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Fishing Communities in Northern Ireland

GUEST,Kevin Young 02 Mar 15 - 11:27 PM
MartinRyan 03 Mar 15 - 06:15 AM
GUEST 03 Mar 15 - 08:20 AM
MartinRyan 03 Mar 15 - 05:08 PM
GUEST 04 Mar 15 - 07:11 AM
GUEST 04 Mar 15 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 05 Mar 15 - 06:53 AM
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Subject: Fishing Communities in Northern Ireland
From: GUEST,Kevin Young
Date: 02 Mar 15 - 11:27 PM

QUESTION: Do you know anything about the music and songs of fishing communities in Northern Ireland? If so can you please share. Many thanks. Kevin


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Subject: RE: Fishing Communities in Northern Ireland
From: MartinRyan
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 06:15 AM

Interesting question. Offhand, I think there are, for example,
- songs of drownings and other disasters associated with fishing ports
- songs of piracy/letters of marque
- songs associated with the eel fishery on Lough Neagh.

John Moulden, who checks in here occasionally, will be more than able to provide specifics.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Fishing Communities in Northern Ireland
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 08:20 AM

There is a little book called 'Rowlock Rhymes and Songs of Exile' by Sam Henry printed in1933, but I think that Henry wrote all the poems himself, so it's hardly typical of the N.I. fishing community, I have it stored somewhere and I'll have a look tomorrow to confirm my recollection.


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Subject: RE: Fishing Communities in Northern Ireland
From: MartinRyan
Date: 03 Mar 15 - 05:08 PM

I'd be interested in that one, GUEST.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Fishing Communities in Northern Ireland
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 07:11 AM

I've done a major archaeological dig in my garage and come up with the book as above.
I was in error about Sam Henry being the author of the poems, in fact he was the editor and illustrator as shown below. I've no idea who 'North Antrim' was but I can speculate that if he was 'ameliorating the lot' of the fisher folk he might have been a minister, but whoever he was he had a good grasp of the North Antrim dialect in which many of the poems are written, the others are in standard English.
However, that doesn't really qualify the poems as being OF the fishing community and I suppose a few of the poems/songs in Huntington's Sam Henry might meet the criteria -The Portrush Fishing Disaster for instance - as Martin says there seem to be many of that kind, naturally enough, tragedy makes news. If you, Kevin, were to include Donegal in Northern Ireland, as it obviously is geographically, there are quite a few songs about fishermen from there, 'Deep Sheephaven Bay,' springs to mind.


FOREWORD

These simple lays are attuned to chords on the heart­strings Their author was well known and loved
in that corner of Antrim anciently known as Dalriada. His local patriotism was intense and his
hero-worship centred round the hardy men who fight the sea for food. The pen-name, "North Antrim,"
cloaked a personality that was deeply imbued with the Celtic spirit. He lived to serve his fellow men.
Though not a fisherman, his zeal was largely expended on ameliorating the lot of the men of the
stern north coast whose boats ply under the gloom of Great Bengore. The sea was his passion and his
knowledge of its lore is well expressed by Henry David Thoreau;

I have but few companions on the shore;
They scorn the strand who sail upon the sea;
Yet oft I think the ocean they've sailed o'er
Is deeper known upon the strand to me.

The middle sea contains no crimson dulse;
It's deeper waves cast up no pearls to view:
Along the shore my hand is on its pulse,
And I converse with many a shipwrecked crew.

These "Rowlock Rhymes" have been edited and illustrated by me as a tribute to the memory of my
friend, 'North Antrim," who joyed in;

"The stinging, ringing spindrift,
And the fulmar flying free."

Sandelford, Coleraine.


Contents

A Ballintrae Mother's Prayer
The Cruise of the "Saucy Polly"
The Nancy Jane
Aboard The "Arethusa"
The "Liza Ann"
Hie Thee Away
Portballintrae
Tarry
Cudding Fishing
Making The Harbour
Pat, the Climber         
At The Downin's
Oul' Portmoon
Burnin' the Kelp
The Lassie I Met at the Fair
Farewell
Promised
The Boy from Bonyclassagh
The Road to Cushleake
Cushendall
The Piper and the Fairies
Long Gilbert
Fin MacCool
The Battle of Runkerry
Pat
The Dear-a-Wee Lass
Dan
Homesick
Parted
The Boy that's in Oregon
A Blade o' Dulse
An Emigrant's Prayer.


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Subject: RE: Fishing Communities in Northern Ireland
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Mar 15 - 07:21 PM

Thank you to Martin and Guest. I am away on holiday at the moment, when I get home I shall respond in more detail. Thank you once again.


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Subject: RE: Fishing Communities in Northern Ireland
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 05 Mar 15 - 06:53 AM

'North Antrim' was Robert McMullan from Portballintrae near Bushmills in North Antrim.

There are few songs about the fishing communities. Most of them were god-fearing Pesbyterian communities as well (which explains a bit). Also there are only three maritime counties - Londonderry, Antrim and Down. However, almost every book of songs from the north of Ireland includes one or two songs of the kind.

Try Sam Henry's collection, Cathal O'Boyle - Songs of County Down - Jackie Boyce - Songs of the County Down.

There are also songs in obscure places - ballad sheet and small song books, manuscripts and local publications - like the Outlet Archive Cassette of songs about the Newcastle fishing disaster or the Appendix to Estyn Evans' Mourne Country.


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