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Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen

DigiTrad:
SKIBBEREEN


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


GUEST,John Braden 24 Mar 20 - 05:05 PM
Jim Carroll 05 Dec 16 - 09:55 AM
The Sandman 05 Dec 16 - 08:59 AM
The Sandman 05 Dec 16 - 08:41 AM
Jim Carroll 13 Mar 14 - 03:31 AM
GUEST,mg 12 Mar 14 - 03:47 PM
Jim Carroll 12 Mar 14 - 02:22 PM
MartinRyan 12 Mar 14 - 01:46 PM
Jim Dixon 12 Mar 14 - 01:26 PM
Jim Carroll 11 Mar 14 - 04:35 AM
GUEST,Quincy 10 Mar 14 - 10:19 PM
GUEST,jim bainbridge 19 Apr 13 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,ollaimh 19 Apr 13 - 12:00 AM
GUEST 18 Apr 13 - 05:18 PM
mg 18 Apr 13 - 01:27 AM
GUEST,Goose Gander 18 Apr 13 - 01:13 AM
GUEST 18 Apr 13 - 01:08 AM
GUEST,Desi C 08 Aug 11 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,John 20 Nov 10 - 04:40 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 05 Jan 10 - 12:32 PM
pattyClink 21 Dec 09 - 11:50 PM
pattyClink 21 Dec 09 - 11:46 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 21 Dec 09 - 10:47 AM
Mysha 19 Dec 09 - 01:02 PM
pattyClink 19 Dec 09 - 12:23 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 19 Dec 09 - 11:43 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 19 Dec 09 - 11:41 AM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 19 Dec 09 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,ifor 19 Dec 09 - 08:17 AM
Goose Gander 19 Dec 09 - 01:13 AM
Mysha 19 Dec 09 - 12:30 AM
GUEST,pattyClink 18 Dec 09 - 05:30 PM
The Sandman 18 Dec 09 - 04:31 PM
GUEST,pattyClink 18 Dec 09 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,pattyClink 18 Dec 09 - 02:06 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 18 Dec 09 - 11:30 AM
Mysha 17 Dec 09 - 10:39 PM
Goose Gander 17 Dec 09 - 06:40 PM
Goose Gander 17 Dec 09 - 06:18 PM
An Buachaill Caol Dubh 17 Dec 09 - 02:43 PM
MartinRyan 16 Dec 09 - 02:45 PM
Goose Gander 16 Dec 09 - 02:22 PM
MartinRyan 16 Dec 09 - 02:06 PM
MartinRyan 16 Dec 09 - 02:04 PM
Mysha 16 Dec 09 - 02:02 PM
pattyClink 16 Dec 09 - 01:57 PM
Goose Gander 16 Dec 09 - 01:34 PM
Mysha 14 Dec 09 - 12:22 PM
Goose Gander 14 Dec 09 - 12:29 AM
Mysha 14 Dec 09 - 12:20 AM
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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Dear Old Skibbereen
From: GUEST,John Braden
Date: 24 Mar 20 - 05:05 PM

"And now for something completely different." When I heard Sinead O'Connor's Skibbereen, I thought, "I've heard this tune before." Check out "The Battle of Shiloh Hill" (first line, "Come all you valiant soldiers, and a story I will tell"), written by M.B. Smith and published at page 44 of Allan's Lone Star Ballads (1874). Though words only are given, the song was meant to be sung to "The Wandering Sailor." The lyrics were repeated at page 326 of Fagan's Southern War Songs (1890). Irwin Silber evidently dug up the tune of "The Wandering Sailor" to publish with "The Battle of Shiloh Hill" at page 246 of his Songs of the Civil War (1960) (repeated at page 56 of Silber's Soldier Songs and Home Front Ballads of the Civil War (N.Y.: Oak Publications 1964) and Vol. II, page 300 of Jerry Silverman's Folk Song Encyclopedia (N.Y.: Chappell & Co. 1975). Anyway, despite some variations, the Skibbereen tune seems close enough to be a variation of the "The Wandering Sailor." What do you think?
To range further afield, page 38 of Allan's Lone Star Ballads has a song called "The Texas Soldier Boy" (first line "Come all you Texas soldiers, wherever you may be"). Structural similarities lead me to infer that this was meant to be sung the "The Wandering Sailor" as well. However, when Hermes Nye sang it in his Ballads of the Civil War (Folkways FP 5004) he used a different tune entirely (perhaps one he made up?)
Anyway, if you could trace "The Wandering Sailor" to its source, and then trace its descendants, I suspect you'd find that one of them is the tune currently used for Skibbereen.


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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


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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


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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


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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


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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.


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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


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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


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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.]


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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


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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


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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'


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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


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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


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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.


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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


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

Skibbereen


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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


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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"


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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


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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.


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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?


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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.


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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"....


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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


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

216 pages, no vi or vii.


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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


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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?


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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


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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.


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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?


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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".


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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


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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.


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

.... cross-posted with mysha.

Regards


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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


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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.


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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


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