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Origins: Kevin Barry

DigiTrad:
KEVIN BARRY


David 06 Feb 98 - 12:57 PM
Jerry Friedman 06 Feb 98 - 05:20 PM
Martin Ryan 08 Feb 98 - 06:43 PM
Lilimar 17 Mar 99 - 07:09 PM
Amaranth 24 Oct 99 - 10:51 PM
Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin 25 Oct 99 - 06:39 PM
Amaranth 26 Oct 99 - 12:25 AM
Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin 26 Oct 99 - 07:36 AM
Shimbo Darktree 26 Oct 99 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,Paul.Loughlin@rte.ie 28 Jun 01 - 12:30 PM
Wolfgang 28 Jun 01 - 12:53 PM
Big Tim 28 Jun 01 - 01:11 PM
Uncle_DaveO 28 Jun 01 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,Melani 28 Jun 01 - 01:40 PM
kendall 28 Jun 01 - 03:53 PM
Suffet 28 Jun 01 - 06:41 PM
Rambam99 28 Jun 01 - 06:45 PM
Suffet 28 Jun 01 - 07:05 PM
Joe Offer 18 Jun 02 - 03:38 AM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 18 Jun 02 - 04:04 AM
Joe Offer 18 Jun 02 - 05:00 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jun 02 - 05:51 AM
GUEST,greg stephens 18 Jun 02 - 06:44 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 18 Jun 02 - 09:24 AM
kendall 18 Jun 02 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha. 18 Jun 02 - 01:29 PM
ard mhacha 18 Jun 02 - 02:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Jun 02 - 02:43 PM
Susanne (skw) 19 Jun 02 - 10:12 PM
GUEST,Philippa 21 Jun 02 - 11:33 AM
ard mhacha 21 Jun 02 - 12:54 PM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 21 Jun 02 - 12:57 PM
ard mhacha 21 Jun 02 - 01:53 PM
Haruo 21 Jun 02 - 02:23 PM
ard mhacha 21 Jun 02 - 02:43 PM
21 Jun 02 - 09:44 PM
Susanne (skw) 23 Jun 02 - 06:38 PM
The Pooka 23 Jun 02 - 07:26 PM
Wolfgang 03 Jul 02 - 12:19 PM
ard mhacha 03 Jul 02 - 02:15 PM
The Pooka 03 Jul 02 - 11:03 PM
The Pooka 03 Jul 02 - 11:05 PM
GUEST,fiddlehead 02 Jul 04 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Maria 24 Nov 04 - 11:17 AM
Fergie 25 Nov 04 - 05:17 PM
MartinRyan 25 Nov 04 - 06:07 PM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Nov 04 - 07:58 PM
Big Tim 26 Nov 04 - 03:01 AM
GUEST,beachcomber@eircom.net 26 Nov 04 - 06:53 PM
kendall 26 Nov 04 - 08:40 PM
Big Tim 27 Nov 04 - 03:36 AM
Big Tim 27 Nov 04 - 07:58 AM
Uncle_DaveO 27 Nov 04 - 04:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 28 Nov 04 - 05:46 AM
Big Tim 28 Nov 04 - 06:22 AM
Susanne (skw) 28 Nov 04 - 03:16 PM
GUEST,ed cunningham 10 Feb 05 - 06:30 PM
GUEST 15 Mar 12 - 12:28 PM
Effsee 16 Mar 12 - 12:43 AM
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Subject: Kevin Barry - Lyric Mistake
From: David
Date: 06 Feb 98 - 12:57 PM

Came across the lyrics for "Kevin Barry" in the database, but I noticed that the chorus (or what I have come to know as the chorus) was absent from the lyrics. The chorus I know goes like this:

"Shoot me like an Irish soldier,
Do not hang me like a dog.
For I fought for Ireland's freedom
On that cold Novermber morn."

Am I somehow mistaken? And if not, perhaps the lyrics should be re-posted with the chorus included.

David


Click for lyrics in the Digital Tradition


Messages from multiple threads combined.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE:
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 06 Feb 98 - 05:20 PM

Oh, is THAT the song that I vaguely remember from childhood but couldn't find on the DT?


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Subject: RE:
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 08 Feb 98 - 06:43 PM

Not usually sung in Irealnd as a chorus, but as part of a verse.

Also " like a dog in scorn" holds the rhyme. It can be made scan!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry
From: Lilimar
Date: 17 Mar 99 - 07:09 PM

Pete Seeger made an American recording of "Kevin Barry" about 1960 with that chorus..."Shoot me like an Irish soldier..." Met a cousin of Barry's aboard a ship once (I think MANY claim to be) who said she thought that was a later invention...she did not know the bit about the dog. Have lost the Seeger album that contained this song and searched for years for a replacement. Would appreciate if anyone knows the name of the album and where it might be found.


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Subject: ADD Version: Kevin Barry
From: Amaranth
Date: 24 Oct 99 - 10:51 PM

I am looking for about 3 lines I think. The version of Kevin Barry in the database is different from the one I remember. Can anyone help me? Question marks indicate where the lines I can't remember belong.

This has been irking me for years now.

Kevin Barry

Have you heard of Kevin Barry
Who the British had to hang
How lived to free his country
How he died for Ireland.

Back in 21 they caught him
And brought him to the south
Where they tied him and they beat him
And they tried to make him tell

cho.
Tell the names of your companions
And then we will set you free
Tell the names of your companions
And you'll have your liberty

Well they tortured Kevin Barry
In that dirty dungeon cell
Kevin Barry was no traitor
Kevin Barry did not tell
And how well do we remember
On that cold November day
How he faced the British hangman
And he heard the Hangman say

cho.

Well they hung poor Kevin Barry
??
??
??
And if ever you should need him
It doesn't matter where
If you're fighting for your freedom
Kevin Barry will be there.


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Subject: Lyr Add: KEVIN BARRY
From: Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin
Date: 25 Oct 99 - 06:39 PM

The version I almost know (the old synapses are breaking apart, I'm afraid) is different from the database version and the lines you quote here. Sorry about the gaps, but perhaps someone else can oblige with a completer version of this one.

In Mountjoy Gaol one Monday morning
High upon the gallows tree,
Kevin Barry gave his young life
For the cause of liberty.
But a lad of eighteen summers,
Yet no-one can deny,
As he walked to death that morning
He proudly held his head on high.

Just before he faced the hangman,
In his lonely prison cell
British soldiers tortured Barry
Because he wouldn't tell
The names of his companions,
And other things they wished to know.
"Turn informer, or we'll kill you."
Kevin Barry answered "No"

"Why not shoot me like a soldier?
Do not hang me like a dog,
For I fought to free old Ireland
...
...
...
Why not shoot me like a soldier,
For I fought to free Ireland."

All around that little bakery
On that bright December morn,
...
...
Lads like Barry are no cowards.
From the foe they will not fly.
Lads like Barry will free Ireland
For her sake, they'll fight and die.


Shoh slaynt,

Bobby Bob


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kevin Barry
From: Amaranth
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 12:25 AM

Thanks...I know what you mean about the synapses... seems the same is happening to mine


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Subject: Lyr Add: KEVIN BARRY
From: Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 07:36 AM

Further to my rather stumbling attempt to remember the version of Kevin Barry that I thought I knew, I've had a rethink, and see now that I've put some of the words for the third verse into the fourth verse, hence the gap.

Anyway, despite the synapse situation, the way I've thought about it is like so -

In Mountjoy Gaol one Monday morning
High upon the gallows tree,
Kevin Barry gave his young life
For the cause of liberty.
But a lad of eighteen summers,
Yet no-one can deny,
As he walked to death that morning
He proudly held his head on high.

Just before he faced the hangman,
In his lonely prison cell
British soldiers tortured Barry
Because he wouldn't tel
The names of his companions,
And other things they wished to know.
' Turn informer, or we'll kill you.'
Kevin Barry answered 'No'

'Why not shoot me like a soldier?
Do not hang me like a dog,
For I fought to free old Ireland
On that bright September(?) morn.(?)
All around that little bakery
Where we fought them hand to hand.
Why not shoot me like a soldier,
For I fought to free Ireland.

Another martyr for old Ireland,
Another murder for the crown,
Whose cruel laws may kill the Irish,
But they can't keep our spirit down.
Lads like Barry are no cowards.
From the foe they will not fly.
Lads like Barry will free Ireland
For her sake, they'll fight and die.

This is a piece of dubious propaganda, of course. The counter-propaganda is that after the gunbattle round Boland's Bakery, Kevin Barry was found hiding under a car with a gun that hadn't been fired.

However, his execution made sure of his promotion to icon, whatever the truth of the matter.

Shoh slaynt,

Bobby Bob


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Subject: Lyr Add: KEVIN BARRY
From: Shimbo Darktree
Date: 26 Oct 99 - 08:28 AM

Amaranth, may I compliment you on your taste in songs!

KEVIN BARRY

 

Early on a Sunday Morning, high upon a gallows tree,
Kevin Barry gave his young life for the cause of liberty,
Only a lad of eighteen summers, yet there's no-one can deny,
That he went to death that morning, proudly held his head up high.

Shoot me like an Irish soldier, do not hang me at the dawn,
For I fought for Ireland's freedom on that dark September morn,
All around that little bakery where we fought them hand-to-hand,
Shoot me like an Irish soldier, for I fought to free Ireland.

Standing proudly to attention as he bade his last farewell,
To his broken-hearted mother, whose grief no-one could tell,
For the cause he proudly cherished this sad parting had to be,
So to death walked Barry smiling, that old Ireland might be free.

Just before he faced the hangman, in his lonely prison cell,
British soldiers tortured Barry, just because he would not tell,
All the names of his companions, other things they wished to know,
"Turn informer and we'll free you." Proudly Barry answered, "No."

Another martyr for old Ireland, another murder for the Crown,
Whose brutal laws may kill the Irish, but can't keep their spirits down.
Lads like Barry are no cowards, from the foe they will not fly.
Lads like Barry will free Ireland, for her sake they'll live or die.

Messages below are from a new thread.


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry
From: GUEST,Paul.Loughlin@rte.ie
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 12:30 PM

Does anyone know anything of the background to the shooting in which a soldier died and for which Barry was executed?


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Subject: RE:
From: Wolfgang
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 12:53 PM

Who was Kevin Barry? (Irish Times Nov 4, 2000)

Wolfgang


    Who was Kevin Barry?

    On the day Kevin Barry was arrested for the murder of Pte Matthew Whitehead the exam board at UCD decided the 18 year-old medical student had failed his first year.

    According to his nephew and biographer, Donal O'Donovan, Barry enjoyed his time at college and was fond of drinking and dancing.

    He also enjoyed holidays spent on the family dairy farm in Carlow and divided his time between there and 8 Fleet Street, Dublin, now home to House of Rock, a restaurant and bar. He was the fourth child of seven.

    At Belvedere College, Barry played the unusual combination of rugby and hurling.

    While most of his family were nationalists his older sister Cathy was actively involved in the republican movement. At 15, Barry joined the Irish Volunteers.

    At 11 a.m. on September 20th, 1920, Barry and three men ambushed a group of soldiers collecting bread from Monk's Bakery on North King Street. One soldier was killed, and two who were wounded died later.

    Kevin Barry was arrested at the scene with an automatic pistol. He was court-martialled and sentenced to death.

    The Archbishop of Dublin and the Lord Mayor of Dublin wrote to the British Prime Minister Lloyd George asking for a reprieve for Barry especially on account of his young age. The Inspector General of the Royal Irish Constabulary threatened to resign if a reprieve was granted. Barry, he said, was only a year younger than one of the men killed.

    Some 2,000 people gathered outside Mountjoy prison on November 1st, the morning of his execution. "Many of the women were in tears and even men displayed signs of emotion," an Irish Times report from the day said.

    Kevin Barry was the first person to be executed in Mountjoy Prison in nearly 20 years.

    An affidavit from Barry was read out in the House of Commons after the execution describing how he had been mistreated in custody.


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Subject: RE:
From: Big Tim
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 01:11 PM

According to Robert Kee the Catering Corps British army men were unarmed, but maybe the IRA didn't know that. Barry wasn't the youngest to die in the conflict, that "honour" belonged to a 14-year-old boy soldier in the British Army. I recall that Matthew Whitehead, killed in the ambush, was aged only 19 himself and this was used as an argument to proceed with KB's execution. A sad story.


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Subject: RE:
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 01:35 PM

David, the chorus as you give it is as I have it, learned from Richard Dyer-Bennett's singing many years ago.

I've never heard the "like a dog in scorn".

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE:
From: GUEST,Melani
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 01:40 PM

The album might be "Strangers and Cousins" or it might be "Live at Carnegie Hall." If I was at home I'd go check for sure, but I', pretty sure it's the first one.


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Subject: RE:
From: kendall
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 03:53 PM

the chorus I know goes, Shoot me like an Irish soldier, do not hang me like a dog, for I fought to free old Ireland on that bright September morn' all around that little bakery, where we fought them hand to hand, shoot me like an Irish soldier, for I fought to free Ireland.


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Subject: RE:
From: Suffet
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 06:41 PM

The skirmish in which Kevin Barry was captured took place on September 20, 1920. You can make the lyrics historically accurate by singing: "I fought for Ireland's freedom on that cold September morn..."

Barry was hanged on November 1, 1920, his 18th birthday. Because of his age, there were many appeals to commute his sentence. The British may have been willing to do so had he turned informer and given up the names and whereabouts of the other volunteers in his unit. Neither Barry nor his captors blinked, however. During the 1919-1921 Irish War for Independence, many Irish volunteers who killed far more people than Barry had were spared execution. Most, if not all, were later granted amnesty. A tragic fact of history is that during the 1922-1923 Irish Civil War, the government of the newly created Irish Free State carried out a greater proportion of death sentences of rebels than the British had. The victims of the Free State firing squads were anti-Treaty Irish Republicans who refused to accept partition of their nation. That's why we have a legacy of songs like "The Broad Black Brimmer" and "Take It Down From the Mast, Irish Traitors!"

---- Steve


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Subject: RE:
From: Rambam99
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 06:45 PM

you sure it was 1920?


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Subject: RE:
From: Suffet
Date: 28 Jun 01 - 07:05 PM

Yes. The Irish Post Office issued a pair of stamps of November 2, 1970, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Barry's execution. That's was one day late, as November 1 is a holiday. These 6p and 1s2p stamps are each inscribed "Keven Barry 1902-1920" and are the last Ireland issued using the ancient pre-decimal pound/shilling/penny system of currency.

The liner notes to the Pete Seeger LP are wrong if they state or even imply that Barry was executed during or immediately after the 1916 Easter Rising. There were 15 executions by firing squad of the 1916 leaders.

The only hanging of 1916 was of Sir Roger Casement, who was arrested a few days before the rising while attempting to smauggle a shipment of German rifles into Ireland. Casement was a respected human rights activist who had won acclaim for bringing to the world's attention the brutal treatment of native workers in both South America and Africa. The British government was on the verge of commuting his death sentence when those wanting to see Sir Roger hang saw to it that his homosexuality became public knowledge. The homophobes who decide who marches in New York City's annual Saint Patrick's Day Parade do not deserve to even lick the boots of a true patriot like Roger Casement. That's just my not so humble opinion.

Pete Seeger condensed one stanza of "Kevin Barry" and left another out entirely. On the other hand, he sang the "Shoot me..." chorus, almost always sung in America but rarely if ever sung in Ireland.

--- Steve


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Subject: ZDTStudy: Kevin Barry
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 03:38 AM

I think it would be a good idea to post the Ballad Index entry on this song, and to look at it a little deeper. I'll tag this for DTStudy purposes, but it won't be an edited thread.
-Joe Offer-

Kevin Barry

DESCRIPTION: Eighteen year old Kevin Barry is hung, "another martyr for old Ireland, another murder for the crown." Despite torture, he will not betray his comrades. (Family and friends bid farewell.) (Barry asks to be shot as a soldier, but is hanged as a rebel)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1927 (Sandburg)
KEYWORDS: rebellion execution Ireland
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
Nov 1, 1920 - Execution of Kevin Barry
FOUND IN: Ireland US(MW)
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Sandburg, pp. 42-43, "Kevin Barry" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hodgart, p. 218, "Kevin Barry" (1 text)
PGalvin, pp. 67-68, "Kevin Barry" (1 text, 1 tune)
OLochlainn 49, "Kevin Barry" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 324, "Kevin Barry" (1 text)
DT, KEVBARRY*

Roud #3014
RECORDINGS:
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, "Kevin Barry" (on IRClancyMakem03)
Pete Seeger, "Kevin Barry" (on PeteSeeger11) (on HootenannyCarnegie)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Shall My Soul Pass Through Ireland" (tune)
cf. "Rolling Home" (tune)
NOTES: Patrick Galvin reports that "Kevin Barry, an eighteen-year-old student, [was] the first Irish patriot to be hanged in Ireland since Robert Emmet 117 years before. His death precipitated scores of his fellow-students into the I.R.A...."
Robert Kee's statement (in Ourselves Alone, being volume III of The Green Flag, pp. 122-123) gives him a slightly different distinction: "the first British execution of an Irishman in the post-war period."
Terry Golway, For the Cause of Liberty, has a photo of Barry (who looks like any other schoolkid) on page 258, and gives a less biased report than Galvin. Given a good education, he still tried to join a nationalist organization at the age of 13. At 17, he could no longer be restrained from joining the Voluneers.
On September 20, 1920, Barry -- now 18 and in his first year of studying medicine -- was called upon to take part in a hijacking. The rebels desperately needed weapons (a perennial problem in Ireland, dating back to the rebellions against the Tudors; G. A. Hayes-McCoy, Irish Battles, p. 111, reports that it then took six head of cattle to buy a single musket! Rifles were cheaper in the twentieth century, but they were also, according to Charles Townshend, Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion, p. 45, a fetish item for Irish volunteers of the time). To gain arms, a band of Volunteers set out to stop a British army truck. The Irish had only one gun, but somehow one of the British soldiers ended up being shot and killed. Barry's comrades fled; he was captured.
Threatened with death, though apparently suffering nothing worse than arm-twisting, Barry refused to give any information about his comrades. He was subjected to a military trial on October 20, and executed November 1. We observe that, though Barry died as a rebel, he was, by modern legal standards, guilty of murder (though not premeditated murder).
Of course, if they'd hung everyone guilty of that sort of murder in 1920 Ireland, the country would have been depopulated.
Tim Pat Coogan, in Michael Collins, p. 154, notes that the British cabinet actually considered clemency but could find no grounds. There are said to have been five thousand people praying outside his prison at the end.
Kee makes the interesting point that Barry's death "made a considerable impact on public opinion. By contrast the fact the the soldier he had shot was as young as himself made virtually none" (p. 123)
There is at least one other Barry poem, "Kevin Barry" (by Terence Ward), for which see Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 751-752.
There is also a 1989 biography, Kevin Barry, by Donal O'Donovan. Which mostly shows the power of songs like this; if Barry had lived in America a century later, he would probably be considered a "gang member." - RBW
File: San042

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 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Digital Tradition Lyrics:

KEVIN BARRY

In Mountjoy jail one Monday morning
High upon the gallows tree
Kevin Barry gave his young life
For the cause of liberty
But a lad of eighteen summers
Yet no one can deny
As he walked to death that morning
He proudly held his head on high

Just before he faced the hangman
In his dreary prison cell
British soldiers tortured Barry
Just because he would not tell
The names of his brave companions
And other things they wished to know
"Turn informer or we'll kill you"
Kevin Barry answered, "no"
Calmly standing to attention
While he bade his last farewell
To his broken hearted mother
Whose grief no one can tell
For the cause he proudly cherished
This sad parting had to be
Then to death walked softly smiling
That old Ireland might be free

Another martyr for old Ireland
Another murder for the crown
Whose brutal laws may kill the Irish
But can't keep their spirit down
Lads like Barry are no cowards
From the foe they will not fly
Lads like Barry will free Ireland
For her sake they'll live and die

@Irish @rebel @death
printed in Cole
Kevin Barry was executed in 1920
filename[ KEVBARRY
TUNE FILE: KEVBARRY
CLICK TO PLAY
SOF


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 04:04 AM

Fascinating to see so many variations in the words. I think I can assert with reasonable confidence that the only opening verse you'll hear sung in Ireland (certainly as a "folk" song) is "In Mountjoy gaol, one Monday morning".

The episode is surrounded by propaganda, counterpropaganda and Irish revisionism, the last-named process being necessary but sometimes just as biased as the original propaganda. The catering corps working party would indeed have been unarmed, but as far as I know they had an armed escort. The only place that Kevin Barry could find to hide was under a British army truck, and it was one of the civilians standing by who pointed him out to the British soldiers.

Suffet, you provide some very useful additional information, but the argument which led to the Civil War was not about partition (the exclusion of the six counties of Northern Ireland) but rather over the constitutional status of the Free State, which was less than a fully independent republic and which required elected public representatives to swear an oath of allegiance to the British Crown.


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Subject: ADD Version: Kevin Barry
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 05:00 AM

Since Barry's death was relatively recent (1920), I was surprised to find this song in Carl Sandburg's American Songbag (1927). The book has several verses I haven't found elsewhere.
-Joe Offer- Sandburg's notes:
Tongues of love and hate, breaths of passion and suffering, all mingled with a strange bittersweet, are in this song out of the violent events in Ireland. Probably all wars and revolutions produce figures like Kevin Barry, though seldom do they have such adequate songs as memorials. In Nashville, Tennessee, one may look at the statue of Sam Davis, who died refusing to turn informer and thus save his life. Davis has a statue in bronze; Kevin Barry has a song. These verses and their wistful, longing melody are from Irish boys and girls in Chicago who learned the ballad on the Ould Sod.


KEVIN BARRY

1. Early on a Monday morning,
High upon the gallows tree,
Kevin Barry gave his young life
For the cause of liberty.

2. Only a lad of eighteen summers,
Still there's no one can deny,
As he walked to death that morning
Nobly held his head up high.

3. Another martyr for old Ireland,
Another murder for the crown,
Brutal laws to crush the Irish
Could not keep their spirits down.

4. Lads like Barry are no cowards.
From their foes they do not fly;
For their bravery always has been
Ireland's cause to live or die.

5. "Kevin Barry, do not leave us,
On the scaffold you must die!"
Cried his broken-hearted mother
As she bade her son good-bye.

6. Kevin turned to her in silence
Saying, "Mother, do not weep,
For it's all for dear old Ireland
And it's all for freedom's sake."

7. Just before he faced the hangman
In his lonely prison cell,
The Black and Tans tortured Barry,
Just because he wouldn't tell

8. The names of his brave comrades,
And other things they wished to know.
"Turn informer and we'll free you."
But Kevin proudly answered "No!

9. "Shoot me like a soldier.
Do not hang me like a dog,
For I fought to free old Ireland
On that still September morn.

10. "All around the little bakery
Where we fought them hand to hand,
Shoot me like a brave soldier,
For I fought for Ireland."


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 05:51 AM

The tune, of course, is the one that had already been used for "Rolling Home to Dear Old England" (Or to various other places.)


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: GUEST,greg stephens
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 06:44 AM

Interesting to see that the folk procees had distorted the song enough for the dog/morn non-rhyme to be established as early as 1927. But arent the ways of folk-music wonderful? herewe have a fantastically well-written and well-loved song, written in living memory, and nobody seems to know who wrote it, or even have a theory...or if there is a theory no contributors here seem to have heard it. perhapsthe author had political reasons for remaining anonymous? Intriguing, isn't it.


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 09:24 AM

Of the top of my head, the song was first published as a broadside in Scotland and the author is known - but can I find the evidence again?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: kendall
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 11:49 AM

I didn't know Kevin Barry was "hung", I did know he was Hanged.


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha.
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 01:29 PM

Some notes from a booklet on Kevin Barry by Sean Cronin, in Cronin`s book, Seamus de Burca states, that the song was written by an Irishman living in Glasgow around the time of the execution, it appeared in ballad sheet form. It was an instantaneous success. Protesting against the pirating of the melody for other songs, De Burca says" The melody like the words, belongs to the man who wrote it, who gave both to the Irish Nation without any reward. Let us preserve this song about a gallant soldier inviolate" Paul Robeson recorded it and it has been sung by all and sundry ever since. But the mystery remains as to who was the composer. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: ard mhacha
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 02:19 PM

More notes from Cronin`s book, The British Army lorry stopped outside the Bakery, some distance from the footpath. The Sergant got out and dropped the tailboard. Sean O`Neill, Kevin Barry, and Bob O`Flanagan moved as planned. The Soldiers were sitting around the edges of the lorry,they had their rifles between their knees. O`Neill ordered them to drop their arms, they did so except one, one of the soldiers sitting with his back to the cab sized his rifle and shot O`Callaghan resulting in a scalp wound on the right side of his head. According to O`Neill the soldiers then continued to fire wildly. Barry`s was armed with a .38 Parabellum which jammed, the shooting continued resulting in the death of Private Washington, two others Prvates Whitehead and Humphries were badly wounded. Barry again tried to fire but once again his pistol jammed, Barry was spotted under the wheels of the lorry by a woman in the street who called out to the soldiers and he was then arrested. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Jun 02 - 02:43 PM

But whatever Seamus De Burca might have thought, the tune has been around a lot longer than that, as "Rolling Home Across the Sea".

And it seems likely that the most popular other Irish tune using the tune, Shall my Soul Pass Through Old Ireland, about Terence McSweeney, didn't take it from Kevin Barry, but picked it up independently.


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 19 Jun 02 - 10:12 PM

Martin, is this what you're looking for?

[1956:] There are several widely sung ballads about Kevin Barry. This one was written by Terrence Ward of The Irish Press. (Notes Clancy Bros, 'The Rising of the Moon')


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 11:33 AM

Yes I remember Paddy Clancy singing "Kevin Barry".
not long ago I was at a talk about local history and the speaker - wanting to impress on us the usefulness of oral history and the relevance of songs to historical research - asked how many people knew what day of the week Kevin Barry died on. Several of us were surprised that we did know, because we know the line, "It was on a Monday morning, high upon the gallows tree." But is that correct? Someone who is good with calendars might like to check it out for us. If the song was "Terrence Ward of The Irish Press" and we are singing that verse as written, I expect we do have it right.


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: ard mhacha
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 12:54 PM

Kevin Barry was hanged on Monday 1st of November 1920 in Mountjoy Prison. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 12:57 PM

... and Kevin Myers is still cheering.


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: ard mhacha
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 01:53 PM

Yes Myers is a bigger corkscrew than Dunphy. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: Haruo
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 02:23 PM

Unfortunately the Irish Times link Wolfgang posted a year or so back on "Who was Kevin Barry?" is now pay-per-view. Can its content (or an approximation) be supplied from free sources?

Liland


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: ard mhacha
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 02:43 PM

Brigadier General F.P. Crozier commander of the Auxiliaries was responsible for the 24 hour guard on Kevin Barry and visited him in his cell. He came away from Mountjoy full of admiration for Kevin Barry`s courage in the face of death. Crozier was a much decorated soldier who resented the role of policeman which the British Government had thrust on him. Later he resigned in protest against the widespread terrorism and brutality practised on the Irish people. Major Mills, one of the Auxilary officers guarding Kevin Barry was also deeply affected by the character and bearing of the condemned youth. He resigned in protest after the Bloody atrocity in Croke Park Dublin, when the Crown forces opened fire on the players and spectators, killing 16 men and women and wounding 60. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From:
Date: 21 Jun 02 - 09:44 PM

Ard Mhaca Thanks for reminding us of Crozier and Mills, people with some principles in those sorry times.Like Collins. a few more of them and a few less random killers and we wouldnt be seeing what we are still seeing 80 years on.


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 06:38 PM

Content of the link Wolfgang posted:

[2000:] On the day Kevin Barry was arrested for the murder of Pte Matthew Whitehead the exam board at UCD decided the 18 year-old medical student had failed his first year. According to his nephew and biographer, Donal O'Donovan, Barry enjoyed his time at college and was fond of drinking and dancing. He also enjoyed holidays spent on the family dairy farm in Carlow and divided his time between there and 8 Fleet Street, Dublin, now home to House of Rock, a restaurant and bar. He was the fourth child of seven. At Belvedere College, Barry played the unusual combination of rugby and hurling.

While most of his family were nationalists his older sister Cathy was actively involved in the republican movement. At 15, Barry joined the Irish Volunteers. At 11 a.m. on September 20th, 1920, Barry and three men ambushed a group of soldiers collecting bread from Monk's Bakery on North King Street. One soldier was killed, and two who were wounded died later. Kevin Barry was arrested at the scene with an automatic pistol. He was court-martialled and sentenced to death.

The Archbishop of Dublin and the Lord Mayor of Dublin wrote to the British Prime Minister Lloyd George asking for a reprieve for Barry especially on account of his young age. The Inspector General of the Royal Irish Constabulary threatened to resign if a reprieve was granted. Barry, he said, was only a year younger than one of the men killed. Some 2,000 people gathered outside Mountjoy prison on November 1st, the morning of his execution. "Many of the women were in tears and even men displayed signs of emotion," an Irish Times report from the day said. Kevin Barry was the first person to be executed in Mountjoy Prison in nearly 20 years. An affidavit from Barry was read out in the House of Commons after the execution describing how he had been mistreated in custody. (Irish Times, 4 Nov)


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Subject: RE: Kevin Barry - lyric mistake
From: The Pooka
Date: 23 Jun 02 - 07:26 PM

As always here, excellent information; thanks.

Some months ago the remains of Kevin Barry, and of a number of other rebels of that era, were exhumed at Mountjoy where they had lain, in unmarked graves I think, for lo these many years. I gather that Irish governments had not wanted to risk controversy and division by dealing with the matter before now. When the decision to do this was announced there was some criticism that it was political---to enhance Fianna Fail's re-election prospects. (Perish the thought.)(But if so: it worked.:)

These republican dead were properly re-interred elsewhere, with official honors and eulogies etc., and with Church blessing. Thousands turned out to mark the event. Prime Minister Bertie Ahern delivered an oration at the grave of Kevin Barry. I read it and found it quite good; seemed thougtful, even analytical. (Pearse at the grave of O'Donovan Rossa, it wasn't. But times have changed.) If I can find the text somewhere somewhere I'll post a link.


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Subject: ADD: Kevin Barry (different from DT)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 12:19 PM

Ever since I had seen the other thread about Kevin Barry I had wanted to add this song. It is printed in P. Galvin, Irish songs of resistance, Oak Publications, 1962. I brought that book with me today to type the lyrics, but I was lucky and could copy (and edit) them from Home of the Free. No authors is given.

Wolfgang

KEVIN BARRY

I´ve a sad but true story to relate
Of a brave young Irishman´s cruel fate
It is written down in the roll of fame
And Kevin Barry is the brave lad´s name

When scarcely 18 years of age
To the Republican Army he was engaged
For Ireland´s sake he struck a blow
To free his country from the tyrant foe.

In the fight with the foe against the crown
Young Barry shot a British soldier down
He appeared and was tried by military
And sentenced to die on the gallows tree.

In the condemned cell awaiting his fate
He was asked to confess before it was too late:
"Come tell us where your comrades may be
A pardon will be granted and we'll set you free."

Young Barry gazed with a look of scorn:
"An Irish traitor never yet was born!
Carry out your sentence was the proud reply
For Ireland I fought and for Ireland I'll die!"

Outside the jail his comrades fell
On their knees in prayer to the prison bell
For to pray for the soul of a martyr friend
Who would rather die than to foemen bend.

Out from the jail then walked a priest
And the tears rolled down his manly cheeks;
"Have they hung him, Father?" his comrades cried.
"He's gone, but a braver lad never died."


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: ard mhacha
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 02:15 PM

Wolfgang, Your song on Kevin Barry is also included in Sean Cronin`s book, alas, no name for the writer, given as contemporary street ballad. Ard Mhacha


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: The Pooka
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 11:03 PM

Here is a link to text of "Oration by the Taoiseach Mr. Bertie Ahern TD at the Reinterment of the Remains of Volunteers executed during the War of Independence, Glasnevin Cemetery, Sunday, 14 October 2001". The occasion was longer ago than I'd remembered; and apparently it wasn't specifically at the grave of Kevin Barry---I *think* news stories said Barry's remains were reinterred elsewhere at the family's request---but he was among those removed from Mountjoy and re-buried.

Click here


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: The Pooka
Date: 03 Jul 02 - 11:05 PM

Whoops! NonIrishspeakers like me, scroll down when you get the page---it's there in English too.


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: GUEST,fiddlehead
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 02:50 PM

The Pete Seeger album was "Strangers and Cousins", a compilation of international folk songs Seeger accumulated on his world tours. I had it as a child as well and also have been looking for a copy, the family copy long since having gone missing in the course of one move or another. See also the version sung by the Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem on "Irish Songs of Rebellion", Delta Entertainment, 1999.


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: GUEST,Maria
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 11:17 AM

Shoot me like an irish soldier....That is now seen clearly by many people as the chorus,but infact originally that whole verse didnt exist.It was added in at a later stage.


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: Fergie
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 05:17 PM

I spoke to my father tonight and carefully checked with him all the details that I am writing here. According to my father his uncle; Peter Ellis of Crydon Park, Marino in Dublin wrote it, and my grandfather Christy Russell was the first person to sing 'Kevin Barry'.

My father whose name is Michael is 83 years of age, he was born in 1921. His father Christopher Russell (my grandfather) was a good singer, a trade unionist and a republican sympathiser and it was he that gave this information to my father. Peter Ellis worked in the GPO in Dublin and was in the habit of writing songs of topical interest. Peter did not have a good singing voice and he would have Christy sing each song so that they could hear how it would come across.

On the evening of the day of Kevin Barry's execution Peter came to Christy with the song written out and he hummed the air until Christy got the jist. He had Christy sing the song a number times until he was satisfied that it hung together. The song took off like wildfire and within a few weeks it was being sung in every republican house and pub in Ireland, it became part of the National heritage and tradition.

Peter did not copyright the words and his creative streak was never recognised. My father said that Peter did not seem to regret this but was happy to have his work performed as 'traditional' and anonymous.

Fergus


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: MartinRyan
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 06:07 PM

Very interesting, Fergie!

It was always my understanding that the song was written, and published as a broadside, in Glasgow, shortly after the execution. A quick Google shows that that perception is widespread - though in my own case it well predates the Internet. Have you mentioned the story to Nicholas Carolan? I'm sure he would be very interested.

Regards

p.s. Probably see you over Christmas or new year.


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 07:58 PM

At least twice above the comment has been made that the tune is that of "Rolling Home to Dear Old"...wherever.

I'm not sure at which end of the comparison the likeness breaks down, but the tune I know (from Seeger or maybe Dyer-Bennet) is not that of "Rolling Home etc." as I've heard it from many sources. Kendall's rendition on the Mudcat CD series comes immediately to mind.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: Big Tim
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 03:01 AM

Yes Fergie, interesting indeed. How did the song "spread like wildfire"? By word of mouth? When was the first recorded version?


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: GUEST,beachcomber@eircom.net
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 06:53 PM

I was waiting to see if anyone picked up Big Tim on his posting where he claims that the youngest soldier killed in "that conflict" referring , it seems, to the War of Independence in Ireland, was a 14 year-old British soldier. I believe he is referring to a certain John Condon of Waterford who was accepted by British Army recruiting officers although , indeed, only 14years of age. He was killed in WW1, in France, not in that other conflict.


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: kendall
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 08:40 PM

I guess it depends on who you talk to about this, I discussed it with a man from the republic, and to him, Barry was a hero. However, I also discussed it with Tommy Makem over dinner, and he said Barry was a hiding under a truck.


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: Big Tim
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 03:36 AM

Barry WAS hiding under a truck - a woman spectator pointed his presence out to the Army, afraid that he would be run over. Barry certainly was regarded as a hero by the vast majority of Irish people, especially in the "28 Counties"!

Re Beachcomber's comment about the youngest soldier to die in the War of Indep, I can't recall now where I read that. Maybe I was misinformed and mistaken. Barry's youth was certainly a major factor in the campaign to have him spared.

For a balanced account of the incident see a book called "Hanged for Ireland" by Tim Carey (an American).


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: Big Tim
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 07:58 AM

Tim Carey argues that if Barry had recognised the court, which he didn't, and taken a lawyer, and the best were available to him, he would almost certainly have been found not guilty. He was charged only with the killing of Private Whitehead, of which he was demonstrably not guilty: his gun had jammed and he hadn't fired a shot. However, the judge took the view that he was one of the "killer gang" and guilty by association. This however, he was not charged with. A decent lawyer could have driven a Chieftain tank through that. However, Barry's Republican principles prevented him from recognising the court. Throughout the trial, he sat twiddling his thumbs, showing no interest in the proceedings: his way of saying, "This is all illegitimate".

Re his "torture": he was roughly handled but not beaten. He did have his arms severely twisted and wore a sling during the trial. Was this torture? If so, it was mild compared to what some other IRA men suffered, for example, having teeth and finger and toenails ripped off with pliers (prongs).

Re failing his exams: he was arrested before he could take the resit. The attack took place at 11 a.m. Barry's resit was at 2 p.m. the same day. He believed he could handle both, which was fairly typical of his swashbuckling attitude. When he failed to turn up, because he was in Mountjoy Prison, he was deemed to have failed.

He had spent too much time drinking, dancing, playing rugby and hurley, and engaged in IRA activity, to do much by way of study. In July he came up to Dublin, from the family farm in Co. Carlow, to work for the exams. However, he didn't: "Had a helluva fortnight, I was drunk every night".

So, he would probably have failed anyway, as by his own admission, in letters to pals, "I have an exam this day week and I know fuck all".

Source: Tim Carey, who has studied the original documentation.

On 14 October 2001, Kevin Barry and nine other IRA men executed during the period were disinterred from the Joy and reburied, 9 in Glasnevin, 1 near his home in Tipperary. Kevin Barry's remains are in Glasnevin Cemetery.


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 04:46 PM

Kendall said:

to him, Barry was a hero. However, I also discussed it with Tommy Makem over dinner, and he said Barry was a hiding under a truck.

I don't see any necessary conflict. If a hero finds himself grossly outnumbered, and he without a functioning weapon, it would be folly not to hide, methinks. And doing the reasonable thing under that set of circumstances is hardly unheroic.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 05:46 AM

It was a terrible thing to do to a young man or anybody come to that. I think I learned the song from Lonnie Donnegan. It is still requested quite a bit.

A friend of mine who is very cagey about publicity was doing a gig in Dublin way back, and he got this song requested.   He agreed to do it in the second set.

Before he went on again he was approached by some members of the Barry family including Kevin's mother. She asked him not to sing it as she regarded the whole song as a lie. She said he was no more than kid when it happened and, the poor chap was dragged to his death across the prison yard screaming.

I was not surprised when at the time of the disinterrment, one the Batrry family was interviewed and dismissed it as a public house song.

And yet how many of us song writers would give our eye teeth to come up with something so memorable.


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Subject: RE: lyrics: Kevin Barry
From: Big Tim
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 06:22 AM

An interesting little aside: Patrick "Raglan Road" Kavanagh's wife was an aunt of Kevin Barry, Katherine Moloney.


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Subject: Lyr Add: KEVIN BARRY (Terrence Ward)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 03:16 PM

Conflicting claims of authorship have been made in this thread:

The Clancys state, in the liner notes to 'The Rising of the Moon', but with no source given for that info, that the song was written by "Terrence Ward of the Irish Times".

Fergus tells us it was written by his great-uncle Peter Ellis, according to information handed down form his grandfather via his father.

Martin Ryan's recollection is that it originated in Glasgow anonymously, again with no source given but with internet evidence for widespread agreement on this.

Are they all talking about the same song, namely the one starting "In Mountjoy gaol one Monday morning"? If so, how can these claims be reconciled? Any suggestions?

The Clancys do mean this song. Their lyrics are shorter than all of those quoted above, for what reasons I don't know:

KEVIN BARRY
(Terrence Ward / Trad)

                Chorus:
                    Another martyr for old Erin
                    Another murder for the crown
                    The British laws may crush the Irish
                    But cannot keep their spirits down

In Mountjoy gaol one Monday morning
High upon the gallows tree
Kevin Barry gave his young life
For the cause of liberty
But a lad of eighteen summers
Yet no true man can deny
As he walked to death that morning
He proudly held his head on high

Just before he faced the hangman
In his dreary prison cell
The British soldiers tortured Barry
Just because he would not tell
The names of all his brave companions
And other things they wished to know
Turn informer or we'll kill you
Kevin Barry answered, No

(Clancy Bros & Tommy Makem, The Rising of the Moon, 1956, to the - slightly modified - tune of the sea song 'Rolling Home')


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kevin Barry
From: GUEST,ed cunningham
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 06:30 PM

The tune to Kevin Barry was used to write a blugrass song in the US called The Legend of the Rebel Soldier.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kevin Barry
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Mar 12 - 12:28 PM

To the air used with "Will My Soul Pass Through Ireland".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Kevin Barry
From: Effsee
Date: 16 Mar 12 - 12:43 AM

Big Al..."A friend of mine who is very cagey about publicity was doing a gig in Dublin way back, and he got this song requested.   He agreed to do it in the second set.

Before he went on again he was approached by some members of the Barry family including Kevin's mother. She asked him not to sing it as she regarded the whole song as a lie..."

"including Kevin's mother"...???

It must have been a very "way back" if KB died in 1920!!!


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