Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Ascending - Printer Friendly - Home


Origin: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor

DigiTrad:
MORRISEY AND THE RUSSIAN SAILOR
MORRISSEY AND THE BLACK
MORRISSEY AND THE RUSSIAN SAILOR


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Morrissey and the Black (The DT text was taken from MacKenzie's Ballads and Sea Songs from Nova Scotia, where no tune was given. Midi made from notation in Edward Ives' Folksongs of New Brunswick (1989); that example came from Spurgeon Allaby, and is a variant of Villikins and His Dinah. Obviously, we don't know whether or not Harry Sutherland used that tune or one like it.)


GUEST 19 Jul 15 - 05:10 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Jul 15 - 03:40 AM
MartinRyan 18 Jul 15 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Lighter 02 Jan 13 - 06:43 PM
Lighter 27 Sep 04 - 06:22 PM
Lighter 27 Sep 04 - 05:20 PM
Joe Offer 27 Sep 04 - 04:50 PM
Abby Sale 27 Sep 04 - 04:34 PM
GUEST,triforce@supanet.com 27 Sep 04 - 02:35 PM
Brían 25 Jul 01 - 08:44 AM
Abby Sale 24 Jul 01 - 11:07 PM
Art Thieme 24 Jul 01 - 09:34 PM
Art Thieme 24 Jul 01 - 09:24 PM
Brían 24 Jul 01 - 11:31 AM
Liam's Brother 24 Jul 01 - 09:18 AM
Jim Cheydi 24 Jul 01 - 08:16 AM
Brían 24 Jul 01 - 07:08 AM
Paddy Plastique 24 Jul 01 - 05:12 AM
Brendy 24 Jul 01 - 12:30 AM
Brían 24 Jul 01 - 12:12 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: RE: Origin: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 15 - 05:10 AM

That's the Seán 'ac Donnchadh version mentioned by the OP, of courae - it's like a ringside seat! Thomas's is excellent too IMHO.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Jul 15 - 03:40 AM

One of the most atmospheric recordings of this was surely the one by Alan Lomax, sung by Johnny McDonagh in a bar in Carna, to the accompaniment of an over-enthusiastic customer cheering Morrisey - Lomax described it as like being at a boxing match.
In later life, Morrisey was a Tammany Hall politician in New York.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Jul 15 - 05:50 PM

Fine version by Thomas McCarthy on Youtube:

Click here

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origin: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 06:43 PM

But this, to a different tune, is equally great. Who is this guy?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71yeHPSNhBU


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 06:22 PM

(It's the one given by Sandburg.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 05:20 PM

The modal Irish-American tune for "M. & the R. S." is far and away my favorite for this ballad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 04:50 PM

There's quite an entry in the Traditional Ballad Index:

Morrissey and the Russian Sailor [Laws H18]

DESCRIPTION: A Russian sailor in Tierra del Fuego challenges Morrissey to a duel. Morrissey takes on the challenge to uphold the honor of Ireland. The fight, for a large stake, takes 38 rounds, and each knocks the other down, before Morrissey is victorious
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1901 (O'Conor)
KEYWORDS: fight patriotic
FOUND IN: US(MW,NE) Canada(Mar) Ireland Australia
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Laws H18, "Morrissey and the Russian Sailor"
Rickaby 48, "Morrisey and the Russian Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fahey-Eureka, pp.216-217 , "Morrissey and the Russian Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sandburg, pp. 398-399, "Morrissey and the Russian Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy 325, "Morrissey and the Russian Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
O'Conor, p. 30, "Morrisey and the Russian" (1 text)
DT 694, MORRRUSS MORRRUS2*

Roud #2150
RECORDINGS:
Joe Heaney, "Morrissey and the Russian Sailor" (on Pubs1)
Johnny McDonagh, "Morrissey and the Russian Sailor" (on Lomax42, LomaxCD1742)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Morrissey and the Black" [Laws H19] (subject)
cf. "Donnelly and Cooper" (subject, tune)
cf. "Heenan and Sayers" [Laws H20] (subject, tune)
cf. "Morrissey and the Benicia Boy" (subject)
Notes: John Morrissey was born in Ireland in 1831 but was raised in New York and apparently went to California at the time of the Gold Rush. In 1852 he gained fame as a boxer by defeating George Thomson. The climax of Morrissey's career came in 1858 (so DAB and other sources; I've seen a date of 1860 cited), when he defeated champion John C. Heenan and promptly retired. In the years that followed his gambling resort in Saratoga Springs proved very successful, and Morrissey was twice elected to congress. He died in 1878.
In addition to his boxing prowess, he is said to have been a "hatchet man" for the New York Tammany Hall machine.
There is no record of Morrissey ever fighting a Russian sailor -- and certainly not in Tierra del Fuego! On the other hand, he did fight some very long matches; in 1853 it took Morrissey 37 rounds to defeat James Sullivan. - RBW
NAME: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor [Laws H18]
EARLIEST DATE: 1901 (O'Conor)
REFERENCES:
O'Conor, p. 30, "Morrisey and the Russian" (1 text)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Morrissey and the Benicia Boy" (subject)
NOTES: O'Conor's last verse refers to other fights. Specifically, "Our hero conquered Thompson, the Yankee Clipper, too, The Benicia Boy, and Sheppard he nobly did subdue."
We have a ballad for "Morrissey and the Benicia Boy", at least.
"Thompson" was George Thompson, California champion, who lost a controversial fight to Morrissey in 1852.
The "Yankee Clipper" refers to Morrissey's controversial victory over Yankee Sullivan to become "Champion of America". See "The Fight at Boston Corners" and "The Great Prize Fight Which Took Place at Boston Corners, Oct 12, 1853" broadsides at the Library of Congress American Memory site.
There is also a broadside "Rough and Tumble, or the Amos Street Fight between Poole & Morrissey" at the Library of Congress American Memory site.
Sources: Biography of John Morrissey on the International Boxing Hall of Fame site;Biography of John Morrissey on the HarpWeek Explore History site; "Yankee Sullivan (James Ambrose)(alias Frank Murray)" at Cyber Boxing Zone site. - BS
File: LH18

Morrissey and the Black [Laws H19]

DESCRIPTION: Morrissey agrees to fight "Ned the black of Mulberry town" for a stake of ten thousand pounds. By the fourteenth round Morrissey is unconscious or nearly, but he is revived and knocks out his opponent in the twenty-fifth round
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1929 (Greenleaf/Mansfield)
KEYWORDS: fight
FOUND IN: US(NE) Canada(Mar,Newf)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Laws H19, "Morrissey and the Black"
Greenleaf/Mansfield 175, "John Morrissey and the Black" (1 text)
DT 706, MORRBLK

Roud #1884
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Morrissey and the Russian Sailor" [Laws H18] (subject)
cf. "Donnelly and Cooper" (subject)
cf. "Heenan and Sayers" [Laws H20] (subject)
cf. "Morrissey and the Benicia Boy" (subject)
Notes: John Morrissey was born in Ireland in 1831 but was raised in New York and apparently went to California at the time of the Gold Rush. In 1852 he gained fame as a boxer by defeating George Thomson. The climax of Morrissey's career came in 1858 (so DAB and other sources; I've seen a date of 1860 cited), when he defeated champion John C. Heenan and promptly retired. In the years that followed his gambling resort in Saratoga Springs proved very successful, and Morrissey was twice elected to congress. He died in 1878.
In addition to his boxing prowess, he is said to have been a "hatchet man" for the New York Tammany Hall machine. - RBW
Greenleaf/Mansfield says Morrissey was also a Congressman and State Senator for New York - BS
File: LH19

Morrissey and the Benicia Boy

DESCRIPTION: The Benicia Boy -- Heenan -- challenges Morrissey saying "no man from Ireland before him could stand." They agree to fight for $5200 in North America. Morrissey wins in the eleventh round and takes the championship belt.
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1901 (O'Conor)
KEYWORDS: fight gambling sports
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
Oct 20, 1858 - American Heavyweight Championship fight between John Morrissey and John C Heenan at Long Point, Canada. Heenan broke his hand during the fight. This is Morrissey's last fight
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (1 citation):
O'Conor, p. 44, "Morrissey and the Benicia Boy" (1 text)
Roud #9781
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Heenan and Sayers" [Laws H20] (subject)
cf. "Morrissey and the Black" (subject)
cf. "Morrissey and the Russian Sailor" (subject)
Notes: This particular ballad is not currently among the "prizefighting" broadsides in the Bodleian Library site Ballads Catalogue. However, among the broadsides at that site, there are many celebrating Heenan (for example, "Heenan's Challenge to Mace", "Heenan and King," "The Bold Benicia Boy," "Sayers' and Heenan's Struggle for the Championship and GBP400," "The Bold Irish Yankee Benicia Boy," "Coburn's Challenge to Heenan," "The Boxing Match Between Sayers and Heenan," "Maugh Bonamalath," "THe Fight with Heenan and the Black," and "Heenan's Arrival in England"; there is a different broadside there for this fight--"The glorious victory of John Morrissy, of Templemore, Ireland, over the Yankee Buffalo boy, on Long Island, North America"; Morrissey has many fewer but at least two have been collected (see cross-references above)
Broadside [America Singing] at the Library of Congress American Memory site does not have this ballad but has another about Morrissey and Heenan: "The Great Prize Fight Between Morrissey and Heenan, the Benicia Boy, at Long Point, Canada, Oct 20, 1858 for $5000" [digital id sb10143a].
Source: Re historical references--"Troy Boxing -Round Two" by Don Rittner on The Mesh site. I have not been able to find which Long Point in Canada was the site of the fight. - BS
John Morrissey was born in Ireland in 1831 but was raised in New York and apparently went to California at the time of the Gold Rush. In 1852 he gained fame as a boxer by defeating George Thomson. The climax of Morrissey's career came in 1858 (so DAB and other sources; I've seen a date of 1860 cited), when he defeated champion John C. Heenan and promptly retired. In the years that followed his gambling resort in Saratoga Springs proved very successful, and Morrissey was twice elected to congress. He died in 1878.
In addition to his boxing prowess, he is said to have been a "hatchet man" for the New York Tammany Hall machine. - RBW
File: OCon033

Heenan and Sayers [Laws H20]

DESCRIPTION: Heenan travels from America to fight the British boxers. Sayers draws first blood, but Heenan is ahead after thirty-seven rounds, and the British stop the fight
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1901 (O'Conor)
KEYWORDS: fight injury
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
April 17, 1860 - Boxing match between John C. Heenan and Tom Sayers
Events mentioned in some versions of the song:
c. 1541-1596 - Life of Sir Francis Drake
June 17, 1775 - Battle of Bunker Hill (fought on Breed's Hill, and won by the British, though at heavy cost)
Oct 19, 1781 - Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown
Sapt 10, 1813 - Perry defeats the British at the Battle of Lake Erie
FOUND IN: US(MA,MW,NE) Ireland Australia
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Laws H20, "Heenan and Sayers"
Rickaby 49, "Heenan and Sayers" (2 texts)
Warner 9, "The British-American Fight" (1 text, 1 tune)
O'Conor, pp. 76-77, "Heenan and Sayers" (1 text)
Fahey-Eureka, pp. 214-215, "Heenan and Sayers" (1 text, 1 tune, "reconstructed" by the collector)
Kennedy 321, "Heenan and Sayers" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT 679, HEENSAYR

Roud #2148
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Whole Hog or None" (subject)
cf. "Donnelly and Cooper" (subject, tune)
cf. "Morrissey and the Black" (subject)
cf. "Morrissey and the Russian Sailor" (tune, subject)
cf. "Morrissey and the Benicia Boy" (subject)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
The Bold Benicia Boy
Notes: John C. Heenan (Johnny Morrissey's last opponent) was born in New York but was called "the Benicia Boy" after Benicia, California, where he lived during his late teens. His match with Tom Sayers, which was stopped after 42 rounds, is said to have been the last of the (official) bare-knuckle boxing matches.
Tom Sayers was so successful as a boxer that his ability to land a blow had already entered the realm of proverb at the time of the Crimean War.
If you are wondering about all those historical references which appear to have nothing to do with the Heenan/Sayers fight, they are all appropriate to the Warner text, sung by "Yankee" John Galusha. This text is so distinct from all other "Heenan and Sayers" versions I've seen that I am tempted to list it as its own song. But it does have some common lyrics; it probably doesn't deserve a separate listing. - RBW
Bodleian Library site Ballads Catalogue does not have this ballad but has six others about Heenan: "A New Song on Heenan and King," "Heenan the Champion of the World," "Heenan the Pride of America," and "The English Prize-Fighter and the American Champion" about the fight with Sayers, plus "Heenan's Arrival in England" and "Heenan's Challenge to Mace" before the fight with Jem Mace - BS
Broadside [America Singing] at the Library of Congress American Memory site does not have this ballad but has eight others about Heenan and Sayers: "Heenan the Champion of the World" in distinct numbered versions 1[digital id as201320/sb20189b] and 2[digital id as201310/sb20189a], "The American Eagle and British Lion, or, Yankee Heenan and English Sayers," "Happy Land of Canaan" in numbered versions 1[same as 4]and 2[same as 3], "Great Champion Prize Fight" and "Heenan the Pride of America" about the fight, and "Ballad in Answer to Sayers, England's Pride" before the fight.
[Abraham Lincoln Papers] at the Library of Congress American Memory site: "Outside of the politicians there is in this city very little care or talk about party or candidates. Heenan & Sayers eclipsed the Charleston Convention ..." Letter from Orville H. Browning to Abraham Lincoln, June 29, 1860, re prospects in Pennsylvania. - BS
File: LH20

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Abby Sale
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 04:34 PM

Yes, I'm interested. Is there any documentation of this fight?   Was the Russian a sailor. Exactly where & when was it? Who won? And stuff like that...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: GUEST,triforce@supanet.com
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 02:35 PM

hi all
stumbled across your banter by accident-facinating that ye have heard of "old smoke"
i am from templemore and the morrisseys still live there. he did indeed fight heenan-but not many realise both families came from here.the fight with the russian occurred when john took a steamer to california to chace heenan to fight.there is a biography of the great man in existence-if u want any questions answered just email me


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Brían
Date: 25 Jul 01 - 08:44 AM

Thank you, Abby. I figured there must have been some connection between Morrissey and Sullivan. I didn't know that "The Yankee" was Sullivan.

Art, I have seen your comments about MORISSEY AND THE RUSSIAN SAILOR and Joe Heaney on other threads. I would love to hear you sing.

Brían.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Abby Sale
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 11:07 PM

The "happy?" File gives: "Morrissey & The Russian Sailor" See FL Rickaby; Ballads & Songs of the Shanty-Boy, 1926 and on Champions and Sporting Blades, (Yes - fine record, indeed) sung by Ewan MacColl

In the mid-1800's, John Morrissey (Feb 5, 1831-May 1,1878) was the 3rd nationally recognized American boxing champ, (won the title from Yankee Sullivan 10/12/1858) later a Congressman from NY; he did fight the "Bold Benicia Boy" (qv) in 1858 but there's no record he ever fought any Russian sailor.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 09:34 PM

Check out one of my recordings of the Wisconsin lumber camp ballad, "The Shanty Boy On The Big Eau Claire". (Kicking Mule LP --- KM-148 -- Songs Of The Heartland) Very similar tune I got from Paul Clayton in '58 or '59 in the back room of the Gate Of Horn folk cabaret in Chicago after a Sunday afternoon hoot.
It's also on a tape I did to sell on my Mississippi River gigs. That was called On The River.

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 09:24 PM

On the great old Riverside LP record, Chanpions And Sporting Blades, Ewan MacColl does a bang-up job on this song. That's my favorite version of all.

Art Thieme


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Brían
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 11:31 AM

Thanks, Dan. I'll seek out a copy of this. I sang this at a shanty sing in Portland, Maine with my friends from Roll and Go and everyone seemed to enjoy it. there are a lot of arcaic sounding references, especially the part about the doctor being called in to open a vein.

Brían.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 09:18 AM

Your timing is very good, Brian. Take a look at the current (July) issue of 'Irish Music' magazine, page 40. There is a full page article on another of the Morrissey ballads, 'Morrissey and the Buffalo Boy'. The article has a picture and a great deal of biographical information on the man. He was an extremely interesting person, so it would be really worthwhile seeking out a copy.

There were a number of ballads written about Morrissey including 'Morrissey and the Black,' 'Morrissey Again in the Field' and 'The Fight at Boston Corners'. Three of them are in my folk song collection, Songs of England, Ireland and Scotland: A Bonnie Bunch of Roses (Oak Publications).

I heard Joe Heaney sing this song many times when he lived here in New York.

All the best,
Dan Milner


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Jim Cheydi
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 08:16 AM

Johnny Morrisey played on the right side of midfield for Tranmere Rovers in the 80's and early 90's.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Brían
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 07:08 AM

Thanks, Brendy, that dates the song a little better. I heard Joe Heaney did a version of the song, I assume its the same melody. Sean and Joe lived across the field from one another. there is a clip of Sean singing it here:PART FOUR: THE NYAHH. A splendid melody. Supposedly there is no record of Johnny's fight with a Russian sailor in Tierra del Fuego. There are so many details that I'm surprised ther isn't at least some fact to the story.

Brían


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Paddy Plastique
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 05:12 AM

Joe Heaney does a version too - probably same as Seán 'ac Donnchadh's. Any news of the poor Rooshian ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Help: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Brendy
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 12:30 AM

Taken from This site

JOHN MORRISSEY

Bareknuckle boxer. Born in Templemore Co. Tipperary, 1831. He died in Saratoga, Florida, on 1st May 1878. He was American heavyweight bareknuckle champion in 1858. In 1954 he was one of the founder members of The Ring magazine's Hall of Fame.

B.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Morrissey and the Russian Sailor
From: Brían
Date: 24 Jul 01 - 12:12 AM

There is a version of this song in the digitrad:Morrisey and the Russian Sailor . I have heard fine versions by Christy Moore and Sean 'ac Dhonnchadh.

I am wondering if anyone has any information about this song or its hero, Johnny Morrisey.
Brían.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 18 October 4:42 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.