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Origins: Sweet Connlough Bay? / ...Carnlough Bay

DigiTrad:
CARNLOCH BAY (2)
ROAD TAE DUNDEE
ROAD TO DUNDEE
SWEET CARNLOCH BAY


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Sweet Carnlough Bay (McKay) (8)
(origins) Info on: The Road and the Miles to Dundee (14)
Lyr Req: Sweet Carnlough Bay (McKay) (11)
Lyr Req: Road to Dundee (from Andy Stewart) (4)
Lyr Req: Irish version of the Road to Dundee? (6)


GUEST,Robbie 11 Aug 00 - 11:56 AM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Aug 00 - 12:29 PM
GUEST,Robbie 11 Aug 00 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 11 Aug 00 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 11 Aug 00 - 04:08 PM
John Moulden 12 Aug 00 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,Bruce O. 12 Aug 00 - 10:27 AM
John Moulden 12 Aug 00 - 10:36 AM
Thomas the Rhymer 12 Aug 00 - 01:11 PM
GUEST 12 Aug 00 - 01:37 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 12 Aug 00 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,Joerg 12 Aug 00 - 09:35 PM
GUEST,mary mckay 21 Nov 04 - 04:30 PM
belfast 22 Nov 04 - 02:57 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Dec 10 - 08:25 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 17 Dec 10 - 09:55 AM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 27 Dec 10 - 10:57 PM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 29 Dec 10 - 03:52 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 30 Dec 10 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 30 Dec 10 - 10:41 AM
GUEST 08 Nov 13 - 03:31 PM
Jim McLean 21 Jan 18 - 05:41 PM
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Subject: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: GUEST,Robbie
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 11:56 AM

I have been trying to learn the words to this song from an old recording that my father had, but I can't quite make them out. Can anyone help me out on this?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 12:29 PM

One of those times when variant spellings make a search difficult if you don't know what to expect.  Have a look at this previous discussion:  Sweet Carnlough Bay  and these two versions on the DT:  Sweet Carnloch Bay  and  Carnloch Bay

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: GUEST,Robbie
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 02:04 PM

Thanks, Malcolm. The DT version of Sweet Carnloch Bay appears to be the same as the song my father has.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 02:37 PM

See also "Road to/tae Dundee" in DT.

Steve Roud's folksong index gives #2300 to both "Sweet Carnloch Bay" and "The Road to Dundee". He found no broadside text for either and I haven't found any on the Bodley Ballads website. The sole Irish traditional text indexed is that noted in the list of Irish folk songs in Journals on my website. O Lochlain says in his notes (Irish Street Ballads, #95) that it is by the Poet Mackay, but does not say where he got that information.

Roud lists numerous traditional and recorded versions of the Scots version, including versions from Canada. There's a slip-up here as he has Nigel Gatherer's 'Songs and Ballads of Dundee', 1986, as one of the sources indexed, but his index doesn't list a Scots version, (Gatherer's song #63A, "The Road tae Dundee"), from Belle Stewart, given with tune. Another tune without text is also given (#63B).

Gatherer, who knew of the Irish version, says in his notes that nothing is known of the origin of the song, but pointed out a variant printed copy in the Poets Box, where the girl reveals she is the daughter of a Scots duke. That Poets Box is a series of songs that I know nothing about. Gatherer also mentions that there is a parody of the song called "The Hoor o' Dunblane" (which he does not give, and I have not seen).

Several texts and tunes of the 'Dundee' version are given in 'The Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection', V, #971, 1995, but there is nothing in the notes there about the origins of the song or any broadside copies.

All of which is to say, simply, that I don't really know much of anything about the songs. Perhaps someone else can do better, and someone can also supply us with that parody.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 11 Aug 00 - 04:08 PM

Sorry for an error. Sorry, I missed the coding that indicates which sources in Steve Roud's bibliography have actully been entered into his folk song database. The songs in Nigel Gatherer's 'Songs and Ballads of Dundee' are not yet indexed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: John Moulden
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 06:52 AM

I have never seen a set of the north Irish version which cannot be traced to Colm O'Lochlainn's printing. This is interesting since Sam Henry, who collected many songs in the area, did not find the song. Colm O'Lochlainn learned it from Cathal O'Byrne c 1913 and, as Bruce says, attributes it to the poet McKay.

The only other references to McKay (so far as I can discover) are in Jack McBride: Traveller in the Glens (Belfast, 1979). McBride knew Alex McKie (as his book spells it and which is how McKay is pronounced in the north of Ireland and I think in Sctoland) and credits him with a song called "The drowning of young Montgomery" McBride also remembered him living at a place called Dunmaul near Garron Point and being forced to leave his cottage because of a large boulder which dropped off the cliffs and perched itself on his roof. My guess is that this would have been in the twenties or thirties and that McKay would have been in his seventies.

McBride says that McKie claimed to have been in the "Horse Police" in Belfast and that his favourite saying was "Huh! the poet was a boy in he's young days." He is also credited with writing a song called the Peridot about a coaster which was lost.

Curiously McBride does not mention Sweet Carnloch Bay.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 10:27 AM

Thanks John. I was counting on you to clarify things a bit regarding the Irish version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: John Moulden
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 10:36 AM

"An old man called McKay" at Carnlough is mentioned in a letter of 1940 written to Sam Henry by Sam Knox who lived near Slemish mountain in Co Antrim. This old man had written a song about the first tennis court in Carnlough. It seems likely that all these McKay/McKies are the same person. If he was "old" in 1940 - at least 70 - he would have been in his forties in 1913. That's at least plausible.

Whoever wrote Sweet Carnloch Bay had some local knowledge because Pat Hamill's Pub is still pointed out though that is not now its name.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 01:11 PM

Alright You Guys! I looked in several listings, copied down a couple of songs that I never knew existed, and got nothing for Sweet Connlough Bay. The hook is set, please get the net! I want the words, the tune,... I want it all!

p p p please?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 01:37 PM

Read 2nd message in this thread, and click on colored titles.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 01:42 PM

OOPS, Thanks for the assistance!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: GUEST,Joerg
Date: 12 Aug 00 - 09:35 PM

The song was also once recorded by Eddie & Finbar Furey as 'Carron Lough Bay'. Lough unlike harrharr, and also not sweet. There should be something that points to what is meant regardless of the spelling.

Joerg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: GUEST,mary mckay
Date: 21 Nov 04 - 04:30 PM

I know who the Poet McKay is . He was Richard McKay born Armagh 1800 and died in Blairgowrie Scotland in 1897 . He was a direct ancestor of mine. According to my family he also wrote The Road and the Miles to Dundee the Scottish version of Sweet Carnlough Bay. We were also given to believe he also wrote Come All Ye Tramps And Hawker Lads and others. He was a hawker himself as were most of my ancestors at that time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Sweet Connlough Bay
From: belfast
Date: 22 Nov 04 - 02:57 PM

Many thanks to Mary McKay. Can you give us any more information about your ancestor? Is there anything in print?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sweet Connlough Bay? / ...Carnlough Bay
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 08:25 AM

The oldest copy I can find of this song is in Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, Vol. 3-4 (Dublin: Irish Folk Song Society, 1904?*), page 31.

I can't see the whole thing since it is classified as "snippet view" by Google Books due to copyright restrictions, but I can see this much:

2. Says I, "My wee lassie, I canna weel tell you
The number of miles or how far it may be.
But if you'll consent I'll convoy [sic?] you a wee bit
And show you the road to sweet Carnlough Bay.

* I'm not sure that the 1904 date corresponds to the particular volume that contains the song. It might be the date the Journal began. That would put the date of the volume around 1907.

Anyway, this is a older than O'Lochlainn's Irish Street Ballads (1939) which was mentioned earlier as a possible first printing.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sweet Connlough Bay? / ...Carnlough Bay
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 17 Dec 10 - 09:55 AM

The reference above is wrong it should be volume 18 page 31. At this stage the Journal was edited by Donal J. O'Sullivan. The snippet view does not reveal that this version was contributed by Colm O'Lochlainn and that his source was Cathal O'Byrne - as in Irish Street Ballads - and the words are the same save for small differences.

The version in the DT as Carnloch Bay - see Malcolm Douglas' (RIP) entry above - is a puzzle. Has anyone any idea where I can find documentation of the source of this version? It is said to be "From Paddy Graber, Vancouver, 1967; Learned in Ireland, ca
1929-1930, from David Young, Omagh Co., Tyrone." and the note is signed 'MS' - I intend to look up MS in the DT and start a new thread directing this inquiry at him/her but perhaps someone will save me the effort and add the information.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sweet Connlough Bay? / ...Carnlough Bay
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 27 Dec 10 - 10:57 PM

If it isn't too long [though it is] here's a bit of an article I wrote quite a few years ago for BC Folklore:


Paddy Graber of Vancouver got a song from Davie Young of Omagh, County Tyrone, about 1930, whose tune was said by Joe Heaney to be that of "One Morning in June". The Graber tune is to be found in Dominic Behan's collection Ireland Sings (London, 1965) as "Love of My Heart" (beginning "One morning in June and me going along the way"), a translation from the macaronic "with new music by Wolfe Stephens", which is evidently an alias for Behan himself.

Paddy's song was "Sweet Carnloch Bay", a version of which appears in the excellent anthology by Colm O Lochlainn, Irish Street Ballads, vol. I (1939), 188 (no. 95). The editor learned it "in Belfast, 1913, from Cathal O Byrne. [Words by] the Poet Mackay, well known character around the Glens of Antrim." Here is the way Paddy sings it:

[music inserted]

1.        The wind was a-howling high on the mountainside,
        Dark were the clouds o'er the deep-rolling sea;
        I spied a wee lass a-coming the road to me,
        Enquiring the road to sweet Carnloch Bay.

2.        Her features were fair, like an angel she appeared to me,
        Little I knew who the colleen might be,
        Said I, "My wee lass, sure I'll come along with you,
        And show you the road to sweet Carnloch Bay."

3.        "Kind sir," says she, "I don't mean to flatter you,
        Never you think that I'm just making free;
        But happy I'd be if you'd come along with me
        And show me the road to sweet Carnloch Bay."

4.        She gave me her arm, we passed through the keening gate,
        In through the churchyard and down by the sea,
        We listened a while to hear the sad wheeon cry,
        As we journeyed the road to sweet Carnloch Bay.

5.        At last we did come to her destination,
        The time came for parting between her and me,
        She lifted her lips, I kissed them right manfully,
        As we said our farewell at sweet Carnloch Bay.

6.        Slan lath, colleen óg, I cannot forget you now,
        Your features are etched deep in my memory;
        My heart gives a leap when I hear the wheeon cry,
        Going the road to sweet Carnloch Bay.

This is a further development of the situation in the O Lochlainn version, which runs as follows:

[MUSIC]

1.        When winter was brawling, o'er high hills and mountains,
        And dark were the clouds o'er the deep rolling say,
        I spied a wee lass as the daylight was dawning,
        She was asking the road to sweet Carnloch Bay.

2.        I said my wee lassie I canna weel tell ye
        The number of miles or how far it might be
        But if you'll consent I'll convoy you a wee bit,
        And I'll show you the road to sweet Carnloch Bay.

3.        You turn to the right and pass down by the churchyard
        Cross over the river and down by the sea;
        We'll call at Pat Hamill's and have a wee drop there
        Just to help us along to sweet Carnloch Bay.

4.        Here's a health to Pat Hamill likewise the wee lassie
        And to every laddie that's listening to me.
        And ne'er turn your back on a bonny wee lassie
        When she's asking the road to sweet Carnloch Bay.

Here we see the churchyard, and also the appearance of a tavern kept by Pat Hamill. When we look at the Scottish versions, there is no kirkyard, and most printed versions don't bring in the demon drink. John Ord, Bothy Songs and Ballads (1930), 152, prints words and music as follows:

[MUSIC]

1.        Cauld winter was howling o'er muir and o'er mountains,
        And wild was the surge on the dark-rolling sea,
        When I met, about daybreak, a bonnie young lassie,
        Wha asked me the road and the miles to Dundee.

2.        Said I, "My young lassie, I canna weel tell ye,
        The road and the distance I canna weel gie;
        But if ye'll permit me to gang a wee bittie,
        I'll show you the road and the miles to Dundee."

3.        At once she consented, and gave me her arm;
        Ne'er a word did I speir wha the lassie might be,
        She appeared like an angel in feature and form,
        As she walked by my side on the road to Dundee.

4.        At length, wi' the Howe o' Strathmartine behind us,
        And the spires o' the toon in full view we could see;
        She said, "Gentle sir, I can never forget ye
        For showing me so far on the road to Dundee.

5.        "This ring and this purse take to prove I am grateful,
        And some simple token I trust ye'll gie me,
        And in times to come I'll the laddie remember
        That showed me the road and the miles to Dundee."

6.        I took the gowd pin from the scarf on my bosom,
        And said, "Keep ye this in remembrance o' me."
        Then bravely I kissed the sweet lips o' the lassie
        Ere I parted wi' her on the road to Dundee.

7.        So here's to the lassie—I ne'er can forget her—
        And ilka young laddie that's listening to me;
        And never be sweer to convoy a young lassie
        Though it's only to show her the road to Dundee.

Ord's text and tune reappear in Mozart Allan's Bothy Songs and Ballads, arranged by Thomas A. Johnson, there called oddly "The Miles and the Road to Dundee"; also in Norman Buchan, 101 Scottish Songs (Glasgow, Collins, 1962), p. 66. Mozart Allan also published (under the "real" title) sheet music of practically the same words, but with a tune collected by the Scottish singer Calum Kennedy: 6/8 time, but a pleasant one-strain major melody, which is these days much better known:

[INSERT TUNE]

Ord's predecessor and colleague in folksong collecting, Gavin Greig, published a similar text in 1908, with a couple of variants from another version:

        I turned me about, and I made for to leave her,
        But she lookit roon wi' a tear in her e'e;
        Says. "Laddie, dear laddie, how can I reward you
        For showin' me the road and sae far on to Dundee?

        "Here's twenty bright guineas, a Scotch Duke's my father,
        He's bound to support me, so let it go free;
        Call in by yon tavern and tak' a wee drappie,
        For a body that's travellin' it will help him a wee."

He comments: "The former way of it makes a better song for modern taste; but I am inclined to think it represents an emendation and that the latter way is likely to be nearer the original." This is the case, as will be shown. He collected it to two different tunes, as above. What we can call the "old set" is used by several songs, notably "The Lass o' Glenshee", much collected and printed; it itself derives from a 17th-century tune, Adieu Dundee, which has its own words and subsequent history.
        In vol. V of the well-edited Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection (Edinburgh, 1995), 99-104, we have seven versions, four with tunes (no. 971). The B and C texts are accompanied by the old set, A and D by the new. The exchange of purse and pin is featured in E, F, and G; the guineas for a drappie in A, B, E.

The original of all these goes back to the early part of the nineteenth century. In an old volume of cuttings from newspapers, mainly from Fife, I discovered an article dating from the 'eighties, giving some anecdotes concerning the life of "Flutorum, a Fifeshire Character". His real name was David Hatton, and he kept a public house called the Flutorum Tavern at Thornton. He was a very ingenious fellow, and wrote articles for the press of Glasgow on his inventions, which included a mill worked by mice—the industrial possibilities of which were, alas, overlooked. He had invented a wind instrument "on the bagpipe principle" [resembling the Northumbrian or Union pipes], whence the name of his hostelry, and his own nickname. On this instrument he would accompany himself as he sang his favourite song, which had been written for him in 1825 by D. Young of Dysart. This was received from the poet by T. Elder of Kirkcaldy, author of the article. The connection with other versions will be obvious.

                                The WAY TO DUNDEE
        
1.        Grim winter was howlin' o'er moorland and mountain,
        And wild were the waves o' the dark stormy sea,
        I met a young lassie ae mornin' by daybreak,
        Wha asked me the road and hoo far to Dundee.

2.        I looked at the lassie, and said, "My fair creature,
        The distance in miles that I canna weel gie,
        But wi' your consent I'll convoy you a distance,
        And show you the road that rins North to Dundee."

3.        I gave her my airm, as onward we wandered,
        But never ance speered wha my comrade wad be,
        She seemed like an angel in form and in feature,
        As we took our way Northward the road to Dundee.

4.        And when we were pairtin', I bade her guid mornin',
        She aft looked aroond her wi' tears in her e'e,
        And said, "Ye'r sae kind that I ne'er can repay you,
        For showin' me sae far on the road to Dundee."

5.        "But there's twenty guineas, a Duke is my feyther,
        He's bound to support me, I'll mak' it gang free,
        Step into Flutorum's and get a wee drappie,
        And I'll travel onwards the road to Dundee."

6.        To here's to this lassie, I aye will respect her,
        And sae may ilk laddie noo listenin' to me,
        And never refuse to escort a young lassie,
        Should she only ask him the road to Dundee.

        The predecessor of Young's version is a love song by Charles Gray of Anstruther on the coast of Fife (1782-1851), which appeared in his Poems (Cupar, 1811), p. 158, and is anthologised (for instance) in Rogers' Scottish Minstrel (1870), p. 207. The air to which it is directed to be sung is "Bonnie Dundee", i.e. Adieu Dundee. [The tune now sung to Scott's verses since about 1850 is entirely different, being The Band at a Distance, related to the children's game-song "Queen Mary, Queen Mary, my age is sixteen".] Gray's first verse runs:

        Grim winter was howlin' owre muir and owre mountain,
        And bleak blew the wind on the wild stormy sea;
        The cauld frost had lock'd up each riv'let and fountain,
        As I took the dreich road that leads north to Dundee.
        Though a' round was dreary, my heart was fu' cheerie,
        And cantie I sung as the bird on the tree;
        For when the heart's light, the feet winna soon weary,
        Though ane should gang further than bonnie Dundee!


        In Edith Fowke's Traditional Singers and Songs from Ontario (Folklore Associates / Burns & MacEachern, 1965), no. 52, we find what seems to be the unique American version (from Jim Doherty of Peterborough, who had it from his mother, a Heffernan, whose parents came to Canada from Ireland around the middle of last century). Doherty's tune is, as we might expect, the old "Lass o' Glenshee", the song of that name being very common in Ontario. The text, as EF notes, is close to Greig's "original way", stanza 5 going

        Here is twenty bright guineas; my father's a Scotch duke;
        He's bound to support me, a lady gone free.
        Call into Victoria and have a wee droppie
        As we gang along on the road to Dundee.

This = Young's stanza 5, but is actually closer to Greig; line two is an obvious mishearing. As for "Victoria", cf. st. 7 of Belle Stewart's version in Nigel Gatherer's Songs and Ballads of Dundee (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1986),125 (with the music, old set):

Noo I'll gang intae Vic Torrance an' I'll tak a wee drappie,
On the road gettin hame it will help me a wee,
And fondly I'll think on the bonnie wee lassie,
The lassie I left on the Road tae Dundee.

(It is perhaps not too unlikely that this is a reminiscence of the original's "Flutorum".)   He also gives (126) a variant tune from Charles Lamb, coll. by Peter Shepheard.

        The line of descent probably goes from Young in two branches: one, the Scots-Irish of Mackay (Antrim, and particularly Ballymena, being predominantly Scots; remember the Plantation of Ulster), and hence to Cathal O Byrne by 1913, picking up a real Irish tune on the way; the other, remaining in Scotland, and spreading from Fife via Flutorum's customers and the Dundee feeing market to the bothies of the north-east. This version became associated with another tune towards the end of the century, which seems to be an offshoot (or relative, at least) of the air to "The Town of Arbroath" by Charles Myles (1856-1914).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sweet Connlough Bay? / ...Carnlough Bay
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 03:52 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sweet Connlough Bay? / ...Carnlough Bay
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 10:41 AM

I'm glad you "refreshed" it, M on S; a most interesting article. I'd heard "R & M to D" since childhood (in Calum Kennedy's version), and when I found "S C B" in O'Lochlainn immediately recognised the connection, but had never followed this further. Now, anyone got any ideas on the Duke... (probably just a folk-song convention?)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sweet Connlough Bay? / ...Carnlough Bay
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 30 Dec 10 - 10:41 AM

Thank you for the clarification, Murray. You are evidently MS of the DT. Given the line of derivation you suggest, I'm in a bit of doubt over the traditionality of some of Paddy Graber/David Young's verses - they may be personal to one or other of them. Not that that's a bad thing but I like to know how things change and what impelled the change. Do you have any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sweet Connlough Bay? / ...Carnlough Bay
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Nov 13 - 03:31 PM

The Poet McKay

Carnlough Bay

The Peridot. "You people round sweet Carnlough town
Again on you I call
And for your seamen don't feel shame
To let your salt tears fall......."

For Edmund Kelly

Three I know of
Oh if he was born in 1800 he was about 120 when he died lol


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Subject: RE: Origins: Sweet Connlough Bay? / ...Carnlough Bay
From: Jim McLean
Date: 21 Jan 18 - 05:41 PM

Does anyone know whether Ord's minor tune is the oldest?


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