Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen

DigiTrad:
SKIBBEREEN


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Skibbereen + Irish Soldier Laddie (13)
(origins) Origin: Dear Old Skibbereen (18)


menzze 13 Feb 01 - 03:07 AM
MartinRyan 13 Feb 01 - 03:13 AM
Fiolar 13 Feb 01 - 09:36 AM
Big Tim 13 Feb 01 - 09:57 AM
Amergin 13 Feb 01 - 12:37 PM
Stewart 13 Feb 01 - 01:36 PM
Joe Offer 13 Feb 01 - 02:12 PM
MartinRyan 13 Feb 01 - 04:41 PM
Big Tim 13 Feb 01 - 04:54 PM
menzze 13 Feb 01 - 05:53 PM
Big Tim 14 Feb 01 - 01:32 PM
Big Tim 14 Feb 01 - 02:32 PM
Joe Offer 14 Feb 01 - 02:55 PM
Kim C 14 Feb 01 - 04:15 PM
Joe Offer 14 Feb 01 - 04:39 PM
Kim C 14 Feb 01 - 05:20 PM
MartinRyan 14 Feb 01 - 06:23 PM
MartinRyan 14 Feb 01 - 06:32 PM
Joe Offer 14 Feb 01 - 10:22 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 15 Feb 01 - 03:56 AM
Big Tim 15 Feb 01 - 04:15 AM
Liam's Brother 15 Feb 01 - 09:44 AM
Kim C 15 Feb 01 - 09:52 AM
paddymac 15 Feb 01 - 10:14 AM
MartinRyan 15 Feb 01 - 10:15 AM
MartinRyan 15 Feb 01 - 10:24 AM
GMT 15 Feb 01 - 10:46 AM
GMT 15 Feb 01 - 10:58 AM
Big Tim 15 Feb 01 - 12:34 PM
Big Tim 15 Feb 01 - 02:04 PM
Liam's Brother 15 Feb 01 - 02:19 PM
Kim C 15 Feb 01 - 03:17 PM
Big Tim 15 Feb 01 - 05:13 PM
Wolfgang 20 Feb 01 - 05:55 AM
MartinRyan 20 Feb 01 - 06:59 AM
MartinRyan 20 Feb 01 - 07:27 AM
pattyClink 20 Feb 01 - 09:34 AM
Liam's Brother 20 Feb 01 - 12:36 PM
Deskjet 20 Feb 01 - 01:15 PM
John Moulden 20 Feb 01 - 01:59 PM
Big Tim 20 Feb 01 - 02:05 PM
MartinRyan 20 Feb 01 - 03:48 PM
pattyClink 23 Feb 01 - 12:22 PM
Big Tim 24 Feb 01 - 04:56 AM
Liam's Brother 24 Feb 01 - 10:08 AM
Liam's Brother 24 Feb 01 - 10:11 AM
Alice 24 Feb 01 - 01:56 PM
Alice 24 Feb 01 - 02:00 PM
John Moulden 24 Feb 01 - 05:37 PM
Liam's Brother 24 Feb 01 - 10:44 PM
John Moulden 25 Feb 01 - 01:14 PM
pattyClink 26 Feb 01 - 09:38 AM
Liam's Brother 27 Feb 01 - 12:23 AM
GUEST,sylvia.griffiths@godfreyhirst.com 03 Oct 03 - 12:22 AM
Jim Dixon 04 Oct 03 - 04:32 PM
Jim Lad 30 Jan 07 - 04:46 AM
Keith A of Hertford 30 Jan 07 - 05:09 AM
Jim Dixon 04 Dec 09 - 08:26 AM
Mysha 04 Dec 09 - 11:38 AM
Jim Dixon 04 Dec 09 - 04:08 PM
MartinRyan 04 Dec 09 - 05:25 PM
Mysha 04 Dec 09 - 05:26 PM
GUEST,pattyClink 04 Dec 09 - 10:33 PM
Jim Dixon 05 Dec 09 - 12:53 AM
MartinRyan 05 Dec 09 - 04:17 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Dec 09 - 04:24 AM
Mysha 05 Dec 09 - 08:03 AM
MartinRyan 05 Dec 09 - 08:25 AM
MartinRyan 05 Dec 09 - 08:28 AM
Mysha 05 Dec 09 - 10:37 AM
pattyClink 06 Dec 09 - 02:44 PM
ard mhacha 06 Dec 09 - 04:00 PM
The Sandman 06 Dec 09 - 06:32 PM
Mysha 06 Dec 09 - 06:58 PM
MartinRyan 06 Dec 09 - 07:33 PM
pattyClink 06 Dec 09 - 09:42 PM
Mysha 07 Dec 09 - 12:40 AM
The Sandman 07 Dec 09 - 04:21 PM
Goose Gander 13 Dec 09 - 04:30 PM
MartinRyan 13 Dec 09 - 04:35 PM
MartinRyan 13 Dec 09 - 04:46 PM
Goose Gander 13 Dec 09 - 07:04 PM
MartinRyan 13 Dec 09 - 07:13 PM
MartinRyan 13 Dec 09 - 07:17 PM
Goose Gander 13 Dec 09 - 07:32 PM
GUEST,pattyClink 13 Dec 09 - 09:48 PM
Goose Gander 13 Dec 09 - 09:52 PM
Mysha 14 Dec 09 - 12:20 AM
Goose Gander 14 Dec 09 - 12:29 AM
Mysha 14 Dec 09 - 12:22 PM
Goose Gander 16 Dec 09 - 01:34 PM
pattyClink 16 Dec 09 - 01:57 PM
Mysha 16 Dec 09 - 02:02 PM
MartinRyan 16 Dec 09 - 02:04 PM
MartinRyan 16 Dec 09 - 02:06 PM
Goose Gander 16 Dec 09 - 02:22 PM
MartinRyan 16 Dec 09 - 02:45 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 17 Dec 09 - 02:43 PM
Goose Gander 17 Dec 09 - 06:18 PM
Goose Gander 17 Dec 09 - 06:40 PM
Mysha 17 Dec 09 - 10:39 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 18 Dec 09 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,pattyClink 18 Dec 09 - 02:06 PM
GUEST,pattyClink 18 Dec 09 - 02:42 PM
The Sandman 18 Dec 09 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,pattyClink 18 Dec 09 - 05:30 PM
Mysha 19 Dec 09 - 12:30 AM
Goose Gander 19 Dec 09 - 01:13 AM
GUEST,ifor 19 Dec 09 - 08:17 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 19 Dec 09 - 11:35 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 19 Dec 09 - 11:41 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 19 Dec 09 - 11:43 AM
pattyClink 19 Dec 09 - 12:23 PM
Mysha 19 Dec 09 - 01:02 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 21 Dec 09 - 10:47 AM
pattyClink 21 Dec 09 - 11:46 PM
pattyClink 21 Dec 09 - 11:50 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 05 Jan 10 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,John 20 Nov 10 - 04:40 AM
GUEST,Desi C 08 Aug 11 - 07:47 AM
GUEST 18 Apr 13 - 01:08 AM
GUEST,Goose Gander 18 Apr 13 - 01:13 AM
mg 18 Apr 13 - 01:27 AM
GUEST 18 Apr 13 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,ollaimh 19 Apr 13 - 12:00 AM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 19 Apr 13 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,Quincy 10 Mar 14 - 10:19 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 14 - 04:35 AM
Jim Dixon 12 Mar 14 - 01:26 PM
MartinRyan 12 Mar 14 - 01:46 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 14 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,mg 12 Mar 14 - 03:47 PM
Jim Carroll 13 Mar 14 - 03:31 AM
The Sandman 05 Dec 16 - 08:41 AM
The Sandman 05 Dec 16 - 08:59 AM
Jim Carroll 05 Dec 16 - 09:55 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: Lyr Add: DEAR OLD SKIBBEREEN^^^
From: menzze
Date: 13 Feb 01 - 03:07 AM

I was looking in the database for this song but couldn't find it but mentioned as air for another song. I was taught this song by two old ladies who ran a museum in Skibbereen in 1980. I dropped into them by chance but spent one of the most impressing afternoons of my life with them. They told me the father of one of them was together with de Valera in the beginning of the century.

I used to sing this song alone and unaccompanied during our gigs and the audience loved it.

I think it should be in the database, so here it is:


Dear Ol' Skibbereen

Oh father dear and I often hear you speak of Erin's isle
Her lofty scenes her valleys green her mountains rude and wild
And they say it is a lovely land wherein a prince might dwell
Then why did you abandon it oh the reason to me tell

O son I loved my native land with energy and pride
'til the blight came over all me corn an' me sheep an' cattle died
The rents and taxes where to pay and I could not them redeem
And that's the cruel reason why I left ol' Skibbereen

Your mother two, may god rest her soul, lay on the snowy ground
She fainted in her anguish a' sang the desolation round
She never rose but passed away from live to immortal dreams
And found a quiet resting place in the abbey near Skibbereen

And you were only two years old and feeble was your frame
But I could not leave you with your friends for you bore your father's name
So I wrapped you in my coat d'amour at the dead of the night unseen
An I heaved a sigh and I said good-bye to dear ol' Skibereen

Oh father dear and the day is near when in answer to the call
Each Irish man and woman will rally one and all
And I'll be the man to lead the van beneath the flag o' green
And loud and high we'll raise our cry Revenge for Skibbereen


I am sure there are some orthographical mistakes in it. You must forgive me, I was taught this 21 years ago from mouth to mouth and it was a bit of a problem for a German folkie to write it all correct. Hope you appreciate it

have a good time

menzze ^^^
Line Breaks <br> added.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Feb 01 - 03:13 AM

menzze

Well done! ....but it is in the database, alright. Search under skiBBereen i.e. two B's.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Fiolar
Date: 13 Feb 01 - 09:36 AM

To Menzze. Yes good effort. You probably have seen the database by now. The word "cota mor" is simply Irish for "great-coat" or "over-coat" and listening to it, it would be easy to take it as "coat d'amour" which if my French is correct would mean "coat of love" and probably would have a different meaning or even a differnt use. :-)The Dubliners version is probably one of the best and truest available although the recent one on the Chieftains album is reasonable although cut short a bit because of political correctness.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Big Tim
Date: 13 Feb 01 - 09:57 AM

Anyone know the origins of this song, date, composer, etc. The earlist reference I have found is in a 1915 song book of Herbert Hughes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Amergin
Date: 13 Feb 01 - 12:37 PM

Hmmm, I have never heard this song being actually sung....I have heard it recited and have recited it myself....but never sung...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Stewart
Date: 13 Feb 01 - 01:36 PM

"Skibbereen" is on p. 136 of Dan Milner & Paul Kaplan's "Songs of England, Ireland & Scotland - A Bonnie Bunch of Roses". Source: from P. Galvin, "Irish Songs of Resistance". Recording: Joe Heaney, "Joe and the Gabe", Green Linnet SIF 1018.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Feb 01 - 02:12 PM

It's nice that you brought up this song, menzze. I hadn't taken the time to study it. Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index, which gives some pretty good background information. Oh, and the lyrics are here (click) in the Digital Tradition.
-Joe Offer-

Skibbereen

DESCRIPTION: A boy asks his father why he left Skibbereen when he is always speaking of it. The father lists reasons: First came the blight. Then the landlord took the land. Then he joined the 1848 rebellion, and had to flee. The boy promises revenge
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1062
KEYWORDS: Ireland rebellion hardtimes landlord exile
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
1847/8 - Greatest of several Irish potato famines
1848 - Irish rebellion
FOUND IN: Ireland Australia
REFERENCES (3 citations):
PGalvin, p. 46, "Skibbereen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Meredith/Covell/Brown, p. 163, "Skibbereen" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, SKIBREEN*

Notes: The 1848 rebellion was the result of many factors. One was hunger -- the potato blight drove food prices beyond the reach of common people; in the end, millions died and many more went to America. For details, see the notes to "Over There (I - The Praties They Grow Small)."
Another was land hunger; the preceding decades had forced many Irish smallholders off their lands while allowing the rich (usually English) to enlarge their holdings. By the time of the blight, most Irish were working holdings of five acres or less; there simply wasn't enough land for the population.
Finally, revolution was in the air; almost all of Europe (except England) was in turmoil.
Unfortunately for the rebels, the very factors that caused the revolt meant that it had no strength and could gain no foreign help. And England, with a stable government at home and all her enemies distracted, could deal with the rebellion at its leisure. - RBW
File: PGa046

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2000 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Feb 01 - 04:41 PM

Joe

I'm puzzled by the "Earliest Date: 1062" line. Is it a typo? I don't recall seeing the song in 19C song books, but imagine it was reasonably soon after mid-century. No sign of a ballad sheet version at the Bodley.

Regards

p.s. the history looks to be condensed from Galvin. Don't recognise the other reference.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Big Tim
Date: 13 Feb 01 - 04:54 PM

Amergin, this is a very famous Irish song, it's on many albums. Check Bridie Gallagher (1962) and Joe Heaney "The Road From Connemara" (just released) plus "Alias" actually the great Ron Kavana (1998).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: menzze
Date: 13 Feb 01 - 05:53 PM

Amergin,I never heard this song sung either but by this old lady.

It may sound too sentimental for some of you, but sometimes when I did it on stage with OAKTREE('twas the name of my band, we did folk-music from Ireland, Scottland and Bretagne)I had tears in my eyes and in my voice because it touched me so much.

Thanks for all the backing information given here.A lot of it I had already known others such as "cota mor" were really new and welcome.

Hey you people, I think I really like this place here!!! Should have known it years before.

menzze


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Big Tim
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 01:32 PM

I forgot to say that the song is sung to two different tunes. The ones used by Joe Heaney and Bridie Gallagher referred to above are completely different. The Gallagher one is the most widely used. We will be discussing the song this Sunday at the meeting of the Glasgow Irish Singers (in Glasgow)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Big Tim
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 02:32 PM

Arg, me again. The song is just called Skibbereen, "place of small boats". I've seen it linked to O'Donovan Rossa (1831-1915)from nearby Rosscarbery and whose father starved to death to allow his five kids to survive, after eating the family donkey. Any more on this link or other origins of the song? That'me finished !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 02:55 PM

Hi, Martin - I e-mailed your question to the people at the Traditional Ballad Index.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Kim C
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 04:15 PM

I was watching some program on PBS not too long ago and heard Sinead O'Connor singing this. It stopped me dead in my tracks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 04:39 PM

Yeah, Kim, Sinead can do a terrific job of traditional songs when she puts her mind to it. Maybe the show you saw was "Long Journey Home: Irish In America" - Click here for a sound clip of Sinead's recording.
-Joe Offer-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Kim C
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 05:20 PM

cor! That's it. I am a PBS junkie and the shows seem to all run together. Elvis Costello's work on that is really good too. Maybe I should just go ahead and buy the album!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 06:23 PM

Tim

O'Donovan Rossa is in the right place and right time - and is well known. I've seen any evidence that he had any connection. I'll see what I can find out. Anywhere I've looked so far just gives "anonymous" - and that includes several books that are well-tuned to the tradition and the sources.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 06:32 PM

Ha! Make that "I've never seen..."

Regards

Good night!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Feb 01 - 10:22 PM

Hi, Martin - I got a reply from Bob Waltz of the Traditional Ballad Index. Here's what he says.
-Joe Offer-

Joe: Hi, Bob - somebody at the Mudcat Cafe pointed out a possible error on your information on "Skibbereen." You show the "earliest date" as 1062, and he's sure it's not that. Got any idea what that date is?

Oh, it's obvious. I know my typos. :-) It's 1962.

Now we both know the song is older than that. But that date (Galvin's
publication) is as early as I can verify it, as Galvin gives no source.

The very fact that it shows up in Australia pretty well proves that
it's older. :-)

Thanks for catching that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 03:56 AM

Thanks, Joe

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Big Tim
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 04:15 AM

Thanks for origins comments. See above for 1915 publ by Herbert Hughes. Steve Roud (Guildford, London)has checked his collection for me and this is also his earliest ref, he has 112,000 titles in his index! He is referred to on the Joe Heaney CD.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 09:44 AM

This is one of the songs my father sang. He learned it from his grandfather, Patrick McKee of Ennis,Co. Clare. I never did write down my father's words; first, because this was a song that seemed everywhere when I was younger and, second, I've never heard much textual variation. Although my father was born in 1901 and got it from his grandfather, that still does not necessarily place the song before the 1915 date given above. I'll keep my eyes and ears open. This is interesting.

All the best,
Dan Milner


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 09:52 AM

Dan, condsidering the workings of oral tradition, I would venture to guess that even his grandfather got it from someone else before him. Of course that's just a guess - but we know that many of the songs Cecil Sharp collected around that same time go back 2-300 years. If Skibbereen has to do with the trials of the 1840s, it very well could be that old. But I repeat, that's just a guess. :)

Cheers ----- Kim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: paddymac
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 10:14 AM

Big Tim - do you know the titles of the airs to which this song is sung? You mention that there are versions using two different melodies, but the only one I've heard is the one the Dubliners used. Liam Neeson, in his role os "Michael Collins" in the film of the same name, did a single verse of the song in a "party piece" setting. I mention it because he aslo used the same melody as the Dubs. Seems like I recall Sinead also using that melody.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 10:15 AM

1901 - "Irish come-all-ye's" publ. New York lists it.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 10:24 AM

I've also seen, somewhere, the title listed with "Irish Molly-O " given as the air. I imagine that's the OTHER irish molly i.e. slow version of the Sash.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: GMT
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 10:46 AM

The first Soodlum book has another verse.

Oh, well do I remember the bleak December day
The Landlord and the sheriff came to drive us all away
They set my roof on fire with cursed English spleen
And that's another reason that I left old Skibbereen.

There are a few differences in the words in other places but I thought you might like the extra verse if it's
not already in DT (I forgot to look first !!!)

Cheers Gary


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: GMT
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 10:58 AM

Ok so it's there but it's November and the spleens yellow !
I'll look first next time G
Gary


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Big Tim
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 12:34 PM

Paddymac, sorry I don't have the names of the two different airs. A Mayo woman sang the "minority" air here live a few weeks ago (Glasgow) and called it the "Mayo" tune, Joe Heany, from Connemara, also used it, so possibly from the west of Ireland. Yea Sinead O'Connor is a fine singer of trad songs, the girl (to me) has soul. She has also added Margaret Barry's version of Factory Girl to her stage act.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Big Tim
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 02:04 PM

Martin, thanks for NY 1901 reference, that's great. Didn't notice it previously as my damn computer keeps going offline and I have to read and type at breakneck pace! Will have to get it fixed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 02:19 PM

Hi Kim! The nature of folk song is that just about everybody gets the song from someone (or someplace) else (sometimes even the original author, after all, every son has a father). I doubt my great grandfather was an exception vis-a-vis "Skibbereen."

The phrase "a blight came on the land, and the sheep and cattle died" coupled with "well I do remember the year of forty-eight," should establish that the song, almost surely, speaks of The Great Famine of 1847-1853 and the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848. On a (perhaps unnecessarily) personal note, my great grandfather was probably born about that time (circa 1850) because my father was the youngest of 5 children and was born in 1901.

Martin Ryan's advice above that "Skibbereen" is listed in a book from 1901 is very helpful. (Thanks, Martin!) As I said earlier, I'm going to keep an eye open as I look through 19th century American songsters to see what is the earliest date I can find. Some New York concert saloon songsters, for example, are rather obscure in that only a few copies have survived, maybe it'll pop up in one of them.

Regarding the melody, I've never heard "Skibbereen" sung to more than one melody. I knew Joe Heaney fairly well 20-25 years ago and I recall my greatgrandfather's melody was very similar to Joe's. The forthcoming Folk-Legacy CD, "Irish in America: A Musical Record of the Irish People in the United States 1780 - 1980" includes a simply incredible song entitled "Scovill's Rolling Mill." The melody I used when I recorded it was my greatgrandfather's "Skibbereen."

All the best,
Dan Milner


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Kim C
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 03:17 PM

I think this is going to be one of those "we don't know exactly how old this is but we're doing it anyway" songs! ;)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Big Tim
Date: 15 Feb 01 - 05:13 PM

Possibly Kim C, let's wait and see, I never thought I'd learn who wrote Shan Van Vocht, and, Wearing of the Green, but I did.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Wolfgang
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 05:55 AM

James N. Healy, in Ballads from the pubs of Ireland, writes that Herbert Hughes (mentioned above by Big Tim) says in his 1915 book that it has been collected in Co. Tyrone. This means the song must have travelled quite a bit before 1915 if one assumes that it has been written in or near to Skibbereen (Co. Cork).

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 06:59 AM

Wolfgang.

Yes, I've seen that reference to Tyrone. Bill Meek mentions it somewhere also. I still think it more likely that it was originally written in America and come back to Ireland late 19C.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 07:27 AM

The Tyrone reference seems to be to "Ulster Songs and ballads of town and country" by Richard Hayward. I know there was an edition in 1925 but I'm not sure if that was the original. John Moulden will probably know!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: pattyClink
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 09:34 AM

Lomax made recordings of Skibbereen in Michigan in 1938-39. Those singing the song said it went back at least one generation because their immigrant fathers and grandfathers sang it. One would sing it so movingly 'it would make your hair stand up'. It was a very powerful way to convey their history, national pride, and a scoop of bitterness as well, to the next generation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 12:36 PM

Hi Patty!

Does that Skibbereen recording (sound or text) exist anywhere outside the Library of Congress?

All the best,
Dan Milner


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Deskjet
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 01:15 PM

I may have missed it due to the large number of entries, but I have to mention a version of Skibbereen by the sean-nos singer Sean 'ac Dhonnchadha, in my humble opinion, the best sean-nos singer in recorded history.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: John Moulden
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 01:59 PM

Martin Ryan, noting my absence from regular contribution to the Mudcat Cafe, e-mailed me to set my mind in motion on this question. I'm going to review what has been said.

Richard Hayward was not very scrupulous about his sources and his book "Ulster Songs and Ballads of the Town and the Country" London (Duckworth) (first edition) 1925 contains no notes and no references - I'd be pretty sure his source was Hughes, father thanthe other way round. The words are very slightly but in no significant way different. Also Hughes' sub-title is "A Ballad of the Famine" and gives the location for his collection of the tune, as Co Tyrone. Hayward sub-titles it "A County Tyrone Ballad of the Famine"

The 1901 "Irish Com-all-ye's" reference - is to Manus O'Conor's "Irish Com-all-yes! (New York) - inspection finds a Skibereen but it is a burlesque and nothing at all to do with this song. The same burlesque is in Wehman's 617 Irish Songs and Ballads (New York, but undated.)

So we are left with 1915 as an earliest date. Hughes' preface, dated February 1915, is interesting. He discusses the songs "... the words of most are to be found on broadsheets."

I've never seen a broadsheet of this song though I'm about to start a three year research project into 19th century Irish printed ballads, so I may yet. At the same time, the words seem a bit self conscious to me - I wonder did one of Hughes friends, like Joseph Campbell, the poet who collaborated with Hughes on "Songs of Uladh" write the words - I have no evidence at all but, as you all know, conjecture fills an evidential vacuum.

I've always associated this song with a famous account of the effects in Skibereen, of the Great Irish Famine: a letter dated 17th December 1846, from Nicholas Cummins JP, to the Duke of Wellington, which was published in the London "Times" on 24th Dec 1846. It's the most harrowing first hand account of any episode of the Great Famine that I have read.

Hughes' Preface continues: "Most ballads are human (if not historical) documents and the story told in "Skibbereen" for example,certainly falls into that category. Curously enough in outline and in one or two details it resembles an actual incident recorded by a friend of mine in Kerry less than forty years ago, though there could be no connection between the two stories."

That makes it sound less rather than more likely that one of Hughes' friends was responsible.

So there you have it: some information, a lot of conjecture and no conclusion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Big Tim
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 02:05 PM

JM thanks for the info that the 1901 lead is a false one, I had already emended may notes, now will have to reamend. Joseph Campbell? Highly unlikely.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Feb 01 - 03:48 PM

Thanks John. Is there a mention in Wright's "Songs of Irish Emigration"(??) ?

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: pattyClink
Date: 23 Feb 01 - 12:22 PM

I had no idea the origins of this song were so opaque. I thought it was as old and well-known as anything out there.

When I was trying to learn the song, the 'you bore your father's name' never made a lot of sense to me. I always wondered if some nameless woman wrote the words and then early on, songs were sung so much more by men that the dying spouse conveniently became a woman. What if the spouse had been a man who fought the buggers and got killed, and she has to grab his cotamore and the baby and go? Most of the song makes more sense if you transpose this stuff. Just an opinion.

Hi, Dan, we had copies made for the family of some of those songs, and I then transcribed some to text. I'm not sure Skibbereen was the 'full' version i've seen in books, so I don't know if it would be a big help to you (nor is it a 'pretty' rendition recorded) What would help you the most? the AFS #, copy of the transcript, tape?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Big Tim
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 04:56 AM

Don't let's overcomplicate things. Sure "bore you father's name" is simply a rather poetic way of saying "you're my son, and I hope you will contiue the struggle (for Land Reform and independence) when I am too old to do so"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 10:08 AM

Hi Martin!

The book is Robert L. Wright's "Irish Emigrant Ballads and Songs" and it's one of the very best books in my collection. It is very difficult to get.

Wright was a collector in the sense of Child rather than Lomax. The text he prints comes from Edith Fowke's Ontario collection.

All the best,
Dan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 10:11 AM

Hi pattyClink!

A tape would be wonderful! If it's not too much trouble, may I send you a (not terribly) personal message?

All the best,
Dan Milner


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: MY BLUE EYED MOUNTAIN QUEEN
From: Alice
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 01:56 PM

I was about to type in quotes from Herbert Hughes 1915 preface to Vol II of Irish Country Songs, which contains Skibbereen, but I see John Moulden already did. Hughes begins with, "In this volume all the tunes are traditional, with the possible exception of 'The Cork Leg,'"... and then that questionable statement, "and the words of most are to be found on broadsheets." He doesn't say the words of all, but the words of most. On the sheet music itself, the title Skibbereen has below it in parentheses (A BALLAD OF THE FAMINE), which is obvious from the lyrics, and Traditional for the tune, and County Tyrone as the origin.

There is a bit more about Skibbereen in the preface to his third volume of Irish Country Songs, in a long letter to Edward F. Tilyou. He begins by writing about dedicating Volume IV to Tilyou, because his friend Tilyou, an Irishman living in Coney Island, had invited Hughes, in Chelsea, to go to Kerry in search of music, resulting in the third volume of collected songs. He goes on to write of his earlier work on Songs of Uladh with his friend Joseph Campbell, and his awareness that "the art of ballad-making, if in decline, was far from being dead".

This is a long letter, but eventually he gets to the part I want to add here:
-------
"We are too much inclined to pedantry on this subject of variants, forgetting that what matters most is not that an air is 'correct', but that it is good. I am not at all convinced that there is really such a thing as a correct version of any traditional tune, even if you can point to its earliest appearance in print. In this part of the world, where ballads have been composed apparently without a break for generations, tunes are often borrowed and adapted to fit the words.... You remember 'Skibbereen' - I gave a Tyrone version of it in Volume II of Irish Country Songs - A ballad of eviction with its period written indelibly all over it? Here the same tune is sung, slightly varied, to two other ballads that have no connexion with each other - to 'Galway Bay' and to 'My blue-eyed mountain queen', and I think there are others. The former, very well sung in the traditional manner by a yong man in this neighborhood, begins characteristically -
It's far away I am today from scenes I've roamed a boy, It's long ago the hour I know I first left Illinois, Nor time nor tide nor waters wide can win my heart away; For ever true it flies to you, my dear old Galway Bay..."

Hughes has these lyrics to the same tune as Skibbereen in Vol. IV. I find it interesting that all three songs to the same tune, Skibbereen, Galway Bay, and My Blue Eyed Mountain Queen, are lyrics created from the viewpoint of people who have left Ireland. We can speculate on how common this tune was in America, but I have a fantasy of people on the ships sharing the tune in crossing. That's pure imagination on my part, but a possibility. My great grandfather, Peter Flynn, went first to the plains of Minnesota, where he established a homestead, in 1880. In my great aunt Alice Flynn's memoirs, she writes, "My father went to Minnesota in 1880, crossing the Atlantic on "The City of Limerick". Mother said that he had bid goodbye the night before and that he stole away before daybreak the next morning with many tears because he realized that he probably would never return to Ireland. We left Ireland for America two years later, about the middle of May, 1882 -- my mother, Thomas, Lawrence, Patrick, John, myself Alice, Beezie (Bridget), and James. We went by train from Glenfarne to Belfast. It wasn't long before I became car-sick and fainted. When I came to, the first object that caught my eye was a beautiful ruby ring on the hand of an English soldier who was holding me in his arms. Then I noticed the tears running down my mother's cheeks. Instead of seats there were long benches and the train rocked and rolled. The door opened on the side and there was no conductor. The station agent locked us in, and the agent at the next place unlocked the door.

In Belfast, where we stayed overnight, the hotelkeeper said he would give us the best meal that could be gotten, for it was the last one we would get in dear old Ireland. We took a train to Larne and went up the gang plank from land to the vessel, the "State Of Georgia" of the State Steamship Company. Since we took the most northern Atlantic route, there were days of fog as we neared the banks of Newfoundland. The fog horn blew almost incessantly and the going was slow because of the icebergs. Some icebergs were 150 feet above the water and one had a huge bear perched on it -- so the officer said when he looked at it through the telescope.

One night we struck a submerged iceberg and everyone was up and dressed in quick time. The impact awakened me, too. This delayed us hours in getting off the ship.

After eleven days on the ship, everyone was glad to see the shores of the U.S.A. My father's brother in law, Bernard McGuire, and Larry Cullen met us at the pier and escorted us to Castle Garden. We had no difficulty in getting off the ship for we all had been vaccinated. Others who could not talk English protested and had a hard time for they had to be vaccinated before leaving the vessel."
She goes on to describe the immigrant train trip west, seeing apple trees and the story of Johnny Appleseed, and then meeting their father again - "When he met us at St. Paul we didn't recognize him at first for he wore a full beard since he hadn't shaved since he came to Minnesota in the fall of 1880. We all cried at meeting him... he had asked mother to bring a blackthorn stick, but the one she selected was entirely too dainty for his tastes."

Although my great grandfather was a grown man with teenage children when he went to the plains of America, the Blue Eyed Mountain Queen lyrics remind me of this story of waiting for the ship to bring her across the Atlantic.

I have two performances planned for this coming St. Patrick's Day, and I will sing Skibbereen.

MY BLUE EYED MOUNTAIN QUEEN
(same tune as Skibbereen)

It being in the month of May when fields were fresh and green,
I was forced to leave my native home, my age being scarce eighteen,
And when I parted with my dear, her loving tears were seen;
In troubled mind I left behind my blue-eyed mountain queen.

My father is a fisherman, he's on the raging sea;
My mother she through seven long years sleeps cold beneath the clay.
My sisters and my brothers four I regard them with esteem
But little they know I weep full sore for my blue-eyed mountain queen.

Farewell to Glenbeigh's lofty hills and to those mountain streams
Where sun or moon though in the gloom pours forth its brilliant beams;
Her castle* stands beneath the hill, bound round with laurels green.
But in America's plain I'll spend my days with my blue-eyed mountain queen

God speed the ship across the deep that steers my love to me,
The wind to fly her topsail wide to waft her o'er the sea;
Her steel-made bow has made a vow for to plough the waves with steam,
And in her breast to bear the crest of my blue-eyed mountain queen.

*An old mansion, locally known as Wynne's Folly, now in ruins. The gardens have long disappeared.

From Vol IV of Herbert Hughes Irish Country Songs

Alice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Alice
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 02:00 PM

I thought I had fixed my errors of saying the "third volume" in my first typing of the previous message, but I see it is still there at the beginning of the post - this mentioning of Skibbereen in Hughes letter is at the beginning of the Fourth Volume of Irish Country Songs, not the third.

Alice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: John Moulden
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 05:37 PM

It is indeed in Wright as Dan says above - but I'm not so conviced of the worth of this book - its lack of index condemns it immediately. However, in his first section, Wright give two vesrsions, the one from Hughes and one of Edith Fowke's collection "Traditional Songs and Singers of Ontario" Hughes' is still the first report.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 24 Feb 01 - 10:44 PM

Thanks, Alice.

John, it was in Irish Emigrant Ballads and Songs that I first came across songs about T. F. Meagher's Irish Brigade and other Irish-American songs from the U.S. Civil War. Not only did it open my mind to that and other areas of 19th Century Irish-American history but I've learned a number of songs directly from the book. Of course, the lack of an index is a real nuisence (though I think my missing the Hughes' "Skibbereen" this morning had more to do with a hangover than a missing index) and there are very few tunes (even when they exist) but there is a great deal to recommended the book. For example, I don't think Wright was terribly selective in picking songs so one gets a cross-section of what was going around at the time. Also, some of these songs are on the rare side and exist only in far-flug places; the book is, at the least, very convenient in that regard. It's hardly complete but Wright did a lot of traveling to put the specimens together. We can go to the on-line Bodleian Library today but there are still plenty of other collections that are only in-person.

Beyond that, I find it interesting that Robert L. Wright was not an "Irish specialist" but an "Emigrant specialist." He put together collections of Danish and Swedish emigrant songs as well (possibly others, I don't know). I've seen the Danish book and I found it very interesting to look over the issues mentioned in the Danish songs vis-a-vis those in Irish songs, the use of language, etc.

All the best,
Dan Milner


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: John Moulden
Date: 25 Feb 01 - 01:14 PM

Perhaps I exaggerated the importance of the absent index - but it is a classic definition of a "bad book."

However, I would urge anyone seeking real information about Irish emigration to read Kerby Miller, or Terry Coleman or even Hermann Melville (Redburn) rather than relying on Wright's introduction.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: pattyClink
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 09:38 AM

Hi Dan, send a note with an address to mdeq@jam.rr.com and I'll try to get a tape cut. march will be VERY busy month but we'll get something moving.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 12:23 AM

This may seem self-serving but there was some discussion above about there being more than one melody for the song. I said that I had recently recorded an exceptional Irish-American song, "Scovill's Rolling Mill," using the "Skibbereen" melody my greatgrandfather sang. That recording was released by Folk-Legacy over the weekend and "Scovill's Rolling Mill" is one of the sound clips we selected for the Folk-Legacy website. If you go to Folk Legacy and click on the song titles beneath "Irish in America," you should be able to hear it.

Thank you, pattyClink.

All the best,
Dan Milner


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: GUEST,sylvia.griffiths@godfreyhirst.com
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 12:22 AM

Hi Martin

My Fiancee is trying to find the Sheet music for Skibbereen on the Net and isn't having much success. Have you any suggestions please. He plays the Mandolin and does have some music but one section of it isn't right so he is looking for some authentication.

Kind regards

Sylvia

PS. His name is Les Williams and his Email address is noelann@bigpond.net.au


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Oct 03 - 04:32 PM

Sylvia: If you go to the page in Digitrad where the words to Skibbereen are shown, and then click on CLICK TO PLAY near the bottom of the screen, you will hear a midi file of Skibbereen (assuming your computer is equipped to play midi files).

Some music programs are able to convert midi files to sheet music, but you will have to get someone else to explain how this is done.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Jim Lad
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 04:46 AM

My father also sang this one.
Third Verse:

Oh well do I remember that cold December day
The Landlord and the Sheriff came to drive us all away
They set the roof on fire with their cursed English spleen
And that's another reason why I left Ould Skibereen.

Many's the time he lined us up against the wall to sing that one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear old Skibereen
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 30 Jan 07 - 05:09 AM

Someone got in with that first Jim Lad.
Posted 15th Feb 01


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: SKIBBEREEN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 08:26 AM

The current entry at The Traditional Ballad Index for SKIBBEREEN says "Earliest Date: 1925 (Hayward-Ulster)." However, the following book is a bit older, and, as the title implies, the song is older still. Note that it refers to "the days of gloomy Ninety-eight" instead of '48, which seems rather strange.

From Flying Cloud: And One Hundred and Fifty Other Old Time Songs and Ballads of Outdoor Men, Sailors, Lumber Jacks, Soldiers, Men of the Great Lakes, Railroadmen, Miners, etc. by Michael Cassius Dean (Virginia, Minn.: The Quickprint, 1922), page 22:


SKIBBEREEN

Father, dear, I often hear you speak of Erin's Isle.
It seems so bright and beautiful, so rich and rare the soil.
You say it is a bounteous land wherein a prince might dwell.
Then why did you abandon it? The reason to me tell.

My son, I loved my native land with favor and with pride:
Her peaceful groves, her mountains rude, her valleys green and wide.
It was there I lived in manhood's prime and sported when a boy.
The Shamrock and Shillalah was my constant boast and joy.

But lo! a blight came o'er my crops. My sheep and cattle died.
The rent ran due; the taxes, too, I ne'er could have supplied.
The landlord turned me from the cot where born had I been,
And that, my boy, is the reason why I left old Skibbereen.

It is well do I remember that dark November day,
When the landlord and the sheriff came to drive us all away.
They set the roof a-blazing with a demon yell of Spleen,
And when it fell the crash was heard all over Skibbereen.

Your mother, too, God rest her soul, fell on the snowy ground
And fainted in her anguish at the desolation around.
She ne'er recovered, but passed away from life to Malchasene,
And found a grave of quiet rest in poor old Skibbereen.

Then sadly I recall the days of gloomy Ninety-eight.
I rose in vengeance with the boys to battle again' fate.
We were hunted through the mountains as traitors to the queen,
And that, my boy, is the reason why I left old Skibbereen.

You then, my son, was scare three years old and feeble was your frame.
I would not leave you with my friends. You bore my Father's name.
I wrapped you in my kosamane, at dead of night unseen.
I hove a sigh and bade good-bye to poor old Skibbereen.

Then, father, father! when the day for vengeance they will call,
When Irishmen o'er field and fin will rally one and all,
I will be the man to lead the band beneath the flag so green,
While loud on high we will raise the cry, "Revenge for Skibbereen!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Mysha
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 11:38 AM

Hi,

It does show why the mother fell to the ground TOO: before she fainted, the roof had come crashing down.

Also, the bearing MY father's name feels more genuine. Though having the name of a known traitor would indeed have been a problem, had that been the case the father's friends could have raised the child under their name. (The explanation that the father wants the son to carry on fighting in his name is a bit post fact, isn't it?) But here we see a father who feels he would forsake his kin if he were to leave his father's namesake behind, and therefore he is unable to leave his son with others.
Which also explains the bit about the friends of the young child; they turn out to be his father's friends.

And we get rid of the loving "with energy and pride", as we get a whole stanza in its place, the natural reaction of the father being to first confirm that he does speak so well of his country, and reminisce about that time, and only after that start recounting what came to pass.


Apart from the reference to '98, rather than '48, this version seems to make much more sense than the other ones. One thing: What does "fin" mean in the construct "field and fin"?


Oh, and the book can be accessed from http://www.archive.org/details/flyingcloudonehu00deanrich, though the text scan appears to be less than perfect.

Bye,
                                                                Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 04:08 PM

I suspect it should be "field and fen". If you search Google Books for "field and fen" you get over 600 hits in public-domain books.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 05:25 PM

Jim

A fascinating find. I've always felt the song probably had American origins and was then brought to Ireland - but knew of no evidence for it.

The phrase passed away from life to Malchasene is puzzling, mind you. If it's a corruption of something else - where WAS that something? Do we know anything abou the book? Author's sources, manuscript etc. etc. I'd better go and check the link!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Mysha
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 05:26 PM

Hi,

OK; I didn't know if this actually was how it was spelt in English. But the concept makes sense.

Now, let's see what we have left:
- "It is well do I remember" - "How well do I remember"?
- "demon yell of Spleen" - "demon yellow spleen": demon cowardly heart? Not sure about that one. Anyone?
- "from life to Malchasene" - Do we know of such a word for the afterlife? Like the spleen, I'm not sure what the right words would be, here.
- "Ninety-eight." - "Forty-eight."? I just can't see how this would fit. Was there a crisis in Ireland in 1x97? 1797 is ruled out, as he would have been "traitor to the king" then. The Nine Year War doesn't seem to fit the description either. But on the other hand, wasn't the 1848 local and quite a distance from Skibbereen?
- And last: Is there such a word as "kosamane"? Or do we assume it's "cota mor" - great coat, as mentioned above? Although, I guess you'd need such a word to get from the one to the other.

Not yet all clear, then.
Bye,
                                                                Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 10:33 PM

I never heard of "Malchasene". Our relatives used to sing "passed away from life's tumultuous scene", and "it's well do I remember", and 'cursed English spleen'. And 'lead the van(vanguard)' rather than 'band'. And 'cotamore'.

Can't help you on the '98 thing, not familiar with that verse. Wasn't there a Young Ireland rising planned for 1848 which was aborted when the leaders were rounded up and persecuted?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 12:53 AM

I Googled for "Malchasene" and discovered something called The Minnesota Heritage Songbook, compiled and edited by Robert B. Waltz. (Waltz is also the editor of The Traditional Ballad Index.)

This book (which you can download free of charge) contains SKIBBEREEN. Waltz used Dean's text, but made 4 changes, all documented with footnotes:

1. "Demon yell of spleen" changed to "demon yellow spleen" based on Patrick Galvin's "Irish Songs of Resistance."

2. "Malchasene" changed to "mortal dream" based on "Soodlum's Irish Ballad Book."

3. "Ninety-eight" changed to "forty-eight" on the ground that it makes more sense.

4. "Kosamane" change to "cotamore" based on Soodlum's.

Also, he changed "fin" to "fen."

Waltz also gives a bit of information about Michael Cassius Dean: "Dean was a sailor on the Great Lakes, and in 1922, he gathered together the songs he had learned on the Lakes and had them published." The resulting book, "Flying Cloud" was a major source for "The Minnesota Heritage Songbook."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 04:17 AM

Jim

OK, OK! I knew of both books (wasn't there a link to a scanned copy of Flying Cloud in a thread lately?) Didn't realise there was any mention of Skibbereen!

At first sight, it seems strange to amend the text using later versions - but Bob Waltz knows his business, of course. I'll have a look at the online versions of the texts.

Incidentally, the other point supporting '48 (Fenians) rather than '98 (United Irishmen) is the reference to the Queen.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 04:24 AM

To put this song in context, this is part of a talk we attended during the 150th Famine commemoration, given by a ballad-scholar friend.
The events described came from a report in the Skibbereen area.
Jim Carroll

Even though it is extremely relevant to our theme of emigration , we cannot now delve too deeply into the whole area of the Great Famine which was brought about by a system of landlordism and rack-renting which forced the Irish plot-holder to depend on the potato. However, before leaving the area, I would ask you to bear in mind that this was a totally artificial famine brought about by economic considerations. Ireland in 1847 was not short of food, for only the potato was affected. The coffin ships which ferried the starving refugees from the potato famine to England and America went alongside ships carrying enough meat and cereals out of the country to have fed the population adequately. But the small farmers and peasants who reared the meat and grew the grain did so to pay their rent, and many thousands of them starved to death rather than lose their miserable cabins and plots of ground. Horrific obscene as this was, we in the 1990's have no reason to feel morally superior as we in the European union and North America hoard beef, grain and butter mountains while much of the world still starves.
But let me sum up the whole aura of despair at the time by quoting you a piece from the 'Cork Examiner' of March 19th, 1847, reporting on a court case in which a man had been charged with stealing food. In his defence he said that he was driven to it by what had happened to his wife. The Court was told:
The starving woman lay in her hovel next to her dead three year old son, waiting for her husband to return from begging food. When night fell and his failure to return led her to imagine him dead in a ditch, she lay there in the faint fire's dying embers, caressing with her eyes her dead son's face and tiny fists. with death searching her, and now with her own fists clenched, she made one last effort to stay alive. Crawling as far away from her son's face as she could, as if to preserve his personality, or at least her memory of it, she came to his bare feet and proceeded to eat them.
When her husband returned and saw what had happened, he buried the child, went out, and was caught trying to steal food. At his trial, the magistrate from his immediate district intervened on his behalf, citing the wife's act as a circumstance deserving special consideration. The baby's body was exhumed, the flesh of both its feet and legs were found to have been gnawed to the bone, and the husband released and allowed to return to his wife.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Mysha
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 08:03 AM

Hi,

My point regarding "Malchasene" is that there are so may different versions of that sentence, with none of them fitting really well. That usually seems to indicate a strange, unknown word that tends to get lost as the song travels. A word that sounds like "Malchasene" would definitely fit that pattern. Just what Irish word would be (mis)represented thus?

Bye,
                                                                  Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 08:25 AM

I agree, mysha. My problem, I suppose, is that my instinct is telling me that the song may have originated in America and moved back to Ireland rather than the other way round. Which makes the "Malchasene" harder to explain.

I'm not really sure why I suspect American origins. Perhaps it just seems odd to me that there is no trace of it in the 19C. literature (books and broadsheets) on this side of the pond, as far as I know. This is why I would really love to know something about Dean's sources (fascinating book, BTW).

As of now, my best guess is that the song was written in America by a recently arrived Irishman!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 08:28 AM

BTW

Do we have any details on the Australian references?

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Mysha
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 10:37 AM

Hi Martin,

Oh, I'm making the same assumption about the land of origin. I tend to believe what the song is telling us, approximately up to the Second World War. The song says it's by an Irishman abroad, so I expect it is. I'd say it was more likely from the second circle than from the actual emigrants, though: e.g. from such a son, or from Irish abroad with emigrant acquaintances. It could be from elsewhere, you mention Australia, but then only if it is old enough to have passed to both Ireland and America by something like 1920? It would be quite a coincidence, though, if Skibbereen just happened to be one of the last songs Dean picked up around the Great Lakes before his book was published, so it's most likely from some time before the book, in America.

It kind of fits, though that you should ask about Australia, as I've just run into this page, http://folkstream.com/reviews/waters/waters.html, where Harry Dicks claims it Skibbereen came down from his grandfather, who had been transported to Australia in 1825. Mind, he doesn't say his grandfather brought it with him, but he does judge it from at least two generations before his, in Australia.

Bye,
                                                                Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: pattyClink
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 02:44 PM

Sorry to resurrect this thread again, tried to post yesterday but cookie unset and post got blocked.

Just wanted to add a date to the assemblage of facts being pieced together. I've got Lomax on tape recording John W Green singing the song, then JWG saying 'God you should have heard my father-in-law (Roddy) sing that! It would make your hair stand up'.   Roddy died in 1897.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: ard mhacha
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 04:00 PM

My late father who served in the Connaught Rangers during World War 1 told me he was given the words by a fellow soldier from Dublin, it was his favourite song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 06:32 PM

its life to eternal or immortal dream, well thats how its sung round here,I am eight miles from Skibbereen.
Skibbereen was badly flooded two weeks ago,it was flooded two years ago, and no one thought of putting up flood barriers or dredging the river, but they [the council] spent 16,thousand euros,on painting lines in the car park[it cost so much because they had to get the line painters from Tipperary,or some other feeble excuse].
its great to see the council and government have their priorities sorted,its much more important to paint lines in a car park then put up flood barriers.
they got rid of the British, and have replaced them with equally incompetent idiots,and cute hoorism.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Mysha
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 06:58 PM

Hi,

Patty, never feel sorry for adding information to a thread, no matter how long it has been sleeping beautifully. One day someone will come along and be only too glad that you did.

Art, OK, that makes it before 1918? Or are there specifics that move the year one way or another?

Jenny, script is a bit unprecise: The way he said it, was he saying that his father in law was a far better singer, for this kind of song, or that he knew his father in law to sing this specific song?


OK, it's becoming unlikely that this was an emigrant song about 1898 that made a speedy return across to ocean. Not that that was a popular interpretation, but it would be nice to be albe to rule it out entirely.

I'm still unable to decide on which one is the error:
- If "traitors to the queen" is erroneous, it could be 1798.
- If "gloomy Ninety-eight" is the error it could be 1848.
I know people are saying "It's about the famine!", but I'm still looking for something more definite.

But either way: If the song has been known in Ireland longer, why do we not know of any publication? Was this too dangerous a song to publish? (What is the earliest publication for Boulavough, etc.? for that matter, how quick after a defeat would such songs be written?)


Patty, on this tape, does JWG sing words that shed light on the various variation problems we noted in this thread?

Bye,
                                                                Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 07:33 PM

Let's try a couple of those queries:


OK, it's becoming unlikely that this was an emigrant song about 1898 that made a speedy return across to ocean. Not that that was a popular interpretation, but it would be nice to be albe to rule it out entirely.
"ninety eight" has a very particular resonance in the Irish psyche. It ALWAYS means 1798!



I'm still unable to decide on which one is the error:
- If "traitors to the queen" is erroneous, it could be 1798.
- If "gloomy Ninety-eight" is the error it could be 1848.
I know people are saying "It's about the famine!", but I'm still looking for something more definite.

Queen/Skibbereen is so obvious a rhyme that it has to be intentional. Which implies we're in Victoria's time.
Similarly, Skibbereen is very strongly associated with the famine, for reasons discussed earlier.

But either way: If the song has been known in Ireland longer, why do we not know of any publication?
Dunno. I've never seen it - and neither had John Moulden when he posted earlier. Individuals may well have had it - but we've not seen it in print.


Was this too dangerous a song to publish?
Hardly

(What is the earliest publication for Boulavough
Written around 1898 i.e. the centenary. Originally used a diferent tune to the familiar Youghal Harbour one, BTW

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: pattyClink
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 09:42 PM

John W. was speaking about that particular song:

He sings the song himself; as far as the controversial words, the text is pretty similar to the above text, no mention of November though. Refers to ninety-eight, and the queen. Uses 'cotamore' and 'life's tumultuous scene'. He finishes by switching to spoken word for the final word "Skibbereen".
Alan Lomax says: "that's an old Irish set piece."
John W. Green: "yeah, indeed. God, my father-in-law could sing that".
Alan Lomax: "It made your--
JWG: "It made your hair stand up. He used to stand on the floor, with a lot of them Irish guys from Ireland around him. "

(Apparently the first generation guys had parties which would involve singing contests to see who could 'sing the other one down')


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Mysha
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 12:40 AM

Hi

Martin, most weren't queries as such, as but thanks for addressing them.

Patty, OK. So assuming JWG didn't remarry or anything like that, we can be certain the song existed before 1897 (which also agrees with Martin, even if his fingers didn't (-:).

Of course, I can understand why it could refer to 1848, though I had originally missed the bit above where Skibbereen was associated with the famine. It's just that, 1798 being such a strong association too, I can't see how anyone would insert it in the wrong song by accident. I'd sooner go for a writing date well into the Victorian period that would include the queen by mistake, even if the song was about 1798. Confusingly, that puts us into the time frame of 1848 again. Hm, I wonder if we can time line the versions to see whether either year tends to occur earlier/later.

But Patty, thanks for giving the details of the tape that you mentioned years ago. Hm, we already have a bleak November and a cold December; what's in Green's version?

Martin, thanks for answering the question about Boulavough. If we'd go by that, the songs aren't written for generations afterwards. That might be an exaggeration, but it make you wonder how long afterwards anyone would be willing to write about 1848.

Anyway, with the exception of language analysis, I fear there's not much more we could do with the data we have now.
(Is there a Language Historian in the house?)

Bye
                                                                Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 04:21 PM

its a song related to the irish famine.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: OLD SKIBBEREEN (Patrick Carpenter)
From: Goose Gander
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 04:30 PM

Here's a text, possibly a source for the song, from the Wearing of the Green Songbook. The title page is missing, but on the front inner cover is signed "Patrick Kenny, Derby, Conn. 1889" . . . but just below that is written, in the same hand, "Mr. Patrick Kenny, Derby Conn. 1904 . . ." (crossed out) and then "1889", again(?). Could be a birth date? Hard to say for certain. Unfortunately, no publishing information remains anywhere on the book, but it looks like something that would have been published late 19th / early 20th century in North America, almost certainly in the Northeast (New York City?).

That's what I have. Anyone else?

OLD SKIBBEREEN

By Patrick Carpenter

Air, - 'The Wearing of the Green'

'O Father, dear, I've often heard you speak of Erin's Isle,
Its scenes how bright and beautiful, how 'rich and rare' they smile;
You say it is a lovely land in which a prince might dwell;
They why did you abandon it, the reason to me tell?'

'My son, I've loved my native land with fervor and with pride
Her peaceful groves, her mountains rude, her valleys green and wide,
And there I've roamed in manhood's prime, and sported when a boy,
My shamrock and shillelagh sure constant boast and joy.

'But lo! a blight came o'er my crops, my sheep and cattle died,
The rack-rent too, alas! was due, I could not have supplied
The landlord drove me from the cot where born I had been,
And that, my boy, 's the reason why I left old Skibbereen.

"O, what a dreadful sight it was that dark November day!
The sheriff and the peelers came to send us all away;
They set the roof a-blazing, with demon smile of spleen,
And when it fell, the crash was heard all over Skibbereen

'Your mother dear, God rest her soul! fell upon the snowy ground;
She fainted in her anguish at the desolation round;
She never rose, but passed away from life's tumultuous scene,
And found a quiet grave of rest in poor old Skibbereen.

'Ah! sadly I recall that year of gloomy Forty-Eight.
I rose in vengeance with 'the boys' to battle against fate.
We were hunted thro' the mountains wild, as thraitors to the Queen,
And that, my boy, 's the reason why I left old Skibbereen.

'You were only two years old, and feeble was your frame;
I would not leave you with my friends, you bore my father's name!
I wrapped you in my 'cathamore' at the dead of night unseen,
We heav'd a sigh and bade good by to poor old Skibbereen.'

O father, father, when the day for vengeance we will call,
When Irishmen o'er field and fen shall rally one and all,
I"ll be the man to lead the van beneath the flag of green,
While loud on high we'll raise the cry, Revenge for Skibbereen!'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 04:35 PM

Goose Gander

Verrrrry interesting. Hopefully someone can turn up a copy of the Songbook and add to the publishing detail.

Regards

p.s. funny how much trouble that "spleen" rhyme has caused!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 04:46 PM

There's a reference to The Wearing of the Green Songbook" HERE
Regards
p.s. the article, ( Balladry in English (in Ireland)) while concise, is interesting, in itself.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Goose Gander
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 07:04 PM

From The Poets of Ireland a biographical and bibliographical dictionary of Irish writers of English verse, ed. D.J. O'Donoghue (Dublin: Hodges, Figgis & Co., 1912) . . .

"CARPENTER, PATRICK.? A native of Skibbereen, Co. Cork, and went to
America many years ago. He wrote various poems for Boston Pilot,
Irish World (New York), in the seventies. He is represented bv a song
called " Old Skibbereen " in " The Irish Singer's Own Book," published
at Boston, Mass."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 07:13 PM

Great stuff! There's no mention of Carpenter in Welch's Oxford Concise Companion to Irish Literature - but he does list O'Donoghue, who was librarian in University College Dublin from 1909. The 1912 Poets of Ireland was the second editon of a book originally published in 1892-3. Wonder if Skibbereen was in that edition?

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 07:17 PM

I see the "Irish Singers own Book" on sale online - with some uncertainty as to the date.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Goose Gander
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 07:32 PM

Here's an add for The Irish Singer's Own book, circa 1880, just $1.00, but that was in 1880 dollars.

See also . . .

The Irish Singer's Own Book Boston: Thomas B. Noonan & Co. (1880) - $475!

Irish Singer's Own Book : The Wearing of the Green Song-BookThomas B. Noonan & Co (1870) - $425!

Now, that's what I call inflation.

Seriously, though, it looks like the Wearing of the Green Songbook is possibly a reprint, or an edit, of the Irish Singer's Own Songbook. On my copy, the emblem on the spine is not quite the same as that seen on the second book listed above, but I can't quite make out the lettering. Still, it looks like it could be T. B. N. (Thomas B. Noonan, that is).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 09:48 PM

I don't have anything to add to the publishing info, just wanted to say 'wow, thanks, Goose!'. That certainly does look like the root source of the song. And closest thing I've seen to John W.'s version, perhaps the old boy had a well-thumbed copy of the book.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Goose Gander
Date: 13 Dec 09 - 09:52 PM

No problem, pattyClink, glad to oblige. Now, what puzzles my mind is how we got from the 'Wearing of the Green' air - totally unsuited to the tone of the lyrics, in my opinion - to the totally haunted and haunting melody to which Joe Heaney sung this one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Mysha
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 12:20 AM

Hi,

So "tumultuous scene" becoming "to {something that sounds like "multuous scene"}".


The one Goose has access to might also be from Boston, rather than New York, though:

University of Florida Smathers Library has an volume described as:
Title:           The Wearing of the green. Songbook.
Published:         Boston, Marlier, [n.d.]
Description:         vi, 216 p. 17 cm.
Format:         Book

(They don't mention whether their edition is from 1889, though.)

That's the same publisher as the 1880 edition of The Irish Singer's Own book as Amazon shows it. Now, the 1870 edition, advertised as Irish Singer's Own Book : The Wearing of the Green Song-Book, unfortunately gives no reason to assume it actually has that subtitle. But in that same ad from ca. 1880, just below The Irish Singer's Own book, we see the next title on offer, which is The Wearing of the green Songbook. That would suggest they are not at all the same book, though they might be by the same publisher.

Southern Illinois University Lovejoy Library do have:
Title:          The Irish singer's own book : containing a large, choice, and popular selection of songs, ballads and recitations, pathetic and humorous, social entertainments and the fireside.
Published:         Boston : Thomas B. Noonan & Co., 1880.
Physical Description:         vi, 216, vii, 248 p. ; 18 cm.
Subject (LCSH):         Songs, Irish --Texts.
        English poetry --Irish authors.
        Humorous songs.
        Recitations.
That's a bit curious as here Noonan is the publisher, but again, no mention of the Wearing of the Green. These descriptions are a bit short, of course, so it may be that information is omitted, but as it is, we don't have very much to show that they are the same book, rather than somewhat mixed up. So, I'd bet on Smathers Library. Anyone near there? (Or anyone near another University Library, in case they would loan it?)

Bye
                                                                Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Goose Gander
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 12:29 AM

The Donahoe's Magazine advertisement notes that 'The Irish Singer's Own Book' has "600 closely-printed pages" . . . the book I have is nowhere near that long. However, the 'Wearing of the Green Songbook' listed directly below with "green cloth, gilt back" may be the one. Which would at least date 'Skibbereen' as early as 1880.

And thanks for pointing that out, Mysha, I looked right past it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Mysha
Date: 14 Dec 09 - 12:22 PM

Hi Goose,

My turn to thank you: I didn't pay attention to the number of pages. I'm not sure whether it's 600 or 500, as I don't see another 6 for comparison. But the one in Lovejoy Library has: vi, 216, vii, 248 p. As that's 477 pages, it may not be that entirely new edition, revised and improved. It is, however, somewhat odd, in that it has two blocks of roman numbered and then numbered pages. The first block vi, 216 p, is the same size as that of The Wearing of the Green, in Smathers Library. I wonder, could the non-revised edition have been TWoTG and an older TISOB printed/bound as a single volume? That would explain the somewhat curious mix and match of the titles.

O'Donoghue, BTW, had a 1901-5 edition as well, making the 1912 the third, I guess.

Aarg, all this infomation about books from the 19th century, and even the people trail has led to before 1897, yet we've only pushed the paper trail back from 1915 to before 1912. But, one day we'll research the books in those libraries ...

Bye
                                                                Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 01:34 PM

I haven't been able to find anything at all about Patrick Carpenter of Skibbereen, to whom this ballad is credited in the Wearing of the Green Songbook, beyond the aforementioned reference in Poets of Ireland (1912). I wonder if it might have been a pen-name? 'Patrick' perhaps was running from something back in Ireland (pure speculation on my part).

On to 'cathamore'. I've found a racehorse by that name in Ireland, and not much else. Cross-referencing 'cathamore' and 'coat' on google brings up exactly one reference ? this thread. And, yes, the quotation marks appear in the original. Any cognates in gaelic? I'm grasping at straws.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: pattyClink
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 01:57 PM

I don't have access to a university library, but do have pretty good local reference librarians--would they be able to contact somebody at SIU and ask them to just look in the book to see if Skibbereen is in there? Or is there a way we could turn in a request that Google Books scan it?

On the cotamore thing, not sure what the problem is. One of the source singers, not sure if it was JW or another guy, said 'that's a big coat'. The quotation marks may have been the author's way of indicating dialect, a way of saying 'I'm spelling this with a th because that's the way these Irish guys pronounce their T's'.    But I can check my Gaelic dictionaries and see if some version of cotamore is in there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Mysha
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 02:02 PM

Hi Goose,

Somewhere near the top of the thread Fiolar says the proper Irish spelling is "cota mor". That's probably "cóta mór", now that I think about it: "coat", "large".

I'm not very successful in finding the right Patrick either. Not that every Tom, Dick and Harry is called Patrick Carpenter, rather the opposite; yet when I do find one in more or less the right time frame, it then turns out he's not from County Cork at all. Indeed, whether a simple nom de plume or for a different motive, this very Irish name may not be the one given to the writer by his (m/f) parents.

Bye
                                                                  Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 02:04 PM

cóta mór is straightforward modern Irish for a "great coat". I don't have a 19C. Irish dictionary to hand but the usage was common by early 20 C.

Regards
p.s. both o's are long, with the accent, incidentally.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 02:06 PM

.... cross-posted with mysha.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Goose Gander
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 02:22 PM

cóta mór, of course. 'cathamore' I suppose must be some reference to dialect.

Thanks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 16 Dec 09 - 02:45 PM

I imagine cathamore is just a phonetic rendering, long removed from the source. No dialect evidence I can think of.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 02:43 PM

Fascinating thread, and the more recent additions re. "life's tumultuous scene" clear up what I always thought a rather awkward, "forced" rhyme/expression. With regard to "yellow spleen", this surely is a sectarian allusion: at least in Donegal, this is a derisory reference to "Orange", often in the phrase "as yalla as a duck's fit" (i.e. a bigoted Protestant; the religion of the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy). It's also given as "cursed foreign spleen".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Goose Gander
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 06:18 PM

So I tried interlibrary loan to see if I could track down intact copies of these elusive titles. Found the following, both in California, and both 'unavailable' through LINK+ . . .

Wearing of the Green Songbook (Boston: P. Donahoe, 1873).
(CSU Sonoma Library)

Irish Singer's Own Book (Boston: Thomas P. Noonan, 1880).
(San Francisco Public Library)

Now, I don't know if these books are on the shelves but non-circulating, or if they have gone missing. Anyone in the neighborhood of either?

Note the different publisher and publication date for the WGS; another printing, or a different item altogether?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Goose Gander
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 06:40 PM

Google Books has listings for a 'Wearing of the Green Songbook' (P. Donahoe, 1869). Of Course, we can't look at it because it hasn't been scanned.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Mysha
Date: 17 Dec 09 - 10:39 PM

Hi,

Boston College has four published by Donahoe, three different years, and one by Marlier. None of them for loan, though. I seem to recall there was a 'catter near Boston, however. Whoever you are, are you reading this thread?

Patty: Sorry, didn't see you post, as I was writing at the same time. Yes, your reference librarians might be able to ask. However, reactions may vary widely. On a different topic I've had responses from below "If you want to know, come see for yourself." to above "Hi, I've immediately looked it up, and it should be available on-line now." But I agree: It's certainly worth a try.

Bye
                                                                  Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 11:30 AM

In looking over the set of verses above (to note down the likely emendations, of course), I've just noticed that "rich and rare" in the second line is given in quotation marks, which I suspect indicates a deliberate allusion to Thomas Moore's song of that title.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 02:06 PM

Bless you ABCD!   I never understood what was yellow about spleen, but that background gives a flavor for what was meant, rather than it just being an awkward phrase to sing.    And the "rich and rare" allusion as well. I hope you'll keep posting any other commentary that comes to mind on this song, it's certainly of interest.   

I went over to the library at lunch, but the Interlibrary Loan guy was also at lunch. Not sure if I can connect up with him before Christmas vacation days kick in over there. But we shall find a way, one way or another.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 02:42 PM

This Alibris ad for one of the extant copies, at Ish Kabibble Books in Hughesville, Maryland describes how the cover says one thing (Irish Singer's Own Book) and the title page another (Wearing of the Green)

description


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: The Sandman
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 04:31 PM

as you enter Skibbereen,from the direction of Ballydehob.,just across the road from the Corner bar,there is a shop P Carpenter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,pattyClink
Date: 18 Dec 09 - 05:30 PM

Well that sounds enticing! So do you think you could unearth anything about the song's history right there in the place where it started? Wonder if anybody in that area still has an ancient book or copy of The Nation that would have a date to go with the lyric, or an oral history going way back on what became of Patrick Carpenter?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Mysha
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 12:30 AM

Hi,

Patty, going by the number of pages, that would be the other half of the book in the Lovejoy Library I quoted above. I fear getting the entire story of the volumes and titles might involve studying quite a few of the books. And then there's no telling when and where Skibbereen is actually going to make an appearance. But any information would help narrow the search, of course.

Goose, that makes me realise: does the copy you have access to have vi and 216 pages, or vii and, 248? (Or both?)

Bye
                                                                  Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Goose Gander
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 01:13 AM

216 pages, no vi or vii.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,ifor
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 08:17 AM

Bob Thomas and Huw Pudner from the Valley Folk Club in South Wales have also written a different song called Skibbereen after Bob fell in love with the place during a visit many years ago.
ifor


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 11:35 AM

Thanks, pattyClink: I can use all the blessings I can get! I've been practising this new, old version a few times, as I'm sure several among us have been, partly to get the additional words into the memory, partly to experiment with what might be called various "interpretations"; in particular, with regard to the second verse, which as Mysha (4th Dec) astutely points out confirms that the exiled father did indeed love his native land with fervo[u]r and pride. Now, while in my view it's best to do this song in a restrained, reflective manner, leaving the words speak for themselves without indulging in any kind of overt, "tear-jerking" drama, I wonder would it be appropriate to have a slightly, very slightly, "sunnier" tone to this verse, according with the line about manhood's pride and sporting when a boy (both expressions which are found in other songs, too)? This not only accords with the snese at this point, it makes the subsequent alteration the more noticeable, both with regard to the man's fortunes and the tone of the verses. You can see how the way I've always heard it -

Oh father dear, I oftimes hear ye speak of Erin's isle:
Her lofty scenes, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wild
Ye say it is &c

could evolve, or be adapted, from the fuller version, and it's worth noting that the second verse in that version, unlike every other except the first, ends with the word "Skibbereen" (I need not add how frequent this convention is in Irish songs, especially those about particular localities). With regard to conventional phrases (such as "field and fen", noted by Jim Dixon - the cultivated land and the wild - or indeed, I suppose, "hill and glen", which would supply the same internal rhyme and structure!), there's also "bright and beautiful", which inevitably recalls the popular hymn about "all creatures great and small".

Finally, I think in Herbert Hughes' "Irish Country Songs", the song ends not with "Revenge for S.", but "Remember S.", the final verse beginning,

"Oh, father dear, the day (or, "time") will come,
when Vengeance loud will call..."

that is, a personified Vengeance; itself a poetic convention. While I can recognise that there would be a degree of release, one might even say Catharsis, in a loud, defiant, rousing conclusion (especially if, as often happens, everyone joins in with the last few words), I tend to incline towards a more restrained yet resolute "Remember Skibbereen". This would be more suitable to that other convention, of giving the conclusion of a song "parlando", too. After all, we've got other examples:

"At Fontenoy, at Fontenoy, Remember Limerick -
Dash down the Sassanach!"

Why, it might even confirm that the song was made in America; "Remember the Alamo"....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 11:41 AM

Sorry, I meant that the second verse in the fuller version does NOT end with the word "Skibbereen". Ah well, I'll get my own Cota Mhor.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 11:43 AM

And wouldn't "Novemebr" be more likely than "December", in that there would be a "term day" then; the rent bing due?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: pattyClink
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 12:23 PM

The 'revenge' does seem a bit vicious, but then again who of us has been through poverty and eviction which resulted in the death of our spouse, and would not that be an understandable feeling? I wonder if by the time the Hughes collection came out, and the story was distant in time, revenge just seemed too un-Christian a sentiment to put into a polite publication.

I did not know about 'term days' so that certainly sheds new light on the time of year.   Was there no grace period at all after the rent was due? In our modern day they have to give notice and give people time to raise the rent if they can.

And I agree, it is a tricky song to try to sing well without 'chewing the scenery' or yet understating the story.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Mysha
Date: 19 Dec 09 - 01:02 PM

Hi ABCD,

I would expect Ireland to follow England, and therefore the rent to be due on Christmas day. However, one would have expected a mention of this if it were.

Either Ireland was following Scotland, and the rent was due on Martinmas, or the rent has been due on Michaelmas according to the English system and the landlord has not immediately taken action.


Yes, it's a bit curious that he first verses don't use the same rhyme, but I guess that matches the situation: Father hasn't yet spoken of Skibbereen, hence it can't be used as a rhyme. That answers your question as well: The mood in the first two verses is indeed more innocent; the text structure is different so presenting it slightly different would be the right thing to do. It's almost like those two verses don't belong with the rest of it, as if they were added later to explain what the song is about.

No [sudden realisation]. It's the other way around: The first three verses are the original poem! Just look at them, they are a story in themselves. That's why in the third verse it's already spelled out that he's been evicted, even though that is first described in the next verse: Initially that was the final explanation. (Did anyone mention folk songs don't have such a thing as an "original version"?)

Bye
                                                                Mysha


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 10:47 AM

Yes, Mysha and pattyClink both: I think either Nov or Dec could equally be accepted (and I find "November" easier to sing; perhaps the conjunction of "Bleeek" and "Deeecember" is the reason). I wouldn't go along with the "three original verses" theory, though; I suspect you're not entirely serious? In still practising and considering, I wondered if - in dramatic terms - we could imagine the father wishing at first to leave the son with only the brief explanation, but then going on to recall "what a dreadful sight.." &C, partly to himself almost (tho' of course he does refer to "Your mother dear..."). This would allow a more "internalised" presentation of the subsequent verses, before he turns to the son again with "you were only two years old...". As I mentioned, I prefer a reflective approach, being well aware not only of the danger of gnawing away at the scenery but even of the real danger of "emotion recollected in tranquillity" leading to a break in the voice - it can happen - and restraint tends to be more characteristic of the Irish style. But there's a certain satisfaction, at the mention of "the Queen" (the whole British social structure, the "Stranger", the crystallisation of centuries of oppression in this one mention of the Crown), in almost spitting the word "That". Sorry to go on so; I've been really taken by this discovery, and look forward to further bibliographic details.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: pattyClink
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 11:46 PM

I do like that interpretation, it seemed odd that he would sum it up early and then tell the story but I guess that's a normal way that conversation could go.

Biographical stuff on Patrick Carpenter I don't have, but as far as summing up emotion towards the Queen, this might be applicable.

We visited with a man who knew our people's geneaology (this is in Donegal) in 2004, Charlie O'Hara. He died within a year or two of that, and I'm just going to post some of his monologue to us in the hopes that he would not mind.   So this is NOT about Skibbereen, but it is about the people John W. Green came from, and his father-in-law Captain Roddy, and a bit of the bitterness that must have been passed down. He is speaking about the landlord in those days, one John Charley.

"Now the story about this John Charley with another sort of twist that relates to myself personally is that when he came here he wanted to sort of build his big house on Arainn Mhor. To dominate the people, to know that they were above the locals they would have had to build their big house. That was a must. So in order to build this big house he had to find a suitable site for it. So he reckoned that site that he wanted was for his big house was belonging to my great-great grandfather, Jack Boyle. Right? So, usually you would only be evicted for non-payment of rents but he said, " no, get out" you know what I mean? "I'm taking over, I'm confiscating this (?.) and he kicked him out and made him move further up the road and carve out another piece of land for himself. Well, anyhow, he built what was known as the Glen House. Right? And it's now the Glen hotel. Right? (?.) And of course he planted trees all around the perimeter, and you dare not even look across the fence at it. And he built a fence right across the Island. Have you been to the lighthouse yet? all of that territory, that's what we would call the bog land. He built a fence right from one end to the other. He confiscated all of that for his own cattle to graze there, you know. Now that was a major blow to the people of the island for this reason?it's that ? in the old days it was because the farms were small that when they sowed the crops, like the potato crop or the corn or the grain or whatever it was, because they had such a small piece of land, they used to put the cattle out to graze in the month of June?in the spring ? and bring them in again at the end of the autumn. You know what I mean? And the cows (?.) because they only had four or five acres of land, they just didn't have any place to graze them at all. You know? But, when he arrived on the island he said, "I'm going to have to confiscate the grazing land." And he did. It became an offense -- totally illegal?for any animal or any person to be caught on what he termed the Queen's Domain. Right? To be caught on the Queen's Domain was bad news all around. You were arrested on the spot and you got probably three months of hard labor in (...)jail. He had his bailiff there to guard his property."

not sure how long a message can be posted, so I'll put another chunk in another post.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: pattyClink
Date: 21 Dec 09 - 11:50 PM

And he came out here at 24 and he was born in 1825 and he died on the 14th of April, 1878. Now the first thing that he did when he came to Arranmore ? he became the owner of Arranmore in 1850 although he had bought Arranmore in 1848 during the famine ? you know the potato famine that was a major catalyst for emigration and all that at the time. But he received the title deeds to Arranmore in 1850 and right away he put his plan into action. He said that it was his intention to confiscate two-thirds of the island's land for his own, exclusive use. Right? And that meant that people would have to go. And he decided that he would evict the poorer people among the Arran classes. And the people he decreed would have to go were classified as the sub-tenants of the area, right? Now a sub-tenant is somebody who would say, if a father had, say, five acres of land and he would give say an acre of land to his son, upon marriage, right, so he could grow a crop of (?.) or whatever. The father would be the tenant and the son would be classified as a sub-tenant. He decreed that all sub-tenants, without exception, would have to go. And not only did he let them, see, there was eviction which was this.   The eviction order would be issued by you today by the landlord or his foreman and the following day the police would arrive with a demolition squad. They would arrive outside your cottage, they would read the eviction order and then they would order the family to vacate the house and then they would set about and they would raze it to the ground and then you could walk the roads of Ireland until you died or you could go to the local workhouse, which was a one way ticket to the grave anyhow because they were rife with all kinds of diseases, you know. So that was an option. But literally tens of thousands of people died from the hunger, from exposure ? they were not to be allowed to be taken in by any of their relatives, and when there was an act introduced in the Houses of Parliament, around about that time, I think it was 48, that decreed that all landlords would have to pay the cost of maintaining their tenants in the workhouse if it so happened that they were evicted for non-payment of rent. You see? Now the charge or the fee for -annual fee ? for keeping the workers was 5 pounds. Charley intended to evict 166 people from Arranmore. Now if you multiply that by 5, that's 800 pounds and in old money that was an absolute fortune, right? And he did not want to incur this expense so he decided, and all of the landlords from here to Cork, decided that the cheapest thing to do would be not only to evict them but to deport them as well. So they would charter a ship, right, and deport them. No discussion. No negotiation. Out you go and sent off on a ship. To where? To Canada or America. So that happened to 166 people including Dominck and the others.   The evictions took place in 1851. And five of those who were evicted sailed from Derry on the 5th of March, 1851 and arrived in Quebec on the 30th of May, right? And a large crowd all assembled on the strand, here, right, this is called Leabgarrow Strand (see Footnote 3) and there were so many of them, literally all of the island were gathered to say their farewells for they'd never see them again. No, it was final. When you left in those days you never ever returned again. You know what I mean? People were poor, they were illiterate, right, they had no money, there was no connection, you were gone. As if you were transported to Venus. So they would have all gathered here to see them off. One hundred and sixty of them left. And they were so cruel that only the one person among the 160 had a pair of shoes for the road. The landlord had promised them suitable clothing and food for the journey, but he didn't do anything about it, right? And a row erupted between him and the tenants the day they were leaving, because he hadn't kept his promise to them. So that meant they had to walk barefoot from Burtonport, you know where you caught the ferry? That's Burtonport. They walked from there, forty miles across the hills to Donegaltown. In their bare feet. Barefoot, men, women and children. Now the first night, they went as far as, there's a workhouse in Glenties, which is roughly half way between Burtonport and er, you passed through Glenties. There was a workhouse there and they spent the first night in the workhouse and the following day they reached Donegal town. Now the boat that they were to have sailed on, that he had chartered to take them away, hadn't arrived as yet in Donegal town. So the people of Donegal town had to feed one hundred and forty people ? one hundred and sixty people for four days til the ship finally arrived. Aand when the ship finally arrived it was called, ironically, the Countess of Arran, right? So they boarded the Countess and being seafaring people and all that, they knew that this ship was not seaworthy. She was what was known as a coffin ship. They were chartered to (?) for the lowest possible price, and they were not seaworthy at all. They were ready to fall apart.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 05 Jan 10 - 12:32 PM

Many thanks for this material (I assume from a tape-recording), which is similar to some of the stories I've heard from "kind friends and relations", themsleves, coincidentally, from Donegal, though closer to Derry town than to Donegal town. Just recently, in conversation with a woman from Ballybofey in Donegal, I learnt that some of the ships taken by Irish emigrants - not, presumably, the "coffin-ships" - would actually have been returning, empty, to Canada, after having transported timber from there to British ports; a variation on the efficient "Triangular Route" of the Slave Trade.

   
In mentioning the rediscovered "Skibbereen" to my mother, she told me something she'd been told as a child, about the Famine years; there were scores or hundreds of evicted, or unemployed, people roaming the country, seeking shelter wherever they could and either begging or "foraging" sustenance as they went. It seems that the wealthier farmers, or some of them at least, were harrying these people from their land, where they were digging with their bare hands for whatever turnips, carrots &c they could find. One day, one such farmer rode up to the farm which my mother's people have owned for generations (one of the buildings on it, not the oldest either, has the date "1838" cut above the door), telling of a "whole flock of beggars" digging turnips from one field below the road, and urging that they be seen off. My great-great-grandfather said he'd not put starving people off his land, and would not go along with the idea. (Some of these evicted people later built shelters along the road close to the nearest village, and it's possible that my grandfather, nearly a century ago now, married one of their descendants). Anyway, according to my mother, whatever is now planted or reared on that field will flourish or thrive better than anything else on the (comparatively small) farm.   I'll be asking some aunts if they have more details of this story, in the Summer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,John
Date: 20 Nov 10 - 04:40 AM

The word "Kosamane" is probably " Mo Chasog Fhein" which means my own cassock. Cassock being a long coat or a skirted coat.
In Skibbereen we would say " mo cota mor " in the northern part of Ireland they may use " mo chasog fhein " . say this quickly and you get " Kosamane" .
I am still checking the reference to "Ninety -Eight "

There is a street in Skibbereen called "ninety eight street"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 08 Aug 11 - 07:47 AM

You can find full lyrics and chords and video of The Wolftones recording via the link below. If that doesn't work then click on www.unitedirelandtripod.ie the Martin dardis site which has several hundred Irish songs most with chords and video

http://www.martindardis.com/skibbereen_lyrics_chords.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 13 - 01:08 AM

Skibbereen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,Goose Gander
Date: 18 Apr 13 - 01:13 AM

Skibbereen sung by Rocky Ivors, 1989, McFeeley's Bar, Clonmany, Co. Donegal.

Source: Inishowen Song Project


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: mg
Date: 18 Apr 13 - 01:27 AM

I have lyrics to something called a new song for skibbereen..which is still quite old. WE do have a cd out called song for our ancestors an gorta mor the potato famine, which includes a great version of skibbereen by joe martin. also includes a song about the famine roads, one about the coffin ships..one about a father sending his on on a coffin ship, one about walking to the workhouse and dying on the way, one about the girls taken from workhouses to australia, oh, many more. several are by mudcatters including big mick, seamus kennedy, alice, meself, tony m. and i a m probably forgetting some..10 us plus shipping...just pm me...it is truly a great collecgtion of songs...mostly about the famine, a few about more generic emigration.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Apr 13 - 05:18 PM

Check out Girl from Skibbereen by Bob Thomas and Huw Pudner on YouTube


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,ollaimh
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 12:00 AM

mick Malone sings a great version on his cd of irish songs in America. he does immigration songs then new life in America songs, civil war songs and finally settled songs. a great cd

there was no famine, it was genocide. an English historian I read recently said"" the fact remains that millions of citizens of the richest nation on earth, who lived w few hundred miles from the centre of wealth and power were allowed to starve or be forced to emigrate". even english historians have trouble ignoring the facts.

and true to form they don't count the million(or more) who died in the trip and here in quarantine stations. in Canada , on grosse isle, there is a national park, where there was a quarantine station. there are quarter of a million buried there whose experience of Canada was only that hell hole. in the mirimichi river mouth an old quarantine island has thirty five thousand buried. there were many many more.

I have not often sung this song but I am playing a lot of harp these days, maybe I should put it to my ancient gaelic wire strung harp replica. should be show stopper for audiences who are ready for hard truths


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,jim bainbridge
Date: 19 Apr 13 - 05:38 PM

I used to play music regularly in Annie May's pub in Skibbereen in the 90s. I was bit fed up with it anyway and one week they were all watching Pink Floyd at the Berlin Wall & wouldnt turn it off till about 11pm, but I put up with it, as I was well paid and got free Guinness. Next time, the management had left a deputy in charge and said I'd be paid but no free stout. That was a steo too far and I told them to .. off & left them without any music. On the way back to base in Dunbeacon, the late Alex McKie burst into song...

'And thats another reason why I left old Skibbereen'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,Quincy
Date: 10 Mar 14 - 10:19 PM

I just obtained a copy of "The Wearing of the Green Song-Book" the cover seems to have been replaced hand sewn paper with thread. The front says (in cursive with pencil) "Malcolm J Makinnon, Please keep this book clean. - Mama" and dated April 5th, 1897. The cover is falling apart and on the inside of the back there is another date of 1897. I bought it at an estate sale on Martha's Vineyard. I think it deserves to be cherished. Would anyone in this thread be interested in owning it? if so email me at QuincyDewing@gmail.com subject title Wearing of the green with any questions


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Mar 14 - 04:35 AM

"I just obtained a copy of "The Wearing of the Green Song-Book""
Books like that should be cherished - we've recently passed on a bundle of them to The Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin where they will not only be preserved, but there is a fair chance they will be freely available for viewing - take a look at their website.
I have been annotating our song collection and am staggered at the amount to be found in these books and the number of songs that have been passed through them - try this one, for instance.
TRADITIONAL MUSIC LIBRARY
I've just annotated 'Skibbereen' in preparation for putting up our recordings on our County Library website - this is what I did for it:

Skibbereen ?(Roud 2312) Pat MacNamara See also, Skibbereen ? Tom Lenihan
The first known appearance of this song was in a 19th-century publication, The Irish Singer's Own Book (Noonan, Boston, 1880), where the song was attributed to Patrick Carpenter, a poet and native of Skibbereen. It was published in 1915 by Herbert Hughes who wrote that it had been collected in County Tyrone, and that it was a traditional song
Ireland's Great Famine remains one of history's worst cases of a natural disaster mismanaged; locked warehouses stuffed with supplies, enough food to feed the population being shipped out of Ireland by the boatload, and a man in charge of famine relief who believed the famine to be God's punishment on the Irish
In a letter to Thomas Spring-Rice, Lord Mounteagle, Sir Charles Trevelyan described the famine as an "effective mechanism for reducing surplus population" as well as "the judgment of God"   
From the 'Cork Examiner' of March 19th, 1847, reporting on a court case in which a man had been charged with stealing food.   
In his defense he said that he was driven to it by what had happened to his wife.   
The Court was told:

"The starving woman lay in her hovel next to her dead three-year old son, waiting for her husband to return from begging food.   When night fell and his failure to return led her to imagine him dead in a ditch, she lay there in the faint fire's dying embers, caressing with her eyes her dead son's face and tiny fists.   With death searching her, and now with her own fists clenched, she made one last effort to stay alive. Crawling as far away from her son's face as she could, as if to preserve his personality, or at least her memory of it, she came to his bare feet and proceeded to eat them."

Illustration here.
Skibbereen 1847 by Cork artist James Mahony (1810?1879), commissioned by Illustrated London News 1847.

The legacy of the famine remains a part of the Irish psyche, particularly in its long and unbroken history of emigration.
It can also be found in folk-memory ? my mother said her mother always claimed it was a "mortal sin not to eat the whole potato". This was echoed by Kerry Traveller Mikeen McCarthy, who said he once met an old woman who had lived during the famine and told him exactly the same thing.
The last generation had it in their lore; we were told several times of the "Hungry Grass", patches of land supposedly containing unmarked famine graves; it was said that anybody who walks over it is stricken by hunger pains.
One such piece of ground is said to be not far from The Hand Cross on the slopes of Mount Callan.   

Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 01:26 PM

The Wearing of the Green Song Book, dated 1869 (mentioned by Goose Gander above), can now be seen at Google Books, and it contains the lyrics to OLD SKIBBEREEN. [Click for title page.] I haven't compared word for word, but I assume the lyrics are the same as those posted by Goose Gander above (although we aren't certain those lyrics came from the same edition; we know that several editions were published).

This pushes back the origin of the song a bit.

Complete citation:

The Wearing of the Green Song Book (Boston: Patrick Donahoe, 1869), page 208. [No author or editor of the book is named as such; presumably the publisher is also the editor. The song is credited to Patrick Carpenter.]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: MartinRyan
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 01:46 PM

Jim DIxon

Great work. Very soon after the Fenian uprising of 1848 which it references. Some fascinating differences from the modern version.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 02:22 PM

Jim
Can't tell you how grateful I am to get this
It also gives me information on another song I was having trouble dating - Nora O'Neill.
Cheers
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 12 Mar 14 - 03:47 PM

I have always heard Patrick Carpenter, and that he was a famine survivor.

Here are the words to the new Skibereen..also probably pretty old

New song on skibbereen where thousands patiently laydown and died for want of food Tune is Skibbereen

What cry is this upon the winds That's falling on my ear
Are the yeomen at their work again That fills our minds with fear
Or do they weep because they're slaves In this island fair and green
No it's the wail of thousands hungry In the town of Skibbereen

The wife's and babe's provider With the broad and sinewy hand
Is stretched a naked skeleton No more to till the land
The partner of his miseries His cushla his mhuirneen
Is gone with him for famine spares No wives in Skibbereen

You'll see the father falling while he saves the bit of food
To keep life in his offspring his own son his own life's blood
The last is gone no friendly hand extending now is seen
Nor shrouds nor coffins round them in the graves of Skibbereen

Aye weep ye Munster girls now ye can afford to weep
Ye kbow not ere the morning breaks ye'll rest in famine's sleep
The laughing eye the blooming the smile so bland serene
Will disappear for hunger sweeps the maids of Skibbereen

And are we doomed to perish in our own green fertile land
Where the stranger had the welcome the full and friendly hand
But we may some day remember if we're wanted by the queen
That hundreds patiently lay down and starved in Skibbereen

J. Nugent, Printer, 35 cook street, Dublin

...

I did not know that they ate shamrocks as well as grass during the famine..but I am reading a history book on my kindle and that is what the author says.

I am going to Ireland in a month..Dunquin/Dingle...where my ancestors "farmed"...f anyone wants to meet up I will be staying at the hostel there for the most part.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 13 Mar 14 - 03:31 AM

"I am reading a history book on my kindle"
Probably the greatest novel on the subject is Liam O'Flaherty's 'Famine' (1937) - compulsive reading and once you've read it it stays with you forever.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Dec 16 - 08:41 AM

I know it is an important song historically ,but it is oversung around these parts.
there is a shop in skibbereen called p carpenter, wonder if its a descendant


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Dec 16 - 08:59 AM

i made a mistake not p carpenter at all, but p cronin carpenter


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 05 Dec 16 - 09:55 AM

"but it is oversung around these parts. "
I know what you mean Dick, but songs tend to be oversung because they are good songs that move people and the fact that you may hear them too often doesn't alter that.
I must have heard it hundreds of times, but whenever it worked for the singer and is not being mindlessly belted out, it has never failed to move me
It says what needs saying.
I heard it sung by an elderly man last night in a singing session and I found myself with tears in my eyes after his performance - it moved him, so it moved me.
In my opinion, the more you know about these songs, the more likely you will get thhem to work, for you and the audience.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 February 5:02 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.