
So back to the mountains went the squadrons and platoons,
Four-and-twenty fighting men and a couple of stout gossoons.
When going into action held each musket by the butt,
We sang this song and marched along, the Slattery's mounted Fut.
We reached the mountains safely, though all stiff and sore with cramp.
Each took a whet of whiskey straight to dissipate the damp;
And when they loaded all their pipes, bold Slattery up and said:
Today's immortal fight will be remembered by the dead."
"I never shall forget," said he, "while this brave heart shall beat,
The eager way you followed when I headed the retreat.
Ye preferred the soldier's maxim, when desisting from the strife:
'Best be a coward for five minutes than a dead man all your life.'"
Chorus
And back to the mountains came the squadrons and platoons,
Four and twenty fighting men and a couple of stout gossoons,
When going into action held each musket by the butt,
We sang this song and marched along, the slattery's mounted fut!
Alternative lyrics for the chorus are:

And down from the mountains came the squadrons and platoons,
Four-and-twenty fighting men and a couple of stout gossoons,
When going into action held each musket by the butt,
We sang a song as we marched along with Slattery's Mounted Foot!


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