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Roger O'Hehir/O'Hare

Dave Ruch 09 Aug 10 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,^&* 09 Aug 10 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,^&* 09 Aug 10 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,%^& 09 Aug 10 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,^&* 09 Aug 10 - 06:07 PM
Dave Ruch 10 Aug 10 - 11:09 AM
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Subject: Roger O'Hehir/O'Hare
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 05:08 PM

Ellen Stekert collected a version of this Irish song (broadside?) from Ezra "Fuzzy" Barhight, a NY/PA lumberjack and farmer, in the 1950's. Barhight learned much of his material in the Potter County PA lumbercamps, and also from Irish farmers in Allegany County NY, from the 1880's-1930's or so.

I can't find much on it, aside from the fact that Planxty recorded a version of it in 1980, and they credit Sam Henry as their source. Would love to know more. It seems to have been rarely collected in America.

Here's Barhight's version, with one addition to flush out the text where the recording suffered (from the Planxty version, in quotes), and question marks (?) where I couldn't make out Barhight's words:

ROGER O'HARE – as sung by Ezra "Fuzzy" Barhight

In my first proceedings I took roguish ways, I then took to rambling my mind for to please
You will hear how it ended I vow & declare, and what was the end of poor Roger O'Hare

There was a rich baker lived in Newry town, and the pride(?) of his shop I could always pull down
So he went to his neighbors and he bid them beware, to keep bolted doors against Roger O'Hare

So early next morning there rose a great row, the guards they were sent for and quick set about
I heard they were coming but I didn't much care, that very same night they took Roger O'Hare

Then to Newry guardhouse they marched me straight, and little they thought how I would them deceive
One said to the other "he'll ramble no more", that very same night Newry Lake I sailed o'er

When I got safe over I made no delay, for to rob a rich farmer I straight took my way
But I being quite tipsy as I entered the room, to tell you the truth I came near to my doom

Well the farmer he lie asleep on his bed, he had a strong(?) guard that night at his head
Which lay hold of me as I entered the room, says they by the (? – sounds like hoker) "here's Roger again"

Then to Newry guardhouse again I was sent, for to hang the next day it was their intent
But I heard of the news, (put me in a fright, I broke Newry guardhouse that very same night)

Then I fell in love with Jane Sharky by name, that is the worst action I own to my fame
That innocent girl I stole her away, on purpose her innocent heart to betray

Her parents pursued me in the town of Betwinn(?), surrounded I was and was taken again
And they marched me to prison without more delay, & I broke the jail door and let twelve more away

And then from Old England back home I did steer, for to stay in that place I did much in fear
And rather than beg I done what was worse, to get myself money I stole a fine horse

It was in old Ireland the horse was stolen, and eighty gold guineas for him in my hand
But the other rich things(?) that I put him in, that horse was found out I was taken again

Poor Roger'd been taken and always got free, but now it came his turn to march to the tree
His dumb foolish action he then did declare, and that is the end of poor Roger O'Hare


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Subject: RE: Roger O'Hehir/O'Hare
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 05:34 PM

Interesting. A quick look at the standard Sam Henry text shows nothing of that name - but it may be in there alright.

Roud's index points to James N Healy's "Old Irish Street Ballads" Vol. 3 where there's a set that matches pretty closely with yours. The town to which the parents followed was Trim, incidentally!

Healy cites a ballad sheet by Brereton, well known Dublin publishers, as his source.


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Subject: RE: Roger O'Hehir/O'Hare
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 05:39 PM

There are several versions in the Bodleian collection HERE - just search on "roger" for simplicity.


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Subject: RE: Roger O'Hehir/O'Hare
From: GUEST,%^&
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 05:55 PM

Wonder if the Roger mentioned in THIS page was our friend?!


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Subject: RE: Roger O'Hehir/O'Hare
From: GUEST,^&*
Date: 09 Aug 10 - 06:07 PM

And it is, indeed, in Sam Henry - as "Eight Mile Bridge", with "Roger O'Hehir" as alternative title. Placenames and trades referenced are more local, as expected.


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Subject: RE: Roger O'Hehir/O'Hare
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 10 Aug 10 - 11:09 AM

GUEST,^&* - great references, thanks! Since Roger was already dead in 1824 (the latest date for the Wm Armstrong Liverpool version), perhaps the Roger mentioned in the 1848 report was a relative.

The Roud Index doesn't list a single version collected from oral tradition. Interesting that it turned up on the NY/PA border.

Here's my latest crack at Barhight's lyrics, using the various broadside versions to clear up some of the previous question marks:

ROGER O'HARE – as sung by Ezra "Fuzzy" Barhight

In my first proceedings I took roguish ways, I then took to rambling my mind for to please
You will hear how it ended I vow & declare, and what was the end of poor Roger O'Hare

There was a rich baker lived in Newry town, and the pride of his shop I could always pull down
So he went to his neighbors and he bid them beware, to keep bolted doors against Roger O'Hare

So early next morning there rose a great row, the guards they were sent for and quick set about
I heard they were coming but I didn't much care, that very same night they took Roger O'Hare

Then to Newry guardhouse they marched me straight, and little they thought how I would them deceive
One said to the other "he'll ramble no more", that very same night Newry Lake I sailed o'er

When I got safe over I made no delay, for to rob a rich farmer I straight took my way
But I being quite tipsy as I entered the room, to tell you the truth I came near to my doom

Well the farmer he lie asleep on his bed, he had a strong guard that night at his head
Which lay hold of me as I entered the room, says they by the hoker "here's Roger again"

Then to Newry guardhouse again I was sent, for to hang the next day it was their intent
But I heard of the news, (put me in a fright, I broke Newry guardhouse that very same night)

Then I fell in love with Jane Sharky by name, that is the worst action I own to my fame
That innocent girl I stole her away, on purpose her innocent heart to betray

Her parents pursued me in the town of Betwinn, surrounded I was and was taken again
And they marched me to prison without more delay, & I broke the jail door and let twelve more away

And then from Old England back home I did steer, for to stay in that place I did much in fear
And rather than beg I done what was worse, to get myself money I stole a fine horse

It was in old Ireland the horse was stolen, and eighty gold guineas for him in my hand
But there was a rich stage that I put him in, that horse was found out I was taken again

Poor Roger'd been taken and always got free, but now it came his turn to march to the tree
His dumb foolish action he then did declare, and that is the end of poor Roger O'Hare


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