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


Help: Moorlough Shore

Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Moorlough Shore (10)
Moorlough Shore location (2)


Big Tim 26 Feb 01 - 11:33 AM
Noreen 26 Feb 01 - 01:53 PM
Áine 26 Feb 01 - 02:02 PM
Sorcha 26 Feb 01 - 02:04 PM
Áine 26 Feb 01 - 02:33 PM
John Moulden 26 Feb 01 - 05:21 PM
Big Tim 27 Feb 01 - 04:15 AM
John Moulden 27 Feb 01 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,Patsy McNaughton 05 Mar 16 - 03:54 PM
GUEST 01 Apr 16 - 12:53 PM
Jim Carroll 01 Apr 16 - 01:29 PM
MartinRyan 01 Apr 16 - 04:12 PM
MartinRyan 01 Apr 16 - 04:20 PM
GUEST 02 Apr 16 - 01:25 AM
Jim Carroll 02 Apr 16 - 03:20 AM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Apr 16 - 11:21 PM
Joe Offer 04 Apr 16 - 02:07 AM
GUEST,# 04 Apr 16 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,leeneia 04 Apr 16 - 11:26 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Moorlough Shore
From: Big Tim
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 11:33 AM

Can anyone identify "Sinclair's Castle" and "The Folly (or Holly) Hill" referred to in a version of this Irish song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: Noreen
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 01:53 PM

Hi Tim- how about posting the words here for those who don't know the song. That might encourage more discussion which often leads to enlightenment! (I've checked and it's not in the DT)

Noreen


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: Áine
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 02:02 PM

It is in the DT, but under the title "BANKS OF THE MOORLOUGH SHORE". I tried to access it, but it appears that shorty the server is down right now. I'm sure that it will be available later on, though.

-- Áine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: Sorcha
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 02:04 PM

Noreen, title is Banks of Moorlough Shore. It's in the DT, but I can't get the search to take me there.

I did a search on Sinclair's Castle, and one on Folly Hill. Sinclairs is apparently in the Orkneys, and there is a Folly Hill in both Kent and Surrey. Didn't find either in Ireland........the only Holly Hills were in the US. I don't really know, maybe somebody from Ireland will look in.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: Áine
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 02:33 PM

Found it!

Banks of the Moorlough Shore

You hills and dales and flowery vales
That lie near the Moorlough Shore
You winds that blow through Burden's Row (??)
Shall I ever see you more
Where the primrose grows and the violet blows
Where the trout and salmon play
With my line and hook, delight I took
To spend all my youthful days

As I roved out to meet my love
For to hear what she would say
And to see if she would pity me
Before I must go away
She said "I love an Irish lad
And he is my pride and joy
And ever since I saw his face
I have loved my sailor boy"

"Perhaps your sailor boy was lost
While crossing the raging main
Or perhaps he is gone with some other one
You might ne'er see him again"
"Well if my Irish boy is lost
He's the one I do adore
And for seven long years I will wait for him
On the banks of the Moorlough Shore."

Farewell to St. Claire's castles grand
Farewell to Holly Hill (??)
Where the linen wefts(??) like bleaching silk
And the purling streams run still
It was there I spent my youthful days But alas, they are all o'er
And cruelty has banished me
Far away from the Moorlough Shore

Air is almost identical to "The Foggy Dew" (Irish rebel version). Recorded by Sarah and Keane - aunts of Dolores Keane, whom many DT users may know.
MR
apr97


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: John Moulden
Date: 26 Feb 01 - 05:21 PM

This version originates with the Atlantic City, travel agent John McGettigan. The Keanes learned it from one of his many 78s. This song is also sung as the Maid of Mourne Shore. Locations of both Murlough and Mourne have their difficulties. Murlough is a bay in north east Antrim (west of Ballycastle) or in Co Down (Dundrum) however, there is also Moorlough - from whence Moorlough Mary - in Co Tyrone between Plumbridge and Donemanagh.

The Banks of Mourne shore can apply to the River Mourne which flows through Strabane and then becomes the River Foyle or to the Mourne Mountains. That version refers to the winds that over Martin's Hills and to the ship lying at Warrenpoint. Unfortunately, there is a Warrenpoint on Carlingford Lough to the south of the Mourne Mountains and another near Moville on the Innishowen peninsula, where emigrants from the area of the River Mourne would have boarded the ship.

After all that ambiguity, it will come as no surprise that I cannot help over Sinclair's Castle. I made strenuous search some years back especially in the area around Derry or north Donegal because there is a (or rather three[!) Holly Hill in Derry - one near Dungiven, which seems unlikely and another near Strabane; where also there is a Holy Hill, which, with the well known perversity of the people of Ulster, is probably pronounced "holly" as in the Holywood, near Belfast, which might vocally be confused with that suburb of Los Angeles. The third one is between Maghera and Bellaghy and I see quite close to that one a "Folly Hill."

Clear? I hope not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: Big Tim
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 04:15 AM

Thanks everyone for your interest and help. Here's a version by Jim O' Neill, Markethill Co Armagh, 1952, recorded by Peter kennedy.

THE MOORLOUGH SHORE

Your hills and dales and flowery vales That lie near the Moorlough shore Your wynds that blow by bog and grove Will I ever see you more? Where the primrose grows and the violet blows Where the trout and salmon play With my line and hook delight I took To spend my youthful days

As I went out to see my love And hear what she might say To see if she'd take pity on me Just before I'd go away She said: I loved an Irish lad And he was my only joy And ever since I saw his face I loved that soldier boy

Perhaps your soldier lad was lost Sailing over the raging main Or perhaps he's gone with some other girl You may never see him again Well if my Irish lad is lost He's the one I do adore And for seven years I'll wait for him On the banks of the Moorlough shore

Farewell to Sinclair's castle grand Farewell to the Folly Hill Where the linen webs lie bleaching green And the purling streams runs still Near there I spent my youthful days But alas they are all o'er For cruelty has banished me Far away from the Moorlough shore

I first heard this song by Dolores Keane and assumed that the "moorlough shore" wasn't a specific place name, meaning simply "by the side of a lake". Then I managed to get the old recording by John McGettigan (1882-1965), from Donegal, which seems to place the song specifically at Moorlough Bay, near Ballycastle, in North Antrim. After reading your notes John, it seems that the origins of the song are lost with it being likely that different localities have adopted it and adapted it by grafting on local place names, like Flower of Sweet Strabane, another old song peserved by McGettigan's 30s recording. Does the reference to linen "bleaching greens" point to south Ulster rather than north? Anyway, it's a lovely song and one of these days I'll find Sinclair's Castle, if it evere existed!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: John Moulden
Date: 27 Feb 01 - 04:42 AM

Sam Henry presented the following version as "The Maid of Mourne Shore" on 5th July 1923. (Sam Henry's "Songs of the People" page 371.

The Maid of Mourne Shore

Ye hills and dales and flowery vales that lie round Mourne shore,
Ye winds that blow o'er Martin's hills: will I never hear you more?
Where the primrose grows and the violet blows and the sporting trout there plays,
With line and hook, delight I took to spend my youthful days.

Last night I went to see my love to hear what she would say,
Thinking she would pity me, lest I should go away;
She said, 'I love a sailor, he's the lad that I adore,
And seven years I'll wait on him, so trouble me no more.'

'Perhaps your sailor may be lost when crossing o'er the main,
Or otherwise has fixed his mind upon some comely dame.'
'Well, if the sea proves false to me, no other I'll enjoy,
For ever since I saw his face I loved my sailor boy.'

Farewell now to Lord Edmund's groves, likewise the Bleaching Green,
Where the linen webs lie clean and white, pure flows the crystal stream,
Where many's the happy day I spent, but now, alas, they're o'er
Since the lass I love has banished me far, far from Mourne shore.

Our ship she lies off Warren's Point, just ready to set sail,
May all goodness now protect her with a sweet and pleasant gale.
Had I ten thousand pounds in gold, or had I ten times more,
I would freely share with the girl I love, the maid of Mourne shore.

The bleaching green reference is not in any way area specific. The linen trade was wide-spread throughout Ulster.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: GUEST,Patsy McNaughton
Date: 05 Mar 16 - 03:54 PM

The Moorlough Shore" is a traditional Irish ballad, which first appears in print in an 1886 broadside, now at the Bodleian Library. Over the years there has been much debate about where the song is set, but it is clear that it must be in County Tyrone, close to Strabane. There are a number of places referred to in the lyrics that link it to Holyhill (usually pronounced Holly Hill), a Sinclair estate in the parish of Leckpatrick, where there is also a Moorlough Road. The Sinclairs established themselves in Tyrone and Donegal in the seventeenth century, and by the 1770s had set up a thriving linen business at Holyhill. In 1778, Mrs Elizabeth Sinclair asked permission from the landowner to divert the course of the Glenmornan River (a tributary of the Foyle) to provide water for a flax mill or a bleaching green.

Bleaching and drying both used to be mainly outdoor activities, and they were closely related. The stretch of grass set aside for these jobs was called a bleaching-green or drying-ground. Whether you were spreading off-white linen on the ground to bleach in the sun, or just putting your laundry there to dry, or if you were hanging it on a breezy line, you wanted a:

"grassy corner well open to the sun,...sheltered from high winds...the attentions of wandering poultry... and the incursions of pigs, puppies and calves...they not only soil the clothes, but will tear and even eat them"
Katherine Purdon, Laundry at Home, 1902, quoted by Pamela Sambrook in The Country House Servant


Farewell to Sinclair's castle ground [grand].
Farewell to Holly Hill.
Where the linen webs lie bleaching green
And the bawdeen [falling, purling] stream runs still.
Near there I spent my youthful days,
But alas they are no more,
For cruelty has banished me,
Far away from the Moorlough Shore.




.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Apr 16 - 12:53 PM

This song is in Sam Henry's "Songs of the People", which contains songs from (or mainly from) the northern parts of Ireland. I remember seeing it (and the tune was indeed reminiscent of "The Foggy Dew" (which perhaps coincidently was I think written by someone from Kilcoo not far from Newcastle) and assumed that it referred to Murlough near Newcastle, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. I don't have the book in front of me so cannot remember whether Sinclair's Castle, Folly Hill, Warren's Point and Mourne Shore etc are mentioned though. Certainly "Mourne Shore" would to me imply a sea shore rather than an area near a river (I have heard of lake shores, but never river shores; river banks or river sides are usually the names given to the arae where a river meets land). There is also a Ballyedmond near Rostrevor, along the coast of the Mourne shore between Rostrevor and Kilkeel, Co. Down, not too many miles from Murlough, where there used to be a Balllyedmond Hotel (it was later bought by an Eddie Haughey of Norbrook Laboratories, Newry, a few miles away, who later became a peer in the House or Lords, taking the name "Lord Ballyedmond", but he was killed in a helicopter crash some years ago).

There is a lake called "Moor Lough" near Strabane, and also a Holy Hill not far away. No doubt flax was grown and there were bleach greens in the area, although as stated above, flax growing was formerly widespread over lowland areas of Northern Ireland (now extinct!). I have never herad of Sinclair's Castle, but clearly there were Sinclair's who were landowners in the Strabane area and may well have been involved in the Flax Industry. I don't know there was a Warren (or Warren's) Point in Co. Donegal, although one would have thought that emigrant ships would have left from the port of Londonderry which is not far from Strabane rather than a small port near Moville in Co. Donegal.

It seems to me that one could make a strong case for County Down or County Tyrone (I have no bias either way); however perhaps the mention of Sinclair's and the flax industry, which are pretty specific, swing it towards Co. Tyrone). If the latter are not mentioned in Sam Henry's book, could there be 2 versions, 1 from Co. Tyrone and 1 from Co. Down? (Though if so, perhaps the Tyrone version is the earlier of the two).

Certainly it can be hard to decide for certain on the origin of a song. There is a thread about the song Carrickfergus (to which I recently contributed) in which doubt was cast on whether "Carrickfergus" was the one in Co. Antrim, or somewhere in Co. Clare, where there is a River Fergus; Ballygrand" (or "Ballygrant") could have referred to a Ballygrant on the Isle of Islay in Scotland or a "Ballygrot" at Helens Bay near Bangor, Co. Down, and to me there was a plausible case that the "marble stones as black as ink" in "Kilkenny" could have been at "Kilmeny" on the Isle of Islay, where apparently there was a quarry with dark marble. There are though limestone quarries with a particularly dark grey limestone (though not "as black as ink") in Co. Kilkenny in S.E. Ireland; I have noticed this at a place called Ballykeefe near Callan, about 10 miles west of Kilkenny.

Other trivia associated loosely with the above:

(1) On a CD called "Tried and Tested"(released about 2000) in my possession by a group "Bawn Folk" there is an instrumental called "Maids of Mourne Shore" but I don't think the tune is similar to the one above.

(2) Murlough Bay in N.E. Antrim is just east of Fair Head, which is east (not west) of Ballycastle.

(3) As far as I know, the tune to "The Flower of Sweet Strabane" is also used for "Spancil Hill" (Spancil Hill is near Ennis, Co. Clare, in the west of Ireland), "Rathfriland on the Hill" (Rathfriland is in Co. Down, not too far from Newcastle) and another song called "The Hiring Fair at Hamilstonsbawn" (coincidentally, the group "Bawn Folk" mentioned above take their name from Hamiltonsbawn, Co. Armagh; this latter song also appeared on a CD released about 2000 called "Looking Back to Looking Forward"). It may also be used with other lyrics - this is a common phenomenon in folk songs, e.g. "Homes of Donegal" is the same tune as "Come All Ye Tramps and Hawkers", the latter being a Scottish song.

(4) I know the Holly Hill near Bellaghy mentioned above - my brother who used to live not far away for a year or two told me about it and I visited it a few times in the mid-1970s. Despite the name, the wood was mainly hazel, although there may have been some Holly. I must revisit it some time to see if the wood still exists. It is of course difficult to decide whether Holly" or "Holy" is meant; Holywood in Co. Down is pronounced the same way as Hollywood in California, though spelled differently. I think there is a Hollywood in Co. Wicklow, south of Dublin.

I wonder if the "Burden's Row" (which I note has a question mark beside it) mentioned above has any connection with the Katherine Purdon quoted by Pamela Sambrook (perhaps this is just a coincidence?).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 Apr 16 - 01:29 PM

This is the note we did for the double CD, Around the Hills of Clare
It's been challenged, but it still makes some sort of sense to me.

"The title Maid of the Moorlough Shore at first suggests the location as being Murlough Bay, north Antrim, but it has also been found as Maid of Mourne Shore which places it further south. This might explain Martin's reference to the River Shann, as an outlet to Lough Shannagh flows through Silent Valley from the Mourne Mountains, emerging out to the sea at Kilkeel, South Down.
Hugh Shields links it to this latter area with a local story of a miller's daughter betrothed to a fisherman, the marriage fixed to take place on the eve of Greencastle Fair. Her lover is drowned in a storm and the girl, finding the body, loses her mind and is herself drowned."
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 01 Apr 16 - 04:12 PM

Curiously, I have no recollection of seeing this thread before - despite the fact that I'm the "MR" noted at the foot of Áine's posting of the DT version many years ago. I have long since heard John Moulden's lovely final verse from several Northern singers but have never used it myself.

I recall commenting some years ago, at a workshop at the Tocane festival in France, that the song feels to me like a fragment of a "broken token" song.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 01 Apr 16 - 04:20 PM

Incidentally, "sailor boy" is often replaced nowadays by "soldier boy" - perhaps by association with "The Foggy Dew".

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Apr 16 - 01:25 AM

"Ye winds that blow o'er Martin's hills" suggests, though it may be a coincidence, Slieve Martin, a mountain near Rostrevor (close to Warrenpoint), which would also tend to suggest a County Down origin for the song.

I suspect we will never know for certain.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 02 Apr 16 - 03:20 AM

Octogenarian Clareman, Martin Reidy can be heard singing the song on The Clare County Library website (Carroll/Mackenzie Collection)

http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/songs/cmc/index.htm

He also sings Moorlough Mary, Maid of Mount Callan, The Maid of Lismore Father Tom O'Neill, and a few othes well worth a listen, including an epic-length 'True Lover's Discussion'.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Apr 16 - 11:21 PM

Thanks, Jim.

I've sent in a MIDI of the tune, and it should show up here. It's a beautiful slow air.


Click to play (joeweb)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 02:07 AM

Leeneia's MIDI posted in the link in her post, above.

I know the melody in the MIDI as the Irish "Foggy Dew":


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: GUEST,#
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 07:00 AM

I don't know that this will add anything worthwhile to the discussion, but anyway . . .

http://www.sinclairgenealogy.info/moorlough-shore


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Moorlough Shore
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Apr 16 - 11:26 AM

About that MIDI: If I want to hear how it sounds, I have to open Mudcat with Internet Explorer, not Google Chrome. Your results may vary.


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: 19 July 10:39 PM EDT

[ 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.