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Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine

DigiTrad:
MAKING BABIES BY STEAM


Related threads:
(DTStudy) DTStudy: Making Babies By Steam (27)
Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell (2)


AKS 21 Oct 99 - 07:58 AM
Wolfgang 21 Oct 99 - 08:14 AM
Melbert 21 Oct 99 - 08:16 AM
Wolfgang 21 Oct 99 - 08:19 AM
AKS 21 Oct 99 - 09:09 AM
Reiver 2 21 Oct 99 - 01:28 PM
Marki 21 Oct 99 - 02:03 PM
Melbert 21 Oct 99 - 03:52 PM
Martin _Ryan 21 Oct 99 - 04:05 PM
Melbert 21 Oct 99 - 06:44 PM
Jon Freeman 21 Oct 99 - 10:19 PM
AKS 22 Oct 99 - 03:44 AM
Barbara 22 Oct 99 - 06:13 AM
AKS 22 Oct 99 - 07:48 AM
Barbara 22 Oct 99 - 12:29 PM
Barbara 22 Oct 99 - 12:45 PM
Melbert 22 Oct 99 - 02:48 PM
AKS 23 Oct 99 - 05:02 PM
Reiver 2 23 Oct 99 - 10:33 PM
Susanne (skw) 24 Oct 99 - 08:58 PM
Barbara 25 Oct 99 - 03:04 AM
Philippa 25 Oct 99 - 03:39 PM
Reiver 2 03 Nov 99 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,Philippa 24 May 02 - 12:03 PM
GUEST,Philippa 24 May 02 - 12:12 PM
Wolfgang 27 May 02 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,Philippa 27 May 02 - 03:04 PM
GUEST,Philippa 01 Jun 02 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Phil 01 Jun 02 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Philippa 01 Jun 02 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,Philippa 01 Jun 02 - 07:26 PM
Leeder 02 Jun 02 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,Philippa 02 Jun 02 - 05:51 PM
Leeder 03 Jun 02 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Philippa 04 Jun 02 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,Philippa 19 Jun 02 - 12:02 PM
GUEST,Philippa 19 Jun 02 - 02:15 PM
GUEST,ransacker 19 Jun 02 - 02:20 PM
Leeder 19 Jun 02 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,Philippa 20 Jun 02 - 05:57 AM
Joe Offer 20 Jun 02 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Philippa 20 Jun 02 - 03:49 PM
MMario 20 Jun 02 - 03:57 PM
Barbara 21 Jun 02 - 10:46 PM
GUEST,Philippa 22 Jun 02 - 03:56 AM
Barbara 22 Jun 02 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,Philippa 25 Jun 02 - 10:57 AM
Barbara 25 Jun 02 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Philippa 26 Jun 02 - 12:18 PM
MMario 05 Jul 02 - 09:56 AM
GUEST,Philippa 21 Nov 02 - 06:47 PM
David Ingerson 21 Nov 02 - 08:44 PM
Felipa 22 Jan 03 - 06:13 PM
MMario 22 Jan 03 - 06:23 PM
MMario 22 Jan 03 - 06:25 PM
Artful Codger 12 Dec 08 - 06:49 AM
olddude 12 Dec 08 - 11:00 AM
MartinRyan 12 Dec 08 - 01:22 PM
olddude 12 Dec 08 - 11:15 PM
MartinRyan 13 Dec 08 - 07:34 AM
GUEST 30 May 09 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,Margaret 16 Jul 14 - 02:12 PM
Jim Carroll 17 Jul 14 - 03:13 AM
Lighter 17 Jul 14 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,Noreen 18 Jul 14 - 08:24 AM
GUEST,Dale O'Donnell Sease 23 Mar 15 - 09:58 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Mar 15 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,# 23 Mar 15 - 11:39 AM
GUEST 29 Sep 16 - 01:14 PM
meself 29 Sep 16 - 05:55 PM
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GUEST,Philippa 26 Mar 18 - 08:09 AM
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Subject: ADD: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: AKS
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 07:58 AM

Hello all 'ye lovers of mirth'! Does anybody know what is the story behind 'O'Connell making children in Dublin by steam' and 'Lord Lieutenant not letting them be made the old way' as referred in the 'ditty' below?

I transcribed the lyrics (with some unclear / incorrect spots) from a cassette which I believe is a copy of a copy of some low-cost collection of Irish music 'for tourists', don't know the performers because there's only a hand written list of titles on. But the story struck me on first hearing: this is how the newsgroups / chats worked before!
Any idea of the author(s)?


Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine


Ye lovers of mirth I pray pay attention
and listen to what I'm about to relate
concerning a couple I overheard talking
as I was returning late home from a wake
as I rode along I met an old woman
who sat 'neath a cap just a-milking her cow
she was jigging the tune 'all come haste to the wedding'
or some other ditty I can't tell you now

On looking around me I spied a bold tinker
who only by chance came a-strolling that way
the weather being fine sure he sat down beside her
what news honest man this old woman did say
ah 't's no news at all mam replied the bold tinker
but the people will wish that ye never had been
(be sat ??... that) Daniel O'Connell
he's now making children in Dublin by steam

Arrah children (a-rue) then replied the old woman
or (...) is he crazy at last
is there a sign of a war or a sudden rebellion
or what is the reason he wants them so fast?
it's not that at all m'am replied the bold tinker
but the children of Ireland are getting so small
it's O'Connell's petition to the new Lord Lieutenant
that'll not let us make them the old way at all

By this pipe in me mouth then replied the old woman
and that's a great oath on me soul for to say
I'm only a woman but if I was near him
I'll bet you me life sure 'tis little he'd say
for the people of Ireland 'tis very well known
they give him their earning so needing it bad
and now he is well recompensing them for it
by taking what little diversion they had

Long life to your courage replied the bold tinker
and long may you live and have youth on your side
and if all the young girls in Ireland were like you
O'Connell could throw his steam engine (one sight)
I think every girl that is in this old country
should begin making children as fast as they can
so if ever Her Majesty asks for an army
we'll be able to send her as many as done

Hope you enjoy!

Arto K Sallinen, Joensuu Finland


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 08:14 AM

Arto,
good song, I love it. I had posted it before, so maybe there you can find some of the bits you didn't find by listening: Daniel O'Connell .
However, I'd love to find out a bit more about this song too. I know it from the singing of Johnny McEvoy (could he be the one on your tape? He laughs very distinctively at one place on my record).

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Melbert
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 08:16 AM

The version I'm famliar with is on a Paddy Reilly album. The words are slightly different, I think, though the general story's the same.

It's described on the cassette jacket as "Traditional"

When I get chance I'll check the lyrics and transcribe.

Beyond that I'm as mystified as you are!

Best regards Mel


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 08:19 AM

Arto, if I read the lyrics you have posted I hear McEvoy singing. The lyrics I have posted are slightly different as you surely will see, but what you have posted is word for word what McEvoy sings (except for the unclear bits) on the LP-record "For the Poor and the Gentry".

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: AKS
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 09:09 AM

Wolfgang, there's no laughing on my tape so obviously it's not JMcE. The spot I had most difficulty with seems to be Gaelic, no wonder I didn't catch that!

Nice to see (here at MC that is) that I'm not the only one in the world interested in 'backgrounds'. But a few words on it in the form of a joke eg, if possible, makes good speaks on stage doesn't it!

So we still have to wait to see whether this story has any serious background or is it only making fun of the technical progression of modern times.

It isn't PR either, Mel, I think I'd recognise his voice even though the tape really is of poor quality.

Thanks a lot and regs Arto K Sallinen, North Karelia (that is the 'province')


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Reiver 2
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 01:28 PM

I have the Johnny McEvoy recording of "Daniel O'Connell" (complete with the laugh!)and, like others, have never really understood the references alluded to in the original post here.

I suspect that it has something to do with O'Connell's putting the Parliamentary Reform effort ahead of that of Repeal of the Union effort that he had earlier championed. He was thought by many to have abandoned the cause of Repeal. In 1834 O'Connell called on Ireland to try a six-year "experiment" to let Repeal remain in abeyance for that time and trust the Whig majority in the English Parliament to see that Irish interests were protected. Because of their high regard for O'Connell the Irish people supported him, and found that it had been a false hope, as several laws were quickly passed that only worsened conditions in the country. Seumas MacManus in "The story of the Irish Race" says, "It was little wonder that in the late 'Thirties the Whig-befooled (O'Connell) found his popularity waning..."

As I say, I SUSPECT the background of the song reflects the events of this period, since it seems to express an anti-O'Connell sentiment that is somewhat surprising considering his great popularity at that time. I'm not sure about this, however, and it certainly doesn't explain the references to making children by steam engine, etc. If anyone can throw light on the meaning behing the song (a fine song, by the way), I hope they'll do so! (The words as given by Wolfgang are pretty much what I have.)


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Marki
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 02:03 PM

It's also on a Dubliners album -- their 25th anniversary one, I believe. Paddy Reilly is singing lead on it. The words are clearer, but I'm afraid I don't get the meaning behind them either. Ever since I heard the song I have been wondering what the heck it means!


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Melbert
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 03:52 PM

The whole thing sounds like pure blarney to me!

Some of the lines I think arto has mis-heard I think go as follows:

Verse 3
Our children are ruined replied the old woman, or has the quare fellow gone crazy at last.....

Last verse

O'connel could thow his steam engine aside.....
We'd be able to send her as many as Dan.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 04:05 PM

Jeez! I must get new glasses. I read the thread title as "Daniel O Donnell & his steam engine"!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Melbert
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 06:44 PM

For Martin Ryan -

Well, maybe he has one! He can certainly afford it!


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Subject: Lyr Add: O'CONNELL'S STEAM ENGINE (The Dubliners)
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 10:19 PM

I have just tried to make out the words that Paddy Rielly sings on the Dubliners' "Celebration" lp - there are a couple of words that I'm guessing at but this should be close:

O people of heart, I pray pay attention.
Listen to what I'm about to relate
Concerning a couple I overheard talking
As I was returning late home from away.
As I rode along sure I saw an old woman
Who sat in the gap; she was milking her cow.
She was jigging that tune called "Make haste to the wedding"
Or some other ditty I can't tell you now.

Ah the next came along it was a bold tinker
Who happened be chance to be passing that way.
The day being fine, they sat down together.
"What news of that man?" the old woman did say.
"There's no news at all, ma'am," replied the bold tinker,
"For the people all wish that he never had been.
He's a damnable rogue of a Daniel O'Connell,
And he's now making babies in Dublin by steam."

"Ah, the children are ruined!" replied the old woman,
"Or has the quare fellow gone crazy at last?
Or is it the sign of a war or rebellion?
Or what is the reason he wants them so fast?"
"It's not that at all, ma'am," replied the bold tinker.
"The children of Ireland are getting too small.
It's O'Connell's petition to the new Lord Lieutenant,
And he won't let us make them the old way at all."

"By this pipe in me mouth," replied the old woman,
"And that's a strong oath on me soul for to say--
For I am an old woman, and if I was near him,
I'll bet you me life that he'd rue the day.
For the people of Ireland they're very well known,
They gave him their earnings, them needing them bad,
And now that he is recompensing them for it
By taking the only diversion they had."

"Long life to your courage(?)," replied the bold tinker.
"Long may you live now with youth on your side!
If all the young girls in Ireland were like you,
O'Connell could throw his steam engine aside.
If I had the young men of Ireland around me,
And girls making babies as fast as they can,
And whenever Her Majesty wanted an army,
We'll be able to send her as many as dam."

Jon


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: AKS
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 03:44 AM

Hello again, kind people and thanks plenty!

Now having put the slightly different versions - and Reiver2's historical reference - here together I think the whole story makes sence if understood as a political make-fun-of-somebody protest against O'Connell's 'loyalism' in the matter: O'Connell supports the Parliamentary Reform (=making children by steam) whereas the 'real' Irish (the old woman and even the tinkerman!) would prefer supporting the Repeal of the Union (making them the old way). Or am I judging poorly?

Still it would be interesting to know whether the song was written in 'real time' or perhaps later. Any reference out there?

Arto K Sallinen


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Barbara
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 06:13 AM

I have a tape of a 80+ year old Irish friend singing this song, and he explains beforehand what that bit is about.
YOu are right about how it pokes fun at O'Connell's support of the Brits, but he also says that there was some common misunderstanding of the day amongst the poor folk about what the newly invented steam engine was supposed to do. (Possibly because someone said it would do the work of many men; something like that). Let me find Paddy's tape and I'll post what he says. I can also check his words agianst yours.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: AKS
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 07:48 AM

What your friend says, Barbara, fits neatly into the picture here, doesn't it. People have always been rather suspicious about new technical inventions (must admit though, unfortunately, that in many cases the inventor himself should have been too).

terveisin (that's Finnish for 'with greetings') Arto K S


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Barbara
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 12:29 PM

Here's what Paddy Graber said about it:
It's almost impossible to give an Irish song without giving a history lesson along with it, so I'll start in right now. The song I'm going to sing next is called "Daniel O'Connell", and it's about a man who's a member of parliament, and he was known as "the great Liberator", God knows for why, for he had a voting record like Barry Goldwater. Actually he'd lived through the rebellion of 1798 and he'd seen the terrible things that had happened at that particular time to the Irish, and it just broke his heart, he didn't want to see anything like that happen again.
When the potato famine -- the Irish call it "the Great Starvation"; the English call it "the Potato Famine" -- when it came in 1845, 1846, he thought he would help the Irish people by voting to bring in a law which was known as "the repeal of the corn law" which in theory would make corn cheaper and the Irish people wouldn't need to die of starvation.
But because they couldn't own their own land, they had to rent land and they would grow crops and raise grain and cattle for export and from what little profit they could make from that, they were able to rent a small patch of land to raise potatoes. When the potatoes failed, of course, everybody died. And they were getting less for their grain so they couldn't even afford to rent the ground. [let alone buy corn at any price].
I guess the last temptation is the greatest (t)reason to do the wrong thing thing for the right reason. I guess he thought he was doing the best, but it certainly didn't work out that way.
He also invented [founded] the Bank of Ireland, and then of course he needed somewhere to invest the money, and he'd heard that Stephenson's Rocket had run from Manchester to Liverpool just a few years before, so he petitioned the High Lord Leftenant of Ireland, and he said in his petition, "If we only had a steam engine, it would be the making of future generations."
Well, the tinkers, the gypsies of Ireland, they heard this and they thought he was trying to make children by steam. This is where this particular song came from.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Barbara
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 12:45 PM

And as for the words, Paddy sings the same as yours with only slight variations until you get to the last verse.Then it goes like this:

I am an old woman what's going on eighty
Scarsely a tooth in me head's to be seen
If the villain provokes me I'd make better children
Than ever he could with his engine of steam.
"Long life to you, woman," declared the bold tinker,
"Oh, long may ye live and have youth on your side,
And if all the young girls in ould Ireland were like ye,
O'Connell could lave[leave] his steam engine aside."

Now I hope all the people what live in this country
Ye'll start making children as fast as ye can,
And if ever Her Majesty calls for an army,
We'll be able to send her as many as Dan.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Melbert
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 02:48 PM

Ah! Now the song comes to life!!!!


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: AKS
Date: 23 Oct 99 - 05:02 PM

Problem solved, thank you Barbara! The moon shines, it's past midnight here and my flu feels to be giving up, so off to bed I am. Good night and joy be with you all, kind people out there.

Arto K S


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Reiver 2
Date: 23 Oct 99 - 10:33 PM

Barbara, that's fantastic! Now the incomprehensible begins to make perfect sense! Thanks so much. I never wanted to sing the song in public before because I couldn't explain what it was about, in case someone asked. Now that problem is solved. Great work and thanks again!


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 24 Oct 99 - 08:58 PM

Barbara, thank you ever so much! That song has always puzzled me. BTW, I've tried to find corroboration for Paddy's intro, but the only book on Daniel O'Connell I have only takes his story up to 1829. It is Oliver MacDonagh's 'Hereditary Bondsman' (1986). In his preface he promises a second volume. Has anyone come across it?

What I thought might be relevant to the song was O'Connell's reputation as a womaniser and father of countless illegitimate children. But MacDonagh states categorically that no evidence of this can be found at all, and explains it as a normal part of a myth growing up around a great public figure. Well, I don't know. - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Barbara
Date: 25 Oct 99 - 03:04 AM

Y'know, this thread is an eye opener for me, too. Paddy's something of a local character, and besides knowing all the words and tunes to everything, he can talk both hind legs off a donkey. After a bit, I often find myself glancing around and sidling off.
I felt before his need for others to hear the information he has; this thread is making me realize that they AREN'T common knowledge, a lot of the things he talks about. I am seeing that he is our local custodian of oral Irish history, and that, like many other struggles, a lot of Irish history is missing, or has been rewritten.

He tells a fascinating story of his life and travels, and I've heard people laugh and question his veracity, but while it sounds fantastical, I'm not at all sure he's making it up. He IS an Irish storyteller, and singer, and good at it. So he may very well embellish.

He's a window to another time, and another way of passing information, and one that I almost overlooked.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Philippa
Date: 25 Oct 99 - 03:39 PM

I don't know Paddy, but I also heard that the song was based on O'Connell saying that the steam engine would be the making of future generations.
The references to needing recruits for Her Majesty's army reminds me of Swift's satirical 'Modest Proposal' to breed Irish babies to feed the English.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Reiver 2
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 06:26 PM

I'd never heard or seen references to O'Connell as a womanizer and father of countless illigitimate children. Frankly, I doubt it. In her book "An Illustrated History of Ireland", published in 1868 and republished in 1995, the author, Mary Frances Cusack "The Nun of Kenmare", rhapsodizes about O'Connell in words like, "O'Connell represented Ireland, and Ireland was represented by O'Connell. We have had our great men and our good men, our brave men and our true men; but to my poor thinking, the greatest of our men was O'Connell - for whoever approached him in his mighty power of ruling a nation by moral suasion only?"

She goes on at great length, calling him "the best of our men", the "bravest", the "truest", and one of the "best and noblest patriots which the world has ever seen." I've had little contact during my life with Catholic nuns, but somehow, I find it difficult to think that good Sister Mary Frances would have felt so strongly positive about him if he had been an immoral philanderer and profligate! Of course, I could be wrong, but I'd need to see some trustworthy references to back up the story.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 24 May 02 - 12:03 PM

this is a bit wierd to me; I looked at Making Babies by Steam DT and my comments are quoted (without attribution)


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 24 May 02 - 12:12 PM

It gets weirder still; what is in the DT is my message Item #53917 (18 Feb 1999 22:17) - Re: Making babies by steam at Ir Trad-L That doesn't seem legit. to me. And at least the author and the website should be cited! (well maybe not, Ir-Trad L shows the e-mail addresses on line to all and sundry, though mine has changed twice since 1999)


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Wolfgang
Date: 27 May 02 - 06:53 AM

Philippa,

not weird at all but difficult to spot. If you look at 'Making babies by steam' in the DT and scroll down you see the name of the contributor in initials, in this case F NS . The comments below the songs usually come from the contributor and are his or her words. So in this case the attribution is to F NS and that's you.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 27 May 02 - 03:04 PM

But I didn't contribute it to the Mudcat; I sent it to Ir Trad-L. And is it clear that quotation and lyric submssion are from the same contributor?


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 01 Jun 02 - 02:23 PM

There is a whole chapter on songs about Daniel O'Connell,songs both in English and in Irish languages, in Ríonach Uí Ógáin. "An Rí Gan Choróin - Dónall Ó Conaill sa Bhéaloideas" (The King Without a Crown - Daniel O'Connell in Folklore). Baile Átha Cliath [Dublin]; An Clóchomhar, 1984
The babies by steam song is included, a bit different I think from the way I have it. I just borrowed this book from the library today - I hope I can back to you with a little more info on the song's origins.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Phil
Date: 01 Jun 02 - 02:29 PM

I looked at the DT Babies by Steam and clicked to search for forum discussions. It did not lead me to either this thread or Wolfgang's but only to the thread on nonsense songs to dance tunes (I wouldn't call this song nonsense but the air is a jig)


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 01 Jun 02 - 07:21 PM

The DT says this song is to the tune of Haste to the Wedding. The tune I know of at 'Haste to the Wedding' isn't the tune that Johnny McEvoy or I sing 'Babies By Steam' to. I'm trying to remember a name for the tune I have ... there's another song, about drink, sung to this tune...
The lyrics I sent in answer to a query at Ir-Trad-L were from memory, but I had first learned the song from a book of songs collected in Canada. The lyrics sung by Johnny McEvoy and Mick Maloney and Paddy Reilly and O J Abbot (I imagine Abbot was a Canadian source singer?) are all more or less the same, judging by the submissions from Wolfgang and others in Mudcat threads.

The County Cavan version published in Uí Ógáin, "An Rí Gan Choróin", is a bit different; I'll add it later for general interest.
I still go with my previous explanations of the basis for the song, but Ms Uí Ógáin also suggests O'Connells reputation for fathering illegitimate children story. It's said that one visit to the Ennis vicinity added 16 children to the population of Co Clare!
She says the song is difficult to date, but the reference to O'Connell's position in Dublin may be a clue. Uí Ógáin also has appenidix references to versions of this song from Tyrone,Fermanagh, Roscommon and Waterford. (admittedly, I am having difficulty understanding the reference system used -- Maybe Martin Ryan could clear up some details ... Martin, do you ever see Ríona?) I think the chapter footnotes indicate that versions of this song include numbers 212 and 240-244 in the Irish Folklore Commission collection, Cnuasacht Bhéaloideas Éireann.


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Subject: Lyr Add: Babies By Steam no 2
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 01 Jun 02 - 07:26 PM

I CROSSED OVER A GAP...

I crossed over the mor and I met an old woman
She sat in a gap and her milking her cow
The song that she sung was the Buachaillín Donn
Or some other ditty that I won't tell you now.

I wasn't too long discoursing this woman
When up steps a tinker, stout, jolly and gay
He sat down to rest as the weather was warm
"What news, decent man?" this auld woman did say.

'No news at all,' replied the bold tinker.
'But news and I wish that it never had been
Concerning a man they call Daniel O'Connell
Who's now getting children in Dublin by steam.'

'M'anam an diabhail,'[my soul to the devil] replied this old woman.
'Or can it be true is he crazy at last,
Or is it a sign of war or rebellion
Or what is the reason they are coming so fast?'

'It's neither a sign of war or rebellion
But the children of Ireland was getting so small
He's going to petition the Lord Mayor of Dublin
To stop them from getting them the old way at all.'

'By the pipe in my jaw,' replied the old woman.
'But he is a rogue, and I am very sure
He's always contriving, both plotting and scheming
And leaving out plans for to plunder the poor.

'I am an old hag over four score and ten
Damn the tooth in my head, sure its plain to be seen,
I'd wager you a guinea if a rogue would provoke me
I'd get better childer than him and his steam.'

'Well here's to your courage,' replied the old tinker,
'and long may you reign with the youth at your side
If more of the old damsels in Ireland was like you
O'Connell might throw his steam engine aside.'

The girls of Ireland was getting so saucy
If you'd venture to catch them they scratch out your eye
But now they may go and sit down in the corner
And no one to pray for their souls when they die.

song reference # Ca 1 included in Ríonach Uí Ógáin. "An Rí Gan Choróin" Dublin: An Clóchomhar Tta., 1984.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Leeder
Date: 02 Jun 02 - 04:26 PM

To answer Philippa, O.J. Abbot was an Ottawa Valley singer who was recorded by Edith Fowke; he had a huge repertoire of Irish songs which he learned in the lumber camps, although he wasn't of Irish extraction himself. The background which Edith gave for the song ("the making of future generations" speech) was basically the same as that quoted from Paddy Graber above. I suspect, though, that the tinkers weren't that ignorant as to misunderstand -- they just had a good sense of humour.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 02 Jun 02 - 05:51 PM

Thanks Leeder. I think it was from a book of Edith Fowkes that I first got the song (~ 30 years ago)


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Leeder
Date: 03 Jun 02 - 11:49 AM

Yes, O.J. Abbott's version, titled "Daniel O'Connell", is in "Traditional Singers and Songs from Ontario", Folklore Associates/Burns & MacEachern (1965), p. 50, notes at p. 171. Edith doesn't repeat the "future generations" story here, and I suspect she hadn't heard it yet. She says she hadn't found the song in any British or American collection, but it was in oral circulation in Ireland, as Luke Kelly had learned it from Liam Clancy, who learned it from a "countryman".

O.J. Abbott's version is also on his Folkways LP, "Irish and British Songs from the Ottawa Valley", made from Edith's field recordings of him (he never made a studio recording). It's probably still available on cassette from Smithsonian Folkways. O.J. was one of the greatest traditional singers you'll ever hear. He knew so many songs, and sang them really well, especially when you consider that he was discovered at the age of 85. He's on Edith's other compilations as well.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 04 Jun 02 - 06:46 AM

The tune played by the DT IS 'Haste to the Wedding'. This is not the tune I sing the song to, nor one I've ever heard it sung to. And I find it difficult to fit the last lines to the tune, though of course I'm pre-conditioned by being used to singing Making Babies by Steam to a different air, a jig.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 12:02 PM

I don't know how Haste to the Wedding was put in the DT; I looked over the series of Ir-Trad-L messages and several people refer to the tune as Larry O'Gaff (#128 in O'Neill's collection). and it is sometimes called "Daniel O'Connell". Leeder, perhaps you can arrange with Joe Offer or MMario and send in a scan or photocopy of Abbot's version from E Fowke's book so an abc & midi can be made from it. Meanwhile here is what I found at ir-Trad L.
from Tom Power, Apr 2000
>>T:Daniel's Jig?
>>M:6/8
>>L:1/8
>>S:Memory of a session at Swift's in NYC
>>R:Jig
>>O:USA
>>A:NYC
>>N:I picked this one up in NYC from Martin Reilly (Box) But I've heard >>N:everyone play it down there. This is a pisstake setting (by no fault of >>N:Martin, but by my own bad memory) I was curious if anyone knows this >>N:one. If so let me know if I'm missing anything
>>K:D
>>ABc||:d2A BAF|ABA FED|GBG FAF|EFG ABc|d2A BAF|ABA FED|GBG FAF| EFE D3:||
>>:ABc dcd|dcd ecA|ABc e3|ede fdB|ded dBA|ABA AFD|GBG FAF|EFG ABc:||

from Joe Gerhard, Feb 1999
T:Larry O'Gaff
T:Making Babies by Steam
M:6/8
L:1/8
C:Traditional
S:Andy McGann
R:Jig
K:D
c | dDD FED | AdB AFD | G3 F2E | DFA B2c |
dDD FED | AdB AFD | GBG FAF | ECA, D2 :||
F | ABc d3 | dcd ecA | Bcd egf | ede f2e |
dfe dcB | AdB AFD GBG FAF | ECA, D2 :||

% ABC2Win Version 2.1 2/18/99 >


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Subject: Re: Daniel O'Connell's Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 02:15 PM

a couple more tidbits from IrTrad-L archives:
Another singer who has recorded this song is Len Graham, on his first album - "Wind and Water".
Joe Cooley recorded the jig instrumental under the title "Daniel O'Connell".
Another song usually sung with tune based on "Larry O'Gaff" is "The Humours of Whiskey" (stick to the craythur, the best thing in nature ...). That song is in the DT, but I haven't heard the audio and it says the tune is 'Top of Cork Road (Father O'Flynn)' ... the 'Father O'Flynn' I know is a different air than Larry O'Gaff. If you do an archive search for 'O'Gaff', you'' find that there are a handful of other songs in the DT that ARE said to go to the tune 'Larry O'Gaff'.

Mick Maloney is one singer/folklorist who says the muse was inspired by O'Connell's comment that the steam engine would be the making of future generations. O'Connell reportedly made the speech at the occasion of the introduction of the steam engine to Ireland. This steam engine travelled ~20 miles along the coast from Dublin to Bray.


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Subject: RE: Making Babies By Steam
From: GUEST,ransacker
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 02:20 PM

If you click on the DT version of Making Babies by Steam, you do not either of the two threads which contain the lyrics. I wonder will my new subject heading make any difference?
In Gaelic,the word for researching is 'ag ransachadh'. It has the same Nordic roots as the English word 'ransack'
but I'm usually called
Philippa


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Leeder
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 11:24 PM

Philippa, I'm afraid I don't have scan or fax capability, but I'll see if I can find someone else to do it. Or I could put the song on a tape, if you'd give me a snailmail address. (I've got lots of El Cheapo 10-minute cassettes -- bought a bunch in bulk one time.)

Unfortunately, Edith Fowke typically didn't pay much attention to tunes -- she didn't sing herself, and always got somebody else to do music for her. Her notes don't deal with the melody of O.J. Abbott's version and any possible similarities to other tunes. From my memory of that version, I don't think it's spot on with any of the tunes mentioned above, although it might well be considered part of their tune families.

Another recorded source, if you can find the LP or get a cassette version of it, is by Tom Kines, Folkways FG 3522 (as Edith cites it), entitled (I believe) "An Irishman in North Americay". His version is likely learned from Abbott, and he was a folk revival singer rather than a source singer. Good at it too, with lots of respect for the tradition, but you'd probably prefer the source version.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 05:57 AM

I don't have computer applications for doing abcs and midis, that's why I suggest you get an address from MMario (or maybe Joe Offer?) and send tape and photocopy to him.
Father O'Flynn is indeed the tune given for Humours of whiskey in the DT, but you'll find Larry O'Gaff played with The Squid Jigging Ground and other songs.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 02:09 PM

I got lost somewhere. Which tune is in a Fowke book? I have at least a couple or more Fowke books, so maybe I have it. I can transcribe a tune from sheet music, but not by ear.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 03:49 PM

Leeder's message "Yes, O.J. Abbott's version, titled "Daniel O'Connell", is in "Traditional Singers and Songs from Ontario", Folklore Associates/Burns & MacEachern (1965), p. 50, notes at p. 171.". 3 June 02.

Or you can just use "Larry O'Gaff" which you already have on other DT entries such as Squid Jigging Ground; you know there may be slight variations in tunes so maybe you would like to get the OJ Abbott version since that was where I learned the song - and most modern recordings of it use the same lyrics as were collected from Abbot in Canada even though different versions have been collected in Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: MMario
Date: 20 Jun 02 - 03:57 PM

I pm'd leeder about it today.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Barbara
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 10:46 PM

Would it help or just confuse things more if I transcribe the tune Paddy Graber sings on my tape? I know it isn't Haste to the Wedding. Let me give it a listen and see if it sounds like "Squid Jigging" which would make it "Larry O'Gaff", right?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 22 Jun 02 - 03:56 AM

Who is Paddy Graber and does he have a commercially available recording to add to the discography for this song? (If he learned the song from the DT it will certainly confuse matters!)


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Barbara
Date: 22 Jun 02 - 04:35 PM

No, he's a BC (Canada)Irish storyteller and singer, now in his 80's (if he's still alive; I haven't been to the BC gatherings lately) who learned much of his music from his family.
He has a long fabulous history, hard to tell how much is true, but says his Da fled Ireland in the beginning of the century and lived many places around the world, including Tibet and China before coming to the US and Canada. He claims that English is the fifth language he learned as a child. (If you look back in the posts, you'll see I quoted him about this song. The quote came from a handmade tape he gave me).
Now he could have learned the song later in life, but he said about the songs on the tape that he learned them from the singing of his parents and their friends.
At any rate, he didn't learn it from DT because if you'll look back, the song he sings has a different ending than the DT one, an ending I quoted above. Looks like it's a version of "I Crossed Over the Gap" with slightly different wording on the ending.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 10:57 AM

From what you've said I don't see any great difference in Paddy Graber's song and the DT version and the others in this thread before the entry on "As I passed over the gap." That last lyric entry of 1 June 02 is the one that has significant differences from the others. The following is pasted from the DT, which comes from my memory of the words Edith Fowke transcribed from OJ Abbot - compare it with what you posted here in one of your messages of 22 Oct. 1999

I am an old woman that's going on eighty,
Scarcely a hair on my head to be seen,
But if the villain provokes me I'll make better children
Than ever he could produce with his steam!"
"Good luck to you, woman," replied the bold tinker
"Long may you live and have youth on your side.
For if all the young women of Ireland were like you
O'Connell might soon shove his engine one side"

"I think every woman who is in this country
Should be out making babies as fast as she can
So if ever her majesty calls for an army
We'll be able to send her as many as Dan"


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: Barbara
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 02:22 PM

You're right, when I posted the first time, we had a different version under discussion -- I don't think the DT had a version up at that point.
However, what I was trying to ask was do you want me to have a go at transcribing the tune Paddy sings? Memory tells me it's close to "Squid Jigging" but I'll have to go find the tape and check.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 26 Jun 02 - 12:18 PM

I'm copying the following message which I think belongs here rather than in the DTStudy thread. The DTStudy thread should be kept shorter and include the more concrete background information.

RE: DTStudy: Making Babies By Steam
From: EBarnacle
Date: 26-Jun-02 - 12:04 PM

I wonder whether this is related to the Somerset Steam Engine, which I have never heard attributed. I have been singing it for about 30 years.

Oh, way down in Somerset or so I hear tell,
there lived a young lassie,her name it was Nell,
Oh, high, wide and handsome and just seventeen,
And she longed for a ride on my Thrashin Machine.

'Twas early one evening in the merry month of June,
When most courtin' couples were lookin' at the moon,
I said "Come to the barn, Nell, where us won''t be seen,
And I'll show you the works of my Thrashin' Machine.

All the flywheels and pistons wuz spinnin' around
When out of the cylinder came a strange sound;
I reached down below for to shut off the steam,
But the chaff had been blown from my Thrashin Machine.

'Twas nine months later, on a February morn,
The pride of its nanny, a baby was born;
And under its nappy could plainly be seen
A brand new, twin cylinder, Thrashin Machine.



reply
well, EBarnacle, that wouldn't have been a train but a threshing machine. Though as you point out, it also used a steam engine. There are lots of songs about courting at the hay-making. The steam engine really could be the making of future generations!

And I don't actually see any train referred to in the Daniel O'Connell song, but the thrashing machine didn't do away with the peoples' diversion.

I have heard the Thrashiing Machine song before, never made any link in my mind with Daniel O'Connell's steam engine.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: MMario
Date: 05 Jul 02 - 09:56 AM

the stuff from Fowke sent me by Leeder posted in the study thread.


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 06:47 PM

A version in Bill Meek, "Irish Folk Songs", Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1997
puts a different slant on the conversation, more in line with the idea that this song is a comment on O'Connell's reputed sexual profligacy. Meek, a sometime columnist in the "Irish Times", does not give any further background information in this book.

Coming home from the fair I met an old woman
With a hump on her back and she blind of an eye,
The day being warm I sat down beside her,
"What news of this man?" the old woman did cry.
"Sure there's no news at all," replied the bold trabeller,
"Except that I'm wishing he never had been,
Concerning our hero brave Daniel O'Connell,
Who's now making children in Dublin by steam."

"O tanam on dia," [sic] replied the old woman,
"O children, a gra, are you crazy at last,
Or is it a sign of a war of rebellion,
O what is the reason they're making so fast?"
"It is not a sign of a war or rebellion,
But that this generation has grown too small --
And they're going to petition the new Lord Lieutenant,
So as not to depend on the old style at all."

"Oh, there's good men in Ireland as well as in England,
Stout-hearted young fellows by land and by sea,
And if all the young women of Ireland were like them,
O'Connell could throw his steam engine away.
But they are so pugnacious likewise vivacious[!],
When a young man comes near them they'll spit in his eye,
Which is why they all go as old maids to the corner,
Not a child for to pray for their soul when they die."

"I am an old woman of three score and ten,
With a hump on my back, ne'er a tooth to be seen,
If the rogue does provoke me I'll lay down a wager,
Sure I'll make better children than him and his steam.
Oh, there's good men in Ireland as well as in England,
Stout-hearted young fellows by land and by sea,
And if all the young women of Ireland were like them,
O'Connell could throw his steam engine away."


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Subject: RE: Daniel O'Connell & His Steam Engine
From: David Ingerson
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 08:44 PM

I heard Paddy Graber sing this song about 1981. I don't think he got it from the DT!

David


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Subject: Tune Add: DANIEL O'CONNELL
From: Felipa
Date: 22 Jan 03 - 06:13 PM

tune for verses posted 21 Nov 02, copied from DT study thread, where the tune for the DT version (see first version on this thread) can also be found. (I think the stanzas need to be aligned better. but you should still be able to make it out)

X:1
T:Daniel O'Connell (2)
N:from Bill Meek, "Irish Folk Songs", 1997
I:abc2nwc
M:3/4
L:1/8
K:E
z4B B|e2E2E2|G2F2E2|B2B2B2|G E3EE|
w:Com-ing home from the fa-ir I met an old wo-man With a A2A2A2|G2B2G2|D2G2B2|c4B2|e2E2E2|
w:hump on her back and she blind of an eye,The day be-ing (G2F2)E2|B2B2A2|G E3E2|A2A2A2|G2B2G2|
w:warm_ I sat down be-side her,What news of this Man? the old F2E2E2|E4B B|A2f2f2|(f2e3)f|g2e2e2|
w:wo-man did cry.Sure there's no news at all_re-plied the bold c2B2B2|B2f2f2|f2e2f2|g2e2e2|e4(ef)|
w:trav-ler,Ex-cept that I'm wish-ing he ne-ver had been,con_
g2g2f2|e2B2B2|c2e2c2|B2G2E2|A2A2A2|
w:-cer-ning our he-ro brave Dan-iel O'-Con-nell,Who's now mak-ing
G2B2G2|F2E2E2|E4z2
w:chil-dren in Dub-lin by steam.


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Subject: Tune Add: DANIEL O'CONNELL
From: MMario
Date: 22 Jan 03 - 06:23 PM

sorry - don't know what happenned to half my line breaks!

X:1
T:Daniel O'Connell (2)
N:from Philippa
I:abc2nwc
M:3/4
L:1/8
K:E
z4B B|e2E2E2|G2F2E2|B2B2B2|G E3EE|
w:Com-ing home from the fa-ir I met an old wo-man With a A2A2A2|G2B2G2|D2G2B2|c4B2|e2E2E2|
w:hump on her back and she blind of an eye,The day be-ing
(G2F2)E2|B2B2A2|G E3E2|A2A2A2|G2B2G2|
w:warm_ I sat down be-side her,What news of this Man? the old
F2E2E2|E4B B|A2f2f2|(f2e3)f|g2e2e2|
w:wo-man did cry.Sure there's no news at all_re-plied the bold
c2B2B2|B2f2f2|f2e2f2|g2e2e2|e4(ef)|
w:trav-ler,Ex-cept that I'm wish-ing he ne-ver had been,con_
g2g2f2|e2B2B2|c2e2c2|B2G2E2|A2A2A2|
w:-cer-ning our he-ro brave Dan-iel O'-Con-nell,Who's now mak-ing
G2B2G2|F2E2E2|E4z2
w:chil-dren in Dub-lin by steam.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: MMario
Date: 22 Jan 03 - 06:25 PM

!! I double checked the dang things!


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Subject: Larry O'Gaff
From: Artful Codger
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 06:49 AM

Oddly, I have yet to encounter a variant of the tune "Larry O'Gaff" or its spawn "Daniel O'Connell", "Humours of Whiskey" or "Squid-Jigging Ground" which actually fit the lyrics of the song "Larry O'Gaff" as given in broadsides (as at the Bodley or American Memory). In particular, the original tune must have included a couple extra notes at the end of most lines, and a third section for the chorus.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: olddude
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 11:00 AM

I was never a member of member of parliament
nor did I ever have a steam engine

Dan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: MartinRyan
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 01:22 PM

olddude,

Neither was I nor did I - but the man of whom we write was - even if he didn't!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: olddude
Date: 12 Dec 08 - 11:15 PM

Martin
I am teasing because that is my name
:-)

Of course like a zillion other O'Connell's we are say we are related right


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Dec 08 - 07:34 AM

And, given his reputation, you may well be! ;>)

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: GUEST
Date: 30 May 09 - 05:55 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLlUweP0ayM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Margaret
Date: 16 Jul 14 - 02:12 PM

I think the 'as many as Dan' should actually be 'as many as damn', since that's a catchphrase meaning broadly 'a helluva lot'. Whether it would have been Bowlderised to 'Dan' in the early 1800s I don't know.

I first heard the song from the Dubs singing, on the 25th anniversary album and found it hysterically funny. It seemed to me to be a music-hall comic song about how laughable rumour can become as people, working from fragments of information for which they have no context, sensationalise them when they pass them on. In this case the tinker, who's illiterate, hears about the steam engine being the making of future generations, but has no idea what that means. So he "fills in the gaps", saying that it's about making babies by steam because that makes it a better story than just passing on the bare bones of what he heard.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 17 Jul 14 - 03:13 AM

This is our note to the version included in our colltion, due to go up on Clare County Library website shortly.
Jim Carroll

Daniel O'Connell and the Tinker – (Roud 2313) Vincie Boyle
Also known as 'Daniel O'Connell Making Babies by Steam', a reference to the fact that he had eleven children, though only seven survived.   
The supposed deeds of Daniel O'Connell were popular subjects for both songs and stories in the oral tradition, particularly concerning his skill and fairness as a barrister. There are dozens of stories of his supporting the poor or hard-done-by – we recorded several from Travellers, including one from O'Connell's home town of Caherciveen0. A good example of the stories can be found on the album 'Around the Hills of Clare' from reciter Patrick Lynch (son of singer Nonie Lynch), where O'Connell enters into a battle of words with a well-known Dublin street trader. A note to a version of this song, recorded in Canada from Ontario singer O.J. Abbott confirms that his reputation and popularity was also a part of the oral tradition there.
O. J. Abbott's and Antrim singer Joe Holmes's versions are the only two included in the Roud index as having been recorded from source singers.
Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847) was a famous figure in Irish history, but this particular phase of his career seems to have been overlooked by his biographers. A brilliant lawyer, he is best known as the founder of the powerful Catholic Association whose pressure led to the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829. However, O'Connell was the kind of man who inspired legends, and many equally fantastic tales were told about him throughout the Irish villages. He was also the subject of innumerable broadsides: the Henry Bradshaw collection has no less than three dozen mentioning him in their titles, including 'Drink a health to O'Connell,' 'Famed O'Connell the Shamrock shall wear,' 'Land of Shillelagh and Brave O'Connell,' 'New Song on the O'Connell Monument,' 'O'Connell's Welcome to Parliament,' and 'O'Connell and the two Irish Tinkers.' The reference to "Her Majesty" in the last stanza indicates that this ballad must have been composed between 1837 when Queen Victoria came to the British throne and 1847 when O'Connell died—but it is hard to understand why an Irish patriot would have been so anxious to raise men for a British sovereign. Certainly the people of Ireland did give O'Connell their earnings "though needing it bad": out of their poverty they contributed one penny a month to his Catholic Association, which brought in an income of fifty thousand pounds a year. And in the famine period of the 1840's the "children of Ireland" were undoubtedly small and puny."
Refs:
Traditional Songs and Singers from Ontario.   Edith Fowke (collector and editor) Folklore Associates 1965
Joe Holmes - Here I Am Amongst You - Len Graham, Four Courts Press 2010


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: Lighter
Date: 17 Jul 14 - 08:23 AM

Much searching has failed to unearth any statement by O'Connell that the steam engine would be "the making of future generations."

I'd welcome proof that he said it, but it sounds too good to be true.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Noreen
Date: 18 Jul 14 - 08:24 AM

Margaret, 'as many as Dan' refers to the people sending as many babbies to Her Majesty, produced in the traditional way, as Dan (Daniel O'Connell) can send, supposedly made by steam.

I've heard the line as We'll be able to send her a lot more than Dan.

(I've also never heard the phrase 'as many as damn', being used to mean broadly 'a helluva lot'.)

Great song!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Dale O'Donnell Sease
Date: 23 Mar 15 - 09:58 AM

I found the entire thread very interesting. Just so you know, it's being read lo' these many years later. I am listening to The Dubliner's 25 Years - a Celebration. Terrific album, which I bought in Dublin in 1987 at a record shop. I copied it to disc a few years ago and play it every St. Patrick's Day for my friends and family and more often for myself. Thanks for the history lesson.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Mar 15 - 11:08 AM

O' Connell was the subject of many dozens of tales - Irish folklorist Ríonach Uí Ógáin devoted a book to Him and his place in the Irish Tradition (Immortal Dan).
We recorded several from Irish Travellers in London, but this was one we got from a local man, Patrick Lynch of Mountscott, Mullagh, County Clare.
Jim Carroll

BATTLE OF BILLINGSGATE (RECITATION)

Patrick Lynch;
Mount Scott; 22 July 2003.
In O'Connell's time in Dublin, there lived a woman by the name of Biddy Moriarty who owned a huckster's stall in one of the quays almost opposite the Four Courts.
She was a virago of the worst order; very able with her fists, but even more formidable with her tongue. From one end of Dublin to the other she was notorious for her powers of abuse, and indeed, even in the provinces some of Mrs. Moriarty's language had passed into currency. The Dictionary of Dublin slang had been considerably enlarged by her and her voluble impudence had almost become proverbial.
Now some of O'Connell's friends decided that O'Connell could beat her at the use of her own weapons. Of this however, O'Connell was not too sure, as he had listened once or twice to a few minor specimens of her Billingsgate. It was mooted once where the young Kerry barrister could encounter her, and some of the company, rather too freely, ridiculed the idea of O'Connell being able for the famous Madam Moriarty.
Now O'Connell never liked to be made little of, so then and there he professed himself ready for the encounter, and he even backed himself in the match. Bets were offered and taken and it was decided that the contest should take place at once. So the party immediately adjourned to the huckster's stall, and there was the woman herself superintending the sale of some small ware, a party of loungers and ragged idlers from about, because, by now, Biddy, in her own way, was one of the sights of Dublin
O'Connell began the attack.
"How much do you want for the walking stick Mrs. erm - erm – erm – erm - what's-your-name?"
"Morairty is the name sir, and a fine one it is; have you anything to say agin it? It's one and sixpence for th'ould walking stick and, throw up sure, 'tis as cheap as dirt" (?)
"One and sixpence for an old walking stick; whew – why you're nothing short of an impostor to go charging eighteen pence for an ould stick that cost you tuppence".
"Tuppence; tuppence your grandmother; are you saying 'tis cheating the people I am; impostor yourself".
"Oh, I object", says O'Connell, "as I am a gentleman".
"Gentleman; hee –hee, gentleman, gentleman", says Biddy, "the likes of you a gentleman; why you potato-faced pippin-sneezer; when did a Madagascar monkey like you ever pick up enough common, Christian decency to lose your old Kerry brogue?"
"Easy now, easy now", says O'Connell, in imperturbable good humour, "don't go choking yourself on such fine words, you whiskey drinking old parallelogram".
"What's that you called me, you murdering villain", roared Biddy.
"I called you", says O'Connell, "a parallelogram, and a Dublin judge and jury will swear 'tis no libel".
"Oh hanam 'on Diabhal*, oh holy St Bridget, that an honest woman like me should stand here and be called one of them parally – parally – parally bellygrums to her face; I'm none of your parally bellygrums, you rascally gallows-bird; you cowardly, sneaking, plate-licking blaggard".
"Oh no", says O'Connell, "and I suppose you'll deny you keep a hypotenuse in your house".
"'Tis a lie for you", says Biddy, "I never heard such a thing".
"But sure", says O'Connell, "all your neighbours know, not only do you keep a hypotenuse, but you have two diameters locked up in your garret and you take them out for a walk every Sunday".
"Oh, by all the saints, you hear that for talk, from one who claims to be a gentleman. Well, the divil fly away with you, you mitcher from Munster, and make celery sauce of your rotten limbs, you mealy mouthed tub-o-guts".
"Arrah; you can't deny the charge", says O'Connell, "you hapless old heptagon".
"Why, you nasty little tinker's apprentice", says Biddy, "If you don't mind your mouth I'll – I'll – I'll – I'll…."
But here, here boys she gasped for breath, unable to hawk up any more words. But O'Connell carried on the attack.
"While I have a tongue in my head I'll abuse you, you most inimitable poritory; look at her boys; there she stands; a convicted perpendicular in petticoats, and there's contamination in her circumference and she trembles with guilt right down to the extremities of her corollaries; ah, you're found out, you rectilinial antecedent of an equiangular old hag; you porter-swiping similitude of a bisection of a vortex".
Poor old Biddy was dumbfounded, and she only reached behind her on the shelf and took hold of a skillet and took aim at O'Connell's head.
So O'Connell beat a hasty retreat. But it was agreed by one and all that O'Connell had won the battle of Billingsgate.

*Hanam 'on Diabhal – Your soul to the Devil.

Daniel O'Connell, (1775-1847), political leader and leading opponent of The Act of Union, was renowned for his quick wit and his debating abilities and is said to have featured in the Irish oral tradition more than any other historical figure.
An excellent and extremely entertaining account of the folklore surrounding him is to be found in Ríonach Uí Ogáin's 'Immortal Dan' (Geography Publications, Dublin).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,#
Date: 23 Mar 15 - 11:39 AM

Foster and Allen called it "Making Babies by Steam"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 16 - 01:14 PM

I've transcribed a version by Luke Kelly (who learned it from Liam Clancy according to Leeder's comment back in 2002!)

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vlKNA275BH1pVFLDpmQEzBBSxTwzlmp6NPr8xge2CXA


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: meself
Date: 29 Sep 16 - 05:55 PM

Jim - Thanks for putting up the Battle of Billingsgate - it's remarkable that it could be done as a recitation!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: Gabriel
Date: 23 Mar 18 - 04:01 PM

Nobody, I think, has mentioned that the song, under the title "Dan O'Connell or Morris O'Donnell Hatching Chickens by Steam", is in a broadside ballad dated 5th August 1871. It's viewable online in the Bodleian Library collection.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HATCHING CHICKENS BY STEAM
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Mar 18 - 06:49 PM

Thanks for the tip, Gabriel.
Here it is, from the Bodleian Collection:


DAN O'CONNELL OR MORRIS O'DONNELL.
HATCHING CHICKENS BY STEAM.
Tune—Original.

Ye lovers of mirth, I pray give attention
And listen to me; the truth I'll declare.
It's what happened [to] me just the other evening
As I was coming home from the fair.
Crossing the moor I beheld and old woman.
She sat in a gap and was milking a cow,
And the song that she sang was "The Boughel of Durham,"
Or some other ditty; I can't tell you now.

I had not sat long to discourse the old woman
When a jolly tinker by chance came that way.
The evening being warm, he sat down beside us.
"What news, honest man?" the old woman did say.
"Oh, no news at all," replied the bold tinker.
"Only one thing I wish that never had been:
It is that great hero they call Morris O'Donnell.
He is now making children in Dublin by steam."

"Oh, children, Agrah!" replied the old woman.
"Old hanna, man jowl! Is he crazy at last?
Or is there a sign of war and rebellion?
Or what is the reason he wants them so fast?"
"Oh, there's no sign of war," replied the bold tinker,
"But the children of Ireland are wonderful small,
So he sent a petition to the great Lord Lieutenant
To keep us from getting them the old way at all."

"His soul to the devil!" replied the old woman.
"Oh, he is a rascal, and he is nothing else.
Or how can he leave such reflection upon us,
Or does he remember how he came himself?
Oh, the rascal! he thinks that we will believe him,
And then he will think, I am sure, it's no sin.
It would be far better he'd leave off his ould capers,
And send us our parliament house back again.

"But it's I'm an old woman, three score and six,
Not a tooth in my head it's plain to be seen,
And if the rogue would provoke me, sure it's I'd lay a wager
I'd make better children than him and his steam."
"Long life to your courage," replied the bold tinker,
"And long may you live, ma'am, with truth on your side,
For if all the young girls in Ireland were like you
Morris O'Donnell might throw his steam-engine aside."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Daniel O'Connell and His Steam Engine
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 26 Mar 18 - 08:09 AM

I can spell weird (proofreading my 24 May 03 comment)


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