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Lyr Req: Lonely Woods of Upton

Big Tim 16 May 01 - 10:17 AM
Wolfgang 16 May 01 - 11:21 AM
Fiolar 16 May 01 - 12:53 PM
Big Tim 16 May 01 - 12:55 PM
Big Tim 16 May 01 - 12:57 PM
Big Tim 16 May 01 - 01:53 PM
Fiolar 16 May 01 - 02:38 PM
Fiolar 16 May 01 - 02:44 PM
Wolfgang 17 May 01 - 04:01 AM
Big Tim 17 May 01 - 12:36 PM
GUEST,Bernard 06 Dec 05 - 02:38 AM
GUEST,dempseyjoe8 22 May 12 - 04:17 PM
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Subject: Lonely Woods of Upton
From: Big Tim
Date: 16 May 01 - 10:17 AM

Can anyone provide the historical background to this song which is based an an IRA attck in County Cork on 16th February 1921.


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Subject: RE: Help: Lonely Woods of Upton
From: Wolfgang
Date: 16 May 01 - 11:21 AM

"This ballad commemorates three members of the IRA who died in an attack on a troop train at Upton Junction, County Cork, on February 15th 1921. The men were John Whelan, Patrick O'Sullivan and Batt Foley."

Tim, this is the only snippet I have found in a search, telling barely more than you already knew.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Help: Lonely Woods of Upton
From: Fiolar
Date: 16 May 01 - 12:53 PM

Tom Barry in his book "Guerilla Days in Ireland" ISBN 0-947962-34-4 gives a fairly detailed report on the ambush in chapter 14. According to him six civilians were also killed and press reports from the British army stated that six soldiers were wounded. Another IRA man Daniel O'Mahoney later died from wounds received.


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Subject: RE: Help: Lonely Woods of Upton
From: Big Tim
Date: 16 May 01 - 12:55 PM

Thanks Wolfgang, the names are a great help which I can check in O'Farrell's Who's Who in the Irish war of Independence and Civil war 1916-1923. Robert Kee writes, "A woman pasenger on a train was killed along with five other civilians when the IRA ambushed the Cok-Bantry train at Upton in February". if this is accurate, and Kee usually is, it would make the action a far bigger disaster than implied in the song.


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Subject: RE: Help: Lonely Woods of Upton
From: Big Tim
Date: 16 May 01 - 12:57 PM

Thanks Fiolar, I don't have that book but know where to consult it. A great help, thanks again.


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Subject: RE: Help: Lonely Woods of Upton
From: Big Tim
Date: 16 May 01 - 01:53 PM

Well, I've just checked O'Farrell's list of "Irish Republican and Non-Combatant Dead". 1. Only ref to a J. Whelan is a person from Ballyroan, Co Laois, died 20 Dec '20. So not "our man".

2.P'O'Sullivan of Raheen Upton, died 18 Feb'21. I would guess that he was almost certainly an "Upton ambush man".

3. No mention of a Batt Foley BUT a B.Falvey of Ballymurphy, Upton, died 16 Feb '21. This is almost cert the man but what was his real name?

4. D.O'Mahoney of Copeen, Co Cork died 15 Feb '21. Probably an "Upton ambush man".

The non-combatant dead will also be listed but as O'Farrell gives place of residence rather than place of death we cannot trace them without first knowing their names. I'm surprised that so little info on this scenario is easily available as it must be very well documented, somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Help: Lonely Woods of Upton
From: Fiolar
Date: 16 May 01 - 02:38 PM

The person you want is John Phelan whose parents lived in Liverpool and whose death is given in O'Farrell's book as 16-2-21. I think Whelan is probably a misprint as Barry gives him as Phelan. Again "Falvey" is probably correct as given by Barry.


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Subject: RE: Help: Lonely Woods of Upton
From: Fiolar
Date: 16 May 01 - 02:44 PM

Additionally according to the Irish singer Joe Heaney during an interview, "The Lonely Woods of Upton" has the same air as "The Banks of the Wabash."


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Subject: Lyr Add: LONELY WOODS OF UPTON / UPTON AMBUSH
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 May 01 - 04:01 AM

I just love getting the background to songs about historical event, so I watch this thread with anticipation. I had looked for the song in the DT without success (much to my surprise). Now that we have a bit of 'notes' together to go with the song we might as well have the song here. I've copied it from another site on the web without checking printed sources for correctness. I haven't found an author mentioned.

Wolfgang

LONELY WOODS OF UPTON (aka UPTON AMBUSH).

Many homes are filled with sorrow and with sadness,
Many hearts are filled with anguish and with pain,
For old Ireland now she hangs her head in mourning,
For the men who fell at Upton for Sinn Fein.

Let the moon shine tonight along the valley,
Where those lads who fought for freedom now are laid.
May they rest in peace those men who died for Ireland,
And who fell at Upton Ambush for Sinn Fein.

Some were thinking of their mothers, wives and sweethearts,
More were thinking of their dear old Irish homes
Did they think of how they drilled along the valley,
Or when they marched out from Cork city to their doom.

The morning cry rang out: "Fix your bayonets",
And right gallantly they fixed them for the fray,
Gallantly they fought and died for Ireland,
Around the lonely woods at Upton far away.


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Subject: RE: Help: Lonely Woods of Upton
From: Big Tim
Date: 17 May 01 - 12:36 PM

Hi Wolfgang: I agree with you completely re historical interest, I have learned more about Irish history from following up the background to songs than from any formal source. However this thread has been running for some time now and we are not that much further forward. I will solves it eventually even if it means spending hours in some reference library pouring over old newspapers, etc(I'm moving house at present so not got much time). Here's another verse, this one from Joe Heaney's CD The Road From Connemara,

Some are sleeping 'neath the waters of Cork harbour, more are sleeping 'neath the good old Irish clay, but their voices seem to cry out "God save Ireland", From the lonely woods of Upton far away".

Thanks and all the best.


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Subject: RE: Help: Lonely Woods of Upton
From: GUEST,Bernard
Date: 06 Dec 05 - 02:38 AM

Interesting Joe Heany quote Re: "Banks of Wabash".I am looking for `Shore of Havana` ..used to hear it sung or sang .


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lonely Woods of Upton
From: GUEST,dempseyjoe8
Date: 22 May 12 - 04:17 PM

Can anybody provide any information on another battle at Ballycannon near Cork City, in which the local IRA were defeated. There is a song on this battle which I came across recently.


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