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Origins: Patrick Sheehan / The Glen of Aherlow

DigiTrad:
PATRICK SHEEHAN


tanudel@infonie.fr 02 May 97 - 05:05 PM
Martin Ryan 29 May 97 - 10:35 AM
D Terrell 04 Jun 97 - 01:06 PM
Martin Ryan 23 Jun 97 - 04:38 AM
Bobby O'Brien 23 Jun 97 - 06:08 AM
Jim Dixon 15 Dec 07 - 11:30 PM
MartinRyan 16 Dec 07 - 06:43 AM
Gulliver 16 Dec 07 - 07:34 AM
MartinRyan 16 Dec 07 - 10:32 AM
GUEST,woodsie 16 Dec 07 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,DK 16 Dec 07 - 09:51 PM
Gulliver 17 Dec 07 - 12:24 PM
Snuffy 18 Dec 07 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,aidan heffernan 13 Jun 11 - 03:07 PM
Thompson 13 Jun 11 - 08:51 PM
Joe Offer 16 Jun 18 - 04:01 AM
Jim Carroll 16 Jun 18 - 04:05 AM
Joe Offer 16 Jun 18 - 04:33 AM
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Subject: lyrics glen of Aherlow
From: tanudel@infonie.fr
Date: 02 May 97 - 05:05 PM

I am looking for the lyrics of glen of Aherlow can anyboby send them to me or tell me where i can find them on the web thank you


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Subject: RE: lyrics glen of Aherlow
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 29 May 97 - 10:35 AM

Any clues?

Regards


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Subject: RE: lyrics glen of Aherlow
From: D Terrell
Date: 04 Jun 97 - 01:06 PM

Are you thinking of the Irish tragic ballad "Patrick Sheehan"

Which starts: My name is Patrick Sheehan, my years are thrity-four, Tipperary is my native place .........

Andy M. Stewart has a version on By The Hush. the liner notes say the song was written by Charles Joseph Kickham, Circa mid-1800's


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Subject: RE: lyrics glen of Aherlow
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 23 Jun 97 - 04:38 AM

"Patrick Sheehan" is in the new edition of the Digital Tradition.

Regards


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Subject: RE: lyrics glen of Aherlow
From: Bobby O'Brien
Date: 23 Jun 97 - 06:08 AM

"Glen of Aherlow" was recorded by my aunt, Margo, in Ireland back in the 1970s and Id be happy to send you a copy on tape. Email me: kincasslagh@worldnet.att.net


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Subject: Lyr Add: PATRICK SHEEHAN / GLEN OF AHERLOW
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Dec 07 - 11:30 PM

The following lyrics and note were found in Street Ballads, Popular Poetry, and Household Songs of Ireland, edited by Duncathail (pseud.), 1865.

PATRICK SHEEHAN.
Street Ballad.
CHARLES J. KICKHAM.
Air—"Irish Molly, O."

MY name is Patrick Sheehan,
My years are thirty-four;
Tipperary is my native place,
Not far from Galtymore:
I came of honest parents,
But now they're lying low;
And many a pleasant day I spent
In the Glen of Aherlow.

My father died; I closed his eyes
Outside our cabin door;
The landlord and the sheriff too
Were there the day before!
And then my loving mother,
And sisters three also,
Were forced to go with broken hearts
From the Glen of Aherlow.

For three long months, in search of work,
I wandered far and near;
I went then to the poor-house,
For to see my mother dear;
The news I heard nigh broke my heart;
But still, in all my woe,
I blessed the friends who made their graves
In the Glen of Aherlow.

Bereft of home and kith and kin,
With plenty all around,
I starved within my cabin,
And slept upon the ground;
But cruel as my lot was,
I ne'er did hardship know
'Till I joined the English army,
Far away from Aherlow.

"Rouse up there," says the Corporal,
"You lazy Hirish hound;
Why don't you hear, you sleepy dog,
The call 'to arms' sound?"
Alas, I had been dreaming
Of days long, long ago;
I woke before Sebastopol,
And not in Aherlow.

I groped to find my musket—
How dark I thought the night!
O blessed God, it was not dark,
It was the broad daylight!
And when I found that I was blind,
My tears began to flow;
I longed for even a pauper's grave
In the Glen of Aherlow.

O blessed Virgin Mary,
Mine is a mournful tale;
A poor blind prisoner here I am,
In Dublin's dreary gaol;
Struck blind within the trenches,
Where I never feared the foe;
And now I'll never see again
My own sweet Aherlow!

A poor neglected mendicant,
I wandered through the street;
My nine months' pension now being out,
I beg from all I meet:
As I joined my country's tyrants,
My face I'll never show
Among the kind old neighbours,
In the Glen of Aherlow.

Then, Irish youths, dear countrymen,
Take heed of what I say;
For if you join the English ranks,
You'll surely rue the day;
And whenever you are tempted
A soldiering to go,
Remember poor blind Sheehan
Of the Glen of Aherlow.

This we found among the street ballad-slips of Dublin and of Cork. On inquiry, we discovered, that it had been written by Charles J. Kickham, of Mullinahone, Co. Tipperary; who, on reading the facts as they were recorded in the newspapers of the day, immediately penned them in the above form of a street ballad, which instantly made its way into the hands of those who cater literature for the illiterate in the form of halfpenny ballads, and became at once a favourite with the people.

[Additional note found at Musical Traditions:]

Text written by Charles Joseph Kickham (1828 - 1882), who based it on a true story of one Patrick Sheehan who was blinded at Sebastopol. Sheehan was later jailed for begging in Grafton Street, Dublin, his British army pension having expired after six [sic] months. Kickham's poem was first published in 1857.

[Joe Heaney sings the same song, under the title GLEN OF AHERLOW, on the album "Road from Connemara," Topic CD 518, 2000.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Glen of Aherlow
From: MartinRyan
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 06:43 AM

The air "Irish Molly, O" referred to will be the one better known as "THe Sash My Father Wore."

Regards
p.s. I've never heard "Patrick Sheehan" sung, curiously enough. Anyone heard it "in the wild" - at sessions etc.?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Glen of Aherlow
From: Gulliver
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 07:34 AM

I used to sing most of the verses. I learned it in the 1980s from a tape done by a German group who played Irish music. The air that they sang it to was similar to "Lily of the West", but slower of course. I don't know whether this was the original air or whether they adapted it, but it was easy to play on the guitar, which I was learning at the time. I might try re-learning it.

Don


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Glen of Aherlow
From: MartinRyan
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 10:32 AM

"lily of the West" is sung to several tunes. My own favourite is a slow, stretched version of "Star of the County Down"

REgards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Glen of Aherlow
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 12:10 PM

Never heard of the song before. But I have been to the Glen of Aherlow. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. We were fishing in a crystal clear stream for trout the like that I had never seen before! They were swimming around our feet as we waded upstream, bright metallic rainbow hues. The scenery surrounding us was like a dream. This was in 1980. I hear that the stream was later polluted by sillage and thousands of fish died. What is it like there nowadays?


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Subject: Lyr Add: GLEN OF AHERLOW
From: GUEST,DK
Date: 16 Dec 07 - 09:51 PM

I have this lyric sung by Margo on a compilation CD, it's possibly the one referred to above, the credit on the tracklist just has 'Kickham', but I don't think that it's one of Charles Joseph's.



GLEN OF AHERLOW

Chorus:
Softly the spinning wheel's turning,
There in the moon's magic glow,
A young girl her wedding gown spinning,
In the glen of Aherlow.

At one time my love was a free man,
Free as the light winds of May,
But the mood and the times were a-changing,
Our love to a dream gave away.
His dream of a life everlasting,
In a far distant city of gold,
Where wealth was just there for the taking,
My love bought the stories they told.
Cho:

He left with a prayer and a promise,
He'd return for to make me his bride,
But now sure he writes all in sorrow,
His dream was as false as his pride.
But still he'll return as he promised,
No richer, but wiser by far,
And we'll wed with our love as a dowry,
As one we'll be richer by far.
Cho:

As the soft morning dew was still clinging,
To the rare gentle blossoms of May,
The maid and her dreamer together,
To a fair Aherlow wedding day.
A day that cruel wealth could not humble,
Or pride could not scatter or dim,
Her faith in the love of a free man,
Was all that her lover could win.
Cho:


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Glen of Aherlow
From: Gulliver
Date: 17 Dec 07 - 12:24 PM

There's a short audio clip of the song on this site:

www.chivalry.com/cantaria/lyrics/patricksheehan.html

Don


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Glen of Aherlow
From: Snuffy
Date: 18 Dec 07 - 08:52 AM

The tune for Skibbereen would go well with Kickham's words.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Glen of Aherlow
From: GUEST,aidan heffernan
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 03:07 PM

I remember a singer called Gerry Burns singing the "Patrick Sheehan" song on a 45rpm disc. It may have been the Waltons label. Burns sang with a ceilie band. I think it was Jackie Hearst or a band of that time in the middle 60s.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Glen of Aherlow
From: Thompson
Date: 13 Jun 11 - 08:51 PM

What's it like now, you ask. Like this.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Patrick Sheehan / The Glen of Aherlow
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jun 18 - 04:01 AM

One more version that shouldn't be missed.

Thread #164340   Message #3931127
Posted By: Jim Carroll
16-Jun-18 - 03:22 AM
Thread Name: Traditional songs about disabilities
Subject: RE: Traditional songs about disabilities

One of the most powerful and influential songs about blindness in Ireland was oriinally written as an inducement noot to join the British Army in the latter half of the 19th century - it ended up changing the laws regarding the treatment of wounded veterans

Patrick Sheehan
Patrick Sheehan (Laws J11; Roud 983)
Tom Lenihan Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay Recorded 1977
Carroll Mackenzie Collection        

My name is Patrick Sheehan, and my years are thirty-four;
Tipperary is my native place, not far from Galtymore;
I came of honest parents but now they are laid low
And many a pleasant day I spent in the Glen of Aherlow.

My father died, he closed his eyes outside our cabin door;
The landlord and the sheriff, too, were there the day before;
And then my loving mother, and sisters three also,
Were forced to go with broken hearts from the Glen of Aherlow.

For three long months, in search of work, I wandered far and near;
I went into the poorhouse to see my mother dear.
The news I heard near broke my heart; but still, in all my woe,
I blessed the friends that made their graves in the Glen of Aherlow.

Bereft of home, and kith and kin with plenty all around;
I stayed within my cabin, and slept upon the ground.
But cruel as my lot was, I ne'er did hardship know
Till I joined the English army, far away from Aherlow.

‘Rise up there,’ says the corporal, ‘you lazy Irish hound,
Why don’t you see, you sleepy dog, the call to arms sound?’
Alas I had been dreaming of days long, long ago.
I awoke before Sebastopol, but not in Aherlow.

I grouped [groped] to find my rifle, how dark I thought the night;
Oh, blessed God, it was not dark; it was the broad daylight;
And when I found that I was blind, my tears began to flow;
I longed for even a pauper’s grave in the Glen of Aherlow.

Oh, Blessed Virgin Mary, mine is a mournful tale,
A poor blind prisoner here I am in England’s dreary jail;
Struck blind within the trenches where I never feared the foe,
And now I'll never see again my own sweet Aherlow.

Dear Irish youths, dear countrymen, take heed in what I say,
And if you join the English ranks you'll surely rue the day,
Whenever you are tempted a-soldiering to go,
Remember poor blind Sheehan from the Glen of Aherlow.


Conversation after the song between Tom Lenihan, Pat Mackenzie and Jim Carroll:
Tom: Patrick Sheehan is a ballad I bought from Bully Nevin years ago.
Jim: Yeah, so it was on the ballads?
Tom: It was on the ballads.


“‘Patrick Sheehan’ was written by author Charles Kickham (1826-1882) under the pseudonym Darby Ryan Junior, and was printed in 'The Kilkenny Journal' in October 1857. Its purpose was to protest the arrest in Dublin of a veteran soldier of that name who had been blinded in the trenches before Sebastopol and had been discharged on a pension of sixpence a day; at the time of his arrest the pension had expired. The song became very popular and was soon to be heard all over Ireland. It was said to have shamed the authorities into awarding Sheehan a life pension of a shilling a day. It has been found in America and as far afield as Australia. There appears to have been only one English version, got from a singer in Portsmouth Workhouse in 1907, taken down by George Gardiner. We recorded incomplete sets from several Travellers and full versions from Vincie Boyle and Martin Reidy."

Reference:
Songs of Irish Rebellion, Georges-Denis Zimmerman.
The Constant Lovers; Selections from the Hammond and Gardiner collection , Frank Purslow (ed).

LISTEN HERE
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Patrick Sheehan / The Glen of Aherlow
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jun 18 - 04:05 AM

Coincidentally, I posted this twenty minutes ago on the 'Disabilities' thread with a link to the recording
Soppky or what?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Patrick Sheehan / The Glen of Aherlow
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jun 18 - 04:33 AM

Hi, Jim - I re-posted your post from the "disabilities" thread. It is good to have it there, but I thought it would be easier to find if it were also posted here in a thread dedicated to the song. Not spooky - I'm just trying to be efficient. Here's what the Traditional Ballad Index has to say about this song:

Patrick Sheehan [Laws J11]

DESCRIPTION: Patrick and his family are forced from their home by the landlord. His mother dies in the poorhouse. Patrick has little choice but to join the British army. He is blinded at Sevastopol, and ends as a wandering beggar
AUTHOR: Charles Joseph Kickham ("Darby Ryan, Junior") (1828-1882)
EARLIEST DATE: 1857 ("First printed in The Kilkenny Journal, 7th October, 1857," according to Zimmermann)
KEYWORDS: war death family father begging injury
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
1853-1856 - Crimean War (Britain and France actively at war with Russia 1854-1855)
FOUND IN: US(MW,NE) Australia Ireland Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Laws J11, "Patrick Sheehan"
Purslow-Constant, pp. 64-65, "Patrick Sheehan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Meredith/Anderson, pp. 88-89, "Paddy Sheahan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Zimmermann 63, "Patrick Sheehan" (1 text, 1 tune)
Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan 39, "Patrick Sheehan" (2 texts, 1 tune)
O'Conor, p. 72, "Patrick Sheehan" (1 text)
Healy-OISBv2, pp. 115-117, "Patrick Sheehan" (1 text)
Dean, pp. 3-4, "Patrick Sheehan" (1 text)
cf. Gardner/Chickering, p. 481, "Patrick Sheehan" (source notes only)
DT 750, PATSHEEN*
ADDITIONAL: H. Halliday Sparling, Irish Minstrelsy (London, 1888), pp. 214-216, 502, "Patrick Sheehan"

Roud #983
RECORDINGS:
Vincie Boyle, "Patrick Sheehan" (on IRClare01)
BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, 2806 b.11(48), "Patrick Shean" or "The Glen of Aherloe," H. Such (London), 1863-1885; also 2806 b.10(204), Firth c.14(124), "Patrick Shean" or "The Glen of Aherloe"; 2806 c.8(300), "Patrick Sheehan" or "The Glen of Aherlow"
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Lovely Jamie" (plot)
NOTES [483 words]: The author attribution to Charles Kickham is from the Bodleian broadsides cited.
Yates, Musical Traditions site Voice of the People suite "Notes - Volume 8" - 1.3.03, re "The Glen of Atherlow" instrumental: "Text written by Charles Joseph Kickham (1828 - 1882), who based it on a true story of one Patrick Sheehan who was blinded at Sebastopol. Sheehan was later jailed for begging in Grafton Street, Dublin, his British army pension having expired after six months. Kickham's poem was first published in 1857."
Zimmermann: "On 28th September, 1857, The Freeman's Journal published the following information: 'A young man named Patrick Sheehan was brought up in custody of Police-constable Lynam, charged with causing an obstruction to the thoroughfare in Grafton-street. The constable stated that the prisoner was loitering in Grafton-street for the purpose of begging, having a placard on his breast setting forth that he had served in the Crimea in the 55th regiment; that he had lost his sight in the trenches before Sebastopol, and that he was discharged on a pension of six pence per day for nine months; and that this period being now expired, he was now obliged to have recourse to begging to support himself. A Crimean medal was found on his person... The prisoner was committed for seven days for begging.'"
Notes to IRClare01: "The ballad was soon to be heard in the streets all over Ireland, and was thought to have shamed the government into enquiring about the ex-soldier, to whom a life pension of a shilling a day was granted." - BS
Kickham's most important work is generally considered to be the novel Knocknagow. His dates seem to have caused some uncertainty; Laws quotes Barry to the effect that he was born in 1826; earlier editions of the Index quoted a birthdate of 1825, on what basis I no longer recall. But the majority of my references give his birth date as 1828.
Kickham had seemed destined for a career as a doctor when a shooting accident left him half-blind, almost deaf, and badly disfigured. He nonetheless became a successful author and poet -- and a vigorous nationalist, strongly attacking the Catholic church for its passivity in the quest for Irish independence.
By 1848, he was involved in nationalist causes. In 1861, he joined the Fenian Brotherhood, which evolved into the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Around 1873, he became president of the IRB's Supreme Council, holding the post until his death and rebuilding it after the debacle of the Fenian Rebellion.
It will be evident that his personal experiences contributed at least somewhat to the content of this song, though Kickham's family was sufficiently well-off that there was never any threat of him being forced from his home.
Healy-OISBv2, pp. 159-160, prints a piece, "The Immortal Kickham Is No More." There is no evidence that it's traditional, but it shows his historical importance. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
File: LJ11

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