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'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?

DigiTrad:
THE COW THAT ATE THE PIPER


Related threads:
Lyr Add: The Cow that Ate the Piper (30)
Lyr Req: Dinny the Piper (4)


SDShad 18 Apr 00 - 04:28 PM
MMario 18 Apr 00 - 04:30 PM
MartinRyan 18 Apr 00 - 07:02 PM
SDShad 19 Apr 00 - 09:41 AM
MartinRyan 20 Apr 00 - 08:57 AM
zander (inactive) 20 Apr 00 - 02:23 PM
SDShad 20 Apr 00 - 02:52 PM
MartinRyan 21 Apr 00 - 07:25 AM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Apr 00 - 11:14 AM
SDShad 21 Apr 00 - 11:29 AM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Apr 00 - 11:47 AM
SDShad 21 Apr 00 - 12:00 PM
MartinRyan 21 Apr 00 - 02:31 PM
MartinRyan 21 Apr 00 - 04:57 PM
Susanne (skw) 22 Apr 00 - 06:34 PM
MartinRyan 23 Apr 00 - 08:00 AM
MartinRyan 23 Apr 00 - 04:10 PM
MartinRyan 13 Mar 09 - 07:29 PM
The Sandman 14 Mar 09 - 05:42 PM
MartinRyan 14 Mar 09 - 06:09 PM
Jack Blandiver 14 Mar 09 - 06:19 PM
MartinRyan 14 Mar 09 - 07:22 PM
The Sandman 17 Mar 09 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Pat Shanahan 05 Mar 12 - 06:42 AM
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Subject: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: SDShad
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 04:28 PM

In "The Cow Ate the Piper" or "Dinny the Piper," the first two lines are:

In the year ninety-eight, when our troubles were great
It was treason to be a [blank]

I've seen versions of this that say the word in question is "militian," and others "Milesian." Which is likelier to be "authentic?" Were the United Irishmen or any of their cohorts in 1798 called "militia?" Or is it a reference to the "Milesian invasion" story of Irish origins, meaning basically that it was treason to be Irish?

I've been thinking of transcribing the melody that Andy M. Stewart sings (quite different from the one in the 'Trad already), and posting that with the "Dinny the Piper" words, which are, I think, just different enough to warrant it, but I was wondering on this particular word.

Thanks,

Chris


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: MMario
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 04:30 PM

I would think Milesian


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 07:02 PM

"Milesian" it is. The boots belonged to the militia!

Regards


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: SDShad
Date: 19 Apr 00 - 09:41 AM

"Milesian" makes more sense, really. Thanks for confirming that, folks. Of course, most audiences won't have any idea what you're talking about, they'll figure you're talking about militias, or Malaysians or something. But the meaning of "treason to be a Milesian" really resonates for this song.

That said, when I first heard the Andy M. Stewart recording of it, it sounded like "militian," and apparently, from what I've found the last couple of days on the Web and Deja, the liner notes to the LP have it as same. But "Milesian" feels right. Thanks again.

Shad


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 08:57 AM

"Milesian" also turns up in some versions of "The Flower of Sweet Strabane", often as:

"She is the fairest creature of the whole Milesian clan.."

Regards


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: zander (inactive)
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 02:23 PM

The song actually says ' it was treason to be a musician ' it is called ' Dinny Burns the Piper '. Somewhere out there, there is a great recording by the Irish singer Noel Murphy. Regards, Dave


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: SDShad
Date: 20 Apr 00 - 02:52 PM

*sigh*....the folk process....

Now we've a third candidate. Esp. since, as I recall, there were times that the pipes were banned, it makes some sense too.

Shad


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 07:25 AM

"Musicians" is tempting alright! However: "Milesian" gives a reasonable internal rhyme with "treason" and fits better with the whole mock-heroic tone of the song, IMHO.The song also refers to the "ninety eight" i.e. the 1798 rebellion in Ireland - by which time any ban on musicians was more honoured in the breeches (sic) than the observance!

O'Lochlainn's "More Irish Street Ballads", from which all modern versions probaaably derive,quotes a ballad sheet (no details) as source and refers to a "long rambling story and some verses" in O'Neills "Irish Minstrels". Bruce?

I must confess I had long suspected this song was, like "Monto", a modern piss-take!

Regards


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 11:14 AM

There is a ballad-sheet in the Bodleian Library collection:  The Cow Eat The Piper.  Printer and date are unknown.  It has Melesian, which, though mis-spelt, looks like a definitive answer.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: SDShad
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 11:29 AM

I love this place! No question too obscure, no resource too off the beaten path. Thanks for the definitive answer, Malcolm. Say, what's the main address for that collection? The link to the song is all CGI stuff, so I'm having trouble finding a "home" link to it....

Chris


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 11:47 AM

This ought to do it:  http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/ballads/ballads.htm  It's an extremely useful resource.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: SDShad
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 12:00 PM

Found, gone to, and bookmarked. Wow. Already found a version of "House Carpenter" that I'd not seen before. Is this one on the Mudcat bookmarks page?

Chris


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 02:31 PM

Thanks, Malcolm - I've been meaning to browse through that lot!

Regards


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 04:57 PM

O'Lochlainn says "The tune resembles 'The Old Leather Breeches'...". On the ballad sheet Malcolm links to above, the same song is given! I reckon he was looking at the same sheet.

Regards


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 06:34 PM

I'm one of the vast number who have no idea what you're talking about. Would someone kindly explain what a 'Milesian' is in this context? I used to think it was a Greek hailing from Milet ... - Thanks, Susanne


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 08:00 AM

Suzanne

Sorry about that! The Shorter Oxford says:

Milesian : Of or pertaining to Milesius, a mythical Spanish king whose sons were said to have conquered the ancient kingdom of Ireland about 1300 BC, or his people; Irish. L16.B n. A member of the people descended from the companions of Milesius; an Irish person. L17.

It was used as a poetic term for Irish throgh the last century.

Regards


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 23 Apr 00 - 04:10 PM

Make that "the century before last.."!

Regards


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 07:29 PM

Refresh - just clearing the pipes....

Regards


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 05:42 PM

Milesian is an Irishman,Ishould know .Dick Miles [milesian]


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 06:09 PM

..of spanish descent!

Regards


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 06:19 PM

Here's what Wiki has to say:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milesians_(Irish)


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 07:22 PM

well, I guess a myth is as good as a smile...;>)

Regards


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Mar 09 - 07:08 PM

no a miles is as good as a smith.


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Subject: RE: 'Milesian' or Militian' in CowAtePiper?
From: GUEST,Pat Shanahan
Date: 05 Mar 12 - 06:42 AM

Heard a version of "Dinny Byrne" in Galway in the early 70s and I am pretty sure the singer,an engineering student. called Tommy Healy by the way, sang "militian"


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