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Lyr Add: The Skies o'er Ballyroan

radriano 08 Feb 01 - 12:30 PM
radriano 09 Feb 01 - 12:51 PM
Noreen 10 Feb 01 - 12:09 PM
MartinRyan 12 Feb 01 - 07:09 AM
MartinRyan 12 Feb 01 - 07:16 AM
MartinRyan 12 Feb 01 - 07:19 AM
MartinRyan 12 Feb 01 - 07:30 AM
Noreen 12 Feb 01 - 10:28 AM
radriano 13 Feb 01 - 11:15 AM
radriano 13 Feb 01 - 12:46 PM
mcpiper 14 Feb 01 - 04:59 AM
MartinRyan 14 Feb 01 - 05:53 AM
radriano 14 Feb 01 - 11:31 AM
Noreen 14 Feb 01 - 12:57 PM
radriano 14 Feb 01 - 02:36 PM
Mickey191 14 Feb 01 - 03:41 PM
mcpiper 15 Feb 01 - 04:30 AM
Noreen 15 Feb 01 - 06:35 AM
radriano 15 Feb 01 - 11:20 AM
mcpiper 16 Feb 01 - 04:19 AM
radriano 16 Feb 01 - 11:24 AM
MartinRyan 10 Oct 01 - 08:57 AM
GUEST 24 Dec 10 - 03:34 PM
Jim Dixon 29 Dec 10 - 12:38 PM
GUEST 01 Jun 12 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Seamus 16 Feb 14 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Martin long 04 Aug 17 - 06:15 PM
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Subject: Ballyroan
From: radriano
Date: 08 Feb 01 - 12:30 PM

There are a lot of holes in this transcription but I'm hoping that someone might be able to fill in the missing (or incorrect) phrases. I do have a recording of this but the singer is not enunciating very well and I just can't make out what all the words are. Part of my problem is just not being familiar with local jargon and place names.

Ballyroan is in Co. Laois, just northeast of Abbeyleix.

Ballyroan

I love the sunny shores of France
I love the Italian skies
Where beauty beams o'er fields and streams
And nature reigns sublime
I love the Alps, the winding Rhine
The classic (bow and row?)
But ten times more do I adore
The skies o'er Ballyroan

The golden sun ne'er shone upon
A sweeter little town
The padded wheel that runs the mill
Through hazel shades runs down
The (multi?) crowned with noble trees
Its origins unknown
Its silver grays illumes the place
For miles round Ballyroan

The chapel spire high over all
(Boils?) to the crystal skies
The vesper's chimes proclaim the time
When evening worships night
And home the hearty workman hikes
His (hour of toil now flow?)
With songs of cheer and Scottish beer
Enlivens Ballyroan

Oh, Ballyroan, me native home
It grieves my heart full sore
Within my breast (in you oppress?)
I'd act the hero's part
If I should fall for Ireland's cause
Like Emmett and ( ? )
(my lay to sun to golden high??)
Before sweet Ballyroan


Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan
From: radriano
Date: 09 Feb 01 - 12:51 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: Noreen
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 12:09 PM

Sorry that I don't know the song, Richard. Who is singing it? I take it to be traditional(ish)- is it a home- made recording or is anyone else likely to have the recording?

I could hazard a guess or two, or ask around, if no-one else comes up with anything.

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 12 Feb 01 - 07:09 AM

Richard

Doesn't sound familiar. Any more details? Sure of the title?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 12 Feb 01 - 07:16 AM

It's a fairly safe bet the last gap is:
...like Emmett and Wolfe Tone"!

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 12 Feb 01 - 07:19 AM

A quick Google search turns up a few references to a Dolores Keane recording - but no lyrics.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 12 Feb 01 - 07:30 AM

I also see it listed on an old Danny Doyle recording as "The Skies over Ballyroan"

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: Noreen
Date: 12 Feb 01 - 10:28 AM

Can't be a recording by Dolores if "the singer is not enunciating very well" LOL!

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: radriano
Date: 13 Feb 01 - 11:15 AM

Hello everyone:

Thanks for the responses to this. I heard this song from a local Irish band whose name I can't remember because I can't find the darn tape. The singer was an Irishman named Chris Andretti who is now living in County Roscommon in Ireland. I did manage to track down one of the other band members (John Caulfield) who still lives in the Bay Area. He thought that Ballyroan was a traditional song that Chris had put an air to but I would guess that the song has a recent author, judging from the lyrics. I did track down Chris' address in Ireland so I will write to him and see what I can find out.

I have not heard Dolores Keane's version of the song. Does anyone know if it's listed as traditional on her album?

Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: radriano
Date: 13 Feb 01 - 12:46 PM

The name of the group that did Ballyroan was "The Mild Colonial Boys." The group broke up when Chris Andretti moved to Ireland some years ago. I spoke with my ex-wife this morning who was good friends with the members of the band. She said she had the words written down but she couldn't find her song book just then - so I may get the correct lyrics after all.

Martin, thanks for your message. The fact that you didn't find the title listed lends some credence to my theory that it's not a traditional song.

I have just found out that Thomas Hodge is cited as the author of Ballyroan on the Dolores Keane album.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: mcpiper
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 04:59 AM

Hi Radriao, just remembered I have the lyrics as sung by Dolores Keane, so I'll fill in where I can:
The classic Po and Rhone
The purling rill,that runs the mill...
The moat high crowned ...
Points to the crystal sky
His hour of toil now flown
With songs of cheer and Scully's beer..
With grief my heart is sore
Within my breastand you oppressed...
Like Emmet and Wolfe Tone
Then my last sigh to god on high
Would be for Ballyroan.
Just a bit more info. Thomas Hodge is given as the author on the sheet I have, he was a school master from Ballyroan. The song was written in the late 19th century, Hodge emigrated to Chicago, where he died. The text I have also says that Chris Andertti was busking one day, when an old man gave him the song, Chris composed a new melody and in turn gave the song to Dlores. It is a wonderful testament to a person's lve of his home place.
All this is off the lyric sheets that came with Dolore's album The Night Owl.
Hope this all helps as,to use a phrase I learnt off Mudcat" I have told you more than I know" Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 05:53 AM

Thanks,mcpiper.

Just in passing: "moat" in this case is usually spelled "motte" - meaning a defensive mound, rather than a ditch.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: radriano
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 11:31 AM

Thank you, mcpiper! I have already ordered Dolores Keane's CD but that's okay because I wanted to get it anyway.

So Chris Andretti did write the melody after all. I think I'll still write to him and see how he's doing.

Thanks to all who posted to this thread.
Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: Noreen
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 12:57 PM

Can you cut & paste so we can see what still needs guessing at (if anything), Richard?

Noreen


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Subject: Lyr Add: BALLYROAN
From: radriano
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 02:36 PM

Okay, here's what it looks like. The meaning of the third line of the last verse is unclear to me but it did make more sense to see "Scottish beer" turn into "Scully's Beer" in the third verse.

BALLYROAN
Words by Ballyroan schoolmaster Thomas Hodge (written in the late 19th century)
Melody by Chris Andretti

I love the sunny shores of France
I love the Italian skies
Where beauty beams o'er fields and streams
And nature reigns sublime
I love the Alps, the winding Rhine
The classic Po and Rhone
But ten times more do I adore
The skies o'er Ballyroan

The golden sun ne'er shone upon
A sweeter little town
The purling rill that runs the mill
Through hazel shades runs down
The motte, high crowned with noble trees
Its origins unknown
Its silver grays illumes the place
For miles round Ballyroan

The chapel spire high over all
Points to the crystal sky
The vesper's chimes proclaim the time
When evening worships night
And home the hearty workman hikes
His hour of toil now flown
With songs of cheer and Scully's beer
Enlivens Ballyroan

Oh, Bally Roan, me native home
With grief my heart is sore
Within my breastand you oppressed
I'd act the hero's part
If I should fall for Ireland's cause
Like Emmett and Wolfe Tone
Then my last sigh to God on high
Would be for Ballyroan

Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: Mickey191
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 03:41 PM

Danny Doyle's CD "Emigrant Eyes" gives credit to his friend Chris Andretti for the music. words by Thomas Hodge who was a hedgemaster in Ireland. He emigrated to Chicago and became a physician. Sully's beer is correct. This is a great CD with a nice variety of songs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: mcpiper
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 04:30 AM

Hi Radriano and Noreen,

A small typo on my part didn't help. The third line in the last verse should read
Within my breast and you oppressed I'd act the hero's part.

If you read it following on from the previous line it makes sense

Oh, Ballyroan, my native home
With grief my heart is sore within my breast.
And you oppressed,
I'd act the hero's part.

I take it as meaning the grief makes his heart sore within his breast, and if Ballyroan were oppressed he would act the hero's part. Hope I have explained what I mean clearly enough, just one line running into the other, but the tune calls for a break somewhere.
Cheers


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: Noreen
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 06:35 AM

Sounds like a good set of words now. Great job all! Now all it needs is the tune... :0)

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: radriano
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 11:20 AM

Thanks for the clarification, mcpiper.

I can't make midi files but I'm happy to provide the melody on tape if someone else will do the honors. I can also try to notate the song in ABC.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: mcpiper
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 04:19 AM

Hello all,
while we are on the job, any chance of anyone doing a tab or explanation of the way John Faulkner plays the backing for this song on Dolores Keanes album.
Thanks, mcpiper.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: radriano
Date: 16 Feb 01 - 11:24 AM

Mcpiper, when I receive my copy of Dolores Keane's album I'll give the song a good listen. I'm a guitar player myself - if I can figure out what he's doing I'll be happy to pass it on to you.

And Martin, thanks so much for your explanation of "motte." I much prefer knowing what I'm singing about.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan - help fill in missing words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 08:57 AM

Heard Sean Tyrell singing this recently at a session in a Co. Clare pub this summer. Around the line about "the purling rill..", someone flushed the neighbouring toilet noisily! The place just broke up!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Ballyroan
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Dec 10 - 03:34 PM

She is a fair place little spot Ballyroan. Scullys pub is still there {THE SKIES ORE}if a cat walked across the road in Ballyroan the skies ore would be belted out tears would be creeping down every cheek in the place you could into Scullys at 4am and the craic would be mighty they can hear the cops coming 3 miles away


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE SKIES O'ER BALLYROAN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Dec 10 - 12:38 PM

I found this text in The Byrnes and the O'Byrnes, Vol 2 By Daniel Byrne-Rothwell (Isle of Colonsay, Argyll: House of Lochar, 2010), page 382, where it is attributed to Christopher O'Byrne (1862-1950).

I wouldn't put 100% faith in either the text or the attribution. I had to correct a few misspellings and obvious typos such as "o'ver" for "o'er."


THE SKIES O'ER BALLYROAN

I love the sunny shores of France,
I love the Italian clime,
Where beauty beams o'er fields and streams,
And nature reigns sublime.
I love the Alps and the winding Rhine,
The classic Po and Rhone;
But ten times more do I adore
The skies o'er Ballyroan.

The golden sun ne'er beamed upon
A sweeter little town;
The purling rill that drives the mill,
Through hazel shades runs down,
The motte* high-crowned with noble trees,
Its origin unknown,
Its silver grace illumes the place
For miles round Ballyroan.

The chapel spire high over all
Points to the crystal sky;
The vesper chimes proclaim the time
When evening worship's nigh.
As home the weary workman hikes—
His hour of toil now flown—
With songs and cheer and Scully's beer
Enlivens Ballyroan.

Oh, Ballyroan, my native home,
Why grieve my Irish heart,
Within my breast with you oppressed
I'll act a brave man's part.
But should I die for Ireland's cause,
Like Emmet or Wolfe Tone,
My last long sigh to Heaven on high
Will be for Ballyroan.

[* I agree that "motte" makes more sense than "moat," but "moat" is what I found. By the way, Wikipedia confirms that Ballyroan has a motte.]


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Skies o'er Ballyroan
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Jun 12 - 12:49 PM

I knew the song from Dolores Keane's singing and always liked it, primarily for the words...the shape of the melody—while pleasing—didn't seem to be likely either as a traditional melody, or a nineteenth century parlor production, so I wondered about the juxtaposition of poetic and musical sensibilities. A bit of web-poking showed the reason for my suspicions—roughly, a century. Fair play to Mr. Andretti, but his melody is very much of the modern, folk-strumming, construction...and very unlike the poem. The good news is, it works—and has brought a lovely poem back to currency.

Which got me thinking what Mr. Hodges might have had in mind when he wrote his lyrics. My [strong] suspicion? The VERY POPULAR tune known variously as THE LAST ROSE OF SUMMER (Moore's Melody to it); or THE GROVES OF BLARNEY. In this latter guise [itself a knock-off of an earlier "Praise of Castle Hyde" song] it was host to a zillion songs throughout the nineteenth century, spawned to praise one location or another in Ireland—some seriously (like this one, if it is indeed another member of the extended family); some...not so much, like THE GROVES OF BLARNEY itself; and some...somewhere in the middle (like "Father Prout's" BELLS OF SHANDON).

Using the tune makes the song much harder to sing—the melody has an extended range—but, for those of a historicist bent like myself, I think there's an excellent chance doing so would restore the homesick Mr. Hodge's song to a form he'd both enjoy—and recognize.

As always...just one man's opinion.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Skies o'er Ballyroan
From: GUEST,Seamus
Date: 16 Feb 14 - 04:22 PM

Heard this song recited recently at the graveside of Michael Scully, late proprietor of the Skies O'er, Ballyroan, public house, a very fitting tribute to a man whose very family name is remembered in the words of this elegant ballad.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Skies o'er Ballyroan
From: GUEST,Martin long
Date: 04 Aug 17 - 06:15 PM

The melody was indeed written by my dear friend Chris Andreeti who sadly died a few years ago. He was an English singer with a wonderful sonorous voice . How he came to write the melody was that he was busking in Roscommon and a very drunken fella came up to him and asked if he knew Ballyroan which was his favourite song Chris replied that he didn't and the bloke went off only to return a while later with the lyrics. Chris took them home and o be the next couple of weeks wrote the air. Sometime later he was singing it on the street and the same guy turned up drunk again and berated Chris that he was singing his favourite song and that he was singing the wrong back in time Mi have a recording of Chris singing this and Delorous Keane's version pale into insignificance . I'd be happy to let anybody who wanted to hear his version get a copy
Martin


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