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Origins: Streets of Derry/Derry Gaol

DigiTrad:
THE STREETS OF DERRY


Related threads:
Folklore: Streets of Derry (7)
Lyr Req: One of the Has-Beens (5)
Lyr Req: The Streets of Derry (Bothy Band) (11)
Chord Req: Streets of Derry (14)
Lyr Req: Streets of Derry (Triona Ni Dhomhnaill) (15)
Lyr Req: Streets of Derry (4)


bgalbraith@juno.com 21 Jan 98 - 10:25 AM
Moira Cameron 21 Jan 98 - 01:15 PM
Wolfgang Hell 22 Jan 98 - 05:09 AM
Susan-Marie 22 Jan 98 - 08:37 AM
Jon W. 22 Jan 98 - 10:31 AM
Bill Galbraith 28 Jan 98 - 12:42 AM
Susan-Marie 28 Jan 98 - 08:36 AM
therapon 28 Jan 98 - 10:40 AM
Moira Cameron 29 Jan 98 - 02:23 AM
Wolfgang Hell 29 Jan 98 - 03:26 AM
Charlie Baum 31 Jan 98 - 11:11 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jun 03 - 09:43 PM
GUEST,Philippa 19 Jun 03 - 12:38 PM
MMario 19 Jun 03 - 12:48 PM
GUEST,The Burren Ranger 19 Jun 03 - 01:20 PM
Malcolm Douglas 19 Jun 03 - 02:01 PM
Brían 19 Jun 03 - 10:11 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 20 Jun 03 - 05:40 AM
Nancy-Jean 20 Jun 03 - 09:59 AM
Liam's Brother 21 Jun 03 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,mg 18 Feb 14 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,Jeanie Maggie 24 Aug 15 - 08:47 AM
cnd 24 Aug 15 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,# 24 Aug 15 - 03:55 PM
cnd 24 Aug 15 - 04:16 PM
cnd 24 Aug 15 - 04:32 PM
cnd 24 Aug 15 - 04:34 PM
Joe Offer 24 Aug 15 - 04:41 PM
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Subject: Streets of Derry
From: bgalbraith@juno.com
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 10:25 AM

I'm looking for the lyrics to a song called "The Streets of Derry". It's one of those boy saved from the gallows by his sweetheart songs. Any help would be much appreciated.


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Subject: Lyr Add: DERRY GAOL (sung by Peter Bellamy)
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 01:15 PM

The song is entitled DERRY GAOL.
Pete Bellamy recorded it.

Oh after morning there comes an evening
And after evening another day
And after false love, there comes a true love—
It is hard to keep them that will not stay.

My love, he is the finest young man
He is as fair as any the sun shone on
But how to save him I do not know it,
Since he's been sentenced all to be hung.

As he was marched up through the streets of Derry,
I'm sure he marched up right manfully
Being much more like some commanding officer
Than a man to hang upon the gallows tree.

But the very first step he did put on that ladder,
His bloomin' colour began to fail
And with heavy sighin' and bitter cryin',
"Is there no releasement from Derry Gaol?

And the very next step he did put on that ladder,
His lovin' clergyman was standing by,
Cryin', "Stand you back, you false prosecutors,
For I'll make you see that he may not die."

"Yes, I'll make you see that you may not hang him
Until his confession to me is done,
And then you'll see that you may not hang him
'Til within ten minutes of the setting sun.

"Oh where is my love? She is so long a-comin';
Oh what detains her so long from me.
Oh, does she think it some shame or scandal
For to see me hang upon the gallows tree?"

He turned around, and then he saw her coming
And she rode swifter than the wind,
Crying, "Stand back, stand back, you false prosecutors
For I've come to tell you that he may not die."

"Oh come down, my love, from those weary gallows,
For I've brought your pardon all from the Queen—
I made them see that they may not hang you—
And I'll crown my love all with a bunch of green!"


Anyone know what that last line is supposed to mean?


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Subject: RE: Streets of Derry
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 05:09 AM

Other recordings of this song (some of them under the title "Streets of Derry") are from:
Al O'Donnell
Oisin
Bothy Band (Out of the wind...)
Moira, I can't help you with the last line, except that Al O'Donnell sings "...with a bunch of bloom".

The notes to this song in Kennedy (Ed.), Folksongs from Britain and Ireland, say that this song is a "switched gender" variant to CHILD'S #95, Maid freed from the gallows, which is in the DT-database, at least in one variant.
Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Streets of Derry
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 08:37 AM

In the Bothy Band version the last line is
"I'll crown my love with a laurel wreath"
Or at least, that's what I hear. So, the next questions is, what's the symbology of the laurel wreath?


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Subject: RE: Streets of Derry
From: Jon W.
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 10:31 AM

In Greek mythology, Apollo chased the water nymph Laurel for the usual purpose, and she ran to her father (a river as I recall) for safety. He turned her into a tree. Apollo said if he couldn't have her, at least her leaves would be used to crown the victors of foot races and other sporting events--thus a laurel wreath is a symbol of victory. From the same comes the expression "resting on one's laurels" meaning to be content with past victories.


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Subject: RE: Streets of Derry
From: Bill Galbraith
Date: 28 Jan 98 - 12:42 AM

Thanks to all for help with Derry Gaol or Streets of Derry. I've worked out all but the last two verses of the Bothy Band/Triona Ni Dhomnhnaill version. The next-to-last verse ends with a line I absolutely cannot figure out. Something about a swift something wine (???). And the final verse in the next-to-last line seems to say as she saves him "And I let you miss me for we'll be united" which seems a strange thing to say. Any clues?


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Subject: RE: Streets of Derry
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 28 Jan 98 - 08:36 AM

I remember a line about her moving "swiftest as.." something, and I'll bet that "miss" is more likely "kiss" given the rest of the line about them being united, but I haven't listened to that song for a while - I've always found it too long and slow. I'll put it in the tape player tonight and see if I can make out those two lines.


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Subject: RE: Streets of Derry
From: therapon
Date: 28 Jan 98 - 10:40 AM

Moira, one guess at the meaning of "and I'll crown my love with a bunch of green": an earlier version of the song saw her fail to free her love from the gallows, and the green crown refers to his grave mound. It's often the case that an earlier, tragic version of a folk song is retold as a victory for the protagonist, but figurative language remains unchanged.

Jon W., Laurel is more likely in this context a love charm. This is its significance in English folklore


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Subject: RE: Streets of Derry
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 29 Jan 98 - 02:23 AM

The Swift-something-wine line is actual "She rode swiftly as the wind{pronounced like rind}"


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Subject: RE: Streets of Derry
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 29 Jan 98 - 03:26 AM

I can't agree with you, Moira. You are right that your version of this line is the usual one, but in the Bothy Band version Triona sings definitely something else. The line before says something like that every step she is taking (up to the gallows) and then I hear
"was a swifter than the furl wind" (pron.:"whined")
I wouldn't bet on this version (I have difficulties making a sense of it), but the "rode swifter than.." line gives a worse fit to what she sings.
Bill, I have no idea for the other line: "kiss me" makes more sense but she doesn't sing that, and "miss he" (what I hear) makes less sense than your version.
Wolfgang


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE STREETS OF DERRY
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 31 Jan 98 - 11:11 PM

Julie Henigan sings a version she calls "The Street of Derry" on her CD "American Stranger" (Waterbug WBG 0035).

Her notes say:

THE STREETS OF DERRY
Trad. Arr. Henigan & Russell
Possibly a reworking of "The Maid Freed from the Gallows" (Child #95), this Northern Irish song exists in a number of variants in Ulster and the US I learned this one from several sources, including Scottish singer Janet Russell, from whom I filched the guitar "fill" I use between verses.

[Transcription by chb]

And after morning, there comes an evening,
And after evening another day;
And after false love there comes a true love
Come listen now to what I say.

My love he is a handsome young man,
As fair as any that the sun shone on.
But how to win him, I do not know.
For now he has been sentenced to be hung.

As he walked out through the street of Derry,
I'm sure he stood out quite manfully.
He looked more like a commanding officer
Than a man to die upon the gallows tree.

Oh where's my love; she's so long in coming
And what detains her so long from me.
Perhaps she thinks its a shame and a scandal
For a man to die upon the gallows tree.

He's looked around and he saw her coming
As she rode swifter than the wind.
She said, "I'll show them that they cannot hang you
And I'll crown my love with a bunch of green."

And after morning, there comes an evening,
And after evening another day;
And after false love there comes a true love
Come listen now to what I say.

Her version eliminates the clergyman and refocuses the tale on the feelings and supposition of feelings between the condemned man and his beloved.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEslRrU67lo

    Note from Joe Offer: these are the lyrics used by the Digital Tradition for "The Streets of Derry," filename [ STDERRY

    The DT uses the melody from Kennedy


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Subject: RE: Streets of Derry
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jun 03 - 09:43 PM

Charlie's version is almost what's in the Digital Tradition. Moira's has a few additional verses. Note that one tune used for this song has been posted in this thread (click) - or at least that's what the thread says. Can anybody verify that the tune is correct?
-Joe Offer-

Click to play


Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Gallows [Laws L11]

DESCRIPTION: A young man is to be hanged. His family and a clergyman contrive a few minutes delay by each asking for a last word. Just before the boy is to be hanged, his true love arrives with a royal pardon and he is saved
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1929 (Barry, Ecksotm, Smyth)
KEYWORDS: execution reprieve
FOUND IN: US(NE,So) Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland
REFERENCES (12 citations):
Laws L11, "Gallows"
Bronson 95, "The Maid Freed from the Gallows" (68 versions, but the last four, given in an appendix, are this song)
BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 389-393, 483, "The Gallows Tree" (2 texts plus a fragment, 2 tunes); p. 483 (1 tune) {Bronson's #67, #68; the tune in the addenda is Bronson's #66}
Moore-Southwest 79, "Lover Freed from the Gallows" (1 text, 1 tune)
Flanders-Ancient3, pp. 15-41, "The Maid Freed from the Gallows" (8 texts plus a fragment, 8 tunes, but of the texts, only "A," "B1," and "B2" are 'The Maid Freed" [Child 95]; the remaining six are "Gallows") {G=Bronson's #65}
Flanders-NewGreen, pp. 117-118, "The Gallows Tree" (1 fragment, 1 tune, which might be this or Child 95 or Laws L11 but feels slightly more like the latter) {Bronson's #65}
Kennedy 316, "Derry Gaol" (1 text, 1 tune)
SHenry H705, p. 132, "The Dreary Gallows" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 109-112, "Gallows" (3 texts plus 1 fragment, 1 tune)
Leach-Labrador 27, "Sweet Ann O'Neill" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT 571, HANGMAN4
ADDITIONAL: Eleanor R. Long, "'Derry Gaol,''" article published 1966 in _Jahrbuch fur Volksleidfordchung_; republished (with translations of the non-English analogs) on pp. 175-203 of Norm Cohen, editor, _All This for a Song_, Southern Folklife Collection, 2009

Roud #896
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Maid Freed from the Gallows" (Child 95)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Streets of Derry
NOTES: Kennedy, following Barry, speculates that this was based on an incident during the 1798 Irish rebellion. The only real supporting evidence is a reference to King George (which, for all it directly proves, could date it to the 1916 rebellion; in any case, Britain had a King named George every year from 1714 to 1839), and in any case the reference to King George in not found in many versions, where it is the Queen who offers the pardon.
Barry et all state unequivocally that the song is Irish. This is likely enough, but there are only a handful of Irish collections (Sam Henry's, and Sarah Makem sang it); the rest are all North American. It's just possible that the song originated in North America and crossed back.
All agree that this was inspired by "The Maid Freed from the Gallows," but the form clearly makes it a separate ballad.
Peter Kennedy lists the Sam Henry version of this piece as from 1924, but it was not published until 1937. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.3
File: LL11

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Streets of Derry
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 12:38 PM

I have heard the Streets of Derry sung to that tune, Joe; the tune I sing is a bit different. By the way, the rhythm doesn't sound right for the mournful Anach Cuain, but that's often a problem for midis.

By the way, most of Derry Gaol was demolished some time ago (I do remember the building)to make way for a housing development,but one tower was preserved.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Streets of Derry
From: MMario
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 12:48 PM

A variant on this was one of the songs @ Mystic last weekend


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Streets of Derry
From: GUEST,The Burren Ranger
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 01:20 PM

The most recent recording of 'The Streets of Derry' can be found on the new album by the great irish traditional singer, Sean Garvey. He calles it 'Thje Weary Gallows' . The album title is 'The Bonny Bunch of Roses' and is on Harry Stottle Records.
I
TBR


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Streets of Derry
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 02:01 PM

When I mentioned -quite some time ago now- that The Streets of Derry was sometimes sung to an Anach Cuain variant, I was actually thinking of Youghal Harbour, a tune with a similar shape but a rather different feel. I don't know if the two are related, strictly speaking, but it wouldn't come as a great surprise if they were. Apologies if I muddied the water there.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Streets of Derry
From: Brían
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 10:11 PM

I would say that Sarah Makem's version that appears on Jean Ritchie's Field Trip recording is definitely a variant of ANACH CUAIN.

Brían


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Streets of Derry
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 05:40 AM

I've never heard to anything other than the Anach Cuain air.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Streets of Derry
From: Nancy-Jean
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 09:59 AM

There's a fine New England version of this song recorded by Margaret MacArthur on her most recent CD, Ballads Thrice Twisted.

Nancy-Jean


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Streets of Derry
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 21 Jun 03 - 11:41 AM

MMario,

I assume you were at the Flanders workshop at Mystic. Very sorry I didn't get to say hello. The singer was Deirdre Murtha of the Johnson Girls. She does a nice job of it on the new Fok-Legacy CD, Irish Songs from Old New England.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Streets of Derry/Derry Gaol
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 18 Feb 14 - 01:52 PM

I am trying to ascertain that the tune has no copyright issues..sounds like it does not. New words, which I really don't recycling tunes to, are coming to my head for the abuse CD..based on what idiots, true unrepentent idiots in Australia are saying now about allowing 4th graders to be abused, in a school classroom during classes. Matters were not reported to police because they did not want to compromise the bishop. This was not 30 years ago when "we know so much more now than we did then," although it would have been a hanging offense in Australia in the olden days. Anyway, song has been going through my head for a reason. Read abuse tracker bishop accountability..just google..ongoing hearings right now. This is from about 2007 period but stuff being investigated now. They actually rehired the teacher after hearing about the abuse, from parents I believe. I will need an Australian female to record (home computer is fine) this ...if you are interested please let me know. I will be using the very words of the teacher, who was the child protective officer, the principal, vice principal etc. Apologies to appropriating the tune but the subject matter is so serious that I think it is OK...usually I think each song needs its own tune.


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Subject: Tune Req: Streets of Derry - what air?
From: GUEST,Jeanie Maggie
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 08:47 AM

Hello! I'm looking for the name of the air that Andy Irvine & Paul Brady sing "The Streets of Derry" to, on their eponymous CD. It's on YouTube.

Any help with this would be much appreciated. Thanks.


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Subject: LYR ADD: STREETS OF DERRY
From: cnd
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 03:36 PM

Well, I'm not really sure what "air" your talking about. Mudcat has the lyrics in several places, but no mentions of "air."

@displaysong.cfm?SongID=7012

Here's also a version on Youtube with on-screen lyrics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMxOYwa6Afc


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Streets of Derry - what air?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 03:55 PM

Jeanie, if you don't get a definitive answer here, try asking Andy at the below link.

http://www.andyirvine.com/contact/


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Streets of Derry - what air?
From: cnd
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 04:16 PM

And now I realize you're more than likely talking about the musical term. I thought you were asking for the lyrics--silly me!


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Subject: RE: Save for Joe
From: cnd
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 04:32 PM

Why is this its own thread?
    You caught me in mid-transfer. I was combining threads. I rename threads "Save for Joe" when I'm working on them.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Streets of Derry/Derry Gaol
From: cnd
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 04:34 PM

Well, now I realize you weren't talking about lyrics. But GUEST,Martin Ryan from 20 Jun 03 - 05:40 AM said it was to the tune of than the Anach Cuain air, which, after a brief check, sounds about right to me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Streets of Derry/Derry Gaol
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Aug 15 - 04:41 PM

Hi, Jeanie - the air used in our Digital Tradition Folk Song Database (DT) seems to be the same as the one in the Andy Irving/Paul Brady recording. The DT lyrics are different from Irvine's. Follow all the crosslinked threads above, and no doubt you'll find the lyrics used by Andy Irvine. The melody/tune/air used by Irvine and the DT can be found in Peter Kennedy's Folksongs of Britain and Ireland, #316 Derry Gaol, page 699. Kennedy collected the song from Sarah Makem in 1952.

The DT lyrics come from the Julie Henigan/Janet Russell version that Charlie Baum posted above. They certainly are not the version found in Kennedy.

THE STREETS OF DERRY (from DT)

And after morning there comes an evening,
And after evening another day,
And after false love there comes a true love,
Come listen now to what I say.

My love he is a handsome young man,
As fair as any that the sun shone on,
But how to win him I do not know,
For now he has a sentence to be hung.

As he walked out through the streets of Derry
I'm sure he stood out right manfully;
He looked more like a commanding officer
Than a man to die upon the gallow's tree.

"Oh, where's my love, she's so long in coming,
And what detains her so long from me;
Perhaps she thinks it's a shame, a scandal
For a man to die upon the gallow's tree."

He looked around and he saw her coming,
As she rode swifter than the wind;
She said, "I'll show them that they cannot hang you,
And I'll crown my love with a bunch of green."

@Irish @rebel
filename[ STDERRY
TUNE FILE: STDERRY
CLICK TO PLAY
JH

APR99




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