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Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?

GUEST,Nick Dow 28 Jul 15 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 28 Jul 15 - 03:31 PM
Steve Gardham 28 Jul 15 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 29 Jul 15 - 01:30 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Jul 15 - 04:33 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Jul 15 - 07:20 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Jul 15 - 11:52 AM
Jim Carroll 29 Jul 15 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 29 Jul 15 - 01:11 PM
Steve Gardham 29 Jul 15 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,Nick Dow 30 Jul 15 - 10:07 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Jul 15 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 31 Jul 15 - 06:31 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 31 Jul 15 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 31 Jul 15 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 31 Jul 15 - 10:31 AM
Steve Gardham 31 Jul 15 - 10:36 AM
Steve Gardham 31 Jul 15 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Fred McCormick. 31 Jul 15 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 31 Jul 15 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Mike Yates 01 Aug 15 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Fred McCormick 02 Aug 15 - 07:54 AM
Steve Gardham 02 Aug 15 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 03 Aug 15 - 09:32 AM
Steve Gardham 03 Aug 15 - 09:46 AM
AmyLove 13 Nov 16 - 01:35 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Willy Reilly and Colleen Bawn
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 28 Jul 15 - 03:28 PM

Another of my recordings of Gypsy songs. Is there an existing oral version anywhere, or is my recording unique. The recording I have is a little confused to a standard 'come all ye' tune, but I rather like it,and I would like to fill it out from oral rather than printed versions.
I've traced the words to a printed book source from about 1830 if I remember correctly, and I was amused to find the story was actually turned into a feature film in 1920, and it's on you tube.
Any help gratefully received


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Willy Reilly and Colleen Bawn is there a
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 28 Jul 15 - 03:31 PM

The thread title should read 'is there an oral version' I evidently ran out of space.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Jul 15 - 05:21 PM

Nick
The ballad is part of a trilogy recounting different parts of the story. One of them is very common in oral tradition. Give us the first verse of your printed copy and we can then check we're looking for the right one. Other than that the Roud Index on the EFDSS website would be a good place to start. My own indexes would throw up versions but again I'd need to know which of the 3 you're looking for.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 29 Jul 15 - 01:30 AM

I recorded a very short fragment of this from the NC singer Dellie Norton. The recording has not been published anywhere, but there is a copy at C# House and in the National Sound Archive in London.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Jul 15 - 04:33 AM

Thanks both,
Sam Gorman sang...

It was on a pleasant morning in the burning time of Spring
Just as the cheerful songsters in comfort they did sing
But the primroses and daisies they spangled every lawn
And in another I espied my own sweet Colleen Bawn

There are another five verses with the 'cruel Father' attacking the lovers, and peters out with a verse about a ring with diamonds held as a memory.

Thanks for your help.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Jul 15 - 07:20 AM

Looks like I'm up to speed with this song.
It seems that my singer has five verses from 'The courtship of William Reilly' and one verse from 'The trial'
It seems a lot less confused in this context. All oral texts available through 'The Full English' follow the Broadsheet texts which are a condensed version of the trial, and none I have found follow the Courtship verses. That does not mean there are not oral texts I have not found.
The difference between the printed source and Sam Gorman's is considerable. Usually this means Broadsheet re-writing, but since I cant find any reference to 'the courtship' from the broadsheet output, I'm beginning to wonder if I have a unique version.
I'm rather enjoying this song search, so if you can help please let me know.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jul 15 - 11:52 AM

A couple of versions of 'Willie Reilly' here, with note - the Tom Lenihan one is highly recommended
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jul 15 - 12:23 PM

Sorry 'bout that - missed a bit
Jim Carroll
Carroll Mackenzie Collection


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 29 Jul 15 - 01:11 PM

Great website!! thanks for that. Both versions start with the 'Rise up Willie Reilly' verse which is the trial story, I'll keep looking though.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Jul 15 - 06:28 PM

Hi Nick,
Part 1 of the set, your 5 verses, has a variety of titles and is nowhere near as widely printed as part 2, the Trial. I only have reference to one Irish printing and that is at Monoghan in 1782. They all have the standard 13 stanzas. This is Laws M9 and the Trial is Laws M10. One of the copies was printed in Liverpool a bit later. Liverpool is often traceable as the entry point for genuine Irish ballads that then spread around the rest of Britain.

Another Part 2 is 'Reily's Cooleen Bawn Persecuted' and I have only seen American copies of this.

The 3rd part is 'Answer to the Trial of Willy Reilly' but there is also another ballad that overlaps somewhat with this called 'Reilly's Releasement and Marriage'.

As for your ballad this side of the pond in oral tradition I haven't seen. Laws gives several versions but all across the pond. The most accessible is probably Creighton 'Songs and Ballads of Nova Scotia' p152 of which I have a copy (and Pound, 'American Ballads and Songs'. p86.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 30 Jul 15 - 10:07 AM

Thanks Steve,
I am stuck at the BBC at the moment, but I'll try and transcribe the verses when I finish here tonight.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jul 15 - 11:09 AM

This is Tom munnelly's note to the ballad from a published collection of Tom Lenihan's songs, Mount Callan Garland
Jim Carroll

January 10th 1972. Tom could not recall where he learned the song.
'I read the story of that Willie Reilly sixty years ago, I'd say. And my son Tom looked up the story of Willie Reilly and the Cailin Ban and he couldn't get it in any library in any place... And the story was—before the song started: The ould squire was out fowling or shootin' in the mountain and these two robbers came on and attacked him. And Reilly came on [the scene], he was in the mountains too and he saved the ould squire from the two robbers. And the squire brought him home, he says:
"Come on down and we'll thank you for savin' my life. "
And they kept him that night.
The minute the Cailin Ban [the squire's daughter] seen him and the minute that he seen the Cailin Bari, they fell in love with one another. And she says:
"You'll stay the second night. "
And he stayed the second night. The story tells that. That was a grand story! And, by Hell! she kep' him the third night. He left the fourth day. The ould squire says:
"Willie, 'tis time for you be on the go home now. "
And he did.
But anyway [he returned] and he hired up again. There was many servants there. He hired back with th' ould squire again [disguised] as an old man lookin' after flowers in the garden—the stoiy says. And he was there workin' for a start43 but one of the servants noticed the Cailin Ban always knockin' around this old man [who was] bent and crippled in every way. And they went to the ould squire and they said that:
"You'd want to look after that ould fella' that's around the flowers, ' said they, 'your daughter, the Cailin Ban, is always knocking around him. "
And that's the why she knew that the t6ir4i was after him (hen. Wherever Willie was sleepin' outside, in the cabins or in the barn that they had for him, she went in that night and she says:
"Oh rise up, Willie Reilly, and come along with me... "
There was soldiers came and followed him up and they captured him. And at that time, Tom, for love... you'd be hung for it, with these rich fellas. And th' ould squire swore black was white and white was black and all that, for to hang him.
And when they sought evidence [it was] she that brought him out of it. And only for that she did swear that way... [he would have been hung]. '45
This sensational tale of an elopement foiled by the bride's wealthy father is still popular in oral tradition today. William Carlton's novel on Willie Reilly and his Cailin Ban first appeared in 1855 and was a best seller for years. A song relating the story of Reilly's courtship which precedes our ballad has been been collected in North America (Laws M 9) and although it was published in an Ulster collection in 1925 1 have not encountered it myself in the field. 11' Laws also refers to a ballad entitled 'Reily's Answer, Releasement, and Marriage with Cooleen Rawn', which brings the trilogy to a conclusion. Though the latter is found in American song books Laws is unaware of any text recorded from oral tradition. He draws our attention to a note in Joyce:
The event commemorated in this ballad occurred towards the end of the eighteenth century, and the scene is near Bundoran, beside the boundaries of the three counties, Donegal, Fermanagh, and Sligo, where the ruined house of the great Squire Folliard is still to be seen. The proper family name is Ffoliotl, but people
always pronounce it Folliard. The whole story is still vividly remembered in the district; and Carlton has founded on it his novel of Willie Reilly. The penal laws were then in force, and it was very dangerous for a young Catholic Irishman to run away with the daughter of a powerful Protestant local Squire. 47
Joyce also recalls 'singing it with unbounded applause for a number of workmen at their dinner in our kitchen when I was about ten years of age'. That would have been about 1837. The widespread fascination with abduction and elopement is apparent in other songs also. In perhaps the most widespread of all macaronic ballads in Ireland, 'I Am a Young Fellow', the couple are apprehended in their attempt to leave the country. 48 Here also the girl remains staunchly true to her lover in spite of her parents' opposition. Less fortunate was the tragic 'Hugh Reynolds' who paid on the gallows for his audacity in abducting Catherine McCabe. He could say with bitter irony that—in every sense of the word: 'She's the dear maid to me! '49
It is interesting to note that 'the noble Fox' who is swayed by the Cailin Ban's pleading here seems to have a soft spot for lovers which is carried to extremes in another ballad. In 'The Noble Lord and the Servant Maid', collected in Carlow by John McCall early in the last century, the nobleman is freed by Fox after being found guilty of the murder of his servant man! Fox reaches this decision after listening to the tearful pleading of the servant maid. 50

43 'For a start' For a brief period of time. 'I'll he: with you after a short start, ' I'll be with you soon.
44 Ir. 'hunt'.
45 Conversation, Nov. 3rd. 1989. TM IFC Field Cass. 6.
46 Richard Hayward, Ulster Songs and Ballads (Duckworth, London, 1925), 96.
47 Patrick Weston Joyce, Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (Hodges, Figgis & Co., Dublin, 1909), 230 and quoted in Laws, British Broadsides, 185.
48   See, e. g. Diarmuid O Muirithe, An lAmhran Macaronach (An Clochomhar Tta., Baile Atha Cliath, 1980) 75-6.
For a broadsheet text entirely in English see 'The   Lucky Elopement', in O Lochlainn Irish Street Ballads, 86-7.
49   See, e. g. O Lochlainn, ibid 132.
50   Tom Munnelly, 'The Manuscript Songbook of John McCall (1822-1902)' in Lares (Gia Bulletino della Societa di Etnografia Italiana, Firenze, Ottobre- Dicembre, 1985), 473.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 31 Jul 15 - 06:31 AM

This is hardly a traditional source but Peggy Seeger once recorded a North American version of WR&TCB. It was on Tom Paley/Peggy Seeger/Claudia Paley. Who's Going to Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot? Who's Going To Glove Your Hand?. Topic 12T 113. Released c1964,

She called it Loving Reilly and I don't think the sleeve notes said where she got it, but I'll check when I go downstairs for my lunch.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 31 Jul 15 - 06:49 AM

Thanks Jim and Fred, that's a lot of reading. I am flat out at the BBC at the moment, with BROADSTAIRS and WHITBY festivals coming up I need to get a few programmes in the can. I am home for about three hours this afternoon, so I'll try to post those verses.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 31 Jul 15 - 10:15 AM

although a little confused these are the words Sam Gorman sings....
Oh it was on a pleasant morning in the burning time of spring
Just as the cheerful songsters in comfort they did sing.
But the primroses and daisies they spangled every lawn
And in another I espied my own sweet Colleen Bawn

............... said to her now will you listen pretty maid
you have so pierced you've torn my heart of that I'm much afraid
Unless you cure my anguish, it's now had its dawn
Oh you'll have no Willie Reilly for his own sweet Colleen Bawn

Now two horses we got ready now all in a silent night
And its wanting of a remedy we quickly took a flight
but her father followed after us with his strong arm band
and it's taken was poor Reilly and lodged in Sligo town

Now its if kind fortune now once more will set me free.
In this prison where I lie up in my love I'll surely see
My love is so faithful true and despise her father's corn
But its yet I'll wed her life instead she's her own sweet colleen Bawn

Oh there is a ring amongst them I'll allow yourself to wear
Its let in with precious diamonds and filled with gold and pearls
As you will think of my sweet heart when you are far away.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 31 Jul 15 - 10:31 AM

Right. Been there. Checked that. Peggy does give her source for this song. It turns out to be Sharp, English Folk Songs From The Southern Appalachians, Vol 2, page 81. The singer in question was one Mrs Moore, from Ruban Co., Georgia. Sharp and Karpeles noted it on May 1st 1909.

Apropos of absolutely bugger all. The tune which Peggy uses, and which I think is widely associated with Willie Reilly, was also used by Jim Garland for The Death of Harry Sims. Peggy recorded WR in 1964. By coincidence(?)In 1957, when Ewan MacColl composed the songs for the Ballad of John Axon, he used the Harry Sims tune for the main song; the one which starts off "John Axon was a railwayman, to steam trains born and bred". Which leaves me wondering, who taught the tune to whom?


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Jul 15 - 10:36 AM

Fred,
That's the well-known trial song, a sequel to Nick's song.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 31 Jul 15 - 10:43 AM

Nick, If you haven't already got a full text try the Bodleian Broadside Ballad website and either type in the title box 'Willy Reily's Courtship with Cooleen Bawn' or reference Harding B28 (36). This is a Liverpool printed version but I haven't got any copies of the earlier versions to hand. They all have 13 verses and I doubt if they vary much anyway. The only other print copies I have are American and later.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick.
Date: 31 Jul 15 - 10:49 AM

Steve. Shit, you're quite right. Still, at least nobody can say I didn't try.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 31 Jul 15 - 01:24 PM

And many thanks for that Fred and Steve


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 01 Aug 15 - 12:10 PM

Fred, Sharp & Karples were not in the Mountains on May 1st 1909. This song was collected by Olive Dame Campbell and passed on to Sharp when then later met.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick
Date: 02 Aug 15 - 07:54 AM

Mike, you're quite right of course. Jeez, I'm having a bad time of it lately.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 02 Aug 15 - 09:32 AM

Fred,
We're all getting older. Easily done! Having said that Mudcat has an uncanny knack of spotting all those little slips.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 03 Aug 15 - 09:32 AM

Roly Brown considered the origins and variations of these songs and the William Carleton telling of the story in articles in Musical Traditions: 213 & 216. With my help, he took account of as many of the Irish printings and of as much as possible of the local tradition regarding this.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Aug 15 - 09:46 AM

Thanks, John,
Both Nick and I should have remembered that one. We're both part of the website. Apologies to Roly.

Nick, it's on the Mustrad website. Should be easy to find.


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Subject: RE: Willy Reilly and the Colleen Bawn - oral versions?
From: AmyLove
Date: 13 Nov 16 - 01:35 PM

You can listen to the Peggy Seeger version of Willie Reilly here and look at the lyrics and some remarks Seeger made about the song here.


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