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Lyr Req: 'But why should words my frenzy whet...'

JedMarum 18 Dec 00 - 10:07 AM
paddymac 18 Dec 00 - 01:15 PM
Jed at Work 18 Dec 00 - 03:24 PM
GUEST,Big Mick 18 Dec 00 - 04:04 PM
Jed at Work 18 Dec 00 - 04:26 PM
mike putt 18 Dec 00 - 04:36 PM
MartinRyan 18 Dec 00 - 05:45 PM
Susanne (skw) 18 Dec 00 - 07:17 PM
paddymac 19 Dec 00 - 12:03 AM
Big Mick 19 Dec 00 - 12:29 AM
Jimmy C 19 Dec 00 - 02:59 PM
Jed at Work 19 Dec 00 - 03:53 PM
Jim Dixon 13 Oct 06 - 07:29 AM
Tim_McShane 18 Jun 11 - 06:12 PM
Tim_McShane 18 Jun 11 - 06:21 PM
GUEST 26 Oct 11 - 10:52 PM
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Subject: Find a 1916 IRA ballad
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 10:07 AM

A history I am reading mentions a popular ballad from the days of the 1916 Easter Rebellion. I would love to find the rest of the lyrics to this song, and the melody, if possible. In fact, any other info I can find on this ballad would be most appreciated. The song has a verse that says:
    But why should words my frenzy whet
    Unless we are to strike
    Our despot lords who fear no threat
    But reverence the pike
    Oh, do be wise, leave moral force
    The strength of thought and pen
    And all the value of discourse
    To lily-livered men.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Find a 1916 IRA ballad
From: paddymac
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 01:15 PM

Powerful message in those lyrics, Jed. The style of the language seems to fit that era well. Maybe it might be found in some works of poetry from that era. I'll take a look at the few that I have and see if I can help.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Find a 1916 IRA ballad
From: Jed at Work
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 03:24 PM

I suspect so, paddymac. I was reading a chapter about Michael Collins, and this verse used as backdrop for setting the era ... the writer thought it encapsulated the feeling of some just prior to the Rising. I was frankly more curious about the song!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Find a 1916 IRA ballad
From: GUEST,Big Mick
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 04:04 PM

I will check the various sources I have, my friend.



Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Find a 1916 IRA ballad
From: Jed at Work
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 04:26 PM

Thank Mick, I thought I might hear from you on this one! Have you read much history from this era? I read a great book on Michael Collins, and this one is a history on the Irish Civil War. Very interesting time for me ... days that my Irish imigrant relatives live through, on THIS side of the pond, but with a keen interest, none-the-less.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Find a 1916 IRA ballad
From: mike putt
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 04:36 PM

I have put the word out to a couple of pals and we will see what happens


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Find a 1916 IRA ballad
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 05:45 PM

Never heard this one. My "ear" suggests The Foggy Dew as a likely air. My head says the language - even ignoring the pike reference - suggests a 19C. source.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Find a 1916 IRA ballad
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 18 Dec 00 - 07:17 PM

Could it be a poem by Padraig Pearse?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Find a 1916 IRA ballad
From: paddymac
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 12:03 AM

Susanne - it does have sort of a "pearse" feel about it, doesn't it. I haven't stumbled on it yet, but my poetry collection is rather limited. My curiosity is aroused. I sure hope somebody out there finds it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Find a 1916 IRA ballad
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 12:29 AM

Yeah, Jed. I have read extensively on this era, as I would suspect you have. I haven't found it yet, but am still looking.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Find a 1916 IRA ballad
From: Jimmy C
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 02:59 PM

I know most of them and never came acros this one. It may well be a poem, I will search some more. If it was very well known in 1916 it is hardly by Pearse although it does have a certain air about it that could be his, maybe he taught it to his pupils, many of them fought in 1916. It reminds me more of R.D. Joyce, Thomas Davis, or Brian O'Higgins.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Find a 1916 IRA ballad
From: Jed at Work
Date: 19 Dec 00 - 03:53 PM

The author who quoted the ballad simply said that it was a popular ballad of the day. He was talking about the period between the 1916 Rising and the Irish Civil War. Unfortunately, he did not credit the song's composer.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'But why should words my frenzy whet...'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Oct 06 - 07:29 AM

I found a somewhat longer quote in the book, "Michael Collins: A Biography," by Tim Pat Coogan, page 13, found by Google Book Search. The only source given is "Mary Collins Powell quotes a ballad of the time, 'which, no doubt, left a lasting impression on Michael's young mind.' "

Great faith I have in moral force
Great trust in thought and pen
I know the value of discourse
To sway the minds of men
But why should words my frenzy whet
Unless we are to strike
Our despot lords who fear no threat
But reverence the pike
Oh, do be wise, leave moral force
The strength of thought and pen
And all the value of discourse
To lily-livered men.
But if you covet not to die
Of hunger in a dyke
If life we prize is liberty
A Pike – A Pike – A Pike.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'But why should words my frenzy whet...'
From: Tim_McShane
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 06:12 PM

Hi, All;

First post here on Mudcat, though I've been lurking a few months. I've learned a great deal from the community here, and I'm delighted to have an opportunity to contribute to help "pay my dues," however small that contribution might be.

Jim's longer quote was the trigger for me--a refrain including "A Pike, a pike, a pike!" kinda stuck with me. I think Martin wins the virtual pint of Guinness on this one--the song is indeed 19th C.

Georges Denis Zimmermann makes reference to this one in his "Songs of Irish Rebellion: Irish Political Street Ballads and Rebels Songs, 1780-1900." He doesn't have the full lyrics or tune, though, and it isn't included it in his "Selections" section--which, I'm sure, is why no one else may have picked up on it by now. The refrain (the last 8 lines Jim quotes) is listed on Zimmermann's page 47. Zimmermann states it's taken from "The Song of the Pike," published in the May 13th, 1848 edition of the short-lived newspaper, "The United Irishman." Zimmermann further records he consulted the "United Irishman" at the National Library of Ireland, in Dublin; seems like that's the place to look for a full set of lyrics, and any info regarding the tune.

I understand Jed is still on the Mudcat; I hope a lead almost 11 years after the inquiry isn't too late to be of use!

Cheers,

    - Tim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'But why should words my frenzy whet...'
From: Tim_McShane
Date: 18 Jun 11 - 06:21 PM

Jed, if you should be reading this, just what was the book you were reading that indicates this song was a popular ballad around the time of the '16 rising?

Cheers,

    - Tim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'But why should words my frenzy whet...'
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Oct 11 - 10:52 PM

Tim,

I first found this in "Michael COllins: The Man Who Made Ireland."

And this is the first luck I've had searching for more on it...

~Tom


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