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Lyr Req: Mountains of Mourne (Percy French)

DigiTrad:
ABDUL ABULBUL AMIR
ABDUL EL BULBUL, EMIR!
ABDUL-A-BUL-BUL-AMIR (A SEQUEL)
ARE YE RIGHT THERE, MICHAEL?
BENDEMEER'S STREAM
CARRIGDHOUN
COME BACK PADDY REILLY
DONEGAN'S DAUGHTER
MOUNTAINS OF MOURNE
PHIL THE FLUTHER'S BALL
PRETENDY LAND
PRIDE OF PETROVAR
SLATTERY'S LIGHT DRAGOONS


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McGrath of Harlow 25 Oct 99 - 08:47 PM
Lesley N. 25 Oct 99 - 08:50 PM
John in Brisbane 25 Oct 99 - 09:40 PM
Bruce O. 25 Oct 99 - 10:17 PM
Lesley N. 25 Oct 99 - 11:17 PM
paddymac 26 Oct 99 - 12:09 AM
Melbert 26 Oct 99 - 02:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 99 - 01:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Nov 99 - 09:01 PM
Metchosin 03 Nov 99 - 05:46 PM
Metchosin 03 Nov 99 - 05:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Nov 99 - 04:52 PM
chico 07 Jul 05 - 01:38 AM
GUEST,Paul Burke 07 Jul 05 - 04:19 AM
GUEST 07 Jul 05 - 05:16 AM
Steve-o 07 Jul 05 - 02:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Jul 05 - 03:32 PM
Peace 08 Jul 05 - 04:23 AM
Genie 08 Jul 05 - 07:11 AM
Charley Noble 26 Nov 10 - 04:36 PM
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Subject: Mountains of Mourne and Percy French
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Oct 99 - 08:47 PM

The original Percy French Mountains of Mourne is on the Digital Tradition all right.

But I once heard someone sing a version of it that was a sequel rather than a parody. It was Mary's letter back to her young man in exile.

The theme was basically that she was being a bit suspicious about all the time he seemed to be spending looking disapprovingly at these half naked ladies in the big city.

She ends up, I seem to remember, warning him that he might not be so welcome back in the Mountains of Mouyrne if he didn't watch his step.

If anybody has the words, I'd like to have them. I was told they were actually by Percy French himself, and the singer sang them back to back.

But while we're about it, any other versions of the song or parodies from it would be interesting. And if there's anybody with anything about Percy French and his songs they'd like to say, lets be having you.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BENDEMEER'S STREAM (Thomas Moore)
From: Lesley N.
Date: 25 Oct 99 - 08:50 PM

Thomas Moore wrote these lyrics long before Percy French.

There's a bower of roses,
by Bendemeer's Stream,
And the nightingale sings
'round it all the day long.
In the time of my childhood
'Twas sweet like a dream,
To sit by the roses
And hear the bird's song.
That bow'r and its music
I ne'er can forget,
But of when alone
In the bloom of the year
I think, "Is the nightingale
singing there yet?"
Are the roses still bright
by the calm Bendemeer?"

No, the roses soon withered
that hung o'er the wave,
But the blossoms were gathered
While freshly they shone,
And the dew was distilled
On the flowers, that gave
All the fragrance of summer -
when summer is gone.
Thus memory draws from delight
ere it dies,
An essence that breathes
of it many a year.
Thus, bright to my soul
as 'twas then to my eyes,
Is that bow'r on the banks
of the calm Bendemeer.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mountains of Mourne
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 25 Oct 99 - 09:40 PM

Lesley, I've seen these lyrics recently - now I realise it was probably in the DT - but did the tune pre-date French's penning of Mountains of Mourne? Regards, John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mountains of Mourne
From: Bruce O.
Date: 25 Oct 99 - 10:17 PM

I don't know when Thomas Moore wrote "Bendemeer's Stream". It isn't in his "National Melodies" or in his "A Selection of Irish Melodies". I've seen the song in The Vocal Library, John Souter, London, 1818. I think I've still got an old LP with Susan Reed singing it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mountains of Mourne
From: Lesley N.
Date: 25 Oct 99 - 11:17 PM

If it's in a collection of 1818 and French was born in 1854 I'd say that's conclusive! More specifically (and seriously) though, it's referred to in one source as being in Moore's Lalla Rookh, Part 1 - which was published in 1817 (and for which more received the record sum of 3,000 pounds).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mountains of Mourne
From: paddymac
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 12:09 AM

I'm going on memory here, gang, but Dear Old Percy did not write the tune for "Mountains of Mourne". As best I recall, he literally wrote the lyric on the back of an envelope and sent it to his some-time collaborator (Charles Collison, or something similar) who then fitted the lyric to an existing air. I'll check back on the weekend, and if nobody else has confirmed my recollection, I'll try to dig up some documentation.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mountains of Mourne
From: Melbert
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 02:47 AM

The lyrics were written by Percy French (1854-1920). They were sent to Houston Collison on the back of a post card, and he set it to the ancient Irish air "Carrigdhoun".

(according to "Soodlum's 100 Irish ballads, vol 1).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mountains of Mourne
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 01:25 PM

It's a great tune whoever wrote it. But I reckon Percy French's words are better than Thomas Moore's (and that's high praise).

But did Percy write a sequel using the same tune, that's what I want to know.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mountains of Mourne
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Nov 99 - 09:01 PM

??Any answers?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mountains of Mourne
From: Metchosin
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 05:46 PM

Hi McGrath I think you mean the version that has the lines:
They don't plant potatoes or barley or wheat
But there gangs o them digging
For gold in the street
At least when I asked
That is what I was told
So I just took a hand
At this digging for gold
So I just took a hand at this digging for gold
But for all that I found there
I might as well be
Where the Mountains of Morin reach down to the sea
I'll try to remember them or failing that find them on a record I think I have somewhere


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mountains of Mourne
From: Metchosin
Date: 03 Nov 99 - 05:50 PM

Oops sorry, thats the one thats on the DT


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mountains of Mourne
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Nov 99 - 04:52 PM

Yup, that's the one Percy French wrote. But I think he wrote a sequel as well.


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: MOUNTAINS OF MOURN (with chords)
From: chico
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 01:38 AM

Some stupid questions. What are the "gangs" of londoners digging in the streets? I know this is a satire, but I don't get. Are they labourers digging the london subway/metro/tube?

What does the "no top" to the dresses mean, is it describing strapless gowns that expose female shoulders, or actually bawdy lyric?




AIR -- 'Carrigdhoun'
      G          7         C         Am
Oh, Mary, this London's a wonderful sight
       D          7         G      C   G
With people here working by day and by night
                7             C       Am
They don't sow potatoes, nor barley nor wheat
            D             7          G   C       G
But there' gangs of them digging for gold in the streets
    C          7                  G    C? G
At least when I asked them that's what I was told
       G          B°             Am         D7
So I just took a hand at this diggin' for gold
         G            7          C            Am
But for all that I found there I might as well be
            D            7            G   C      G
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

I believe that when writin' a wish you expressed
As to how the fine ladies in London were dressed
Well, if you believe me, when asked to a ball
Faith, they don't wear no top to their dresses at all.
Oh, I've seen them myself and you could not in trath
Say if they were bound for a ball or a bath
Don't be startin' them fashions now, Mary Macree,
Where the mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

I've seen England's king from the top of a bus
And I've never known him, but he means to know us.
And tho' by the Saxon we once were oppressed,
Still I cheered, God forgive me, I cheered with the rest.
And now that he's visited Erin's green shore
We'll be much better friends than we've been heretofore
When we've got all we want, we're as quiet as can be
Where the mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

You remember young Peter O'Loughlin, of course
Well, now he is here at the head of the force
I met him today, I was crossing the Strand
And he stopped the whole street with a wave of his hand
And there we stood talkin' of days that are gone
While the whole population of London looked on
But for all these great powers he's wishful like me
To be back where the dark Mourne sweeps down to the sea.

There's beautiful girls here, oh, never you mind
With beautiful shapes nature never designed
And lovely complexions all roses and cream
But O'Loughlin remarked with regard to the same
That if at those roses you venture to sip
The colours might all come away on your lip
So I'll wait for the wild rose that's waitin' for me
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

I moved this message here from another thread on the same topic.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Mountains of Mourne (with chords)
From: GUEST,Paul Burke
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 04:19 AM

What are the "gangs" of londoners digging in the streets?

Sewers of course!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Mountains of Mourne (with chords)
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 05:16 AM

The gangs of labourers would have been digging trenches for laying gas, electricity water supplies.

And yes, the "no top to their dresses" refers to strapless ball-gowns.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Mountains of Mourne (with chords)
From: Steve-o
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 02:14 PM

Chico- definitely NOT a satire (I think you just misused the term). This was based on very real experiences of the Irish "plowboys" when they went to London to "find their fortune".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Mountains of Mourne (with chords)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Jul 05 - 03:32 PM

Not a satire, but essentially a light-hearted song; it might have a serious topic at the heart of it, but it's intended to make the listener smile.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Mountains of Mourne (with chords)
From: Peace
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 04:23 AM

Beautiful pic here of the Mountains.

And another.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Mountains of Mourne (with chords)
From: Genie
Date: 08 Jul 05 - 07:11 AM

Quote:
"But I once heard someone sing a version of it that was a sequel rather than a parody. It was Mary's letter back to her young man in exile.
The theme was basically that she was being a bit suspicious about all the time he seemed to be spending looking disapprovingly at these half naked ladies in the big city."

Gee, I can't imagine why she was suspicious about that! LOL

Genie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Mountains of Mourne (Percy French)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 26 Nov 10 - 04:36 PM

There is also a claim by John Edgar Mann that Cicely Fox Smith "collaborated on a children's operetta with Irish songwriter Percy French" by the title of "Mountains of Mourne," from "Cicely Fox Smith," FOLK ON TAP, Summer, 1999, p. 17. Would we be talking about the same song?

Charley Noble


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