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Help: History of 'Shane Crossagh'

In Mudcat MIDIs:
Shane Crossagh (from Sam Henry's Songs of the People)


GUEST,Terry Blankenship 19 Jun 01 - 11:11 PM
GUEST,Terry Blankenship 21 Jun 01 - 04:17 AM
Noreen 21 Jun 01 - 09:14 PM
GUEST 12 Oct 08 - 03:59 PM
Effsee 12 Oct 08 - 09:47 PM
MartinRyan 13 Oct 08 - 03:01 AM
GUEST,Mark Dunlop 13 Oct 08 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,jim mac farland 13 Oct 08 - 08:46 PM
Effsee 13 Oct 08 - 10:11 PM
MartinRyan 14 Oct 08 - 03:26 AM
GUEST,Mark Dunlop 15 Oct 08 - 12:37 PM
Joe Offer 15 Oct 08 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,Karl Clark Colón 24 Apr 09 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,mayomick 25 Apr 09 - 12:11 PM
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Subject: Shane Crossagh
From: GUEST,Terry Blankenship
Date: 19 Jun 01 - 11:11 PM

We use to play this song in our old band "The Gabriel
Hounds". It is a very good song. Our guitar player Karl
found it. It on the new " Changeling - The Hidden World"
Cd. It was originally going to be on "The Gabriel Hounds"
new Cd. I remember him saying he found it in a book
somewhere and that it originally had many more verses. I
am not sure where he got the chords and melody for it. I
made up my bouzouki part to compliment what he was already
doing on the guitar. He was pretty sure no one else had
recorded it before. I was wondering if any of you are
familar with this song (possibly under another title). I'd
love to see the complete source lyrics and melody for it.


SHANE CROSSAGH

IT'S UP THE HEATHERY MOUNTAIN AND DOWN THE ROCKY GLEN
SQUIRE STAPLES HAS GONE HUNTING SHANE CROSSAGH AND HIS MEN
WITH FORTY MOUNTED YOEMEN, THAT GALLOPED IN A STREAM
THEY SWEAR THE GIN THE GALLOWS WORK
WHEN THEY COME BACK AGAIN

SHANE CROSSAGH WAS A PLOUGHBOY
THAT PLOUGHED IN BALLYNASCREEN
AND NOW HE IS AN OUTLAW FOR THE WEARING OF THE GREEN
TWAS IN THE SPARIN MOUNTAINS FAR, FAR FROM BALLYNASCREEN
THEY SET THE BLOODHOUNDS ON HIS TRACK
FOR THE WEARING OF THE GREEN

THEN UP SPOKE TORNS THE FARMER, WE HAVE HIM NOW I KNOW
THE BLOODHOUNDS ARE UPON HIS TRACK, HIS BACK TO THE RIVER
ROE
THE MAN HE MUST BE WEARY, A LONG CHASE IT HAS BEEN
FOR THREE LONG DAYS AND FASTING, SINCE HE LEFT
BALLYNASCREEN

SHANE CROSSAGH HAD A WOLF DOG THAT NE'ER PARTED HIM
AND AS THE HOUNDS THEY ALL RAN ROUND
HE PULLED THEM LIMB FROM LIMB
TWAS THEN UP SPOKE THE OUTLAW, AS TEARS BEGAN TO FLOW
MY GALLANT HOUND WE'LL BOTH GO FREE IF WE CAN LEAP THE ROE

THEN UP THE HOUND HE GAVE A BOUNCE, CROSSAGH NOW I KNOW
THEN WITH A SHOUT THEY BOTH JUMPED OUT AND LEAPED THE
RIVER ROE
NOW MARK ME SQUIRE STAPLES IF YOU COME BACK AGAIN
YOU WELL MAY WISH THE RIVER ROE TWEEN CROSSAGH AND HIS MEN

WELL THE FEENEY BRIDGE WAS BROKEN AND ON THE SEARCH WAS
SEEN
FOR THEM A FEARFUL TOKEN, A BUNCH OF HOLLY GREEN
TWAS THEN CRIED SQUIRE STAPLES, CROSSAGH LET ME LIVE
AND FOR YOUR HOUNDS A THOUSAND POUNDS IN YELLOW GOLD I'LL
GIVE

TIS BOUND IS SQUIRE STAPLES YOU'LL FIND HIM IN THE GLEN
HIS FORTY YOEMEN TAKEN BY SEVEN GALLENT MEN
SEVEN GALLANT OUTLAWS, SEVEN GALLANT MEN
AND WITH DESPAIR THEY TORE THEIR HAIR
AND SHANE WENT FREE AGAIN

IT'S UP THE HEATHERY MOUNTAIN AND DOWN THE ROCKY GLEN
SQUIRE STAPLES HAS GONE HUNTING SHANE CROSSAGH AND HIS MEN
WITH FORTY MOUNTED YOEMEN THAT GALLOPED IN A STREAM
THEY SWEAR THE GIN THE GALLOWS WORK
WHEN THEY COME BACK AGAIN


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Shane Crossagh'
From: GUEST,Terry Blankenship
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 04:17 AM

I figured I'd try once more before giving up on this one. Is anyone familiar with this song, possibly under another title?

Thanks so much for everyones help on the other songs I asked about. This is a great list.

Terry


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Shane Crossagh'
From: Noreen
Date: 21 Jun 01 - 09:14 PM

Anybody know any more about this song? I've not heard of it, Terry.

(For future reference, lyrics are best posted in lower case -or the usual combination of upper and lower- as 'all capitals' is more difficult to read. Titles only in caps, I think.)

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Shane Crossagh'
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 03:59 PM

Shane Crossagh O'Mullan was a 'Raparree' - an Irish irregular soldier who lead pockets of resistance after the Jacobite army left Ireland in 1690. A lot of these people weren't that politically motivated, it was just a mask for racketeering and highway robbery. Some were known to occasionally share their spoils with the poor though.


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Shane Crossagh'
From: Effsee
Date: 12 Oct 08 - 09:47 PM

Hi Terry, I played this song on my prog on Caithness FM a few weeks ago, from the new album by Kevin Dunlop, "Islands of the moon", out on the Greentrax label here in Scotland. If you can wait a couple of days I can check out the sleeve notes on Tuesday night when next I'm in the studio.


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Shane Crossagh'
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Oct 08 - 03:01 AM

Don't think I've heard this one. A few of the lines look dodgy - transcribed from a strong accent?

In the first/last verse, the line
THEY SWEAR THE GIN THE GALLOWS WORK WHEN THEY COME BACK AGAIN


Should probably read
THEY SWEAR to give THE GALLOWS WORK WHEN THEY COME BACK AGAIN
or
THEY SWEAR they'll give THE GALLOWS WORK WHEN THEY COME BACK AGAIN

I'll see what I can find out about it.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Shane Crossagh'
From: GUEST,Mark Dunlop
Date: 13 Oct 08 - 02:22 PM

Hi there, I hope I can add something to the subject. The album to which Effsee referred is mine. It's Islands on the Moon, and I'm Mark Dunlop. Dunno where you got "Kevin" from there, Effsee -;)

I have a fair bit of info on the song, and could furnish you with the words I recorded, although they're not much different to the ones included earlier on in the thread. Due to not having time now, I'll do it tomorrow.

One thing, though. I recorded "swear they'll gin the gallows work" as I believe it to be a contraction of "begin the gallows work".
m.d.


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Subject: ADD: Shane Crossagh
From: GUEST,jim mac farland
Date: 13 Oct 08 - 08:46 PM

below is a short history of Shane Crossagh taken from an article on the area of Limavady just out side Derry and I think the song was in the Derry Journal books called "come all ye's" printed around 1910 sadly some one borrowed my copies and never returned them, the lyrics below are from Karl Clark Colón.

"gin the gallows work" is "give the gallows work" its the way we talk
up here.

Jim.

The Notorious Highwayman, - Shane Crossagh O' Mullan

Shane "Crossagh O Mullan" was a reparee who roamed the highways of Derry and Tyrone. Also known as John O'Mullan, his father was a small farmer from Faughanvale who had been evicted from his Farm for non-payment of rent (A Common practice during the late 1600's)

The name "Crossagh" means "Pock-Marked" probably referring to an ancestor who was blemished, as Shane himself had no such problem and was considered handsome and dashing by the local female population. His father, Donal and brothers were also called Crossagh and this, as is the practice in Dungiven, may have been used as a "nickname" to differentiate families with a similar surname thus distinguishing his family from other O'Mullans.

After a clash with Soldiers at the old farmstead Shane went on "the run" and for many years evaded capture. The Robin Hood equivalent for Northern Ireland, he was an honourable man who usually robbed the rich and gave part of his booty to the poor. Shane was reputed to have killed only one other man - a fellow reparee who had killed one of the landlords under Shane's protection.

The Glenshane Pass is named after him – the Glen of Shane. Stories and songs of his exploits are numerous but one of the most famous was when he ambushed General Napier and his Troops on a narrow bridge near Feeny. After taking their arms and valuables, he made them strip to their underwear and walk the rest of the way to Derry. The bridge is still called the General's Bridge. On another occasion he fled through the Ness Wood to avoid capture and jumped from a waterfall on Burntollet River breaking a leg in the process but still managing to escape.

The falls are called Shane's Leap after this event. Shane Crossagh was eventually captured after he had been betrayed by a weaver from the Dungiven area when Shane called to collect his levy of 10p. He was arrested and taken with his sons to Derry Gaol.

Although offered a reprieve by Henry Carey, whose life Shane had saved years earlier, he could or would not accept the offer which applied only to himself and not to his sons (Mr Carey Lived in DUNGIVEN CASTLE and had the right to reprieve only one criminal per year). Shane Crossagh O'Mullan was hanged with his sons in the Diamond in Derry in 1722 when he was in his mid fifties. Their bodies are buried in Banagher Old Church graveyard.


SHANE CROSSAGH

    It's up the heathery mountains and down the rocky glen
    Squire Staples has gone hunting Shane Crossagh and his men
    With forty mounted yeomen that galloped in a stream
    They swear they'll 'gin the gallows' work when they come back again.

    Shane Crossagh was a plough boy that ploughed in Ballynascreen
    But now he is an outlaw for the wearing of the green
    'Twas in the Sperrin Mountains far, far from Ballynascreen
    They set the bloodhounds on his track
    For the wearing of the green.

    Then up spoke Torrens the farmer -- "We have him now, I know
    The bloodhounds are upon his track-- his back to the River Roe.
    The man he must be weary, a long chase it has been,
    For three long days and fasting since he left Ballynascreen."

    Shane Crossagh had a wolf dog that ne'er parted him.
    And as the hounds they all ran round, he pulled them limb from limb.
    'Tis then up spoke the outlaw, as the tears began to flow
    "My gallant hound, we'll both go free if we can leap the Roe."

    Then up the hound he gave a bounce -- "Crossagh, now I know!"
    And with a shout they both jumped out and leaped the River Roe.
    "Mark me Squire Staples, if you come back again,
    You well may wish the River Roe 'tween Crossagh and his men."

    The Feeny Bridge was broken, and on a search was seen,
    For them a fearful token, a bunch of holly green.
    'Tis then cried Squire Staples, "Crossagh, let me live,
    And for your hounds a thousand pounds in yellow gold I'll give."

    'Tis bound is Squire Staples -- you'll find him in the glen.
    His forty yeoman taken by seven gallant men.
    By seven gallant outlaws -- seven gallant men.
    And with despair they tore their hair, and Shane ran free again.


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Shane Crossagh'
From: Effsee
Date: 13 Oct 08 - 10:11 PM

Mark, my sincere apologies for getting your name wrong...a senior moment! I was working from memory, it was late, strong drink had been taken...mea culpa! I'll still play your CD though, rest assured! Keep up the good work.


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Shane Crossagh'
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Oct 08 - 03:26 AM

Thanks for that, Jim!

Regards


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Subject: ADD Version: Shane Crossagh
From: GUEST,Mark Dunlop
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 12:37 PM

These are the words as I recorded them. Apologies for the poor grammar, but I typed them in a hurry.

Shane Crossagh

It's up the heathery mountain and down the rushy glen
Squire Staples has gone hunting Shane Crossagh and his men
And forty mounted yeomen that galloped in a stream,
They swear the gin the gallows work when they come back again

Shane Crossagh was a ploughboy that ploughed near Ballynascreen,
but now he is an outlaw for the wearing of the green
Twas in the Sperrin Mountains far, far from Ballynascreen
they set the bloodhounds on his track for the wearing of the green

The Squire rode a chestnut mare, his brother rode a grey.
Close behind Shane Crossagh they galloped all the day.
They galloped all the day and they hunted him by night.
They seldom let the outlaw one moment out of sight

Then said Torrens the farmer, we have him now
I know the bloodhounds they are on his track, he cannot leap the Roe
The river now was deep, it's channel twelve yards wide,
the banks were high and steep, overhanging on each side

Shane Crossagh had a wolfhound that ne'er parted him
and as the hounds drew near him he tore them limb from limb
My dear friend said the outlaw, as tears began to flow
my gallant hound we'll are both free if we can leap the Roe

Then up the hound he gave a bounce, Shane Crossagh now I know
then with a shout they both leaped out and they have leapt the Roe
And they have leapt the Roe and defied their every foe.
Ballynascreen will yet be seen by the Man who leapt the Roe

A good leap said the Squire when he saw the chase was won,
Not too great said the outlaw for such a length of run.
But mark me squire staples when you come back again
you'll wish the river Roe between Shane Crossagh and your men.

Squire Staples and his yeomen came hurrying down Glenshane.
Right weary and dejected, their chase was all in vain.
Their chase was all in vain and Shane Crossagh called amain.
Right well we'll win, we'll meet the green before we cross Glenshane

Old Feeny bridge was broken and on the search was seen
by them a fearful token, a bunch of holly green.
And from behind a grey rock a whistling ball has sped
and Torrens, then, the farmer fell from his charger dead

Then up spoke Squire Staples, Shane Crossagh let me live
and for your hounds a thousand pounds in yellow gold I'll give
And bring your arms here singly and bring them unto me,
for I must bind your yeomen each man unto a tree

It's bound now is Squire Staples you'll find him in the glen,
the outlaw's force consisted of seven gallant men,
of seven gallant men, my boys, of seven gallant men.
And with despair he tore his hair and wept for Shane amain.


I found the song in Sam Henry's Songs of the People. I recently moved house and cannot find the notes I had on the song, but I think they may have been from the same source as Jim McFarland has already posted.

One way or another, it's a great song and a hell of a story!
m.d.


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Subject: ADD Version: Shane Crossagh
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Oct 08 - 08:34 PM

This won't be much different from Mark's post, but here are the lyrics as printed in Sam Henry's Songs of the People, page 130.

SHANE CROSSAGH

It's up the heathery mountain and down the rushy glen,
Squire Staples has gone a-hunting Shane Crossagh and his men,
And forty mounted yeomen that galloped in a stream,
They swear they'll gin the gallows work when they come back again.

Shane Crossagh was a ploughboy that ploughed at Ballynascreen,
But now he is an outlaw for the wearing of the green,
For the wearing o' the green, oh, the wearing o' the green,
But now he is an outlaw today at Ballynascreen.

The squire rode a chestnut, his brother rode a grey,
Close behind Shane Crossagh they galloped all the day,
They galloped all the day and they hunted him by night,
They never let the outlaw one moment out of sight.

It was on the Sperrin Mountains far, far from Ballynascreen,
They kept the bloodhounds on his track, for the wearing of the green,
For the wearing of the green, for the wearing of the green.
They kept the bloodhounds on his track, for the wearing of the green.

Then said Torrens the farmer, "We have him now, I know.
The bloodhounds now are on his track, he cannot leap the Roe."
The river now was deep, its channel twelve yards wide,
The banks were high and steep, overhanging on each side.

The man, he must be wearied, for a long chase this has been
For three long days, and fasting since he left Ballynascreen,
Since he left Ballynascreen for the wearing of the green,
"We will hang him now for surely for the wearing of the green."

Shane Crossagh had a wolf dog that never parted him,
And when the hounds they neared him, he tore them limb from limb,
"My dear friend," said the outlaw, when the tears began to flow,
"My gallant hound, we are both free if we can leap the Roe."

Then up the hound he gave a bounce, "Shane Crossagh now I know,"
And with a shout they both leaped out and they have leaped the Roe,
And they have leapt the Roe and defied their every foe.
Ballynascreen will yet be seen by the man that leaped the Roe.

"A good leap," said the Squire, when he saw the chase was won.
"Not too great," said the outlaw, "for such a length of run.
But mark me, Squire Staples, when you come back again,
You might wish the river Roe between Shane Crossagh and his men."

The squire his yeomen came hurrying down Glenshane,
Right wearied and dejected, their chase was all in vain,
Their chase was all in vain and Shane Crossagh called amain,
"Right well we'll win, we'll meet the green before we cross Glenshane."

Old Feeny bridge was broken and on a search was seen
From them a fearful token, a bunch of holly green.
And from behind a grey rock a whistling ball had sped,
And Torrens, then, the farmer, fell from his charger, dead.

It's up the Squire Staples, "Shane Crossagh, let me live,
And for your hounds a thousand pounds in yellow gold I'll give,
And bring your arms here singly, and bring them unto me,
For I must bind your yeomen, each man unto a tree."

It's bound now is Squire Staples, you'll find him in the glen,
The outlaw force consisted of seven gallant men,
Of seven gallant men, my boys, of seven gallant men,
And with despair he tore his hair and wept for Shane amain.

Source: Patrick McNicholl

Click to play



Does the tune sound about right?


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Shane Crossagh'
From: GUEST,Karl Clark Colón
Date: 24 Apr 09 - 05:15 PM

Hello friends --

This thread was an unexpected find today. :-) The version of the song that prompted the original question from my old bandmate Terry Blankenship (see top of the question) is mine, and you've all got it pretty much right. :-)

Basically, I started with the version in Sam Henry and shortened it by stitching verses together, and by the time all the verses, instrumentals, and all that were included I was down to the version that is on our album The Hidden World. I also changed the melody to suit my voice, and we added the musical tag lines and so on. My wife (our fiddler) wrote the section that is in 7/8 in the middle of our version of the song.

http://www.madcelts.com/htm/discography.htm

I was delighted to discover Mark Dunlop's version of the song -- it is lovely, and as different as can be from ours. What fun! I was also delighted to see he found another Sam Henry treasure: the Breaking of Omagh Jail. I've got my own version of that that will be released shortly, and it also is as different as can be. What a richness this music is. :-)

Mark -- your voice is lovely, and I enjoyed the bits of arrangement I heard on the web. I am totally going to buy a copy of your record straight away.

With best wishes to you all,

karl


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Subject: RE: Help: History of 'Shane Crossagh'
From: GUEST,mayomick
Date: 25 Apr 09 - 12:11 PM

I always thought that the song centred around the lines :

"A good leap," said the Squire, when he saw the chase was won.
"Not too great," said the outlaw, "for such a length of run.

They must be amongst the wittiest lines in any song .


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