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Lyr Add: The Old House (Frederick O'Connor)

Rozza 27 May 10 - 03:13 PM
Gutcher 27 May 10 - 03:39 PM
buddhuu 27 May 10 - 04:07 PM
Joe Offer 27 May 10 - 04:25 PM
buddhuu 27 May 10 - 04:32 PM
Joe Offer 27 May 10 - 05:00 PM
buddhuu 27 May 10 - 05:03 PM
buddhuu 27 May 10 - 05:07 PM
Joe Offer 27 May 10 - 05:08 PM
Gutcher 27 May 10 - 05:10 PM
Joe Offer 27 May 10 - 05:15 PM
buddhuu 27 May 10 - 05:17 PM
buddhuu 27 May 10 - 05:26 PM
Gutcher 27 May 10 - 05:28 PM
buddhuu 27 May 10 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,leeneia 28 May 10 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,^&* 28 May 10 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,^&* 28 May 10 - 11:56 AM
buddhuu 28 May 10 - 06:50 PM
Gutcher 29 May 10 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,^&* 30 May 10 - 05:31 AM
Gutcher 30 May 10 - 06:24 AM
GUEST 30 May 10 - 07:08 AM
GUEST,Mike Heath 10 Jun 10 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,Cathal MacCabe 26 Oct 10 - 03:33 PM
Gutcher 26 Oct 10 - 04:09 PM
Rozza 06 May 12 - 08:26 AM
GUEST 17 Oct 13 - 05:52 PM
Brakn 17 Oct 13 - 06:53 PM
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Subject: Old House : Author?
From: Rozza
Date: 27 May 10 - 03:13 PM

Does anyone know who wrote the lyric to "the Old House", popularised by Irish tenor John McCormack. It is wrongly credited in places to Lady Nairne (Caroline Oliphant), whose similarly titled song is quite different. McCormack's song begins:

Lonely I wandered through scenes of my childhood
They call back to memory those happy days of yore.
Gone are the old folk, the house stands deserted,
No light in the window, no welcome at the door.


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: Gutcher
Date: 27 May 10 - 03:39 PM

Words & music by Frederick O'Connor. Copyright all countries 1937.

Joe.


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: buddhuu
Date: 27 May 10 - 04:07 PM

Nice song.

Barney McKenna plays a fine instrumental version sometimes as part of his banjo set.

I nicked Barney's version and transferred it to mandolin. I played it for some friends in a pub session in Killarney about 3 years ago, and it was only when they started singing along that I realised the wistful tune had lyrics!


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Subject: ADD: The Old House
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 May 10 - 04:25 PM

This is what is what I hear on the John McCormack recording:

THE OLD HOUSE
(Frederick O'Connor)

Lonely I wander through scenes of my childhood,
They call back to memory the happy days of yore;
Gone are the old folk, the house stands deserted,
No light in the windows, no welcome at the door.

Here’s where the children played games on the heather;
Here’s where they sailed their wee boats on the burn.
Where are they now? Some are dead, some have wandered,
No more to their homes shall these children return.

Lone is the house now and lonely the moorland,
The children are scattered, the old folk are gone.
Why stand I here like a ghost and a shadow?
'Tis time I was moving, 'tis time I passed on.

any more verses???

any verification of the songwriter name?
Joe, where did you get your information? Just from the song title?
This page agrees with you on songwriter attribution, and says the lyrics came from a singer named John McDermott. The lyrics differ a bit from the lyrics McCormack sings.


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: buddhuu
Date: 27 May 10 - 04:32 PM

The version I have is credited to "John McDermott"



The Old House

Lonely I wander through scenes of my childhood
They bring back to memory the happy days of yore
Gone are the old folk, the house stands deserted
No light in the window, no welcome at the door

Here's where the children played games on the heather
Here's where they sailed their wee boats on the burn
Where are they now? some are dead, some have wandered
No more to their home will the children return

Lonely the house now, and lonely the moorland
The children have scattered, the old folk are gone
Why stand I here, like a ghost or a shadow?
'tis time I was movin', 'tis time I passed on.


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 May 10 - 05:00 PM

This page says John McDermott was born in Scotland in 1955 and raised in Canada, and has been a member of the "Irish Tenors" group. John McCormack was born in 1884 and died in 1945, so the McCormack recording should be at least ten years older than McDermott (unless there was another John McDermott).
So, until I receive proof to the contrary, I'm going to go with the Frederick O'Connor attribution.
I found a very nice recording of the song by John McDermott - he uses almost exactly the same lyrics as the McCormack recording.

I still question the line "sailed their wee boats on the burn." It sounds like "burn" on the McDermott recording, but more like "Borne" on the McCormack recording - or could it be "berm"?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: buddhuu
Date: 27 May 10 - 05:03 PM

"So, until I receive proof to the contrary, I'm going to go with the Frederick O'Connor attribution."

Yep. Works for me.


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: buddhuu
Date: 27 May 10 - 05:07 PM

Joe, did you edit that earlier post? I could have sworn there were two verses where there are now three. Or am I just going nuts...?
    Hmmm. The issue of post editing and your going nuts are two separate issues.
    But I confess. I originally posted a crummy transcription I found on the Internet - but I hate to put my name on a post with a copy-paste of a crummy Internet transcription. When I found the McCormack recording, I replaced the crummy transcription with my own. I thought I'd get it done before somebody posted another version, but you were too quick on the draw.
    -Joe-


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 May 10 - 05:08 PM

Oh, and the Harry Fox Agency "Songfile.com" Website attributes it to Frederick O'Connor, but doesn't give a year of publication. So, I think we're agreed.

And I think we can safely say that our transcription is better than what you'll find on all those Websites that offer to give you the song as a ringtone. Our transcription is a group effort, taken from listening to two different recordings - but I'm still uncertain about that "burn"....

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: Gutcher
Date: 27 May 10 - 05:10 PM

Joe--song sheet published by J.B.Cramer & Co. Ltd. Bond Street,
    London. Gives F.O"O as composer of words & music.
    Sung by Michael O"Duffy.
    Singers name may give a clue to the date published.

    Joe.


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 May 10 - 05:15 PM

But Joe, where'd you find the song sheet? Is it available online? If I've found the right Michael O'Duffy, his dates were 1928-2003, so I guess it's fair to call him (almost) a contemporary of John McCormack.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: buddhuu
Date: 27 May 10 - 05:17 PM

From thefreedictionary.com:

burn 2 (bûrn)
n. Scots
A small stream; a brook.


I'll buy it.


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: buddhuu
Date: 27 May 10 - 05:26 PM

I originally posted a crummy transcription I found on the Internet - but I hate to put my name on a post with a copy-paste of a crummy Internet transcription.

Er... after the Killarney episode described above, when I got home I searched out a recording (online) and a crummy Internet transcription - which is copy-pasted above.

Off to beat myself with birch twigs... :P

:-)


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: Gutcher
Date: 27 May 10 - 05:28 PM

Joe--definately burn.
    Sheet music has been about the house since late 40"s early
    50"s One of a very few modern songs I know. Anything less
    than a 100yrs. old is modern to me.

    Joe.


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: buddhuu
Date: 27 May 10 - 05:36 PM

The McCormack version is on YouTube.

Several recordings on Spotify including the McDermott version.


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 May 10 - 11:11 AM

Hi, Joe. I looked up 'burn' in the unabridged dictionary, and it said that 'burn' is Scot. dialect for a rivulet or small stream. So children sailing their toy boats in the burn is perfectly possible.

However, it also said to 'See BOURN, a stream.' (I'd never heard of that word before.) So either word would work, but 'burn' offers a better rhyme.

Thanks to all those who helped with the posting of this nice song.


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 28 May 10 - 11:49 AM

Interesting man that (Sir) Frederick. Check out Track 23 and the notes HERE for openers.


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 28 May 10 - 11:56 AM

Also came across this on a BBC Northern Ireland forum:

'The Old House' was written for John McCormack's farewell tour of 1938 which included Belfast as one of the stops. Sir Frederick O'Connor wrote the words and adapted the music from an old Welsh air ('The Ash Grove'). McCormack recorded the song in late 1939 and his recording is presently available in the UK on at least three different CDs – Regis RRC1092 - "JMcC – Irish Tenor Ballads", Prism PLATCD289 - "JMcC - The Voice of Ireland", and ASV AJA5224 "- JMcC - The Minstrel Boy".


This sounds plausible, at the very least.


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Subject: RE: Old House : Author?
From: buddhuu
Date: 28 May 10 - 06:50 PM

Here is The Dubliners' Barney McKenna with his tenor banjo version on YouTube.

No words in Barney's take on the tune, but I like it.

Barney's introductions tend to be lengthy. If you'd rather skip straight to the tunes then they start at about 2.00. I'd recommend listening to the dear old fella talk though.


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old House (Frederick O'Connor)
From: Gutcher
Date: 29 May 10 - 05:21 PM

leeneia---Bourn is associated with death.
          "To cross over the bourn from whence no man returns."

Joe.


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old House (Frederick O'Connor)
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 30 May 10 - 05:31 AM

According to Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, that sense of bourn is derived from an Old French word for boundary - and survived in modern English because of Shakespeare's use of it. There's a similar use of bounds, of course.


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old House (Frederick O'Connor)
From: Gutcher
Date: 30 May 10 - 06:24 AM

I have always taken bourn as referring to the river or stream of
death & to have had a biblical or mythological derivation.
I stand corrected.

Joe.


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old House (Frederick O'Connor)
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 10 - 07:08 AM

bourn is indeed also used as a variant of burn - but purely accent-idental, so to speak (IMHO)!


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old House (Frederick O'Connor)
From: GUEST,Mike Heath
Date: 10 Jun 10 - 08:25 AM

You say you have the sheet music - any chance of a copy?

Mike


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old House (Frederick O'Connor)
From: GUEST,Cathal MacCabe
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 03:33 PM

"The Old House" was written by Sir Frederick O'Connor for John McCormack's farewell tour in 1937/38. The word "burn" is commonly used in Ireland and it means a little stream. All other suggestions are wrong.If you live in Ireland you can hear the song in a short tour of the show "I Hear You Calling Me" sung by tenor Frank Ryan. 25th Nov Youghal; 26th Nov Dungarvan; 27th Nov Fermoy


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Old House (Frederick O'Connor)
From: Gutcher
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 04:09 PM

Mike,apologies.
I was on holiday when you asked for a copy of the music. As I do not
know how to send a copy through the computer if you send a PM with
your details I will post a copy to you.
Joe.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Old House (Frederick O'Connor)
From: Rozza
Date: 06 May 12 - 08:26 AM

Thanks for the information. The attribution to Sir Frederick O'Connor is correct. Original music currently available on eBay (May 2012)
The Old House by Frederick O'Connor


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Old House (Frederick O'Connor)
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 05:52 PM

anyone know where I can get the sheet music for "The Old House" by O'Connor...Dan Lawlor in Delmar, NY


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Old House (Frederick O'Connor)
From: Brakn
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 06:53 PM

Jimmy Crowley does a great version.


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