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Lyr Add: Mary's Reply (to Mountains of Mourne)


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Michael in Swansea 10 Feb 01 - 06:15 AM
The Fooles Troupe 04 Jan 04 - 05:13 PM
Dave Bryant 05 Jan 04 - 05:00 AM
GUEST,grace 14 Jan 04 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,weerover 14 Jan 04 - 10:28 AM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Jan 04 - 05:04 PM
The Fooles Troupe 14 Jan 04 - 05:59 PM
GUEST, 13 Apr 06 - 01:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Apr 06 - 07:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Apr 06 - 06:40 PM
Geordie-Peorgie 19 Jun 08 - 04:38 PM
Genie 19 Jun 08 - 08:19 PM
GUEST,John O'C 24 Jun 10 - 05:45 AM
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Subject: ADD: Mary's Reply (to Mountains of Mourne)^^
From: Michael in Swansea
Date: 10 Feb 01 - 06:15 AM

Idly browsing the DT, I noticed the Mountains of Mourne listed but not Mary's reply so here it is. Same tune.


Dear Shamus, I've learned all your letter by heart
I've read it so often, I know every part
For when it arrived everybody here knew
And they all came to hear the good tidings from you
I need not explain that I missed out the part
Where you put little crosses and words like sweetheart
For my heart said to me, "You must read them alone
By the light of the moon by the Mountains o' Mourne"

I told them you'd met England's King and all that
And he recognised you by raising his hat
But I didn't explain that the cause of the fuss
Was you seeing him from the top of a bus
But the part they liked best sure, is where you confess
That in spite of the glamour and all your success
Your thoughts often wander to where you were born
And you long to be back by the Mountains of Mourne

It's good of you Shamus to send me that dress
But the size of the waist - tell me how did you guess?
Sure it fits me so tight, that Kate, in bad taste
Said your arm must have measured some other one's waist
If I thought that were true, now I think I should die
But the girls are so jealous - perhaps it's a lie
And maybe you'd guessed from the dress that I'd worn
When we walked, arms linked by the Mountains o' Mourne

Some great things have happened, of course, since you went
Kate's got a young man - that's the greatest event
He's employed at a gunpowder works, by the way
And he may get a rise any minute, they say
Her parents don't think his position's secure
And forbade her to see the poor lad anymore
But for what notice Kate takes I'll be sworn
They might as well talk to the Mountains o' Mourne

Oh, Shamus, I don't want to spoil your career
But God knows I wish you were back agin here
Sure it's lonely, avic, waiting day after day
For one face that, alas, never passes this way
But don't think I'm pining, you're better, 'tis true
Say you'll wait for the wild rose - and I'll wait for you
Though friendship may comfort, yet love is forlorn
While waiting for you by the Mountains o'Mourne

Collected by Nellie Walsh for Ireland's Own magazine
MJR ^^

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mary's Reply
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 04 Jan 04 - 05:13 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mary's Reply
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 05 Jan 04 - 05:00 AM

I've heard a funny version of this where she tells him that he's a fool and debunks most of his observations. It was sung by a lady at "The Blue Anchor Folk Club", Byfleet, Surrey, UK.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mary's Reply
From: GUEST,grace
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 08:42 AM

Does anyone know who owns the copyright to the mountains of mourne

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mary's Reply
From: GUEST,weerover
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 10:28 AM

"Mountains of Mourne" was written by Percy French.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mary's Reply
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 05:04 PM

And since Percy French died in 1920, it's got to be Public Domain.

I'm sure I've heard a version of Mary's reply in which she us a bit cynically cutting about the way Shamus is paying so much attention to these London ladies who don't have any tops on their dresses. Or perhaps that's just me imagining the kind of letter I'd expect her to write in response.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mary's Reply
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Jan 04 - 05:59 PM

Ah Mcgrath, if Dizzyland got their mits on the copyright, they own it in perputity, don't they?

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mary's Reply
From: GUEST,
Date: 13 Apr 06 - 01:30 PM

I got to this forum looking for Mary's Reply. The lyrics I found posted are new to me. Seems that I'm looking for the funny version which includes this verse:

Your story 'bout Peter O'Laughlin's a lie,
That you even would boast such it near makes me cry.
He has only one stripe while O'Flynn here with me,
Who is better than both of you now has got three.
And a little bird told me if I'm not mistook,
That O'Laughlin's in love with a FAT ENGLISH COOK!
Ach but you and O'Laughlan mean nothing to me
Where the mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

Can anyone add more?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mary's Reply (to Mts of Mourne)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Apr 06 - 07:39 PM

The version Michael in Swansea posted is more in keeping with Percy French's song, with it's misture of the sardonic and the sentimental. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that he wrote that sequel himself.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mary's Reply (to Mts of Mourne)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Apr 06 - 06:40 PM

I meant Percy French might maybe have written the sequel. These ambiguous pronouns...

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mary's Reply
From: Geordie-Peorgie
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 04:38 PM

This is a version by Alison Humphries - Gorgeous Irish lady who I met in Staines Folk Club and now resident in Canada

Dear Paddy! Why thanks for your speedy reply
To th letter I sent you a year last July
It arrived here last night, about midnight or so
For I heard a great crash from the doorstep below
Where the postman had dropped in a state of collapse
He'd been wandering for days with a compass and maps
he's not been for so long, he'd forgotten the way
And the mailbox! All cobwebs and moss and decay.

Now, cerebrally-chellenged you always have been
But you're right round the bend now, it's plain to be seen
For only the stupidest person alive
Would go 'digging for gold' on the M25
And, "they don't grow potatoes, nor barley, nor wheat"
For you get them in Sainsbury's just up the street
These days you get pizza, with garlic bread free
Where the mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea

Well! That Danny McLaren! Where did you get him?
You said that I knew him but I've never met him
But Peter McLaughlin, I'll never forget.
All that stuff with the sheep and the russian roulette
It's a wonder they gave him that early release
and to think now he's head of the London Police
Well, I've sent all the details to breakfast TV...
what he did by the Mournes sweeping down to the sea

Now it's true, a concern I may well have expressed
As to how the fine ladies in London are dressed
I'm in fahion design, as you know without doubt,
but accounts of your lust I can well do without.
For you tell me they're topless, these girls you're befriending
Well, if those are the parties that you've been attending
I'll kick you from Kilburn to Donaghadee
All the way down the Mournes and right into the sea.

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Subject: Mountains O' Mourne & Mary's Reply
From: Genie
Date: 19 Jun 08 - 08:19 PM

weerover, to be precise, Percy French wrote the lyrics to Mountains O' Mourne. The tune is the same as that used by Thomas Moore for "Bendemeer's Stream" and I don't know if anyone knows its origin.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Mary's Reply
From: GUEST,John O'C
Date: 24 Jun 10 - 05:45 AM

And just to add to the confusion:

I used to have it on an old 78 years ago, on the back side of "Mountains of Mourne", and the only line I can remember from it goes something like "sure I can't understand what's come o'er ye at all, to be watching the women half dressed at a ball. If that's the best work that you're findin' to do, then a grand place like London's not much use to you!". I will see if it still exists somewhere. but it's 30 years since i saw it at least.

Also when Sedman was reminiscing he used to sing a version that went in part" O they shipped me abroad Sir and all on me own, to a terrible place called Sierra Leone. There's (something) and (something) and Chigga worms too. You don't want to know what the Chigga worms do !
(He was Cable and Wireless foreign staff post 1945)

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