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Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?

michaelr 14 Jul 10 - 07:07 PM
michaelr 15 Jul 10 - 07:23 PM
mayomick 16 Jul 10 - 06:21 AM
maeve 16 Jul 10 - 06:53 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 16 Jul 10 - 07:18 AM
Raggytash 16 Jul 10 - 07:37 AM
mayomick 16 Jul 10 - 11:09 AM
Seamus Kennedy 16 Jul 10 - 11:13 PM
Seamus Kennedy 17 Jul 10 - 01:18 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Jul 10 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 17 Jul 10 - 10:19 AM
michaelr 17 Jul 10 - 11:35 AM
Jim Carroll 17 Jul 10 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 18 Jul 10 - 10:22 AM
mayomick 18 Jul 10 - 01:18 PM
mayomick 18 Jul 10 - 01:53 PM
michaelr 18 Jul 10 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,^&* 18 Jul 10 - 06:37 PM
GUEST,^&* 19 Jul 10 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 19 Jul 10 - 08:30 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: AMONG THE HEATHER (William Allingham)
From: michaelr
Date: 14 Jul 10 - 07:07 PM

The following song, with lyrics by 19th century Donegal poet William Allingham, can be found on the brilliant CD "Heartstring Sessions" by Arty McGlynn/Chris Newman/Nollaig Casey/Maire Ni Chathasaigh.

I'm curious whether there is a place called Eskydun?



Among the Heather (poem by William Allingham, air trad. Cork)

One evening walking out I overtook a modest colleen
When the wind was blowing cool and the harvest leaves were falling
"Is our way by chance the same? Might we travel on together?"
"Oh, I keep the mountain side", she replied, "among the heather."

"Your mountain air is sweet when the days are long and sunny
When the grass grows round the rocks and the whin bloom smells like honey
But the winter's coming fast with its foggy, snowy weather
And you'll find it bleak and chill on your hill among the heather."

She praised her mountain home and I'll praise it too, with reason
For where Molly is, there's sunshine and flowers at every season
Be the moorland black or white, does it signify a feather
Now I know the way by heart, every part, among the heather

The sun goes down in haste and the night falls thick and stormy
Yet I'd travel twenty miles to the welcome that's before me
Singing hi for Eskydun in the teeth of wind and weather
Love will warm me as I go through the snow among the heather

Repeat 1st verse


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: michaelr
Date: 15 Jul 10 - 07:23 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: mayomick
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 06:21 AM

I've looked on maps -as I suppose you have Michael - but can't see anything .My friend in Donegal said he'd ask up there. The "Esky" spelling could have changed since the nineteenth century ,it could be something like Uisce now.


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: maeve
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 06:53 AM

As I recall, "dun" refers to a hilltop fort and I suspect that "esky" is closely related to "uisga meaning water. A quick wander with Mr. Google found references that may be helpful in finding possible locations.

"The Esky goes back to An easca, meaning the sedgy bog or marsh. This name is now applied locally only to a hill in Derryloiste which rises boldly up from the surrounding marsh-land. Evidently, it was transferred from the marsh to the hill, after its meaning had been forgotten." http://www.craigavonhistoricalsociety.org.uk/rev/turkingtonmontiaghs.html

(Name of Mooney) "...The Connacht family were located in the parish of Easky in the barony of Tireragh in Co. Sligo..." and "...The Sligo family gave their name to the townland of Ballymeeny in Esky parish." http://www.eskermore.com/history.html


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 07:18 AM

There's a Lough Eske and a River Eske in Donegal; and as Maeve says, "dun" means fort. Maybe some connection there?


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: Raggytash
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 07:37 AM

The River Eske flows through Donegal town and in the centre of the town is a castle, I do not know if the river is pronounced "Esk" or "Eskie" however


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: mayomick
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 11:09 AM

I hope nobody writes in to say that it's located very close to the Cliffs of Duneen.


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 16 Jul 10 - 11:13 PM

"Dún" pronounced 'doon' means 'fort' or 'fortified place'

Donegal = Dún na nGall = the fort of the foreigner

"Donn' prounounced 'dun' or 'down' means 'brown'.

Carrigdown = Carraig donn = the brown rock.

'Uisce' means 'water'. Giving rise to the name of the River Eske.

My guess is the brown river Eske, or Borwn water.


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 17 Jul 10 - 01:18 AM

"Brown".


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Jul 10 - 06:26 AM

"I hope nobody writes in to say that it's located very close to the Cliffs of Duneen."
Asketon???
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 17 Jul 10 - 10:19 AM

Eskydun is exactly what Allingham wrote, and since he was based in south Donegal, Asketon, while an inspired guess from the sound, is not very likely.

His song is an adaptation of "The Lass among the Heather" written by a County Antrim poet, Hugh McWilliams, and published by him in his "Poems and songs on different subjects" printed in Belfast in 1831. Below is a series of references. Some of the variants may contain a hint as to why Allingham was impelled to use Eskydun.

The lass among the heather (1831: 106) (Roud 2894):
Ballad sheets
?Belfast ?Moore (Birmingham Univ Library, Hume Collection 310 (slightly varied 102)) [Both as The Blooming Heather]
London, Paul (BUL, Hume 136)
Unknown ?English printer [As Blooming Heather] (2806 c14(60)),
?Newcastle upon Tyne, ?Fordyce 125 [As The Blooming Heather](Bodleian 2806 c15(240)), same printer, 225 [As The Blooming Heather] (Bodleian: 2806 c13(2)),
?Scottish, Printer Unknown, [As The Blooming Heather] (Bodleian Harding B11(331))
Glasgow Poet's Box, 26 Nov. 1859 Blooming Heather (Mitchell Library, Glasgow, Poet's Box Collection),
Also Printed in Britain by Fordyce, Newcastle; J Lindsay, Glasgow; Pitts, London; Ross, Newcastle; Glasgow Sanderson, Edinburgh; Walker, Durham; Walker, Newcastle. (Roud

Song book
Dublin, JF Nugent The National Melodist (British Library 11622df19 #62) p. 34. This is patently related to the Tommy McCabe version. (see next line)

Oral versions
Monaghan, Tommy McCabe The lass among the heather O (Morton, Folksongs sung in Ulster (1970) p. 7); Antrim/Londonderry no details (Sam Henry papers [Private file I2b); Cork, Elizabeth Cronin (Ballyvourney) The Fair at Ballyally (fragmentary) (Ó Croinín, The songs of Elizabeth Cronin: traditional singer (2000) p. 154); Aberdeenshire, The Fair at Ballinaminna (Greig, Folksong of the North-East (1963), Article 44); (Shuldham-Shaw et al., The Greig-Duncan Folksong Collection vol. 4 no. 873 (12 versions)); Jeannie Robertson, The Fair o' Balnafannon (Porter & Gower, Jeannie Robertson: emergent singer, transformative voice (1995) p. 175); USA, Maine, Carrie Grover, The Fair at Baltimoreo (Grover, A Heritage of Song (n.d.) p. 20); Tunney, Where songs do thunder: Travels in Traditional Song (1991) p. 31

Literary version
Adapted by William Allingham – (Graves, The Irish Song Book (1894) p. 148)

It seems likely that the earliest print is the one of which there are two (one cropped of its cut) in the Hume collection which, I surmise, were printed by James Moore, Belfast. It is thus later than 1843 and sooner than 1849 when the Hume collection has made. The dissemination of this, in Scotland, across northern England and in London indicates how widely attractive it was. Its oral dissemination is even more remarkable. Twelve variants were collected in the Parish of New Deer in Aberdeenshire in the early 20th century.

I've got more but will wait until I'm asked!


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: michaelr
Date: 17 Jul 10 - 11:35 AM

Thanks everyone for your contributions. I've visited Donegal castle and parked by the river, but wasn't aware it's called Eske.

John, could you post the text of "The Lass among the Heather"? Does it mention Eskydun?


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Jul 10 - 11:46 AM

"Asketon, while an inspired...."
Not a guess John; just a (failed) attempt to stir things up regarding the saga of The Cliffs of Duneen.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: ADD: The Lass among the Heather. (McWilliams)
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 10:22 AM

I'm glad nobody responded to your attempts to stir things, Jim.

The following are the words as published in 1831. I'm afraid that, when I look at them again, none of the versions have any word that resembles Eskydun.


THE LASS AMONG THE HEATHER
(McWilliams)

One night as I came hame,
Frae the town o' Ballymena,
A lass I overtaen,
That was fairer than Diana,
I as't her whar she lived,
As we jogged on together
On the friendly mountain side,
She replied amang the heather.

Sweet lassie I'm in love,
Ye hae so many charms,
Then dinna let me grive,
For my breast to you warms,
The glances o' your eye,
And your form that's so clever,
I could freely wed with thee,
Dearest lassie o' the heather.

Do you think I'm sic a fool,
As to believe what you've spoken,
Na, laddie, let me tell,
You are sairly mistaken,
I'm happy, and I'm weel,
With my father and my mother,
He would be a cany chiel,
That would coax me frae the heather.

Dear lassie condescend now,
And dinna be so cruel,
I hope I'll no offend now,
My dearest, my jewel,
My heart frae love was free,
And as light as any feather,
Till this night I met with thee,
Bonny lassie o' the heather.

On the friendly mountain side,
Where the heather is blooming,
Where flocks are feeding wide,
And the streams gently running,
'Tis pleasant there to stray,
In the warm summer weather,
So you need na' bid me gae,
From my dear, my native heather.

Ah! cruel, cruel, lass now,
My heart's nearly broken,
Will you gie to me a kiss,
As a last parting token,
If I would gi'e you ane,
You would may be seek anither.
But I kissed and kissed again,
The bonny lassie o' the heather.

Now I will visit you,
So you must not deny it;
Na, that you manna do,
With a smile she replied.
But if you're late in town,
In the stormy wintry weather,
A lodging you will find,
In the cot among the heather.

O how my heart did glow,
At the kind invitation,
My heart was in a low,
O' the warmest sensation,
Since my suit she now approves,
I will shortly ask her father,
And if he does refuse,
I will steal her frae the heather.


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: mayomick
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 01:18 PM

Sorry about the mention of the Cliffs.

My friend from Donegal says that Eskydun is likely to be a townland by the River Eske or by the very scenic Lough Eske ,six miles from Donegal Town . Lough Eske is at the foot of the Blue Stack Mountains and feeds the Eske river.He says he'll ask around next time he's in Donegal Town if you don't hear before then.


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: mayomick
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 01:53 PM

I was just on the phone to Billy in Donegal who says that dun in Irish can also mean harbour or port.He suspects that Eskydun may be by Lough Eske - possibly close to the Harvey's Point Hotel which was built on a small harbour .
We were wondering if there is an etymological connection between the English words "port" and "fort" .


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: michaelr
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 06:26 PM

Thank you very much, John and mayomick!

Am I correct that McWilliams' text looks quite Scottish (perhaps he was an Ulster Scot from Antrim)? Anyway, it's interesting to compare it with Allingham's reworking - a bit like the "Rambling Boys of Pleasure"/"Sally Gardens" relationship.

FWIW, the liner notes to "Heartstring Sessions" say "Learned from Nollaig and Maire's mother's copy of Songs of the Gael, compiled by Padraig Breatnach and published in 1922... Breatnach didn't like Allingham's choice of tune [wonder what that may have been - mr] and suggested that the poem be sung instead to this beautiful air noted by him from the singing of Kate Coakley of Rahalisk, near Macroom, Co. Cork."

It is indeed a lovely air, and the whole CD is quite excellent. A highly recommended recording by some of the best musicians playing Irish music today.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 18 Jul 10 - 06:37 PM

FWIW, the liner notes to "Heartstring Sessions" say "Learned from Nollaig and Maire's mother's copy of Songs of the Gael, compiled by Padraig Breatnach and published in 1922... Breatnach didn't like Allingham's choice of tune and suggested that the poem be sung instead to this beautiful air noted by him from the singing of Kate Coakley of Rahalisk, near Macroom, Co. Cork."


Two small points, for clarity:
1. Songs of the Gael, Part 1, was published in 1915.
2. Breathnach makes no mention of another tune in his text. He simply says "The above air, which is very sweet and beautifull, was taken down from the singing of Kate Coakley, who lives at Rahalisk, five miles from Macroom"


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 05:28 AM

p.s. Breathnach's text has tunes in tonic solfa. I haven't tried to decipher it yet.


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Subject: RE: Is there an Eskydun in Ireland?
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 19 Jul 10 - 08:30 AM

McWilliams is interesting because, although a Catholic and a hedge schoolmaster, he wrote in three language registers using Hiberno-English, English and Ulster Scots and suggested tunes from the same three domains.

My 1997 article: "One singer, two voices: Scots and Irish style song in the work of the mid-Antrim poet and song maker Hugh McWilliams (fl 1816-1831)" in Thèrése Smith & Micheál Ó Suilleabháin (eds.) Blas: The local accent in Irish traditional music Dublin & Limerick pp. 73-99, deals with this aspect.

In fact "The lass among the heather" was so successful in its Scottish voice that when the Glasgow Poet's Box printed it on a ballad sheet it included this note:

Glasgow, Poet's Box [Saturday morning, 26th Nov., 1859]
Blooming Heather [Price One Penny]

"This splendid piece of Scotch colloquial poetry is one of the most touching and sublime of its class. The eloquent and sublime outpourings of the love-stricken swain are here portrayed in that sweetness of thought and expression which can alone flow from a tender and affectionate heart. How to woo and how to win is a problem which has puzzled the brains of many a thousands youthful lovers; but now their hearts may be rejoiced and gladdened, for they will here find this great problem solved. Haste then, ye who would win the tender affection and love of the fair sex, and obtain copies of this sweet Scottish song. It can only be had at the Poet's Box, 6 St Andrew's Lane, off Gallowgate, Glasgow."


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