Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


18th century Irish drinking songs

bodgie 26 Jun 14 - 09:04 PM
bodgie 26 Jun 14 - 09:07 PM
GUEST,Learaí na Láibe 27 Jun 14 - 05:19 AM
Jack Campin 27 Jun 14 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 27 Jun 14 - 05:52 AM
MartinRyan 27 Jun 14 - 06:22 AM
doc.tom 27 Jun 14 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 27 Jun 14 - 06:39 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 27 Jun 14 - 06:53 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jun 14 - 07:21 AM
Lighter 27 Jun 14 - 08:00 AM
Jim Carroll 27 Jun 14 - 08:39 AM
MartinRyan 27 Jun 14 - 09:50 AM
zozimus 27 Jun 14 - 11:00 AM
Steve Gardham 27 Jun 14 - 02:11 PM
Steve Gardham 27 Jun 14 - 04:02 PM
Fergie 27 Jun 14 - 04:27 PM
bodgie 27 Jun 14 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Desi C 28 Jun 14 - 09:50 AM
Thompson 28 Jun 14 - 10:12 AM
Thompson 28 Jun 14 - 10:16 AM
Brian Peters 28 Jun 14 - 10:47 AM
Thompson 28 Jun 14 - 11:35 AM
Thompson 28 Jun 14 - 11:37 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: bodgie
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 09:04 PM

I am working on a BBC television series and I need to have the males singing a drinking song, not necessarily about drinking, and not too maudlin....... it needs to be around the last quarter of that century when convicts were being transported to Australia. It is difficult to identify songs from the 18th c but I'd like to be as authentic as possible.... give or take a couple of decades but certainly nothing we know was published in the 19th c. I am looking at the following but still not sure whether the little devils were from the 18th c... help please.
Whisky in the Jar (it is in O'Cochlainn), an Irish version of John Barleycorn... is there one? Lillibullero, The Parting Glass (this is pointing towards 1770 for the original... but which is the original), Rising of the Moon (possibly late 18th.. ?) Juice of the Barley? Limerick Rake (I'd like to think it is older but I keeping hitting a wall around 1850s), 'Little Beggerman (aka Red Haired Boy).. not ure of earliest. WHAT ELSE CAN YOU OFFER?

you can respond here or direct to me at wfahey@bigpond.net.au


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: bodgie
Date: 26 Jun 14 - 09:07 PM

O'Lochlainn not Cochlainn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: GUEST,Learaí na Láibe
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 05:19 AM

The Rakes of Mallow.

Also look up Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

Mo Ghile Mear.

Loads of songs in Irish from the period to the best of my knowledge.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 05:34 AM

"Parting Glass" was Scottish in origin and its association with Ireland is much more recent. Even the commonly sung Scottish words don't predate 1800; also, it was first popularized by Walter Scott, whose stuff wouldn't have reached many proletarians in the transportation-fodder class in his lifetime, anywhere.

Surely most Irish convicts would have been Irish speakers? You don't want to look at the current English-language Irish pub song repertoire at all. I'm not sure rural Ireland (and most Ireland was rural then) even had much of a drinking song culture.

"Lilliburlero" was way too political. It would have been asking for a fight to try that one.

"Paddy O'Rafferty" was certainly around (and popular) in the late 18th century. Irish words here:

http://www.dervish.ie/listen/spirit/87-lyrics-and-sleeve-notes

but I don't know when either the Irish or English words date from.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 05:52 AM

Take a look in Donal O'Sullivan's Songs of the Irish. There's a section on Gaelic drinking songs in there with (generally!!) good translations.

I'd particularly recommend Preab San 'Ol, which O'Sullivan erroneously translates as Another Round. His rendering of the song into singable English is excellent however, and it's to a good "drinking" tune.

Also, although much more sombre is An Buachaill Caol Dubh (The Dark Slender Boy). But if you get someone to sing that one, make sure they've got a hell of a vocal range.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: MartinRyan
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 06:22 AM

Hi Fred

Intrigued by your comment that O'Sullivan "erroneously translates "Preab san Ól" as "Another round!". How would you convey the sense?

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: doc.tom
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 06:29 AM

An Irish version of John Barletcorn is The Barley Grain for Me = Jognstones recorded it at some point (vinyl)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 06:39 AM

Hi Martin. I think, and I've got to say I can only speak as a monoglot Englishman, that it would translate better as "Drinking With Vigour".

I know. Very questionable. But "Another Round" sounds even more unlikely to me. Even worse, when Sam Charters collected a version of the song from Séan de Hora, the local priest rendered it into English for him as "Bottoms Up".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 06:53 AM

Doc Tom. Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the Johnstones recording of the Barley Grain, taken from the one which Edith Fowke recorded from O J Abbott of Ottawa in Canada.

Yes, I know Abbott lived among an Irish community in Canada (although he was actually born in Hampshire, England), and a large proportion of his songs were Irish. However, the Canadian woods must have been a right mixing pot of races, and that song sounds to me as though it could just as easily have come from England.

In any event, would The Barley Grain have been circulating in Ireland as far back as C18? I don't know, but I suppose it would have depended whereabouts in Ireland you were, remembering that the vast majority of Irish people were still monoglot Gaels.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 07:21 AM

Some titles of Irish language songs listed as 'Drinking Songs' from Donal' O'Sullivan's 'Songs of the Irish
They all come with English translations and tunes.
You''d have to check on the dates for authenticity.

Preb San Ól (Another Round)
A Fuisgí Croí Na n-Anamann (Why, liqour of life, do I Love you so?)
Ta N-a Lá ((There's the Day)
An Bunnaan Buí (The Yellow Bittern)
An Buachaill Caol Dubh (The Dark Slender Boy)

We recorded the 'Barley Grain' from an old Clare singer thirty years ago; Colm O'Lochlainn raised doubts as to its Irish origins or whether the song was found in Ireland prior to the 19th century
This is the not to it which is due to go up o the Clare County Lbrary website in October.
"This is one of the many songs celebrating alcoholic drink, in this case symbolically, with the personified subject being processed and eventually slain. Ballads celebrating the immortality of this powerful hero drink who, in mythic fashion is resurrected despite such determined attempts to crush him, have circulated in England and Scotland for at least four hundred years and may well be considerably more ancient. The earliest written variant occurs in the Bannatyne Ms. of 1568 under the title, 'Why should not Allane honorit be?' in which grain turned into intoxicating drink is personified as Allan of Malt. In his adaptation 'John Barleycorn -- A song to its own tune,'
Robert Burns followed closely the fragment he remembered from tradition and concluded the song in similar folk idiom. He commented on this score,
"I once heard the old song that goes by this name sung, and being very fond of it, and remembering only two or three verses of it, viz., the first second, and third, with some scraps which I have interwoven here and there" .
Birmingham scholar and collector, Roy Palmer, in the notes to a Shropshire version included in his 'Songs of the Midlands, wrote:
"Beyond the life cycle of barley and beer, this song is about the life, death and resurrection of the corn or vegetation spirit and therefore of all living things. It was issued on a broadside as early as 1624 and Ann Gilchrist, a percipient commentator, has speculated that the song may have originated with "the musical harvesters of Elizabethan times" (JFS VI 1928). It continued to be printed on broadsides until the nineteenth century and many versions have been collected from the oral tradition".
The note to the slightly bowdlerized version from Balbriggan included in Colm O Lochlainn's 'Irish Street Ballads' obviously believed it not to be Irish as it reads:
"There are so many English versions of this song that we would hesitate to include it but for its fine tune and unusual chorus".
Refs:
Songs of the Midlands, Roy Palmer         E.P Publishing, 1972
Irish Street Ballads, Colm O'Lochlainn,         Three Candles Press, Dublin 1939"


Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 08:00 AM

What, no "Garryowen"? Hard to sing, though.

But "Whiskey in the Jar," I believe, is from well into the 19th C.

"The Rising of the Moon" is also too political, besides having been written in the 1860s by John Keegan Casey (1846-1870).

I suspect that most 18th C. Irish drinking songs in English were actually 18th C. English drinking songs.

O'Sullivan's book may be your best bet.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 08:39 AM

Not strictly a drinking song, but this has a chorus, and references to drinking throughout.
It certainly would have been around in the eighteenth century, and seems to have established itself both in English and Irish in the oral tradition - quite popular among the older singers in West Clare right into the latter half of the 20th century.
It has a wonderful 'convivial' feel about it, particularly when the choruses are joined-in with.
Happy to let you have the couple of versions we recorded from older singers.
Jim Carroll

Paistín Fionn*

Pat MacNamara, Kilshanny, near Ennistymon
Recorded Summer 1975
Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Now Paistín Fionn is my heart's delight,
Her gay heart's laughing and her blue eyes bright,
Like the apple in blossom, he bosom white,
And her lips like the swan on a March morning bright.

And now will you come with, fly with me, come with me,
Oh will you come with me, brown girl sweet,
For I would travel through snow and through sleet,
If you only come with me, sweet brown girl sweet.

And the love of my heart is my fair Paistín,
No king or earl has a hold on you;
Her lips I kissed, no more I would wish
For the glass that I drank to the health of my queen

Chorus:
Is tusa mo rún, mo rún, mo rún,
Is tusa mo rún is mo ghrá geal.
Is tusa mo rún is mo chumann go buan,
'Sé mo chreach gan tú agam ó do mháithrín.

Were I in the town or on the green,
Between two barrels of barley beer,
And my own fair colleen on my knee,
Sure, 'tis I that could drink to her clear and free.

Then now will you come with, fly with me, come with me,
Oh will you come with me, brown girl sweet,
For I will travel o're snow and sleet,
If you only come with me, sweet brown girl sweet.

Nine nights I lay in aching pain,
Between two bushes beneath the rain,
Hoping to see my poor heart again,
But sure, whistling and calling were all in vain.

Chorus:
Is tusa mo rún, mo rún, mo rún,
Is tusa mo rún is mo ghrá geal.
Is tusa mo rún is mo chumann go buan,
'Sé mo chreach gan tú agam ó do mháithrín.

For a gun or a rifle, for her I would fight,
Now I'd swim that wide ocean at the dead hour of night,
And if anybody dare to make her his bride
Sure, I'd end to my life for my darling.

And oh now will you come with, fly with me, come with me,
Oh will you come with me, brown girl sweet,
For I will travel through snow and through sleet,
If you only come with me, sweet brown girl sweet.

Now I'll leave my parents, both friends and foes,
And from all the young girls in this country I'll go,
But for my own sweetheart never (???) alone,
I'll stretch in my coffin both cold and low.

For you are my delight, my delight, my delight,
You are my delight and my darling,
You are my delight, my comfort all night,
And I'll roll you all night in my arms.

* Paistín: Child
   Fionn: Fair-haired; white; beautiful.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: MartinRyan
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 09:50 AM

Fred:

The full phrase (elided slightly in the song for scansion) is "ag cur preab san ól" which Dineen's dictionary translates as "drinking with spirit, keeping the drink circulating (song)". Rather than stick to that gerund usage each time, O'Sullivan holds on to the idea of circulating drink (a round, of course) and plays with in several ways - including as a toast. To that extent - the priest had a point! (or do I mean "a pint"?!). He makes several other adaptations in producing his, as you say, excellent version.

In his notes, O'Sullivan comments:
"Except for one slight change, Barret does not vary the last two lines in any of his verses. As this may seem somewhat monotonous, I have ventured in my verse-rendering to provide different endings, within the spirit of the original."


I reckon he succeeded admirably.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: zozimus
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 11:00 AM

You might consider "Cruiscin Lan" which I think fits your timeframe.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 02:11 PM

Jon and Warren,
Whiskey in the Jar is at least 18thc. A scarce slip song in the Madden Collection entitled Patrick Flemming I would date at about 1785 has 10 stanzas and as with later versions is definitely set in Ireland. This slip was reprinted in the first volume of Holloway and Black's 'Later English Broadside Ballads' p205.

Warren, I will scan you a copy if you wish.

You are right about The Limerick Rake. The earliest copy I have was printed by Brereton of Dublin about 1860 as 'A New Song'. Whilst this was just a sales ploy I would guess it's accurate in this case.

There would have been plenty of English-speaking convicts transported from Dublin at that time so don't feel you have to follow the Irish language course.

If you want to pursue this further access to the Eighteenth Century Catalogue Online (ECCO) would turn up plenty of this sort of material from the likes of W Goggin of Limerick and the Monaghan Press. You won't find much 18thc material in the online collections as the songster/garland format means they are difficult to handle and copy.

Dublin material printed at this time was mostly regurgitated stage-Irish material derived from the London presses.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 04:02 PM

Flicking through the ECCO pieces I have copies of, I just came across a version of John Barleycorn printed in Dublin I would guess about mid century. It's the long version from the 17th century but it clearly has all of the verses of the trad ballad inside it. It was printed for T. Lawrance, Bookseller on Merchant's-Key, near the C------ Bridge. the penultimate word is cut off.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: Fergie
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 04:27 PM

Hi Bodgie,

I've sent you some PMs and an email.

Fergus Russell


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: bodgie
Date: 27 Jun 14 - 08:15 PM

Thank you learned associates.
The singers will not necessarily be Irish and I doubt the actors would be able to get their chords around gaelic and I certainly don't want a mangled song.
For the record... the majority of early transported convicts were English. Of all transports the Irish made up about 25% (many came mid 19th c and, of course, many were political prisoners. The Scots were less that 4% of the total. Mind you... they also sent us Africans, Canadian rebels and Maori troublemakers......

I will have to take a wild guess at the song but at least your input has helped me.....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 09:50 AM

Most of the songs mentioned were actually English. Such was the level of starvation and extreme poverty, plus any form of music would have been severely supressed. I doubt on any deportation ship one would find an Irish man alive or with sufficuent strength or mood to be banging out drinking songs! Just what do you think the Irish are? Eejit Characters in some total unreal BBC dicumentary, I mean do you also think the Jews marched into the Gas chambers to the strains of Yiddish songs, get real!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 10:12 AM

Indeed songs weren't suppressed; they were the one thing that wasn't.

Here's a singing of Bunán Buidhe, though it's in English, in Thomas MacDonagh's translation - in the 18th century it would have been sung in Irish and unaccompanied, or perhaps accompanied with the small metal-stringed Irish knee harp. Oddly, I can't find a version in Irish online with the tune it's always sung to in Munster (that tune used in this English version), though there are Donegal versions to a different tune.

Or you might like The Night Before Larry was Stretched (sung here by Elvis Costell9) - a 1780s ballad in thieves' cant said to have been made in Dublin.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 10:16 AM

Of course, on the other hand, all Irish songs except hymns can be considered drinking songs, in that all are and were sung when food and drink is taken. Do you want songs of loss and longing - Siúl a Rún/Shule Aroon - or song of war and terror - Éamon a' Chnuíc - or songs of politics - Cill Cais - or love songs…


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: Brian Peters
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 10:47 AM

Given the correspondence so far, I'm not sure how important it is that the song is specifically Irish. If you just want old drinking songs from English sources, that might have been passed between convicts during the voyage, you could try searching the English Broadside Ballad Archive with 'Drinking' as your search criterion. 'John Barleycorn' was certainly around in the 17th century, and so was 'Joan's [aka 'Jones's'] Ale'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 11:35 AM

Going through the original post:

Whisky in the Jar
You're probably safe enough with this. Irish, 17th- or 18th-century origin, always popular.

, an Irish version of John Barleycorn... is there one?
Not that I can think of

Lillibullero,
Careful… a 17th-century song mocking Irish Catholics

The Parting Glass (this is pointing towards 1770 for the original... but which is the original)
Passionate debate about whether it's originally Scots or Irish; it's been in several recent films, so it's probably a bit spun out for now. Also, if you're looking for rousing rather than 'maudlin', perhaps not

Rising of the Moon (possibly late 18th.. ?)
Wouldn't be sure, but I think this was written in the 19th century, around the centenary of 1798, when there were a bunch of new songs about the United men's Rising

Juice of the Barley?
That's "Is bainne na mbó is na gamhna, and the juice of the barley for me" - don't know its age


Limerick Rake (I'd like to think it is older but I keeping hitting a wall around 1850s)
Dunno; macaronic songs were certainly popular in the 18th century, when English was becoming trendy, perforce

Little Beggerman (aka Red Haired Boy)
Dunno, but would somehow suspect American 19th century.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: 18th century Irish drinking songs
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Jun 14 - 11:37 AM

Incidentally, @bodgie, you say "I need to have the males singing a drinking song". This is almost never done in Ireland; it's considered really rude to join in a song, except in the chorus when obviously invited. Singing is normally solo, and passed from one to another.
Exceptions would be marching songs or work songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 17 June 6:26 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.