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What's a killy boyne?

Barbara 08 Mar 00 - 09:14 PM
Barbara 08 Mar 00 - 09:18 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 09 Mar 00 - 08:40 AM
Barbara 09 Mar 00 - 01:13 PM
John Moulden 09 Mar 00 - 02:58 PM
Barbara 09 Mar 00 - 04:42 PM
John Moulden 10 Mar 00 - 05:03 AM
GUEST,Antaine 10 Mar 00 - 04:31 PM
Kim C 10 Mar 00 - 04:45 PM
John Moulden 11 Mar 00 - 06:01 AM
GUEST,Leslie 09 Dec 11 - 06:57 PM
michaelr 09 Dec 11 - 07:15 PM
MartinRyan 09 Dec 11 - 07:22 PM
Ross Campbell 10 Dec 11 - 06:39 AM
Megan L 10 Dec 11 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Bruce Baillie 10 Dec 11 - 08:44 AM
Artful Codger 10 Dec 11 - 10:14 AM
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Subject: What's a killy boyne?
From: Barbara
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 09:14 PM

This phrase is in the last verse of "The Cocks Are Crowing", and I think I transcribed it correctly. The line appears to be "If the Killy Boyne (sp?) it were mine in the chorus (?)" What are they talking about?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: Barbara
Date: 08 Mar 00 - 09:18 PM

Here's the link to the other thread. Did we talk about this here before? I have a vague memory of having this discussion a while ago, but I couldn't find a link.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 08:40 AM

Who also wants to know who made off with my cookie.

This verse:

If Killyboyne it was mine in chorus
And the green fields were mine in white
And if my pen was made of the temper-ed steel
My true love's praises I ciukd never write

has caused puzzlement ever since Hugh Shileds first heard the song from Eddie Butcher. What is clear is that the singer didn't understand the verse - it simply makes no sense and he couldn't explain it.

Hugh interpreted it as a metaphor for pen, ink and paper; Killyboyne (a place name - unidentifiable, I'm afraid, but presumably being or containing a large lake or pond) being the ink horn (in chorus), the white fields being a very substantial piece of paper and the pen being of the most enduring kind known to the song-maker. Thus, with inexhaustible ink and paper and an everlasting pen, it was not possible to write all the ways in which his true love could be praised.

An Irish "Song of Solomon" - can anyone come up with an equally well based alternative?


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: Barbara
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 01:13 PM

How does "chorus" mean "ink horn"? Is it a mishearing of the word, or is there some common definition I am unaware of?
Blessings,
Barbara, whose daughter just got 100% on a vocabulary test by defining 'descant' as "to talk at length". AAAAarrgh. Look it up folks.


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: John Moulden
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 02:58 PM

The assumption which has been made is that "in chorus" is the singer's (or a previous singer's) almost sensible substitution for a phrase which he misheard or did not understand. The surmise that the original phrase was "ink horn" is made on the basis:

1. that we need something which fits the extended metaphor (this sort of metaphor is quite common in traditional song but it's not often so elaborate) which entails:

a/ extemely large size and b/ a writing implement

2. that the original should sound at least a little bit like "in chorus"


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: Barbara
Date: 09 Mar 00 - 04:42 PM

So we are now on the horns of the traditionalist's dilemma: to perpetuate the song as sung by the source (Hugh Shields) as he learned it, including the line that makes no sense, or to change it to a probable but unverifiable earlier version that does make sense.
Blessings,
Barbara
I think I will opt for sense, myself.


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: John Moulden
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 05:03 AM

But it's not a dilemma - the traditional singer has always tended to sing sense - where he doesn't understand he still sings what he believes makes a sense which so esoteric as to be out of his grasp. However this doesn't last long - the next singer either makes a reinterpretation of the nonsensical bit or else it drops out or else a more creative singer reinvents the section so that it makes sense. I know Eddie Butcher reconstructed songs, I know Packie Byrne does, I know John Kennedy does and I've helped Sarah Anne O'Neill in the same task. Len Graham and Paddy Tunney both reconstruct songs from fragments or from versions - the operation has traditional snaction.

It depends on whether you are an antiquarian or a singer - it's an antiquarian's duty to leave things undisturbed - it's a singer's duty to lay the song clearly and sensibly in front of his audience - my compromise is that if I do alter, I leave a record so that a subsequent antiquarian can unravel the changes.


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: GUEST,Antaine
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 04:31 PM

I am rushing out to the Góilín Singers' Club right now so I will get back to ye again about this I hope......
But what about 'ink o'er us' as a similar-sounding phrase for 'in chorus'?
I am not happy with this yet but don't have the time just now. I have a few more questions and suggestions of my own, but my pint is calling meeeeeee.........
I'll call again.


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: Kim C
Date: 10 Mar 00 - 04:45 PM

Isn't there a river called Boyne in Ireland?


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: John Moulden
Date: 11 Mar 00 - 06:01 AM

Yes, but the place name Killyboyne is not known to me and it's a plausible combination - I don't think there's any possible connection.


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: GUEST,Leslie
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 06:57 PM

I'm listening to a new(?) recording of The Cocks Are Crowing by John Doyle, noticed that he sings the line "If the Killey Boyne, it were my ink horn." I always thought that the killey boyne must have been a name for some kind of bird, so decided to google it, and came across this conversation. I took the meaning of the line to be something like -- if even he had all these birds singing together in chorus, (as well as the green fields and the pen of tempered steel), none of it could express his love's beauty or whatever. I have to go check the rest of the google list to see if anything came up about birds, but so far haven't seen anything.


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: michaelr
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 07:15 PM

After reading this discussion some years back, I changed my singing to "ink horn", because it makes perfect sense. Perhaps John Doyle did the same.


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 07:22 PM

Hmmm...

If "horn" then perhaps "burn"?

Regards


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 06:39 AM

As in "Killyburn-" or "Kellyburn-Braes"?

Mudcat thread and links to various Killy/Kellyburn Braes versions

Google Maps didn't identify either as a placename, but there's a Killyburn Road in Omagh, County Tyrone.

Ross


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: Megan L
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 08:13 AM

Killyboyne is mentioned in the report "Select committee on manor courts, Ireland" written around 1720


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: GUEST,Bruce Baillie
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 08:44 AM

perhaps...If the Killyboyne were my inkhorn?


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Subject: RE: What's a killy boyne?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 10:14 AM

Yes, there was a previous discussion about this:
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=18991

After some web surfing, my guess was that it was the townland (area of land or group of farms) of Killybawn/Killybane in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, just west of Fivemiletown.
Killybane townland
For a closer look, click on the map tab, then click on Fivemiletown in the map. Notice that there is a waterway running by Killybane, and a settlement or area called Killybane Bridge on the other side, indicating some probable water capacity (in support of the "inkhorn" reading). I wasn't able to determine the name of the waterway.

Another alternative would be Killybern, west just across the UK border, but this seems less likely to me.

To add more confusion, in another thread, Sean McCartan mentioned (regarding another topic) that he "researched a site in a townland called Killybawn (White Church). I later discoved that in early times it was dedicated to Saint Fergus. That was in county down [...]."


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