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Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?

DigiTrad:
BRENNAN ON THE MOOR


Related threads:
Tune Add: Brennan on the Moor (4)
Lyr Req: Brennan on the Way/Road? / ...Moor (10)
Dylan and Brennan on the Moor (4)


Dale Rose 03 Feb 99 - 02:11 AM
Big Tim 04 Sep 01 - 01:52 PM
Jon Freeman 04 Sep 01 - 02:05 PM
Sorcha 04 Sep 01 - 02:10 PM
GUEST 04 Sep 01 - 03:21 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 04 Sep 01 - 07:47 PM
GUEST,Annraoi 04 Sep 01 - 09:18 PM
GUEST,johnberg@ctaz.com 05 Sep 01 - 11:09 AM
gnu 05 Sep 01 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,cristoir@rochester.rr.com 27 Oct 05 - 12:19 AM
Jimmy C 27 Oct 05 - 12:51 AM
Jimmy C 27 Oct 05 - 12:57 AM
GUEST,Lighter at work 27 Oct 05 - 08:37 AM
Joe Offer 27 Oct 05 - 03:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Oct 05 - 07:55 PM
Jimmy C 27 Oct 05 - 09:15 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Oct 05 - 10:45 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Oct 05 - 11:28 PM
Jim Dixon 23 Dec 09 - 01:00 AM
Lighter 02 Feb 12 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,MichaelK 02 Feb 12 - 11:19 AM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 16 - 03:36 PM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 16 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,Lighter 28 Apr 16 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 29 Apr 16 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 29 Apr 16 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,R 30 Apr 16 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,Lighter 30 Apr 16 - 07:30 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Apr 16 - 09:30 AM
GUEST,Lighter 30 Apr 16 - 09:31 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Apr 16 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Lighter 30 Apr 16 - 10:02 PM
Jim Carroll 01 May 16 - 06:37 AM
GUEST,Lighter 01 May 16 - 08:10 AM
Mrrzy 01 May 16 - 02:25 PM
Jorrox 19 Nov 16 - 09:33 AM
Thompson 20 Nov 16 - 12:35 AM
GUEST,Danny Cox 23 Nov 16 - 02:01 PM
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Subject: RE: MUS ADD: Brennan on the moor
From: Dale Rose
Date: 03 Feb 99 - 02:11 AM

One of my favorite books is called This Was Andersonville by John McElroy, subtitled The True Story of Andersonville Military Prison as told in the personal recollections of John McElroy, sometime Private, Co. L, 16th Illinois Cavalry. The book originally appeared as a series of articles in the Toledo Blade shortly after the close of the War Between The States. It was put into book form in 1866, my copy is a reprint from 1957.

Chapter VII entitled Maggots, Lice and Raiders, describes the behavior of the N'Yaarkers, otherwise known as Raiders. McElroy describes them variously as bold, unscrupulous, energetic scoundrels, ruffians~~you get the point. They made it a practice of preying upon the other prisoners, stealing their belongings, etc.

OK, the point. McElroy makes reference to Brennan on the Moor in this chapter. I thought at least some of you might like to see it. The entire book is worth reading, if you can find it. I don't know what availability there might be after 35 years or so since I bought mine.

"Two songs had long ago been accepted by us as peculiarly the Raiders' own, as someone in their crowd sang them nearly evening, and we never heard them anywhere else. The first began:

In Athol lived a man named Jerry Lanigan;
He battered away till he hadn't a pound---

The other song related the exploits of an Irish highway man named Brennan whose chief virtue was that "What he robbed from the rich he gave unto the poor," And this was the villainous chorus in which they all joined and sang in such a way as suggested highway robbery, murder, mayhem and arson:

Brennan on the moor!
Proud and Undaunted stood
John Brennan on the moor.

They howled these two songs nearly the livelong night. They became eventually quite monotonous to us who were waiting and watching. It would have been quite a relief if they had thrown in a new one every hour or so by way of variety."


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Subject: Who was Brennan on the moor?
From: Big Tim
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 01:52 PM

Anyone know the history behind this song? All I have is a reference in Soodlum that he was executed in 1805.


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Subject: RE: Help: Who was Brennan on the moor?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 02:05 PM

I've found a little bit here

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: Who was Brennan on the moor?
From: Sorcha
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 02:10 PM

Cool, thanks Jon!


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Subject: RE: Help: Who was Brennan on the moor?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 03:21 PM

his name was Willie


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Subject: RE: Help: Who was Brennan on the moor?
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 07:47 PM

Excerpted from that web-site

The last famous Brennan highwayman and the one most commonly remembered today was Willie Brennan who operated in southern Tipperary and northern Cork during the second half of the eighteenth century. His main haunts were Kilworth in County Cork and its surrounding hills. To his credit "no blood sullied his exploits." While his reputation was that he robbed from the rich and gave to the poor and always helped a widow in distress, that he was a highwayman pure and simple is evident from the fact that it was said that the great Daniel O'Connell, the Liberator, while making a name for himself as a barrister on the Munster circuit, always carried loaded pistols to protect himself from Willie Brennan and other robbers." Brennan too met a violent end in 1804 when he was captured at Clonmore in northern Tipperary and hanged at Clonmel in the same county. His fame survives to this day for it is he who is the subject and hero of the recitation Brennan Roe and the popular ballad Brennan on the Moor.


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Subject: RE: Help: Who was Brennan on the moor?
From: GUEST,Annraoi
Date: 04 Sep 01 - 09:18 PM

Thanks, George. I've just read the same from the Brennan Family site blueclickied by Jon. Fascinating stuff.
Annraoi


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Subject: RE: Help: Who was Brennan on the moor?
From: GUEST,johnberg@ctaz.com
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 11:09 AM

According to the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem Songbook, Willie Brennan plied his trade on the Kilworth Mountains between Countys Cork and Tipperary, and was executed in Clonmel about 1846.


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Subject: RE: Help: Who was Brennan on the moor?
From: gnu
Date: 05 Sep 01 - 12:39 PM

So, he actually was daunted, in a rather "final" fashion. I know... but it's all I could think of.


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Subject: Tune Req: Brennan On The Moor (Variant)
From: GUEST,cristoir@rochester.rr.com
Date: 27 Oct 05 - 12:19 AM

I know there was a previous thread on Willie Brennan (who he was). What I am interested in is a recording of the variant lyrics and tune to the famous song. Everyone knows the Clancy Brothers version. The older tradition includes verses about a compatriot named Pedlar Bawn. The ending is also different; he is not betrayed by his wife even though he IS captured.

As near as I can tell (I am musically illiterate) the melody is different too. I found a midi file elsewhere on the 'Net but cannot get it to scan with the lyrics. Does anyone know where I can get a recording of the Brennan variant?

Many thanks

Cristoir (a Brennan variant of my own -- family from Mayo)


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Brennan On The Moor (Variant)
From: Jimmy C
Date: 27 Oct 05 - 12:51 AM

Cristoir,

Here is a version I have from " Songs of the Gael - Book 2 page 258". Printed in Dublin 1921. These songs were published in four series, all titled " Songs of the Gael", by Padrag Breatnac, unfortunately although my father had the first 3 series, I only have number 2. Hope it helps.



BRENNAN ON THE MOOR


It's of a famous highwayman, a story I will tell
His name was Willie Brennan and in Ireland he did dwell
And on the Kilworth mountains he commenced his wild career
Where many a wealthy gentleman before him shook with fear


A brace of loaded pistols, he carried night and day
He never robbed a poor man upon the king's highway
But what he'd taken from the rich, like Turpin and Black Bess
He always did divide it with the widow in distress


One night he robbed a packman by the name of Pedlar Bawn
They travelled on together till the day began to dawn
The pedlar seeing his money gone, likewise his watch and chain
He at once encountered Brennan and he robbed him back again



One day upon the highway as Willie he went down
He met the Mayor of Cashel, a mile outside the town
The Mayor he knew his features, I think young man said he
Your name is Willie Brennan, you must come along with me



As Brennan's wife had gone to town provisions for to buy
And when she saw her Willie, she began to weep and cry
He says "Give to me that tenpenny" as soon as Willie spoke
She handed him a blunderbuss from underneath her cloak



Then with his loaded blunderbuss, the truth I will unfold
He made the Mayor to tremble, and he robbed him off his gold
One hundred pounds was offered for his apprehension there
So he with horse and saddle to the mountains did repair


Then Brennan being an outlaw upon the mountain high
When cavalry and infantry to take him they did try
He laughed at them with scorn, until at length, tis said
By a false-hearted youngman he basely was betrayed


The chorus is the usual one of


Brennan on the moor, Brennan on the Moor
Bold brave and undaunted was young Brennan on the Moor



Although not included in this book, I did hear this final verse from my father , I don't know if it was part of the original song or added later.


They hung him at the crossroads, in chains he swung and dried
And some folk say that in the night, they still can see him ride
See him with his blunderbuss, out in the midnight chill
All along the King's highway, rides Willie Brennan still,


Regards
Jimmy


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Brennan On The Moor (Variant)
From: Jimmy C
Date: 27 Oct 05 - 12:57 AM

Cristoir,

I forgot to add that I cannot help with the tune. I can try scanning the page if no one else comes up with the tune. I am not up on technology but I may be able to solicit my son's help. I am still trying to get the hang of a ball-point pen.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Brennan On The Moor (Variant)
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 27 Oct 05 - 08:37 AM

The American novelist MacKinley Kantor appears to have written the final "ghost" stanza. Or so Burl Ives reported in the early '50s.


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Brennan On The Moor (Variant)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Oct 05 - 03:52 PM

Christoir and Jimmy, if you can send me links or a midi or a scan, I'll see that the tunes get posted.
-Joe Offer-
joe-offer@msn.com


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Brennan On The Moor (Variant)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Oct 05 - 07:55 PM

"Brennan on the Moor," as posted by Jimmy C, is from the broadsides printed between 1840-1860 in Ireland, Scotland and England, but lacks the last four verses.

In the county Tipperary, in the place they call Clonmore,
Willie Brennan and his comrade that day did suffer sore;
He lay amongst the fern which was thick upon the field,
And nine wounds he did receive before that he did yield.

Willie Brennan and his comrade, knowing they were betrayed,
He with the mounted cavalry a noble battle made;
He lost his foremost finger, which was shot off by a ball,
So Brennan and his comrade were taken after all.

So they were taken prisoners, in irons they were bound,
And conveyed to Clonmel gaol, strong walls did them surround;
They were tried and found guilty, the judge made this reply,
'For robbing on the king's highway, you're both condemmed to die'.

Farewell unto my wife, and to my children three,
Likewise my aged father, he shed many tears for me;
And to my aged mother, who tore her grey locks and cried,
Saying 'I wish Willie Brennan, in your cradle you had died.'

In verse 1, "and on the Lilvart mountains," not Kilworth, is printed in the broadsides.
Bodleian Library, Harding B.11(443), printed by J, Harkness, Preston, c. 1840-1866.

The last verse, quoted by Jimmy C, does not appear in the broadsides at the Bodleian Library (12 copies).
Bodley search


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Brennan On The Moor (Variant)
From: Jimmy C
Date: 27 Oct 05 - 09:15 PM

Joe,
No luck with he scanner but I have tried to copy the tonic solfa from the book. It's in the key of D.

Hope this helps.


It's of a famous highwayman, a sto-ry   I will tell

d,r/ m .m :m .m /s    :f .m/ m   .r :d   d/ d


His name was Wil-lie Bren-nan and in Ire-land he did dwell

.s   d'   t r' .t/ d: .m :f .s/ ta .l :s .,m m


And on the Kil-worth mountains he com-menced his wild car-eer

.s d" .t r'    .t d'   .m   :f .s/ ta    .,l   ;s   .m /m>br>

Where man-y a wealthy gen-tle-man be-fore him shook with fear

d'    t .l   ;l   .l /l .,t   :d .l s    .l   :s    .f / m



Q.pm.Is there any tune to your source ?. Thanks for the additional verses.

Jimmy


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Brennan On The Moor (Variant)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Oct 05 - 10:45 PM

No tune, Jimmy. It looks like the broadsheet printers just copied texts from each other. All the copies are clustered in publication time- mid 19th C. Almost makes me think there is either a poem, or better, a music hall song somewhere.
In Randolph, there is a reference to eleven verses and a chorus in Wehman's "Irish Son Book," 1937 (not seen).
The Contemplator (with midi), in notes with version 2, says the tune appeared about 1850 in broadsides: Brennan version 2

A somewhat different midi is given with version 1: Brennan version 1

An American version, sung by Neal Morris (complete recording in audio) is in the Wolf Folklore Collection: Brennan    

Whether any of these tunes match??


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Subject: Lyr Add: BOLD BRANNAN ON THE MOOR
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Oct 05 - 11:28 PM

An older broadside, no date or source but dated 1820-1840, is in the National Library of Scotland (no music). It is a simpler story: Bold Brannan on the Moor

Lyr. Add: BOLD BRANNAN ON THE MOOR

The first of my misfortunes was to list and desert
The way for to rob I soon found an art,
Over hedges and ditches when I took my way,
And I went a roving by night and by day.

[chorus]
Bold Brannan on the moor,
Brannan on the moor,
Bold and undaunted stood
Bold Brannan on the moor

As Brannan was riding over yon mountain side,
A coach and six horses bold Brannan chanced to spy,
With his blunderbush all into his hand,
He made the Gaurds and Horses for to stand.
Bold Brennan, etc,

As Brannan was riding over yon mpountain side
A coach and four horses, Branson chanced to spy,
He robbed from the rich and gave to the poor
He's over yon mountains, you'll ne'er see Brannan more.
Bold Brannan, etc.

Do you see the crowds a coming,
Or do you see constables running,
Or do you see yon high gallows tree,
To hang bold Brennan for his highway rob bery
Bold Brennan, etc.

O send for my wife and children three,
My poor aged mother I never will see,
My poor aged father with his grey locks he cried
I wish that my Bold Brannan in his cradle had died.
Bold Brannan, etc.

Many a fair maid for Brannan will cry,
And many a fair lady for Brannan will sigh,
But all their sighs will not save me,
Nor keep me from yon high gallows tree,
Bold Brannan, etc.

Spelling and punctuation not changed.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A LAMENT ON THE EXECUTION OF CAPT BRENNAN
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Dec 09 - 01:00 AM

From The Harp of Erin: A Book of Ballad-Poetry and of Native Song by Ralph Varian (Dublin: M'Glashan & Gill, 1869), page 272:


A LAMENT ON THE EXECUTION OF CAPTAIN BRENNAN.

1. It's of a famous highwayman a story I will tell;
His name was Willy Brennan, in Ireland he did dwell;
And on the Kilworth Mountains he commenced his wild career,
Where many a wealthy gentleman before him shook with fear.

CHORUS: Brennan on the moor, Brennan on the moor,
Bold and undaunted stood young Brennan on the moor.

2. A brace of loaded pistols he carried night and day;
He never robbed a poor man upon the king's highway;
But what he'd taken from the rich, like Turpin and Black Bess,
He always did divide it with the widow in distress.

3. One night he robbed a packman, of the name of Pedlar Bawn;
They travelled together till the day began to dawn;
The pedlar seeing his money gone, likewise his watch and chain,
He at once encountered Brennan, and robbed him back again.

4. Now, Brennan seeing the pedlar as good a man as he,
He says, "My worthy hero, will you come along with me?"
The pedlar, being stout-hearted, he threw his pack away,
And he proved a loyal comrade until his dying day."

5. One day on the highway, as Willy he sat down,
He met the Mayor of Cashel a mile outside the town.
The Mayor, he knew his features?"I think, young man," said he,
"Your name is Willy Brennan?you must come along with me."

6. As Brennan's wife had gone to town provisions for to buy,
When she saw her Willy, she began to weep and cry.
He says, "Give me that tenpenny." As soon as Willy spoke,
She handed him a blunderbuss from underneath her cloak.

7. Then with his loaded blunderbuss, the truth I will unfold,
He made the Mayor to tremble, and robbed him of his gold;
One hundred pounds was offered for his apprehension there,
And he, with his horse and saddle, to the mountain did repair.

8. Then Brennan being an outlaw upon the mountain high,
The cavalry and infantry to take him they did try;
He laughed at them with scorn, until at length, it's said,
By a false-hearted woman he basely was betrayed.

9. In the County Tipperary, at a place they call Clonmore,
Willy Brennan and his comrade that day did suffer sore:
He lay amongst the fern, which was thick upon the field,
And nine wounds he did receive before that he did yield.

10. Then Brennan and his companion, when they were betrayed,
They with the mounted cavalry a noble battle made;
He lost his foremost finger, which was shot off by a ball,
So Brennan and his comrade they were taken after all.

11. So they were taken prisoners, in irons they were bound,
And conveyed to Clonmel Jail, strong walls did them surround.
They were tried and found guilty?the Judge made this reply:
"For robbing on the king's highway you're both condemned to die."

12. When Brennan heard his sentence, he made this reply:?
"I own that I did rob the rich, and did the poor supply;
In all the deeds that I have done I took no life away;
The Lord have mercy on my soul against the judgment-day.

13. "Farewell unto my wife, and to my children three,
Likewise my aged father?he may shed tears for me;
And to my loving mother"?who tore her grey locks and cried,
Saying, "I wish, Willy Brennan, in your cradle you had died."


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Brennan on the Moor
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Feb 12 - 10:43 AM

Here's an interesting description of a crowd's appreciation of "Brennan" in Cork in the 19th century, from Katharine Tynan Hinkson, "An Irish Peasant-Woman," Littell's Living Age (July 25, 1896), p.240:

"An Irish crowd is the most responsive of audiences. It punctuates the emotion of the ballad-singer's song, as it does the speech from the hustings or the sermon from the altar, with groans and ejaculations. There is the song of 'Brennan on the Moor' which relates the adventures of a famous highwayman, to the Irish peasant mind a mixture of the qualities of a Duval and a Robin Hood?whose only victims were the rich man and the extortioner. I have a picture in my
mind of Mrs. Quinn seated on the ground before a red-hot fire, and searching in the mists of fifty years for some missing verses of 'Brennan.' 'Give me time, give me time,' she would cry.
'and I'll have it.' Then she would mutter over a bit of verse, and brightening up would say: 'I remember there where Brennan's wife drew out the pistol, and the faces of the crowd, all round, and the ould women groanin' out: "Sure my blessin' on her! Wasn't she the great woman entirely!" I was a little shaver then, not up to the elbows of the others. Wait, sir, give me time. Or wait till I've a drop taken! Sure, comin' home along the road at night I do be rememberin' them as plain as prent. An' then the next mornin' they're gone entirely.'

"The crowd likes its sentiment of a tearful kind. I took down from Mrs. Quinn's lips many famous old ballads now forgotten, or superseded by the broad-sheets issued by Nugent, of High Street, Dublin, to meet every political and social contingency."

(Contrast today's ballad audiences, who tend to listen silently. The old days sound more like a rock concert.)


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: Brennan on the Moor
From: GUEST,MichaelK
Date: 02 Feb 12 - 11:19 AM

This site has a good bit of background information on him (too long to copy and paste): http://www.justanothertune.com/html/brennanonthemoor.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 03:36 PM

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song.

Brennan on the Moor [Laws L7]

DESCRIPTION: Irishman Brennan, perhaps in revolt against the English, turns robber in the hills. After various escapades, he is captured, only to be freed by a blunderbuss smuggled in by his wife. At last, betrayed by a woman, he is taken and hanged
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1862 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(3014))
KEYWORDS: outlaw rambling execution
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
1804 - Hanging of William Brennan, a highwayman who worked in County Cork
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,NW,Ro,SE,So) Canada(Mar) Ireland Britain(England(North),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (31 citations):
Laws L7, "Brennan on the Moor"
Ford-Vagabond, pp. 245-246, "Bold Brannan on the Moor" (1 text, 1 tune)
GreigDuncan2 258, "Brannon on the Moor" (4 texts, 4 tunes)
Kidson-Tunes, pp. 123-126, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Belden, pp. 284-286, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text plus a reference to 1 more)
Randolph 176, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text)
Creighton/Senior, pp. 236-237, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Mackenzie 124, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text)
Flanders/Brown, pp. 98-99, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text)
Leach, pp. 745-747, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text)
Leach-Heritage, pp. 130-132, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text)
Peters, pp. 191-192, "Brennen on the Moor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ives-DullCare, pp. 126-127,242-243, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text, 1 tune)
SharpAp 135, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hubbard, #138, "Brandon on the Moor" (1 text)
Wells, pp. 300-301, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Friedman, p. 371, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text, 1 tune)
FSCatskills 110, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Carey-MarylandFolkLegends, p. 114, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text)
Lomax-Singing, pp. 317-319, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scott-BoA, pp. 264-266, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hodgart, p. 204, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text)
Kennedy 315, "Brennan's on the Moor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 539, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text)
OLochlainn-More 73, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text, 1 tune)
O'Conor, p. 59, "Brennen on the Moor" (1 text)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #200, p. 15, "Brennen on the Moor" (1 reference)
Darling-NAS, pp. 103-106, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 325, "Brennan On The Moor" (1 text)
DT 421, BRENMOOR
ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 250-252, "Brennan on the Moor" (1 text)

Roud #476
RECORDINGS:
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, "Brennan on the Moor" (on IRClancyMakem02)
William Jacob Morgan, "Brennan on the Moor" (AFS, 1946; on LC55)
Neil Morris, "Willie Brennan" (on LomaxCD1705)

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 11(3014), "Brennan On the Moor," J.O. Bebbington (Manchester), 1858-1861; also 2806 c.8(304), Firth b.26(276), Harding B 11(2135), 2806 b.9(178), Firth c.17(11)[some words illegible], 2806 b.9(242), Harding B 11(3014)[some words illegible], Harding B 11(443), Harding B 11(442), Harding B 19(26), "Brennan On the Moor"; 2806 b.10(112)[some words blurred], "Bold Brannan"; Harding B 11(365), 2806 c.15(240), Harding B 11(364), "Bold Brennan on the Moor"; Harding B 26 (341), "A Lament on the Execution of Captain Brennan"
LOCSinging, as101620, "Brennen on the Moor," Horace Partridge (Boston), 19C
NLScotland, L.C.1270(015), "Brennan On the Moor," unknown, c. 1880; also APS.4.95.15(4), "Bold Brannan on the Moor" ("The first of my misfortunes was to list & desert"), unknown, n.d.

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Charlie Quantrell" (tune & meter, theme, lyrics)
SAME TUNE:
Tariff on the Brain (File: Wels073)
NOTES: The two non-fragmentary texts from GreigDuncan2 258 begin "The first of my misfortunes was to list and desert." That leads him "over hedges and ditches" into robbing. This is not in the broadsides. - BS
Last updated in version 3.8
File: LL07

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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 03:38 PM

Here are the lyrics from the Digital Tradition. Where is this version from?

BRENNAN ON THE MOOR (from DT)

'Tis of a brave young highwayman this story I will tell
His name was Willie Brennan and in Ireland he did dwell
It was on the Kilwood Mountain he commenced his wild career
And many a wealthy nobleman before him shook with fear

It was Brennan on the moor, Brennan on the moor
Bold, brave and undaunted was young Brennan on the moor

One day upon the highway as young Willie he went down
He met the mayor of Cashiell a mile outside of town
The mayor he knew his features and he said, Young man, said he
Your name is Willie Brennan, you must come along with me

Now Brennan's wife had gone to town provisions for to buy
And when she saw her Willie she commenced to weep and cry
Said, Hand to me that tenpenny, as soon as Willie spoke
She handed him a blunderbuss from underneath her cloak

Now with this loaded blunderbuss - the truth I will unfold -
He made the mayor to tremble and he robbed him of his gold
One hundred pounds was offered for his apprehension there
So he, with horse and saddle to the mountains did repair

Now Brennan being an outlaw upon the mountains high
With cavalry and infantry to take him they did try
He laughed at them with scorn until at last 'twas said
By a false-hearted woman he was cruelly betrayed

They hanged Brennan at the crossroads, in chains he hung and dried
But still they say that, in the night, some do see him ride
They see him with his blunderbuss, all in the midnight chill
Along, along the King's highway rides Willie Brennan still!

Willie Brennan was an Irish Robin Hood in the late 1700s in County Cork.
Sung by the Clancy Brothers, Ives, several others

DT #421
Laws L7
@Irish @outlaw
filename[ BRENMOOR
TUNE FILE: BRENMOOR
CLICK TO PLAY
SOF


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 28 Apr 16 - 06:13 PM

Don't know for certain, Joe, but it looks to me like the Clancy version with the final Kantor/Ives stanza tacked on.

I recall the Clancy Bros. singing "Kilworth," not "Kilwood."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 29 Apr 16 - 07:30 AM

Yes - "Cashel" and "Kilworth".

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 29 Apr 16 - 10:13 AM

Clare Journal January 1809 and following gives the official version of the story of EDWARD Brennan.He was executed in Clonmel on 15 April 1809.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: GUEST,R
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 05:53 AM

There's another song about Brennan - it's called 'Outlaw of the Hill'. Sean O Se and Peadar O Riada recorded it (I believe it came from Sean O Se's father); the English/Scottish folk group Furrow Collective recorded it on their recent album 'At Our Next Meeting' too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 07:30 AM

Wholeheartedly recommend Juergen Kloss's research at

http://www.justanothertune.com/html/brennanonthemoor.html

Kloss quotes contemporaneous accounts of Ed Brennan.

On the Moor.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 09:30 AM

A pretty good 15 page account of Brennan's life, along with a map and a couple of song versions, is to be found in Stephen Dunford's 'The Irish Highwayman' (Merlin Publishing Co, 2000).
The book includes chapters (with songs) on fifteen highwaymen including James Freeney, Captain Grant, Redmond O'Hanlon and Richard (aka Brave Micheal) Power.
Well worth looking out for
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 09:31 AM

Jim, will do.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 03:23 PM

"Jim, will do."
Let me know if you have any problems L. - I still see copies in the shops here.
The Book Depository is often a great starting place (postage free)
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 30 Apr 16 - 10:02 PM

Online prices are stratospheric!

I'll borrow a copy from the library!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 01 May 16 - 06:37 AM

"Online prices are stratospheric!"
At ?264,55 new and $21 used, they most certainly are.
Our (p.b.) copy was £14 new - if I find one around that price locally, shall I let you know?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 01 May 16 - 08:10 AM

Thanks so much, Jim, but I'll go the library route. It's getting tougher to squeeze books into my house anyway!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 May 16 - 02:25 PM

The one time I saw the Clancys in concert they sang that extra verse at the end which isn't in any of the recordings I have found, so thanks, I always wondered.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: Jorrox
Date: 19 Nov 16 - 09:33 AM

In 1962 The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem recorded a 45 version of Brennan On The Moor. This was quite unusual for them - I think they only made three 45s that weren't on LPs.
The last verse - still they say that in the night etc - is on the 45.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: Thompson
Date: 20 Nov 16 - 12:35 AM

Daniel O'Connell wasn't exactly a friend of the proletariat, as James Connolly writes.
He was a wealthy and brilliant lawyer, who succeeded in ending the laws that suppressed Catholics (the vast majority in Ireland) and deprived them of the right to practise professions and be buried in Catholic graveyards, among other things.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Who was Brennan on the Moor?
From: GUEST,Danny Cox
Date: 23 Nov 16 - 02:01 PM

Just heard the song on an old TV show, "Wagon Train".
Had to look it up. As you can see by my name, I have a lot of
Irish in my name.
Also, way cool about Dylan's relationship to the song.


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