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Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)

DigiTrad:
McALPINE'S FUSILIERS


Related threads:
Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers (57)
ADD Tune/Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers (26)
Define: Pincher laddies (114)
Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers (16) (closed)
Lyr Req: McAlpine's Fusiliers (24) (closed)


John Moulden 10 Jan 00 - 09:25 AM
John Moulden 10 Jan 00 - 09:28 AM
Brakn 10 Jan 00 - 11:30 AM
Marki 10 Jan 00 - 02:12 PM
Susanne (skw) 10 Jan 00 - 05:10 PM
Liam's Brother 10 Jan 00 - 05:58 PM
John Moulden 10 Jan 00 - 06:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jan 00 - 07:09 PM
nick 10 Jan 00 - 09:15 PM
Liam's Brother 10 Jan 00 - 10:23 PM
Liam's Brother 10 Jan 00 - 10:26 PM
Sandy Paton 10 Jan 00 - 11:58 PM
AKS 11 Jan 00 - 05:48 AM
Susanne (skw) 11 Jan 00 - 05:25 PM
Sandy Paton 11 Jan 00 - 06:11 PM
GUEST,fran 07 Jun 04 - 05:48 PM
Susanne (skw) 07 Jun 04 - 06:40 PM
Dave Hanson 08 Jun 04 - 05:10 AM
Brakn 08 Jun 04 - 05:45 AM
MartinRyan 08 Jun 04 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,Another Paddy abroad 24 Jun 05 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Betsy 25 Jun 05 - 01:03 AM
GUEST 25 Jun 05 - 01:36 AM
Jim McLean 25 Jun 05 - 12:22 PM
Moleskin Joe 01 Oct 09 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,George Henderson 01 Oct 09 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,JonJos 29 Oct 09 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,JonJos 29 Oct 09 - 12:26 PM
Newport Boy 29 Oct 09 - 05:07 PM
maggi 29 Oct 09 - 05:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Oct 09 - 05:55 PM
Big Tim 31 Oct 09 - 11:50 AM
Jim McLean 31 Oct 09 - 12:34 PM
meself 31 Oct 09 - 03:13 PM
Jim McLean 31 Oct 09 - 05:43 PM
meself 31 Oct 09 - 05:45 PM
GUEST 01 Nov 09 - 02:51 PM
Brakn 01 Nov 09 - 06:28 PM
Effsee 01 Nov 09 - 10:22 PM
Seamus Kennedy 02 Nov 09 - 01:58 AM
Jim McLean 02 Nov 09 - 04:48 AM
Jim McLean 02 Nov 09 - 04:51 AM
Big Tim 02 Nov 09 - 01:45 PM
Jim McLean 02 Nov 09 - 04:15 PM
GUEST 03 Nov 09 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,JonJos 03 Nov 09 - 11:12 AM
Herga Kitty 03 Nov 09 - 02:45 PM
Big Tim 04 Nov 09 - 04:57 AM
Jim McLean 04 Nov 09 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,JonJos 04 Nov 09 - 12:58 PM
Big Tim 04 Nov 09 - 03:37 PM
Jim McLean 04 Nov 09 - 04:37 PM
Big Tim 05 Nov 09 - 04:36 AM
GUEST,JonJos 05 Nov 09 - 05:55 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Nov 09 - 12:41 PM
Jim McLean 05 Nov 09 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,john murphy 07 Dec 10 - 12:24 PM
GUEST 09 Mar 17 - 12:44 PM
mayomick 10 Mar 17 - 07:25 AM
OldNicKilby 10 Mar 17 - 07:35 AM
mayomick 10 Mar 17 - 07:59 AM
mayomick 10 Mar 17 - 08:06 AM
OldNicKilby 10 Mar 17 - 08:50 AM
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Subject: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: John Moulden
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 09:25 AM

This is a transfer of a red herring which I raised in the thread "Help - origins of Carrickfergus" (qv). It concerns the first publication and presumed authorship of McAlpine's Fusiliers.

I first heard it from Dominic Behan on his LP "The Irish Rover" Folklore F-LEUT-2 (October 1961 or slighlty before) as McAldine's Fusiliers. Subsequently, it became popular on account of the Dubliners. Their songbook credits Behan with its authorship and has an undated copyright notice in favout of Essex Music.

I am puzzled by this because the song is in neither of the songbooks I believe were Dominic's complete output of that nature.

Mike Bracken says that his attribution of the song to Behan was challenged by someone who claimed it for an Irish navvy called McCafferty and that Behan's claim was spurious.

Any light?


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: John Moulden
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 09:28 AM

Sorry, Mike Bracken's informant attributed the song to a navvy called Darkie McClafferty; I hate getting things wrong.


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Brakn
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 11:30 AM

Just to add

The only reason it stuck in me head was that I always like to know who wrote songs that I sing and this guy was adamant that Darkie McClafferty wrote it. McClafferty apparently worked around Manchester, England in the late sixties, having written the song years before. Whether it's the truth, i'm not certain.

Mick Bracken


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Marki
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 02:12 PM

Not that this really helps, but every book I've ever seen this song in, credits it to Dominic Behan. Also on different CD's by different artists, it's credited to Dominic Behan. So if he claimed authorship and was lying, alot of people out there have fallen for it! And, not that I'm an expert on Dominic Behan's writings, but this song does have his type of flair to it.


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 05:10 PM

Marki, the oldest and also the most popular version I've heard is the one by the Dubliners. As they credit it to Dominic, this could be the reason everybody else thought they must know what they're talking about. Not much help either, I know ... - Susanne


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 05:58 PM

I'm just wondering, John, whether you have "The Irish Rover" and what the sleeve and label say. If you don't have it, I could check to see whether I do. I have a couple of Dominic Behan on Folklore in storage. Perhaps that's one of them.

Sandy Paton knew Dominic way-back-when, perhaps he knows something about "McAlpine's Fusiliers." I only ever met him once and he was like we all get sometimes.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: John Moulden
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 06:40 PM

I decided I could do without it a long time ago - one of a number of such decisions I now regret and am now repairing when I see the items.

Perhaps Sandy could help.


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 07:09 PM

Well, it has to be McAlpine's, because that's tye name of the firm. I suppose Dominic might have sung McAldine because someone was worried about libel or something.

I've always heard of it as Dominic. I think it's quite likely that some other fella might have come up with the nickname "McAlpine's Fusiliers", and that Dominic took it from there. There's a Darky Finn in the song.

Someone ask Frank Harte. If anyone knows, he knows.


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: nick
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 09:15 PM

Tom Dayhill of St. Paul Irish folk singing fame gave me another version of McAlpine. The tune is and the subject are the same, but lyrics are very different. Tom told me that this was the orginal lyric written by John Henry of Silgo. Tom, if you're out there respond.

Nick Kelly Oxbownick1@aol.com


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 10:23 PM

TO: McGrath of Harlow

Memory tells me the company was actually called McAlpin (there's been a merger or takeover since), as in Sir Alfred McAlpin.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 10:26 PM

TO: John Moulden

I will visit the dungeon later in the week and examine the skeletons. You'll get a report if I can locate the body you seek.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 10 Jan 00 - 11:58 PM

Hope you find it, Dan, 'cause Sandy can't help. I know I've heard the song sung, but I can't remember whether Dominic was singing it then or if I heard it later on a recording. Peggy Seeger could probably enlighten us, as she was with Ewan at all of those Princess Louise sessions in '57/'58 where Dominic was an occasional participant. Then there were the Wednesday night sessions with Stan Kelly, Shirley Collins, Isobel Sutherland, etc. Dominic was a regular there, having become a bit too boisterous a few too many times at the Princess Louise. Anybody keeping in touch with Robin Hall these days? He was one of us, too, back in those impoverished times. God, didn't we have fun!

Sandy


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: AKS
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 05:48 AM

What about Ronnie Drew? Perhaps he could explain why The D:s credit it to DB - and he also is still around methinks.

AKS


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 05:25 PM

Sandy, I'm sorry to have to tell you Robin Hall finally died last year, after long illness apparently. Surprising that you shouldn't have heard, but I suppose it's a symptom of the 'apart-ness' of the folk scenes in Europe and the States. If you'd like more info I'll search through my back numbers of the Living Tradition. - Susanne


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 11 Jan 00 - 06:11 PM

No, Susanne, I'd not heard. It may not be the fault of the "apart-ness," but of my own isolation up here in the woods. My God, Robin was a youngster, by my standards! We sang together at a number of coffee-houses in London and I learned a lot of good songs from the lad. One night, after singing at the Troubadour until the tubes had stopped for the night, Robin and I spent the night a Dominic's place. Quite an adventure!

Well, Robin is certainly not the first of my old friends to go, but I sure do regret his loss.

Sandy


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: GUEST,fran
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 05:48 PM

who were mcalpine's furiliers. where did they come from


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 06:40 PM

Fran, try the 'Related threads' links at the top of this thread to find out more. Also, the notes at My Songbook may give you some kind of an answer to your question.


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 05:10 AM

I think it must be one of Dominics, it is very very similar to his other song about the Irish in England ' Building Up And Tearing England Down ' also recorded by the Dubliners but first by Christy Moore.
eric


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Brakn
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 05:45 AM

Other songs related to construction gangs........

Take me back to Castlebar - Murphy's
The Long Distance Kid - Wimpey's

Anymore?


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: MartinRyan
Date: 08 Jun 04 - 07:39 AM

McAlpine's Crew

Regards


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: GUEST,Another Paddy abroad
Date: 24 Jun 05 - 07:48 AM

McAlpines Fusiliers were gangs of Paddies who worked in the UK for a large firm called Sir Robert McAlpine Civil Engineering LTD (see http://www.sir-robert-mcalpine.com/). Days of hard work and nights of hard drinking isnt it any wonder that this song relates to all the young Irish men (and women) working in the road construction in Sydney it is played somtimes by a irish folk bands in the irish pubs.


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 25 Jun 05 - 01:03 AM

Eric the Red has pointed you allin the right direction with the song that Christy Sand - Building Up And Tearing (Owld)England Down .

Starts " Well I won a hero's name, with McAlpine and Costain ,
with Fitzpatrick , Murphy, Ash and, Wimpeys gang - I've been often on the road on the way to draw me dole when


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 05 - 01:36 AM

Bollocks I had to start again !!!!!!!

Eric the Red has pointed you all in the right direction with the song that Christy sang - Building Up And Tearing (Owld)England Down .

Starts " Well I won a hero's name, with McAlpine and Costain ,
with Fitzpatrick , Murphy, Ash and, Wimpeys gang - I've been often on the road on the way to draw me dole when there's nothing left to do for Sir John Laing ( pronounced lang )........."

They're all big civil constuction companies - Powerstations motorways , flyovers Refineries etc and I would believe that this type of song and Fusiliers would have been "made up" by one of lads - without any thought to copyrights etc - just for the craic - and they do contain a fair share of ironic humour in a way that only the Irish seem to be able to do.

Whether McAlpine was Sir Robert or Alfred I can't recall in fact I think it was both - one named after the Dad and whoever succeeded him.
Wimpey was George Wimpey.

Without wishing to get into legal trouble I believe a lot of companies paid cash in hand later to become known as the LUMP.

I also worked at the Isle of Grain in the late 1960's mentioned in Fusiliers - a huge Petrochemical complex near Rochester and had digs in a place called Strood .

Going back to Wimpey and Irish Humour - an Irish lad asked me did I know what it "stood" for / represented . After I admitted I didn't he replied with a big laugh - " We Import More Paddies Every Year ",
apologies for my political incorrectness in recalling that , and later (in line with PC) it got revised to We Intend Making Profit Every Year.
After all THAT rambling , I would suggest that people who have song books, check carefully that maybe Behan credits himself with "arranging" it rather than Words and Lyrics .
I can only believe it was a song which evolved from one of the lads who, in spite of drinking themselves senseless at night , were incredibly physically-hard workers - and usually in the 1960's ,70's & 80's resident somewhere near Cricklewood !!.


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Jim McLean
Date: 25 Jun 05 - 12:22 PM

Dominic Behan wrote the song, words and music, as I remember him singing it to me when he composed it, asking for my opinion on it.


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: Moleskin Joe
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 04:08 AM

Some time ago two cassettes of Mayo fiddlers were produced and in the accompanying booklet one of them, Verona Henry, has this to say, talking of her family - "My brother Martin was a good singer also and very gifted with words. He wrote many songs. In fact it was he who wrote most of the original version of MacAlpine's Fusiliers, later attributed to Dominick(sic) Behan. He obviously gave it to someone and it floated around, but quite clearly many of the people that are named in the song were familiar to Martin. He actually worked with them himself. The'Darkie Finn' referred to in the song lives in the next village, Cloontia. McGeever of the song was another Cloontia person."
This is presumably the song that Tom Dahill sings.


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Subject: RE: McAlpine's Fusiliers - Dominic Behan
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 01 Oct 09 - 04:24 AM

Tom Joe Spillane collected this song from an old man in Cricklewood. It has a much longer introduciotn and an extra verse or two. He indicated to me that he had visited the grave of the man who gave him the song somewhere in Mayo which ties in with the last posting. He could not remeber the name when he told me about it.

Tom Joe's version is tremendous and should be heard. Alas he has never recorded it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: GUEST,JonJos
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 10:44 AM

The nickname "McAlpines Fusiliers" came from a regiment in the North Irish Brigade of the British Army. The Royal Irish Fusiliers.
Most of the men in my platoon were from the south of Ireland and a lot of those had worked for Wimpey or McAlpine. So for a joke, I called the platoon "McAlpines Fusiliers" as compared to other platoons with a lot English National Servicemen in them.
It was 1952 and we were on a route march from Lisnally Camp thru the Glens of Co. Tyrone when the news that king george 6th had died, was passed down to our platoon. A loud cheer went up, much to the rage of the Orange N.C.O's.
One fella started to sing-"Down the glen came Sarsfields Men" I shouted " McAlpines Men with their rifles slung behind them" This other fella changed it to "shovels". We had stopped for short rest and later on I said "Now were on the road again". That fella said. "With McAlpines Fusiliers" And later on in the march, this particular N.C. O. kicked me up the arse for lagging behind. That fella again shouted- " If you pride ya life dont join By Christ MAlpines Fusiliers". That fella never came back from his leave,so I never seen him again. I,ll bet He finished the song with his experience working on "The Buildins"
      I'm a Geordie (Of Irish descent) and I had forgot all about that march thru the lovely Glens of Tyrone. Until I heard The Dubliners version. I thought that Irish fella had published it with his experiences. I can't recall His name. Although, if Behan had not made the song famous. We would never have heard of it.
I am nearly Eighty years of age now, there must be someone left alive who remembers that route march thru the lovely Glens of Co. Tyrone.


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Subject: Origins: Nickname: McAlpines Fusiliers
From: GUEST,JonJos
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 12:26 PM

The Nickname "McAlpines Fusiliers" came from a platoon of a regiment: "The Royal Irish Fusiliers". Which was made up mostly of men from the South of Ireland and who had worked for Wimpey or McAlpine.   
See my post in Origins: McAlpines Fusiliers (Dominic Behan)


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Newport Boy
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 05:07 PM

A little background on McAlpine. Originated in Scotland (Glasgow area) and expanded. Robert & Alfred were brothers and there was a bit of a falling out. Alfred took the north of England & Wales, and Robert the south.

The song is based on Sir Robert McAlpine, and the reference to the Isle of Grain would put it about 1950-52 - the Grain contract was the firm's largest at the time. I worked for them from 1960 to 64, and about 1962 the words were printed in the firm's magazine.

My copy is long gone, and I can't remember whether tthere was any author credit.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: maggi
Date: 29 Oct 09 - 05:59 PM

@Moleskin Joe "The'Darkie Finn' referred to in the song lives in the next village, Cloontia."

I've got a mention of Darkie Finn's family here.

If you can ever get those books online - I'd be fascinated to read them.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Oct 09 - 05:55 PM

The Mudcat strikes gold once again!!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Big Tim
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 11:50 AM

So, did Dominic Behan write the song or not?


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 12:34 PM

Yes.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: meself
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 03:13 PM

There seems to be no question that he wrote the familiar version; I would certainly take Jim McLean's word for that. However, there does seem to be another quite different version of the song kicking around - the lyrics are on another thread - apparently not written (at least, for the most part) by Behan.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:43 PM

There may well be various versions of a song called McAlpine's Fusiliers but I think Dominic's song is the one we all think about when the title is mentioned. All the others have no foundation in either the written or recorded word. There are so many people who know a man who knows a man who wrote the Shoals of Erin or whatever but, as they say in Scotland, facts are chiels wha dinnae ding.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: meself
Date: 31 Oct 09 - 05:45 PM

"I think Dominic's song is the one we all think about when the title is mentioned"

Undoubtedly.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 02:51 PM

While we know Dominic wrote the song, the question remains did he copyright it? He was nervous that McAlpine might sue him, so on his album "The Irish Rover" he sings it as "McAldines Fusiliers" and as an added precaution claims he got the song from his brother, Brian.
On Pat Kenny TV chat show following his fathers death, both himself and Brian appeared and had the usual brotherly arguements, during which Brian claimed "I wrote McAlpines Fusiliers and you got the credit for it". The song is also conspicuous by it's absence in both of Dominic's songbooks. I have been told that Dominic got absolutely nothing in royalties as he did'nt copyright it.
Can anyone confirm this?
                                           Domo


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Brakn
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 06:28 PM


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Effsee
Date: 01 Nov 09 - 10:22 PM

Erm...ye were saying Brakn?


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:58 AM

Unless I'm mistaken, Dominic did not write melody.
It's an old song - The Jackets Green.
He may have modified it á la Dylan, but I don't believe he wrote it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:48 AM

The tune is well known as trad but the lyrics are Dominic's. I'll ask Josephine, Dom's wife, who the publisher is.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:51 AM

Copyrighted and published by Harmony Music.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Big Tim
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:45 PM

Re the Pat Kenny Show, Brian Behan wrote in his book 'The Brothers Behan (1998), 'I went on to say that I had given Dominic the word of "McAlpine's Fusiliers", so if we wanted to talk about who was a phoney, we should start there. The nearest he's ever been to a building site was when he posed as a hod carrier with a straw hat on his head.

I find this a strange comment as in the same book he also wrote 'Dominic wrote many great songs like "Liverpool Lou", "Avondale", "The Sea Around Us", and "The Patriot Game".


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 04:15 PM

It's fairly well known that Dominic and Brian nver saw eye to eye. I knew Dominic's half brother Rory Furlong who also thought Brian was 'a bit of a bollox'. The Dubliners, collectively, had a great knowledge of Irish music and they gave Dominic credit for McAlpine's Fusiliers. The sleeve notes for one of their albums, I forget which, say that Dominic based the melody on The Jackets Green which, as we know, was about the Irish hero Sarsfield. Dominic echoes the line 'Till down the glen rode Sarsfield's men' in his song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 10:11 AM

I only entered my earlier post because no one could explain where the nickname "McAlpines Fusilers" came from.
   This thread has been going for nearly ten years, with claims
of who wrote the song. I have never heard any other version than Dominic's, but recognised the tune and some bits of the verses.(see my earlier post)
I suggest He got inspiration from hearing the older versions and info. from lads who had worked on the sites mentioned in His song.
   Jim you are correct. I first heard the the first verse of Dominic's song echoing thru the Glens of County Tyrone on a cold February day in 1952.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: GUEST,JonJos
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 11:12 AM

I did not put my name on that lat thread. JonJos


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 03 Nov 09 - 02:45 PM

Serendipity - I've just commented on the Charlie Hardy obit thread that Charlie sang this at the concert to celebrate his 80th birthday. Charlie came down to London from Tyneside during the 30's depression and became a building labourer, building the house in which he subsequently lived.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Big Tim
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 04:57 AM

I always kind of assumed, probably wrongly (!), that the use of the word 'fusiliers' was inspired by the song 'The Dublin Fusiliers', also sung by the Dubliners.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 10:35 AM

You could be right, big Tim, but it might be worth listening to "The Foggy Dew" by father P. O'Neill (sung by many singers including Luke Kelly in 1966). I first heard this sung by Hugh MacDonald, a great friend of mine and Dominic's. This would be in the mid fifties and it was printed in the first Rebels Ceidlidh Song Book as sung by Hugh. Dominic's song to me combines the rebel spirit of Jackets Green and The Foggy Dew with harsh comedy.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: GUEST,JonJos
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 12:58 PM

WOT A CARRY ON!!!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Big Tim
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 03:37 PM

Fair point Jim, as 'The Foggy Dew' opens with 'As down the glen (one Easter morn'). ('As down the glen came Sarsfields's men' -Jackets Green. The inspiration for 'McAlpine's Fusiliers' is probably a fusion of various influences. But where did 'fusiliers' come from?

I wonder where Hugh MacDonald got the song as his version in 'The Rebels Ceilidh Song Book' is pretty much word what is now regarded as the 'standard' version. btw, Father O'Neill wrote his song in 1919.

Thread drift...


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 04 Nov 09 - 04:37 PM

Big Tim, Hugh had a wide knowledge of Irish songs and Scottish Gaelic songs. He was/is a staunch Socialist, Catholic and Scottish Republican. The first Rebel Ceilidh Song Book was printed in 1951 with Foggy Dew collected from Hugh's version who knew about the Easter Rising and Father P O'Neill's contribution. The vision of McAlpine's 'gang' as soldiers is, I think , explained in Dominic's comparison with/use of the two other songs mentioned. I think 'fusiliers' is a quaint term tying up modern gangers with soldiers. Dominic could have got the word from anywhere but you may be correct when you say Dublin Fusiliers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Big Tim
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 04:36 AM

Re the 'vision' Jim, good insight: makes me appreciate the the song much more; as imaginative literature


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: GUEST,JonJos
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 05:55 AM

Jim I'm Impressed! Even Father Ted Himself, could not have gone away and came back with better answers than those.- If you go back in time far enough, there may be a link between Kelly From Killane and Wimpeys.
Does any one know what happened to Darky MClafferty? He might have been able to shed some light on this subject.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 12:41 PM

I am sorting out and digitising our old song texts and I came across this, given to us by a local friend.
Wonder if anybody out there knows anything about it - Ultan, maybe, or can correct any discrepencies???
Jim Carroll

THE MEN O' '39
Given to us by a local friend, Michael Falsey. Michael is a local fisherman and musician from Quilty who worked in the building trade in England in the 1940s and 50s.

Come all you Pincher Kiddies and all long distance men,
You may be over in this land, nine years or maybe ten,
You may have tramped this country o'er from Plymouth to the Tyne,
But there's not a word about the boys sir came in '39.

There's not a word about the lads from old Kinsale,
And took the road to Dublin; from Dun Laoghaire they did sail.
The man up in the Globe Hotel, he gave them the 'o'grand',
Saying, good luck upon you Paddy, with the passport in your hand.

Some of those Pincher Kiddies came when England needed men,
His catchword was to catch for the famous Darky Finn.
To slave behind a mixer until your skin turned tanned,
And to say, good on you Paddy, with the passport in your hand.

We travelled up from Liverpool, down to sunny Cornwall;
We got off the bus and scampered when the bombs began to fall.
As Hitler, with his doodlebugs upon us all did land,
We tote the gun with their gas masks on and our passports in our hand.

We worked along the slipways, on the runways and the docks,
And the fourteen blue card numbers soon had us on the rocks.
We prayed to god in heaven above and for DeValera's band.
And we'll cast our vote and take the boat to Erin's lovely land.

Now all of you who stayed at home and never crossed the pond,
And didn't work for Wimpey, McAlpine for John Laing,
Or slave behind a mixer until your skin is tanned,
And to say goodbye to you Paddy, with your passport in your hand.

Now our six months and is nearly up and we'll be going home.
We'll tell the welfare officer we never more will roam,
We'll say farewell to all the girls we met up in the Strand,
And we'll bid adieu and change at Crewe with our passports in our hand.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: Jim McLean
Date: 05 Nov 09 - 05:32 PM

Barneyy McKenna always said he worked for Dorman but not for Long.


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: GUEST,john murphy
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 12:24 PM

I beg to differ, i have the original words of mcalpine's fusiliers and it will be included on a new cd called The Muck Shifting Game by myself. the cd will include the long distance kid and many other favourites. So keep a look out for the cd which can be purchased from me by sending a cheque or postal order for £10 or €15 to John Murphy, Ballinamore, Kiltimagh. Co Mayo Ireland


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Mar 17 - 12:44 PM

I have close friends Tom & Mary based in Birmingham Mary Flannery nee Finn who was related to The Darkie Finn she came from Cloontia & kindly sent me an artical produced by the Echoes of Ballaghaderreen 2016 Co Roscommon on the Legend My Cousin The Darkin Finn nee Pat Finn his home viiage was Sheskeen on the Sligo Mayo border near Carrcastle out side Charlestown
Its a nice artical worth getting for those interested in the Irish history in UK construction and this Legendary McAlpines Fusilier
There is a picture of a grave headstone in Carracastle Cemetry with the artical of his relative Tom Jim Finn which mentions Darkie
Our own Parish of Tourlestrane nr Aclare also sits on the Sligo Mayo border old banter Eggs & Rashers for the Sligo Slashers Hay & Oats for the Mayo Goats
Rgds John P. O'Hara tele 00353 86 0854121


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: mayomick
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 07:25 AM

I was told two years ago that the man who wrote it was then working as a DJ on Mid West radio . At the age of ninety! My father said Dominic Behan didn't write it "couldn't have" - although he would have fixed it up.
It's based on the Jackets Green of course- "down the glen came Sarsfield's men"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnFY-nGgVg4


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: OldNicKilby
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 07:35 AM

Many years ago Vic was helping me at the Model Engineering Exhibition at Olympia in London During a lull in sales we had a bit of a sing. There was a customer close by who heard us and asked if we knew McAlpines Fusiliers. We managed to remember a few verses. The man was Lord McAlpine


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: mayomick
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 07:59 AM

the same man who built the exhibition buildings in the thirties -or his father maybe .It was the men off the Olympia Earl's Court site that stopped Moseley's march through Cable Street


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: mayomick
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 08:06 AM

It was the Pear O Shea ,not the Bear O Shea by the way - his head was shaped like a pear .


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Subject: RE: Origins: McAlpine's Fusiliers (Dominic Behan?)
From: OldNicKilby
Date: 10 Mar 17 - 08:50 AM

His Company owned Olynpia at the time we sang to him


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