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Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore

DigiTrad:
MAID AND THE PALMER
THE WELL BELOW THE VALLEY


Related thread:
Origins: Jesus Met Woman at the Well/Maid & Palmer (53)


Jim Dixon 22 Jun 18 - 07:18 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Jun 18 - 07:59 PM
Reinhard 23 Jun 18 - 02:27 AM
GUEST,Peter Laban 23 Jun 18 - 03:30 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Jun 18 - 03:41 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Jun 18 - 04:20 AM
Reinhard 23 Jun 18 - 05:11 AM
GUEST,Kevin W. 23 Jun 18 - 05:34 PM
Jim Carroll 24 Jun 18 - 07:03 AM
Jim Carroll 24 Jun 18 - 08:10 AM
GUEST,Kevin W. 25 Jun 18 - 05:53 AM
Jim Carroll 25 Jun 18 - 06:04 AM
Liberty Boy 26 Jun 18 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 27 Jun 18 - 03:41 PM
Jim Carroll 28 Jun 18 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,Kevin W. 28 Jun 18 - 06:20 AM
GUEST,m bainbridge 30 Jun 18 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,Kevin W. 30 Jun 18 - 05:13 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WELL BELOW THE VALLEY (Christy Moore)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Jun 18 - 07:18 PM

See this thread for a discussion of the origin of this song. Some have mistakenly attributed it to Christy Moore. Although this is false, he does seem to have popularized it, so I thought his version ought to be documented. It is different from the version in the DT on several points.


THE WELL BELOW THE VALLEY
As recorded by Christy Moore on "Live at the Point" (1994)

CHORUS: Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o.

A gentleman was passin' by.
He asked for a drink as he was dry
At the well below the valley-o. CHORUS

"My cup is full up to the brim.
And if I were to stoop I might fall in
At the well below the valley-o. CHORUS

"If your true love was passin' by,
You'd fill a drink if he was dry
At the well below the valley-o." CHORUS

She swore by grass, she swore by corn,
Her true love had never been born
At the well below the valley-o. CHORUS

He said to her: "You're swearin' wrong.
Six fine childer you've had born
At the well below the valley-o." CHORUS

"If you be a man of noble fame,
You'll tell to me the father of them
At the well below the valley-o." CHORUS

"There's one of them by your brother John
At the well below the valley-o,
One of them by your uncle Dan,
At the well below the valley-o,
Two of them by your father dear
At the well below the valley-o." CHORUS

"If you be a man of noble fame,
You'll tell to me what did happen to them
At the well below the valley-o." CHORUS

"There's one of them buried beneath the tree
At the well below the valley-o,
Another two buried beneath the stone
At the well below the valley-o,
Two of them outside the graveyard wall,
At the well below the valley-o." CHORUS

"If you be a man of noble fame,
You'll tell to me what will happen myself
At the well below the valley-o." CHORUS

"You'll be seven years a-ringin' the bell
At the well below the valley-o,
Seven years a-burnin' in hell
At the well below the valley-o."
"I'll be seven years a-ringin' the bell,
But the Lord above may save my soul*
From burnin' in hell at the well below the valley-o. CHORUS TWICE


[* It actually sounds like he sings "son" not "soul"--but that makes no sense. I assume it's an error.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WELL BELOW THE VALLEY (John Reilly)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Jun 18 - 07:59 PM

Christy Moore cited John Reilly as his source. Fortunately, I found a recording by Reilly on Spotify. Unfortunately, several verses were omitted from this recording, without which there are serious plot holes. Did Moore hear a different recording? Did Moore combine this with another source to supply the missing bits? Or did he invent the verses he added?


THE WELL BELOW THE VALLEY
As recorded by John Reilly on "Voice of the People 03: O'er His Grave the Grass Grew Green: Tragic Ballads" (1997)

For a gentleman he was passin' by.
He asked a drink as he got dry
At the well below the valley-o.

CHORUS: Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o.

"My cup it is in overflow
And if I to stoop I'll near fall in
At the well below the valley-o. CHORUS

"Well, if your true love was passin' by,
You'd fill 'im a drink if he got dry
At the well below the valley-o." CHORUS

"Well, if you're a man of the noble fame,
You'll tell to me the father o' them
At the well below the valley-o." CHORUS

"So all them came['kyem'] by your uncle Dan
At the well below the valley-o. CHORUS

"Another one by your brother John,
At the well below the valley-o." CHORUS

"Well, if you're a man of the noble 'steem,
You'll tell to me what will happen mysel'
At the well below the valley-o." CHORUS

"You'll be seven year a-ringin' a bell
At the well below the valley-o. CHORUS

"You'll be seven more a-portin' in hell
At the well below the valley-o." CHORUS

"I'll be seven year a-ringin' a bell,
But the Lord above may save my soul
From portin' in hell at the well below the valley-o." CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: Reinhard
Date: 23 Jun 18 - 02:27 AM

There is a different and longer recording of John Reilly that was also made by Tom Munnelly and that is printed in Bronson who gives as his source Ceol. A Journal of Irish Music, III, No. 12 (1969), p.66

THE WELL BELOW THE VALLEY
Sung by John Reilly with added verses from Bronson: The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads Volume IV p.457

For a gentleman was passing by,
He asked a drink as he got dry,

Refrain:
At the well below below the valley-o
Green grows the lilly-o
Right among the bushes-o

[She said,] “My cup it is in overflow
An' if I do stoop I may fall in.”

“If your true love was passing by
You'd fill him a drink if he got dry.”

[She swore by grass and swore by corn
That her true love was never born.

“I say, young maid, you're swearing wrong.”]

“If you're a man of noble fame
You'll tell to me the father o' them.”

[“Two of them by your father dear,]

Two of them came by your uncle Dan,

Another one by your brother John.”

[“Well if you're a man of the noble fame
You'll tell to me what did happen to then.”

“There was two o' them buried by the kitchen fire,

Two more o' them buried by the stable door,

The other was buried by the well.”]

“Well if you're a man of the noble 'steem
You'll tell to me what will happen mysel'.”

“You'll be seven year a-ringin' a bell,

You'll be seven more a-portin' in Hell.”

“I'll be seven long years a-ringing a bell,
But the Lord above may save my soul
From portin' in Hell.”


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: GUEST,Peter Laban
Date: 23 Jun 18 - 03:30 AM

Just in addition to previous post: the article in Ceol doesnot supply words of The Well below the Valley beyond the first verse, it does give the music. The article does give the words to What put the blood, The bonny green tree and The Raggle taggle gypsy in full.

(The Man and his music : John Reilly.Tom Munnelly, Ceol, Vol IV(1), January 1972, pp 2-8)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jun 18 - 03:41 AM

When Tom Munnelly first met John Reilly he was at the time living in a derelict House in Boyle, Co., Roscommon.
Around this time Tom had started work as an adviser to D.K. Wilgus, who he introduced to John and who also recorded him
Disturbed at John's state of health, Tom, Jerry O'Reilly and others began to try to organise bookings for him to alleviate his position
A famous Irish Traditional Music organisation (who shall be nameless, but they know who they are), refused to book John as they said he "was not a Sean Nós singer.
On his last visit, Tom found him in a collapsed state and had to climb through a window to get to him.
He was admitted to Boyle Hospital, where he died from the effects of malnutrition.

As I said on the 'Irish Ballads, John's singing seems to substantiate David Buchan's theory that rather than set texts, many singers re-created their songs each time they sang them

Somewhere I have a longer article Tom wrote on John and 'The Well below the Valley'
Below is from the notes of a lecture Tom gave at the Willie Clancy Summer School in 1983 describing his first meeting with John Reilly
Jim Carroll

"With this machine I thumbed down to Boyle in 1965 to record a travelling man whom I had met at a Fleadh the year before. This was John Reilly, a diminutive man who was to prove to be one of the finest informants I would ever meet. He was a great storehouse of traditional ballads, and it is a matter of permanent regret that I only had a small percentage of his total repertoire recorded when he died four years later. None of the recordings I made in 1965 or 1960 survive as far as I am aware. My lack of certainty in this matter is occasioned by my habit of lending tapes. If I was enthusiastic about anything I collected I would surely go to one of my friends and say} "Here, there are great songs on this. You'll have to take a lend of it and have a listen!". I soon learned that, in common with books or records, if you lend tapes you never get them back.

My first illustration this afternoon is a recording I made of John in 1967, it was made in a pub in the village of Gurteen, Co. Sligo. If there are any of you who are not familiar with the late John Reilly, you might be interested to note that Christie Moore has used John's repertoire extensively in performing songs as an individual and as a member of the group 'Planxty'.

Ex. 1. THE RAGGLE-TAGGLE GYPSY-O John Reilly.
(Mention John's L.P. The Bonny Green Tree (Topic 12T 359)

Through John I became aware of the vast amount of song which was to be found among travellers and I spent a considerable amount of time working with travellers after meeting him. However this is a subject I have dwelt on at great length so I will not go in to it in any detail here, though, of course, I would be delighted to answer any questions about travellers and their songs if you would like to put them to me later.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jun 18 - 04:20 AM

Cross-posted
That's the article I was referring to Peter
Jim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: Reinhard
Date: 23 Jun 18 - 05:11 AM

Thank you Peter. I didn't have the article in Ceol to check, just referred to what was noted in Bronson.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 23 Jun 18 - 05:34 PM

I didn't know that John Reilly had such a tragic death.

It's unfortunate that Tom Munnelly's tape recordings of Reilly have been lost, he was up there with the finest traditional singers ever discovered.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jun 18 - 07:03 AM

"It's unfortunate that Tom Munnelly's tape recordings of Reilly have been lost,"
Tom was referring to the earliest recordings - he did recordid him fairly extensively later, though, as I said, not long enough to get all his songs
I'll post a full list of what Tom got later - some of them made up the album, 'Bonny Green Tree'
We visited Boyle earlier this year; there's now a plaque commemorating John's memory on the wall of the pub run by The Grehan Sisters'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jun 18 - 08:10 AM

This is a list (full, I think) of the recordings of John Reilly made by Tom Munnelly
D K Wilgus also recorded him, but I don't think they included anything Tom hadn't recorded

One song, 'Old Caravee, was of particular interest to us.
John sings about it being about 'Bold William Delaney' and Julia
We recorded the same song from several Travellers all using a name different from John's but the same as each other - each time we got it the singer asked us not to "tell anybody I gave it to you"
It concerns a 'made match' - a Traveller marriage done through a matchmaker; the reason for the caution was that the couple at the time were still very much alive and still on the road - Mary Delaney told us, laughing, "He's me first cousin; if he knew I'd given it to you he'd murder me!"
Kerry Traveller Mikeen McCarthy sang some of it and said he was there when the song was made, "by four of the lads sitting on the bank at the side of the road while the wedding was going on inside the church"
The song presicts how the wedding would progress:

"Oh the fist year we were wed it was lovely.
And the second we couldn't agree
And the third one she put on the trousers
And then came the boss over me"

(Made while the wedding was taking place)

The song is a fine example of Travellers' song-making skills and also an example of a group of people composing a song
We've often wondered if John changed the name in deference to the Travelling couple
Jim Carroll

John Reilly. Traveller, Boyle, Co Roscommon. 22.2.69. (died that year)
Woman of Our Town (Marrow Bones)
Well Below The Valley (Child 21)
Rosin Box (The Tinker)

John Reilly., Irish traveller recorded by Tom Munnelly.
Side one.
The Bonny Green Tree.                                        Rec in Boyle. 1967.
The Well Below The Valley. (Child 21).        
The Raggle Taggle Gypsies.
Lord Baker. (Lord Baternan).        
The Rozzin Box.
A Woman Of’ Our Town. (Marrowbones).        
The Breeze (Braes) Of Strawblane,
Barbara Allen.        
Side two.
What Put The Blood.
Here’s Adieu To All True Lovers.
Once There Lived A Captain.
Peter Heaney.        
Old Caravee
Conversation.
The Steward In The Laurel Tree,                                Rec in 1969, 1 month before his death.
The Lake Of Coolfin,

John Reilly                                                 John Reilly (traveller) Roscommon, 1967
Rosin Box (Jolly Tinker)      
Raggle Taggle Gypsies 0
Dark Eyed Gypsy 0
The Mountain Stream
What Put The Blood (Edward)      
Woman of Our Town (Marrowbones)
Peter Heaney
Side two
Mary, The Pride of Cloonkeen
Slieve Galtee Mountain
Johnson's Motor Car
Claddogh Banks
Seven Nights Drunk
Paddy McNulty (Old Caravee)
The Bold Sea Captain
Here's Adieu To All True Lovers


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 25 Jun 18 - 05:53 AM

I tried searching the Roud Index for all entries which have "Reilly, John" and this is what came up:
Roud Search - John Reilly


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 25 Jun 18 - 06:04 AM

It should be remembered that there is another Traveller named John Reilly, also recorded by Tom Munnelly, who sang the very rare version of Lankin - no relation, as far as I now
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: Liberty Boy
Date: 26 Jun 18 - 07:49 AM

The 'second' John Reilly recorded by Tommy was a nephew of the man we're talking about if my recollection is correct!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 27 Jun 18 - 03:41 PM

Think all the above is correct- just to say that the plaque outside the Grehans' old pub was largely financed by the generosity of Christy Moore.
He was delighted to hear that the inspirational John Reilly was to be commemorated by this plaque, and offered to give the proceeds of a concert in Boyle to the cause.
That concert was held in 2014, with support by the Grehan Sisters, without whose support Christy's fame might have been seriously delayed- I know it was they who told our Marsden Inn (South Shields) folk club about 1966 of a young fella who would do a good night for us- so much thanks to Francie, Marie & Helen (then Bernie) for that.
Anyway the concert happened in Boyle, and you might like to read my article about it in the 'Living Tradition' sometime in 2014?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jun 18 - 03:51 AM

"The 'second' John Reilly recorded by Tommy was a nephew"
Thanks J - I half knew that but wasn't sure
Jim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 28 Jun 18 - 06:20 AM

No way to answer that question now, but I wonder if any of John Reilly relatives also knew "The Well below the Valley-O".
It may have been a song that singers wouldn't sing to a stranger because of its subject.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: GUEST,m bainbridge
Date: 30 Jun 18 - 04:19 PM

I do remember from that night at Boyle, there was some talk of a collection of John Reilly's song being made more accessible- there are plenty of recordings, apparently.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Well below the Valley (Christy Moore
From: GUEST,Kevin W.
Date: 30 Jun 18 - 05:13 PM

That would be wonderful. If more recordings exist I hope we'll be able to hear them one day.
Even alternate takes on songs that were on "The Bonny Green Tree" would be interesting to hear.


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