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Origins: Not The Irish Girl

Steve Gardham 18 Feb 21 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,# 18 Feb 21 - 11:01 AM
Steve Gardham 18 Feb 21 - 11:56 AM
GUEST,# 18 Feb 21 - 12:39 PM
Steve Gardham 18 Feb 21 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,# 18 Feb 21 - 06:00 PM
cnd 18 Feb 21 - 09:21 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 21 - 08:22 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 21 - 08:29 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 21 - 08:37 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 21 - 08:56 AM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 21 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,# 19 Feb 21 - 10:40 AM
cnd 19 Feb 21 - 12:02 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 21 - 01:14 PM
Steve Gardham 19 Feb 21 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,# 20 Feb 21 - 08:51 AM
Steve Gardham 20 Feb 21 - 01:21 PM
Steve Gardham 21 Feb 21 - 01:52 PM
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Subject: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 10:17 AM

After the success with Rocks of Scilly/Pretty Nancy here's another as collected by Sharp from Emma Glover. It is in the ms titled the Irish Girl and does have a couple of lines from that song, but the rest is quite different. Anyone recognise any of the somewhat disjointed elements?

Dream it over, over with tears of grief
To the little church yard I shall wander
I knew the spot and I knew the clot (plot?)
Where my Mary she do lay under.

There is pleasure here no more for me,
I shall set and never get weary,
The happiest time when I set sail
Was along with sweet Ireland Mary.

Red and rosy were her cheeks
Coal black was her hair
Costly being the robes of gold
That this Irish girl did wear (The Irish Girl) Roud 308

They's never had no sweethearts
The trouble they never knowed how (did see?)
I wish to God with all my heart
It was the case with me.

O, for a little money,
Do you think I would prove false?
I'd rather die in poverty
With the young girl that I lost.

"O son, o son, to the seas don't go,
Do stay at home with me."
"When (while?) I am young I will take my chance
And cross the raging seas."

From what I can make out, it seems to be a young man has lost his love, Mary, and is grieving so he decides to emigrate and his parent pleads with him to stay home.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 11:01 AM

Emma Glover was from a traveller family if that's any help.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 11:56 AM

Thanks, Guest. That's why we're trying to identify the song. We're editing a book of Gypsy songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 12:39 PM

I expect you've seen this, Steve, but in the event you haven't:

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/18360/1/Tomar_pix_sergio.pdf


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 03:10 PM

I knew Yvette Staelens was working on Sharp's collection but I hadn't seen this so I've passed it on to Nick Dow. Many thanks.
http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/18360/1/Tomar_pix_sergio.pdf


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 06:00 PM

Reinhard's "MainlyNorfolk" site has info also. There is one line that could be from Dabbling in the Dew, but "Red and rosy were her cheeks
Coal black was her hair" appears in many other songs. Not much help I'm afraid.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: cnd
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 09:21 PM

I found reference to a song called "Sweet Ireland Mary" here, on PDF page 7 (actual page 14). It was referred to as a Morris Dance tune by Charles "Cocky" Turner, who learned it from his dad Charles Tanner, who danced starting in the 1830s. Unfortunately, the source for the citation is cut off of the pdf, so you'd have to track down an original copy, or if it's any different from The Irish Girl, since it does show up in that section of the song.

Otherwise, sadly, I'm not finding much -- all the words and phrases are too common


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 08:22 AM

Whilst I'm pretty certain the 'rosy cheeks' stanza comes directly from the standard broadside 'The Irish Girl', that 'Sweet Ireland Mary' info could prove very useful. I wonder if it's a mondegreen for 'Sweet Highland Mary'. I can now follow that path till it peters out.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 08:29 AM

Not quite the well-known Highland Mary but it has a lot more affinity with the sentiments than The Irish Girl'. Could well be an answer to Highland Mary. Will keep looking.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 08:37 AM

And not Burns's HM.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 08:56 AM

Hold that one. It is Highland Mary by Burns. We've cracked it between us. The first verse of the song I'm looking for is definitely a half verse in Highland Mary:

As in the silent hour of night
Thro' the green church-yard I wander,
Right hearty well I know the spot,
Where Mary there lies under.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 09:02 AM

And the other half of the same verse:

I wept it o'er with tears of grief,
I'll sit and ne'er be weary,
For pleasure there is none for me,
Without sweet Highland Mary.

So far we have
2 half verses from Highland Mary, one verse from The Irish Girl, a verse that could be part of the 'Died for Love' stock. Just need to crack the last 2 verses now.

This is an absolutely typical traveller song of bits and pieces strung together.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: GUEST,#
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 10:40 AM

There's shades of "Good Ship Kangaroo" in the last two stanzas, but I don't know whether the song is old enough for the informants to have heard it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: cnd
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 12:02 PM

Glad I helped us get an answer, even if I sort of stumbled upon it!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 01:14 PM

Might well be it. Kangaroo is about 1865.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 01:20 PM

No not the Harry Clifton song unfortunately, but Harry often based his songs on existing ideas and pinched tunes etc., so the song we're looking for might have inspired 'On Bard the Kangaroo'. It could well be that the 4 couplets come from 4 different songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: GUEST,#
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 08:51 AM

I have come up with bupkis on the remaining lyrics. Sorry 'bout that.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 01:21 PM

No worries. Many thanks for trying.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Not The Irish Girl
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Feb 21 - 01:52 PM

Those middle 2 lines in the fifth verse look awfully familiar.

'Do you think I would prove false
I'd rather die in poverty'

Those commonplaces of impossibilities spring to mind....

The rocks would melt and the seas run dry etc., before I would prove false. They do occur in so many songs and go back at least to the 17th century. Where's Mick when you need him?


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