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Lyr Req: Cathleen ni Houlihan

FolkKey 18 Apr 01 - 06:51 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 18 Apr 01 - 07:44 PM
GUEST,Philippa 04 Nov 02 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,Philippa 04 Nov 02 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Philippa 04 Nov 02 - 04:23 PM
Felipa 17 May 03 - 02:34 PM
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Subject: Cathleen ni Houlihan
From: FolkKey
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 06:51 PM

A play by W B Yeats. Source for T. Makem's wonderful "Four Green Fields" Yeats wrote that there were many songs written to this idealization of the spirit of Ireland. I haven't found any. Got any clues? Thanks (Alternate spelling 'Hoolihan')

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cathleen ni Houlihan
From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 07:44 PM

That's one of many titles for a tune. See 'Thousands of bottles' for them in the Irish tune title index on my website. Most are stressed-note coded in file COMBCODE.TXT there.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cathleen ni Houlihan
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 01:35 PM

There's a song Caitlín Ní Uallacháin by Liam Ó hIfearnáin/William Heffernan (Liam Dall, lived circa 1720-1803). Jill Rogoff sent me a copy. she says the tune is called "Kathleen Nowlan"; that is another anglised form of the name besides Houlihan. You can also find the song is Petrie's "Ancient Music of Ireland", complete with notes and translation.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caitlín Ní Uallacháin
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 01:43 PM

Maybe I'll get around to typing out the lyrics, or maybe Jill can supply them. Meanwhile this item,summarising an article in a journal, may be of interest:

Volume 11

Nic Eoin, Máirín. "Secrets and Disguises? Caitlín Ní Uallacháin and other female personages in eighteenth-century Irish political poetry." Eighteenth-Century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr 11 (1996) : 7-45.

"This article discusses the use of vernacular names as the female personification of land and sovereignty in eighteenth-century Irish political poetry. The article provides an explanation of the literary and political significance of names such as Caitlín Ní Uallacháin, Síle Ní Ghadhra, Móirín Ní Chuilleanáin /Luineacháin / Ghiobarláin, and Gráinne Mhaol Ní Mháille. Nic Eoin discusses the importance of each of these female figures within the context of eighteenth-century aisling poetry and Irish Jacobite songs. "In using vernacular names, eighteenth-century poets were above all reclaiming the emotive force of the female sovereignty figure which had been denigrated in seventeenth-century political poetry…being less a metaphorical representation of Ireland, and more a metonym for the oppressed Catholic population."

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Caitlín Ní Uallacháin
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 04 Nov 02 - 04:23 PM

George Petrie wrote in "Ancient Music of Ireland" (mid 19th c, but modern reprints are available): "Of this song at least two versions have been already printed, and both with English metrical translations, - one by the late Mr. Edward Walsh, in his "Irish Popular Songs," and the other by Mr. John O'Daly, in his "Poets and Poetry of Munster," the versifications in which were made by the late James Clarence Mangan. In both these works the authorship of this song is assigned, but, as it would appear, erroneously, to one of the Irish poetic celebrities of the eighteenth century, - a blind Tipperrary poet named William O'Heffernan; for Mr. Curry has supplied me with a copy of the song which he transcribed from a manuscript now in his possession, and which was written in the year 1780 by a distinguished Clare scribe and Irish scholar, named Peter Connell, or O'Connell; and as in this MS. the name William O'Hanrahan is given as that of its author, such authority is certainly superior in weight to any that has been,m or probably could be, assigned for ascribing it to the Tipperary poet; for it can scarcely be doubted that Connell was personally acquainted with its true author."

Petrie also mentions what we are familiar with, that Caitlín Ní Uallacháin is a personification of Ireland. Síle ní Ghadhra has also been used allegorically as a name for Ireland, as of course has "Roisín Dubh".

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Cathleen ni Houlihan
From: Felipa
Date: 17 May 03 - 02:34 PM

also published in Donal O'Sullivan, Songs of the Irish. Cork: Mercier, 1981 (first published 1960)- in Irish with poetic and literal translations, musical notation, and some background information.

In his notes to the song "Caitilín Ní Uallacháin" as published in Songs of the Irish, compiler Donal O'Sullivan writes that although the tune most associated with the song is one that Edward Bunting collected from the harper Charles Byrne in 1806 and subsequently published under the title "Kitty Nowlan"; he has chosen to set the words to a more suitable-sounding tune from Bunting's manuscripts, a tune with the similar title of "Kathleen Nowlan". Of this latter tune O'Sullivan writes, "A verson, called 'The Tailor's Son', was noted from oral tradition by Lady Ferguson, and the well-known song 'The Lark in the Clear Air' was written to it by her husband Sir Samuel Ferguson, the poet."

This tune "Caitilín Ní Uallacháin / Kathleen Nowlan" is indeed very similar to that of the Lark in the Clear Air. If you have a tune with a similar name and it doesn't sound like the Lark ..., it is probably the other Kitty Nowlan//Cáit Ní Nualain/Ní Uallacháin collected from Charles Byrne of Co. Leitrim.

O'Sullivan suggests that the poem was composed around 1779-1782. "The point is of some significance becaue this is the only poem in which the name 'Caitlín Ní Uallacháin' is used as a synymon for Ireland; so that, if our surmise be correct, this identification (now so familiar) did not occur until towards the close of the eighteenth century."

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