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Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots

GUEST,Karen 24 May 01 - 10:54 PM
Sorcha 24 May 01 - 10:57 PM
toadfrog 25 May 01 - 12:17 AM
Pinetop Slim 25 May 01 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 25 May 01 - 10:24 AM
Malcolm Douglas 25 May 01 - 11:48 AM
Fiolar 25 May 01 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,The Burren Ranger 25 May 01 - 01:28 PM
Clinton Hammond 25 May 01 - 02:09 PM
Chicken Charlie 25 May 01 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,mkebenn@work 25 May 01 - 04:01 PM
InOBU 25 May 01 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Karen 25 May 01 - 07:17 PM
Sorcha 25 May 01 - 08:03 PM
kytrad (Jean Ritchie) 26 May 01 - 12:33 AM
paddymac 26 May 01 - 01:46 AM
Hillheader 26 May 01 - 02:36 AM
Uncle_DaveO 26 May 01 - 02:35 PM
Burke 26 May 01 - 10:13 PM
GUEST 27 May 01 - 01:04 AM
Malcolm Douglas 27 May 01 - 09:26 AM
Nik 27 May 01 - 10:12 PM
Bob Bolton 27 May 01 - 11:24 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 28 May 01 - 03:11 AM
Alice 28 May 01 - 09:04 AM
richardw 29 May 01 - 11:48 AM
Robby 29 May 01 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,Karen 29 May 01 - 02:59 PM
sian, west wales 29 May 01 - 05:40 PM
Edmund 29 May 01 - 10:05 PM
Bob Bolton 30 May 01 - 12:02 AM
LR Mole 30 May 01 - 12:13 PM
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Subject: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 24 May 01 - 10:54 PM

My husband is going to be part of a trio that will be performing for public schools in Southern California next fall. The theme of the group is "Music Made in America - the Celtic Connection". The idea being to show how some popular American songs actually began as Celtic songs/tunes from across the Atlantic. Some of the songs they already have on their set list are "Locke Hospital", "The Unfortunate Rake" and "St. James Infirmary" end up becoming "The Streets of Laredo" and "Patsy Geary's Jig" in part becomes "The Yellow Rose of Texas".
Also they would love to find the Gaelic ancestor to "Amazing Grace". My husband heard that it started as a Gaelic song but we don't know if that's true or not.


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Sorcha
Date: 24 May 01 - 10:57 PM

A Scots slaver Captain turned Presbyterian minister wrote it. I could look for a Scots Gaelic version if you like. Also, "When the Work's All Done Next Fall" is the same tune as "Going Back to Miltown", an Irish song.

If you are interested in just tunes, most American barn dance tunes are Celtic/Irish in origin--Turkey in the Straw, Soldier's Joy, Irish Washerwoman, etc.


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: toadfrog
Date: 25 May 01 - 12:17 AM

This is an odd question, because one wonders what is meant by "Celtic." It appears to me that there is clearly a lot of Celtic influence on British music, but figuring out which song is originally Celtic and which Germanic is much harder than untangling African and European influences in American music. Which is awfully unreliable and mostly an exercise in futility, or maybe ideology.

If you are asking, what are some American songs that come from Ireland, "Skip to my Loo" is often mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Pinetop Slim
Date: 25 May 01 - 10:07 AM

Uncle Joe originates as Miss McLeod's Reel
Buttermilk Hill (Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier) traces back to Shule Aroon.


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 25 May 01 - 10:24 AM

Well, this is from a Welsh song..Man of Kiandra..but it goes into Get along little doggies...There are a couple of intermediate songs where you can hear the transition..where weeping and wailing and rocking the cradle become whoopie ti yi o get along little doggies..

mg


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 May 01 - 11:48 AM

Your best bet would be to forget the "Celtic" bit and just go for songs that originated in Britain or Ireland.  It's often impossible to tell whether a song began in England, Ireland or Scotland, for example, and really there's been so much inter-cultural exchange over the centuries that it's often a meaningless distinction anyway; quite apart from anything else, the Irish, Scottish and Welsh cultures are by no means exclusively "Celtic" -Scotland in particular owes much to the Norse traditions.  The exception would sometimes be songs in the Celtic languages, but even in these cases the tunes sometimes originate in Anglophone tradition -and vice versa, of course.  Amazing Grace, though it has been translated into Gaelic from the original English, has no Gaelic antecedent that I'm aware of (can't speak for the tune, mind, just now) and the English input into American dance music is all too often ignored; The Irish Washerwoman, for example, is probably originally English.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Fiolar
Date: 25 May 01 - 01:01 PM

"Cotton Eyed Joe" is based on "The Mountain Top." You have set yourself one of the labours of Hercules. If you could possibly get hold of a series of programmes called "Bringing it all Back Home" (which I believe may be on video) which traces the journeys made by music from Ireland and which returned in a changed form, it may be able to help you.


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: GUEST,The Burren Ranger
Date: 25 May 01 - 01:28 PM

How about the reel 'Lord McDonalds' which became 'Leather Britches' The song 'The Plains of Kildare' became 'Stewball' also 'I never Will Marry'. 'Gypsy Davy', 'Barbara Allan' and several other ballads from the Child collection are found on both sides of the Atlantic. Good hunting. T.B. R.


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 25 May 01 - 02:09 PM

"Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore", was once described to me as "american pap"...


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 25 May 01 - 02:33 PM

"Wearin' o' the Green" was widely adapted in America. Before the Civil War it was "Benny Haven's," (DT) a song about the tavern near West Point where cadets who later became generals or gin'rals in the Late Unpleasantness may have sung a verse or two--except for Ulysses, who was legendarily tone deaf. Then during the war the Union sang it as "Army of the Free" (DT) and the Confederates did "Wearin' o' the Gray" thereby coming full circle. That song is on Horton's "Homespun Songs of the Confederacy" tape [CD? Don't know].

CC


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: GUEST,mkebenn@work
Date: 25 May 01 - 04:01 PM

"Shady Grove" and "Matty Groves" are bretheren Mike


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: InOBU
Date: 25 May 01 - 06:36 PM

Black Jack Davie is the American version of Raggle Taggle Gypsy... Larry


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 25 May 01 - 07:17 PM

Thank you for all the suggestions so far! I knew the Mudcat group would be a big help.
The reason why the trio will have the "Celtic" influence is because the two founding members (who were already doing a "Music Born in America" show) were asked by the "powers that be" to come up with an act that also used Irish music. They started looking for another musician that could play Irish music and happened upon my husband, Richard. Richard felt that only having Irish in the act would make them very popular around St. Patrick's Day only. He suggested broadening the scope to include all "Celtic" origins so that their trio would get more jobs throughout the school year. Considering the age range they are performing for, I don't think it matters if a few "British" tunes pop up but, as I stated above, they have been specifically asked to provide an Irish slant to their show.
Sorcha, we would love having the Scots Gaelic lyrics version of that song if it wouldn't inconvenience you too much. We do have time as their act won't be doing jobs until next September though. Thanks for the offer.


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 May 01 - 08:03 PM

I just checked the DT, and it is right here(click!). I thought it was.


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 26 May 01 - 12:33 AM

I do believe that the "gaelic hymn" description at the bottom of "Amazing Grace" on DT must mean only that the song has been translated as such- not that it originated as a Gaelic hymn. "Amazing Grace" was actually composed by John Newton, and Englishman who trafficked in slaves in the early 1800s. The story says that, during a particularly stormy ocean voyage with his human cargo, he was in great terror and on the spot became a Christian, composed the song as a testimony soon afterward, and never again sold slaves.

All this and much more is told on the PBS special originally aired about 1997 or '98, one of Bill Moyers' programs, entitled, "Amazing Grace."


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: paddymac
Date: 26 May 01 - 01:46 AM

A good resource for you would be Derek Warfield's song/history book "Irish Songs of the American Civil War." The companion CD is his "Sons of Erin". Any decent record shop should be able to find the CD for you. I know it can be ordered through Borders. The book is available by writing to: PO Box 747, Kilcock, County Kildare, Ireland. I don't see an ISBN number on it, so it is likely "self-published". Either way, well worth the effort to find it.


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Hillheader
Date: 26 May 01 - 02:36 AM

The song "Pretty Peggy" (on the first Simon and Gartfunkel LP) is of course an adaption of the "Bonnie Lass o' Fyvie".

I'm sure this is not a one way street. There are countless songs but particularly tunes which start in one country and end up in another.

Robert Burns did not write music apparently and simply fitted his words to tunes he knew - probably corrupting the tune to make it fit if need be.

Davebhoy


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 26 May 01 - 02:35 PM

When one speaks of "the tune" to Amazing Grace, watch out. There are AT LEAST two tunes. You should hear Debbie McClatchey sing it. I don't know the origin of that tune either, but I like it better than the usual tune one hears sung. Maybe, though, that's just because it come fresh to the ear, where the other is kind of shopworn.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Burke
Date: 26 May 01 - 10:13 PM

Amazing Grace, in the English Hymn tradion, had no fixed tune at it's writing. It was used with whatever Common Meter tune the singing leader selected. So far as I know no one has identified a British Isles antecedent for the tune commonly used with Amazing Grace. It is pentatonic & so very similar in mode to other tunes from the Isles. It's earliest documented publication as a tune is a shape note tunebook in 1829, with different words. It's use as a Scottish Bagpipe tune dates the the 1950's or 1960's.

Since you're in Southern California you might want to check out these music files at the Library of Congress. Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection is an online presentation of a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941.

There are a bunch of versions on Barbara Allen & maybe some of the other items mentioned.


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: GUEST
Date: 27 May 01 - 01:04 AM

"The Bold Princess Royal" tune becam "Sweet Betsy from Pike". The Bold Princess Royal was featured on the National Geographic album of Scottish songs. "Knoxville Girl" was originally "Oxford Girl" I used to have a book on Cowboy songs that coupled history of the cowboys and the songs. At the end of each chapter was a song. A version of Black Jack Davy was on their as well as one that I believe was called "Covered Over With Rue"

"...For when your tyme is pulled and gone, they've no more use for you. Beware, take care, keep your garden clear, Or it covers over with rue, it covers over with rue.

"Wee Croodin Doo" also on the National Geographic album became "Lord Randal" sung in the colonial times in the states.

I have a fragment of another song from my great-grandmother who lived in the Ozarks. I have found another version of it on the album "Dark Ships in the Forrest". I beleive that it is the original (I don't know if it is English or Irish) for the one I learned. And I can't remember the title of the song. It involved a fairy, a hero and a magic wild boar.

I have lost the album and need to find it again. But it was so different from Grandma Henson's version that I am trying to find anyone who knows it in it's American form.

The words I have are these

"As I rode round to wild hogs den Deedle O die, Deedle O Day As I rode round to wild hogs den Deedle O die-dum As I rode round to wild hogs den, I saw the bones of a thousand men, Camawe que, quiddle I quay Deedle O die-dum.

We fought for two hours and a half Deedle O die, Deedle O Day We fought for two hours and a half Deedle O die-dum We fought for two hours and a half And finally that wild hog run at last Camawe que, quiddle I quay Deedle O die-dum.

Kathy Kestner


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 27 May 01 - 09:26 AM

The song is Child #18, Sir Lionel.  Also known as Sir Eglamore, and in the States, Brangywell or Bangum and the Boar, and so on.  Probably English in origin, it has also been found in Scotland; not, I think, in Ireland.

In the DT:

Sir Eglamore  (Set from D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy)
Jovial Hunter or Sir Lionel  (Transcribed from a record; no traditional source named)
The Wild Boar  (USA, Samuel Harmon, TN 1939)
Old Bangum  (USA, Dildine family?)
Wild Boar (3)  (No source or tune given)

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Nik
Date: 27 May 01 - 10:12 PM

Here in Kentucky, we have two Irish songs that were Americanized in the 19th century: "The Hunters of Kentucky" came from an Irish tune called "Miss Bailey's Ghost," and "Flora, the Lily of the West" came from western Irland. When it hit Kentucky, some Irishman (no doubt) added a new first stanza with references to our two largest Kentucky cities (Louisville and Lexington).


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 27 May 01 - 11:24 PM

G'day GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com

I don't quite know where you get a "Welsh song" from the so-called Man of Kiandra (althoughit does relate to Get along little doggies.

The Man of Kiandra version is just an AL Lloyd 1960s re-varnish of Sally Sloane's The Wee One, collected in the 1950s by Australian folklorist John Meredith and gleaned by Lloyd from the Meredith /Keesing /Ward collections photocopied and lodged with the EFDSS (English Folk Dance and Song Society). Sally's repertoire was very wide, with her upbringing in a Railway family, but this is one from her Irish Grandmother, Sarah Alexander. That said, there are versions found all over the British Isles as well.

The song ultimately derives from the Gaelic Christ Child Lullaby and does, indeed, come out the far end as i>Get along little doggies (yet another singing to young creatures that are none of his own).

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 28 May 01 - 03:11 AM

Are you Kidding? It would take a lot more than this hread to list American Folk Songs with Irish (celtic) roots. I know a lot of songs, well over 1000, most are American Songs and I'd surmise (if I may) that American Folk Music is pretty much a mixture of Irish (celtic) African and Polynesian influences. The Polynesian connection came here with the Hawaiian Guitar (Dobro, Steel guitar, Slide guitar, whatever)A good deal of early country music is based on Hawaiian type melodies. Jimmy Rogers even imported the Hawaiian Style Yodel which he transformed into his "Blue Yodel" style.

NO, THIS ISN'T CARVED IN STONE, DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT OR ANY SELF STYLED "EXPERT'S" WORD. Think for yourself, you'll be a lot better off for it.
Never mind posting rebuttals, I'll concede right off the bat that youre theory has just as much merit as mine, if not more so./


By the way, HOW LONG ARE WE GOING TO LET THAT BOSTON BASKETBALL TEAM MISPRONOUNCE THE WORD"cELTIC"

Boy! am I cranky tonight!.

Love and Kisses, Jody Gibson


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Alice
Date: 28 May 01 - 09:04 AM

Karen, you started by mentioning the Streets of Laredo - check out the Bard of Armagh, almost the same tune, note for note.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: richardw
Date: 29 May 01 - 11:48 AM

Looks like Patsy Geary's Jib may have migrated the other way - see below. It is also know as The Yellow Rose [of Texas?] but it was written in 1927 and YRT is documented to 1857.

Richard Wright

The Fiddler's Companion

Result of search for "Patsy Geary":

KIMMEL'S (JIG) [1]. AKA and see "Patsy Geary's," "The Yellow Rose." Irish, Jig. D Major. Standard. AA'B. Source for notated version: set dance music recorded at Na Píobairí Uilleann, late 1980's [Taylor]. Taylor (Music for the Sets: Blue Book), 1995; pg. 31 (appears as "Kimmel's No. 1").

MRS. GALVIN'S FAVOURITE (Rogha Bhean Uí Ghalbháin). Irish, Hornpipe. D Major. Standard. AABB. Mrs. Galvin was a fiddler and/or concertina player from just west of Kilkee, (althought she was originally from Lack, near Kilmihil), known to have been a lively player. This from a 1979 article in Dal gCais magazine: "Her family, McCarthy by name, were a musical people, and their house was a regular visiting place for the Inagh piper Garrett Barry, who is regarded as something of a father figure in the musical heritage of Clare. She became a close personal friend of Barry's before his death in 1901 and was perhaps one of the few people living in the 1930s who could speak authoritatively about the famous piper...Mrs. Galvin was a regualr competitor at Feiseanna in the 1920s and at one memorable Feis in Kilkee, in 1927, John remembers being present as she and Patsy Geary fought for first place in the fiddle competition. Geary beat her on that occasion, a feat which his son Sean used joyously refer to long afterwards as the time when 'the old man made the "Tocht" roll her sleeves down'. She was sometimes known as the 'Tocht' [= 'mattress'] Galvin because she was such a fat woman, and she had the habit of playing the fiddle with her sleeves rolled up." Source for notated version: Mrs. Galvin, from whom fiddler John Kelly/Seán O'Kelly learned the tune [Breathnach]. Breathnach (CRE I), 1963; No. 211, pg. 85.

PATSY GEARY'S. AKA and see "Kimmel's (Jig)" [1], "The Yellow Rose." Irish, Jig. Green Linnet SIF 3011, Bothy Band - "1975."

YELLOW ROSE, THE. AKA and see "Patsy Geary's." Irish, Jig.


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Robby
Date: 29 May 01 - 12:12 PM

"Farwell to Tarwathie" may be a song about the whalers from Scotland, but you can hear the same tune in the American "cowboy" song "The Railroad Corral".

Also, the Union Civil War Song "Marching Through Georgia" can be heard in the Irish Rovers recording of "Come In" on their Unicorn LP back about 1968 or so.

richardw mentioned about songs migrating the other way. My understanding that the tune for the Fenian song "God Save Ireland" was taken entirely from an American Civil War march. Parts of that song were later used in the 1970s for "Jesus Loves The Little Children".

Robby


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 29 May 01 - 02:59 PM

Richardw, thanks for the head's up on Patsy Geary's Jig. I'll let my husband know that he's got some research to do on that one.
Incidentally, he really appreciates all the help everyone has given him. He had no idea we'd get such a great response and plans on checking into all suggested titles. Thanks again for all your help!!


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: sian, west wales
Date: 29 May 01 - 05:40 PM

Bob Bolton, thanks for that reply to mgarvey. That had me REALLY confused! I'm always overjoyed to find a Welsh tune that made the jump ... but that one stretched the credibility levels a bit!

sian


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Edmund
Date: 29 May 01 - 10:05 PM

How about Drill Ye Tarriers Drill ... did it originate in Ireland or the USA ... ? Edmund


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 30 May 01 - 12:02 AM

G'day sian, west wales,

" ... I'm always overjoyed to find a Welsh tune that made the jump ... " Sorry that you can't lay claim to this one. I did remark, above, that there are versions about in other parts of the UK, but I think this one is so firmly based on the Gaelic / Catholic traditions that is is unlikely to have a Welsh version (but then again ... ?).

I suspect someone just saw it with some sort of Lloyd credit attached ... and jumped to a confusion.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Help: American Songs with Celtic Roots
From: LR Mole
Date: 30 May 01 - 12:13 PM

Also "Green River", from the choir of Cretin S'Claire Waterie Fyfalle, but commonly known from the singing of Mairie O'Lahnsaa.


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