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Lyr Req: Emigrant song sung in Donegal

GUEST,Donalldubh 09 Apr 12 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,brooko 12 Apr 12 - 03:15 PM
Owen Woodson 12 Apr 12 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,brooko 15 Apr 12 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,Donalldubh 15 Apr 12 - 12:59 PM
Owen Woodson 15 Apr 12 - 01:32 PM
Matthew Edwards 15 Apr 12 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,donalldubh 16 Apr 12 - 05:03 PM
GUEST,Donal 17 Apr 12 - 12:50 AM
Eoin O'Buadhaigh 17 Apr 12 - 07:27 AM
Owen Woodson 17 Apr 12 - 07:40 AM
Eoin O'Buadhaigh 18 Apr 12 - 05:50 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Emigrant song sung in Donegal
From: GUEST,Donalldubh
Date: 09 Apr 12 - 03:13 PM

Hi all,
I'm looking into a song that was apparently known to be sung in Donegal to emigrants leaving for NA in the 1800's. There is brief mention of this in several books, but no name/tune/lyrics. I don't know if it has any connection to droichead na ndeor, in Donegal, but was rather just a traditional parting tune sung to the emigrants. I also unfortunately have no idea if this was in Irish or English (either would do fine). I'm assuming the obvious ones are not it as they are all later broadsheets (i.e. Cutting the Corn in Creeslough, The Shores of Amerikay, green fields of canada, etc.)
Anyone know what this might be?
Thanks
Dónall


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Emigrant song sung in Donegal
From: GUEST,brooko
Date: 12 Apr 12 - 03:15 PM

Hello Donall
there is a song called the emigrant that was written by John Connolly.I sing in a shanty crew and one of our group sings this song.If you think this might be the one you are looking for i will get him to send me the lyrics,and i will put them on here.
brooko


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Emigrant song sung in Donegal
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 12 Apr 12 - 03:34 PM

Jeez Donal, there's nothing like having plenty of hard facts to work from. If you can lay your hands on a copy of Title: Irish Emigrant Ballads and Songs, edited by Robert L Wright, and published by Bowling Green Press, it may be in there.

Alternatively, can you list some of the books where you've seen this song referred to? That might give us a clue.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Emigrant song sung in Donegal
From: GUEST,brooko
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 10:15 AM

the emigrant song i know is from John Conolly,on his album Ranters Wharf


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Emigrant song sung in Donegal
From: GUEST,Donalldubh
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 12:59 PM

Owen, I don't believe I have ever gotten such a rude response on this forum.
The book which I have at hand reads as follows:

"In Donegal there is a song which was traditionally sung to those who were going overseas, and there is a legend in that same county that the many seagulls wheeling over the shore are the souls of Irish emigrants, returned at last to their homeland." – Valley Irish, pg. 4, Carol Bennett, juniper books, 1983, Renfrew, Ontario

I would assume that this song is likely in the Irish, and is obviously not a new composition.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Emigrant song sung in Donegal
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 01:32 PM

Donall,

In that case forget it. I won't help you any further. There was nothing rude whatsoever in my response. Just a sense of bewilderment that anyone could be crass enough to post such a vague question in view of the hundreds of emigration songs which must have existed in Donegal.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Emigrant song sung in Donegal
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 04:27 PM

Donall, I don't think Owen was being rude to you, at least not in his first post, but was only expressing his exasperation at such an intriguing but vague request. Do check out the source he mentions, and also John Moulden's booklet 'Thousands Are Sailing' if you can get hold of it. I'm away from home so I can't check it myself. However a bit of Googling for "American Wakes Donegal" suggests that Mici Mac Gabhann's autobiography 'Rotha Mor an tSaoil' contains an account of a Donegal American wake, and that there are more accounts to be found in the writings of the brothers Seosamh and Seamus Mac Grianna. There is a copy of a description of an American Wake by Seamus Mac Grianna, but nothing to say where it comes from.

I don't think there was any particular pattern to emigration ceremonies, involving any specific songs poems or customs until quite late into the 19th century when the practice of the "American wake" evolved. I'd expect songs of blessing or parting to have been used, but the songs you mention are very much songs of exile composed from the Irish-American perspective. I have seen an unsubstantiated claim that 'The Parting Glass' was a song at American wakes, but it seems more likely that it was simply a well-known song that could be pressed into service on such an occasion.

Matthew


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Emigrant song sung in Donegal
From: GUEST,donalldubh
Date: 16 Apr 12 - 05:03 PM

Owen
I apologize if I took your post incorrectly. I was having a rough day, as I'm sure we all do. The problem with typing is that the underlying emotion cannot be conveyed in what is on the screen.

Matthew
Yes, I have heard this. From my current searchies, it seams the original sources I was reading were wrong. The songs were traditional Caoineadh songs that were sung at the living wakes to the emigrants. I'm guessing the later writers heard one such caoineadh and thought all the others would be the same (being that they didn't speak Irish).
Thanks for your help everyone, this is exactly what I was hoping for. While I didn't end up with a particular song, I've ended up with many more possibilities.
GRMA


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Emigrant song sung in Donegal
From: GUEST,Donal
Date: 17 Apr 12 - 12:50 AM

This is from Cavan, not Donegal, but it gives some idea of an 'American Wake.' It's from P.W. Joyce's Irish Peasant Songs.

SWEET COOTEHILL TOWN.

        This song comes from Cootehill in the County Cavan. How it got to Limerick, where I heard it,
is more than I can tell; and indeed I know nothing whatever about it save that I learned it when a
mere child from the inimitable singing of Dave Dwane of Glenosheen, the best local singer we had. I
heard him sing it for the last time at an "American Wake," i.e. a meeting of friends on the
evening before the departure of several young people for America, as a farewell celebration. The
song was very suitable for the occasion: and poor Dave, who was himself going away with the
others, sang it with such intense feeling and power, that the whole company, men, women, and
children, were in tears. That is now more than sixty years ago; and to this hour I find it hard to
restrain tears when I recall the scene.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Emigrant song sung in Donegal
From: Eoin O'Buadhaigh
Date: 17 Apr 12 - 07:27 AM

Owen do you realise how hard it is to get that book, I have been trying for years and can't get it anywhere.

Not trying to advertise but . . . Jim MacFarland and Jackie Boyce brought ou a CD in 2008 'Our Ship She Lies Ready' that has sixteen emigration songs of Ireland.

Eoin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Emigrant song sung in Donegal
From: Owen Woodson
Date: 17 Apr 12 - 07:40 AM

Donall. No worries. We all get a bit overheated from time to time.

Eoin. Amazon USA has a couple of copies in http://www.amazon.com/Irish-Emigrant-Ballads-Robert-Wright/dp/0879721049 .

Plus Amazon UK has some at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Emigrant-Ballads-Wright-Robert-Edited/dp/0879721049/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334662644&sr=1-1


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Emigrant song sung in Donegal
From: Eoin O'Buadhaigh
Date: 18 Apr 12 - 05:50 AM

Many thanks for that information.

Eoin


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