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Lyr Add: Master McGrath

DigiTrad:
MASTER MCGRATH


Related thread:
Lyr/Chords Req: Master McGraw? / Master McGrath (9)


ard mhacha 11 Jul 01 - 09:29 AM
English Jon 11 Jul 01 - 09:36 AM
Jim Cheydi 11 Jul 01 - 09:43 AM
Mrrzy 11 Jul 01 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,Nick Dow 11 Jul 01 - 11:56 AM
Mrrzy 11 Jul 01 - 12:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jul 01 - 01:02 PM
Mrrzy 11 Jul 01 - 02:28 PM
ard mhacha 11 Jul 01 - 02:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jul 01 - 03:06 PM
Big Tim 11 Jul 01 - 03:18 PM
ard mhacha 11 Jul 01 - 03:24 PM
Aidan Crossey 11 Jul 01 - 03:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jul 01 - 04:09 PM
ard mhacha 11 Jul 01 - 04:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jul 01 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,vin 11 Jul 01 - 05:11 PM
Maryrrf 11 Jul 01 - 07:55 PM
SINSULL 11 Jul 01 - 08:15 PM
Murray MacLeod 11 Jul 01 - 08:53 PM
Big Tim 12 Jul 01 - 02:33 AM
GUEST,vin 12 Jul 01 - 04:24 AM
ard mhacha 12 Jul 01 - 04:41 AM
ard mhacha 12 Jul 01 - 04:46 AM
beachcomber 12 Jul 01 - 05:09 PM
Mrrzy 13 Jul 01 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Les/Manchester 14 Jul 01 - 02:49 AM
ard mhacha 14 Jul 01 - 02:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Jul 01 - 05:54 PM
beachcomber 15 Jul 01 - 08:55 AM
ard mhacha 15 Jul 01 - 01:28 PM
Big Tim 15 Jul 01 - 04:11 PM
ard mhacha 15 Jul 01 - 04:25 PM
Mrrzy 16 Jul 01 - 03:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jul 01 - 05:00 PM
Snuffy 16 Jul 01 - 08:07 PM
Big Tim 17 Jul 01 - 01:17 PM
ard mhacha 17 Jul 01 - 03:02 PM
Aidan Crossey 16 Aug 01 - 06:16 AM
ard mhacha 16 Aug 01 - 07:00 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: MASTER MCGRATH
From: ard mhacha
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 09:29 AM

I have just come across Master McGrath in your DT. This is the Dominic Behan version, I heard Dominic sing it on a few occasions when he paid a visit to my neighbour, the late Malachy McGurran. That Behan version is never sung around Lurgan. The original song is in Colm O Lochlainn's Irish Street Ballads. The second verse, missing in Behan's version notes the Town of Lurgan:

On the twelfth of December that day of renown,
McGrath and his keeper they left Lurgan Town,
A gale in the Channel it soon drove them o'er,
On the thirteenth they landed on fair England's shore.

Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: English Jon
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 09:36 AM

Doesn't he come from Harlow?

EJ


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Jim Cheydi
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 09:43 AM

He's usually spouting off in some pub in Cambridge isn't he?


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 11:27 AM

THANKS! I've never heard this verse; I have this in 2 version, both by TCB&TM (or possibly with Robbie O'Connell), which differ greatly in tune but only slightly in words, and neither had this verse, where does it belong? After "1869 being the date of the year" and before "And when they arrived there in big London town" makes the most sense, but this is a ballad we're talking about, ha ha...


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: GUEST,Nick Dow
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 11:56 AM

Master McGrath is a favourite among British Gypsys. I have recorded it myself backed up by a travelling man (Mic Darling) on Banjo. The Gypsys I have met always sing it very slowly, and with great dignity. The Greyhound Master McGrath was named after his owner a young lad of about eleven I think the son of an wealthy landowner. You will find reproduction (or if your lucky original) staffordshire flatback figures of McGrath (the dog I mean) somtimes pictured with a Hare (Gypsys call them JackMahrs or Caningras) in his mouth. This figure was always found in travellers living wagons, especially the old Duntons or Ledge Wagons (they had a mantlepeice over the Hostess stove). By the way Joyces Old Irish Music and Songs has a different tune. Here endeth the lesson.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 12:58 PM

Does Joyces have the alternate that the Clancy Brothers do, since I am assuming that you mean different from Sweet Betsy From Pike, which is the tune I first heard this to? The alternate of which I think is hauntingly lovely.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 01:02 PM

I could have sworn Dominic sang that verse. He might have missed it out sometimes, there's a lot of verses in there.

I doubt if Colm O Lochlann would have claimed his version as "the original song" - in his notes he credits it to Joyce's Ancient Irish Music, and says "often heard around Dublin" to a different tune, implying it was in the oral tradition, which implies variants to be expected.

My father used to say the Master was the runt of the litter, and would have been drowned, but a kennel-boy stuck up for him, and the dog was called after him. The kennel-boy being my great-grandfather. Mind, my father believed that it was more important to tell a good story than to worry too much whether it was true or not.

And the ended he favoured, and that I prefer is:

He jumped on her back and he held up his paw.
"Up the Republic" cried bold Master McGrath.

Which fits, since it's said to have been a much-favoured marching song with the Irish Volunteers. Anyway there's at least one statue of the Master down in Co Waterford, and I think there might be a second. And there aren't many dogs for whom you can say that.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Mrrzy
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 02:28 PM

I have that as "three cheers for ould Ireland" - but I do have another question, what was Stuff that up your nostrils bowdlerized from?


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 02:34 PM

Hello All, The Greyhound Master McGrath was whelped in Dungarvan Co Waterford, he was the runt of a litter of five and he was named after a young boy. Lord Lurgan purchased all five dogs for his racing kennells in his Lurgan estate.Despite appearances McGrath turned out to be the best of the five and later on was good enough to be entered in the 1869 premier Waterloo Cup at Altcar, near Liverpool. Having surprised all by winning with ease he went on the following year to repeat his win. Entered again for the 1871 he had the misfortune to fall through the ice of a pond denying him an unprecedented hat-trick. Lord Lurgan was determined his charge would not be denied the glory, and entering once again in 1872, he beat all before him and carried off the Waterloo Cup for an all time record breaking win. Lter that year McGrath was presented at the Court of Queen Victoria. Sadly the following year The Master died and despite the best efforts of his beloved Trainer John Walsh the dog succumbed. McGraths grave is a few hundred yards from my home and for as long as I have heard the song performed in Lurgan I have only know the Colm O lochlainn version and I am referring to men in their seventies and this was as far back as the 1940`s, according to old Lurgan lore the song was written by Lurgan man James McCusker. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 03:06 PM

So maybe my father was telling the sober truth about!

Three cheers for old Ireland, God save Old Ireland, Up the Republic. It all means the same.

Well the joke is saying nostrils instead of arsehole, which you might be thinking. But it's funnier that way - arsehole wouldn't be. He's talking to a lady after all, and in 1869 well brought up dogs knew how to mind their language I imagine.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Big Tim
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 03:18 PM

This is usually taken to be a patriotic song, we stuffed the English, for once. However there's an irony: Lord Lurgan who owned the dog was an Orangeman (Arthur Brownlow) whose ancestral home in Lurgan(?) is still a centre of Orangeism. Ard Mchacha, can you confirm this.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 03:24 PM

Mrrzy, Master McGrath was always sung to the same air as Sweet Betsy from Pike, and the Behan version was the one that had "shove that up your nostrils sez Master McGrath". As for the Clancys rendering I have Tommy Makem racing through it faster than the dog, and his air is "Sweet Betsy". Also Ronnie Drew sings it using an air that I had never heard before and I wouldn`t want to hear again. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 03:37 PM

Big Tim ...

It's the world HQ of the Royal Black Preceptory ... not exactly the Orange Order ... but there's not many members of either familiar with the inside of a confessional!

I think MMcG might well be one of those (few) songs in the Irish canon which are patriotic without being Nationalist.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 04:09 PM

Patriotic, and therefore seeing no reason not to applaud an Anglo-Irish Lord if he was good enough to behave respectfully towards a representative of his country, as in this case. Nothing ironic about it. Whatever the disagreements about the link with England and so forth, noone in Ireland in those days would have thought for a moment that they weren't all Irish.

Colm O Lochlann's version has "Snuff that up your nostrils", which is what you'd do with snuff. That makes it two bits of wordplay in the line, if you are thinking "Stuff that up your arsehole" - but I'd never noticed that before.

As for the tune, he prints the tune which is the one I've heard most often, and would use myself; and in the notes he says it was sung both to The game played in Erin-go-bragh, and to Villikens and his Dinah. (Which is pretty well the same as Sweet Betsy.)

But does anyone know the truth about that five thousand to one bet?


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 04:57 PM

Hello All, I have never heard any one in Lurgan refer to the song as a patriotic or a nationalist song, we just regarded the song as a sporting triumph. From where I am sitting I can see Brownlow House or Lurgan Castle as it known to he locals. The Brownlow Family when they first arrived wouldn`t have been classed as hardline landlords, but there descendants and espically the Brownlow who owned Master McGrath was held in low esteem by the local Catholic population.In order to enlarge his Coursing site my great Grandfather was evicted from Annaloiste a small townland near Lough Neagh. Lord Lurgan had the reputation of being a heavy gambler and in 1871 when the dog failed to win his third sucessive Waterloo Cup his lorshit lost heavily and also losing heavily were the towns business people. The following year Lord Lurgan convinced of his dogs prowess, had borrowed a large amount which he laid on the dog, coming up trumps Brownlow bought out most of the Towns businessmen, which at that time mostly involved the Linen trade. And yes McGrath of Harlow, old Brownlow would have wagered five thousand, after all he could always fall back on his helpless tenants and screw them for a few thousands more. Still I am humming the bloody song as I write. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 05:09 PM

a sporting triumph - that's as patriotic as you can get.

I've noticed how in Irish song circles if the songs start getting militant to make some people uncomfortable, someone will always sing a sporting triumph song - channels the fervour into safer territory.

That's why I like it with "Up the Republic" in the last line - it swings it back again, but in an unthreatening way.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: GUEST,vin
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 05:11 PM

I've got a grand version of Master McGrath on an old Music for Pleasure LP of Noel Murphy called 'A Touch of The Blarney'. Anybody remember Noel in an Eric Sykes TV comedy??


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Maryrrf
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 07:55 PM

Once again, Mudcat provided a wealth of background on a song I'm extremely fond of ! I always sang it to the tune of "Erin Go Bragh". I first heard it on one of those complilation albums you buy cheap and never know what you're going to get - one of those "All the Best from Ireland."


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 08:15 PM

This is one of those gems that Mudcat is famous for. I believe most think, as I did, that it is some personal stuff about McGrath of Harlow. Glad I wandered in. I've never heard the song but will look for it when rummaging through the LPs at the local Salvation Army.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 11 Jul 01 - 08:53 PM

GUEST Vin, can you elaborate a bit on Noel Murphy's appearance on Eric Sykes show? I don't remember it, but would like to know more about it. Did he act or sing? Or both?

Murray


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Big Tim
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 02:33 AM

Seek out the (traditional) version by Sean O Se on his album Irish Heritage, beautiful.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: GUEST,vin
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 04:24 AM

Hi Murray, It was one of the 'Sykes' series with Hattie Jaques- can't remember what year but probably early-mid seventies? Beeb will know. The story-line was, Eric had got himself a job in a factory making metal washers on a special machine and caused the usual mayhem causing a dispute with the union. Noel played a non-speaking part as a member of the 'committee', looked quite funny - this huge character in an ill-fitting brown work coat just nodding every now and then. I think Noel's appeared in other things including pro-celebrity golf!!


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 04:41 AM

Murray, I once heard the beardy Corrie describe Noel Murphy as his favourite irishman. I have never heard of Murphy, apart from acting did he sing?. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 04:46 AM

Harlow MGrath, As the song was associated with Lord Lurgan, there was litte possibilty of any Lurgan Fenian thinking for a minute it was patriotic, maybe the odd outsider. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: beachcomber
Date: 12 Jul 01 - 05:09 PM

Hello, especially an-tuasal McGrath of Harlow, Yes there is a monument showing a likeness(?) carved, in relief on a stone slab, which stands at the junction of the roads from Dungarvan, Co.Waterford and Clonmel Co.Tipperrary and Cappoquin, also Co.Waterford. The song has always , in my memory at least been popular in this area which, incidentally is one where the breeding of greyhounds is very common. The breeding of McGraths is also quite .. er usual here also. I wonder sir, do you have any links with West Waterford?? The "Brickeys" football and hurling club is "powered" (another very prolific family around here) by McGraths to this day. Beach


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Mrrzy
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 09:39 AM

The version that the Clancy Brothers sing with the other tune is, I think, on the same CD as Sister Josephine. I'll check when I get home. Definitely later than Makem being with them.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: GUEST,Les/Manchester
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 02:49 AM

Noel Murphy was extremely popular in the late sixties as a solo perfomer. I seem to remeber he went on to play in a trio called Draft Porridge. The other members were a stand up bass player from Chester called (I think) Ron Chesterman and an amazing tenor banjo / guitar player called Davey Johnson(?) who soon left to play in Elton Johns band and still does from time to time.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 02:01 PM

Master McGrath is commemorated in Lurgan by an annual Festival and of course by a local watering hole, The Master McGrath Arms which has a fine bronze replica of the famous hound. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jul 01 - 05:54 PM

The relevant thing is whether the song praises Master McGrath as a patriotic dog, and it does. And for the purposes of the song, Lord Lurgan is presented as a supporter, worthy of a wag of the tail. Songs and stories have their own logic, and it's a mistake sometimes to let the historical facts get in the way.

My branch of the family is from Clonmel and Cahir, beachcomber. My father was a great hurler, especially in the Argentine where he went after he got out of the Free State prison in Kilkenny after the Civil War.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: beachcomber
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 08:55 AM

Dia dhuit McGrath,

Mine did a "stint" in Waterford around the same time, and sure Clonmel is only across the Suir from us. As to your Dad hurling, did you say in Argentina?? Bet they did'nt win too many All-Irelands eh?? Just kidding of course , lots of fine sports men must have been lost to us during that bloody awful chapter in Irish history. How'd you wind up in Harlow (Here, if this isn't thread drift, I dunno what is?) With apologies to all the previous post'ers to this discussion Beach.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 01:28 PM

I could add that McGraths Master, Lord Lurgan left his Castle and Estate to the people of Lurgan. The Castle [Brownlow House]was later given to the Black Preceptoy and the Estate was turned into a large public park. An interestinG footnote concerning the Castle, during the Second World War, US troops were billeted in the Castle before embarking on the D-Day push. They were visited by the then, General Eisenhower and General Paton, Paton stayed in the Castle for a few days.. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Big Tim
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 04:11 PM

Thanks for that Ard. You'll probably be aware that there's a bit about Brownlow, etc, in Kevin Harrick-Flynn's "Orangeism", Wolfhound Press, 1999.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 04:25 PM

Big Tim, Thanks, I haven`t added that one to my collection, will look out for it to-morrow. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 03:53 PM

Anybody know the tune that isn't Sweet Besty from Pike that this song is sung to by the Clancy Brothers, specifically? I can't locate the CD... sorry!


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 05:00 PM

I imagine it would be the Erin Go Braugh tune - the midi at the bottom of the DT version is a bit approximate, but clear enough.

I've never heard it sung to any other tune. It's a much more fitting tune than the Villikens/Betsy one.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Snuffy
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 08:07 PM

The version I have by Ronnie Drew on a Dubliners album doesn't use either of those tunes. I'll see if I can post it before I go on holiday on Friday


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Big Tim
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 01:17 PM

Just a late thought: does anyone know the author, origins of this song? I believe the last MMcG Waterloo Cup win was in 1871 or 72 so the song must be later than that date, obviously (uness it was written after the first win in 1869!).


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 03:02 PM

Big Tim, According to Lurgan lore it was written by a James McCusker and as the song states "1869 was the date of the year", so we will take it from there. Slan Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: Aidan Crossey
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 06:16 AM

Just to resurrect this thread.

I was kindly loaned a compilation of recordings by James Morrison. One of these, from 1926, featured two airs - The Glens of Aherlow and Master McGrath. The Master McGrath air is the "Sweet Betsy" one - the only air which we who hail from Lurgan and its hinterland would recognise as being assocoiated with the song.


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Subject: RE: Master Mc Grath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 16 Aug 01 - 07:00 AM

McGrath, I must have overlooked your note on the air of the song, I can assure you that never in all my time did I ever hear Master McGrath having been sung with the "Erin go Bragh" tune. And definitely not around Lurgan.Slan Ard Mhacha.


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