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

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


Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words

DigiTrad:
DANNY BOY
DANNY BOY (2)
DANNY BOY, REST IN PIECES
LONDON DERRIERE
LONDONDERRY AIR


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: History of the Song Danny Boy (48)
Lyr Req: Danny Boy in Gaelic? (28)
Lyr Req: 3rd verse of Danny Boy? (30)
Danny Boy (89)
'oh danny boy' - in the movies (10)
Lyr Req: Hymn to tune Londonderry Air/Danny Boy (23)
Lyr Add: Danny Boy Parody (12)
(origins) Origins: Danny Boy (tune) (12)
Lyr Req: I Would Be True (Howard Arnold Walter) (7)
Would God I were...history (Londonderry Air) (19)
Lyr Add: In Derry Vale (Londonderry Air) (7)
Audio recording:MAIDIN I mBEARA. (4)
BS: Danny Boy ....your caption (24)
Review: My First Video (Danny Boy) (16)
Help: Danny Boy Spanish & Italian Sound-alike (3)
Danny Boy banned in pub.... (140)
Lyr Req: Scottish version of Danny Boy? (24)
Lyr Add: Acushla Mine (9)
Lyr Add: Eily Dear (Danny Boy/Londonderry Air) (3)
(origins) Origin: Danny Boy (2) (David Geller) (3)
Review: 1st Danny Boy Fiddle Competition (2)
Tune Req: Danny Boy (20)
Lyr Req: Oh Danny Boy! (39)
(origins) Origins: Danny Boy (introductory verse) (13)
Tab needed: Danny Boy, Wild Mtn Thyme (7)
Chord Req: Mandolin Tab for Danny Boy (1)
Lyr Req: Danny Boy (4)
Lyr Req: Danny Boy (15)
BS: Danny Boy Auctioin ? (2) (closed)
Derry Air (9)
Help: RT's Danny Boy (5)
Lyr Req: Londonderry Air / Emer's Farewell / ... (17)
Danny boy (18)
How old is Danny Boy? (12)
'Danny Boy' - Video (2)


Charlie Cares 28 Mar 98 - 08:23 PM
Bruce O. 29 Mar 98 - 02:20 PM
Bruce O. 29 Mar 98 - 02:37 PM
Bruce O. 31 Mar 98 - 11:14 PM
Martin Ryan 01 Apr 98 - 09:59 AM
Martin Ryan 01 Apr 98 - 06:51 PM
GUEST,pseidel 17 Jul 01 - 11:21 AM
English Jon 17 Jul 01 - 11:38 AM
Brian Hoskin 17 Jul 01 - 11:44 AM
English Jon 17 Jul 01 - 11:51 AM
GUEST 17 Jul 01 - 11:59 AM
GUEST 17 Jul 01 - 12:22 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 01 - 12:32 PM
MMario 17 Jul 01 - 12:39 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 01 - 12:55 PM
Jeri 17 Jul 01 - 01:03 PM
MMario 17 Jul 01 - 01:08 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 01 - 01:13 PM
MMario 17 Jul 01 - 01:22 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 01 - 01:27 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 01 - 02:54 PM
MMario 17 Jul 01 - 03:03 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 01 - 03:24 PM
radriano 17 Jul 01 - 04:04 PM
Kim C 17 Jul 01 - 05:12 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 01 - 05:53 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 01 - 06:04 PM
GUEST 17 Jul 01 - 06:46 PM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Jul 01 - 08:09 PM
Áine 17 Jul 01 - 08:50 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 17 Jul 01 - 09:31 PM
GUEST 18 Jul 01 - 07:29 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 18 Jul 01 - 07:42 AM
Brian Hoskin 18 Jul 01 - 08:01 AM
GUEST 18 Jul 01 - 08:13 AM
Brian Hoskin 18 Jul 01 - 08:18 AM
GUEST 18 Jul 01 - 08:26 AM
Brian Hoskin 18 Jul 01 - 08:34 AM
GUEST 18 Jul 01 - 08:42 AM
toadfrog 18 Jul 01 - 11:51 PM
GUEST 19 Jul 01 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Com Seangan 23 Jan 05 - 12:26 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 23 Jan 05 - 02:20 PM
GUEST 11 Jul 11 - 05:20 PM
GUEST,leeneia 12 Jul 11 - 03:01 PM
ripov 12 Jul 11 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Jul 11 - 01:15 AM
Brakn 13 Jul 11 - 02:51 AM
GUEST,Desi C 13 Jul 11 - 07:54 AM
MartinRyan 13 Jul 11 - 08:03 AM
Tattie Bogle 13 Jul 11 - 10:37 AM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Jul 11 - 11:10 AM
GUEST,henryp 13 Jul 11 - 04:24 PM
GUEST,Seonaid 13 Jul 11 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,julia L 13 Jul 11 - 09:48 PM
MartinRyan 14 Jul 11 - 04:03 AM
MartinRyan 14 Jul 11 - 04:11 AM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Jul 11 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,An Buachaill Caol Dubh 14 Jul 11 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,An Buachaill Caol Dubh 14 Jul 11 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,Dale D. 13 Sep 11 - 07:53 PM
GUEST 13 Sep 11 - 07:59 PM
GUEST 13 Sep 11 - 08:02 PM
GUEST 13 Sep 11 - 08:11 PM
GUEST 21 Sep 11 - 05:37 PM
MartinRyan 21 Sep 11 - 06:49 PM
GUEST,Slartibartfast 03 Feb 12 - 11:28 AM
Lighter 03 Feb 12 - 12:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Feb 12 - 12:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Feb 12 - 12:35 PM
Lighter 04 Feb 12 - 02:15 PM
Tattie Bogle 04 Feb 12 - 05:24 PM
Don Firth 04 Feb 12 - 05:57 PM
GUEST 18 Jun 17 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,Desi C 20 Jun 17 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 20 Jun 17 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,DK 21 Jun 17 - 01:09 AM
Lighter 21 Jun 17 - 07:30 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Charlie Cares
Date: 28 Mar 98 - 08:23 PM

Does anyone know of Gaelic words to Londonderry Air? The words under that name in this database look to me like a typical bad translation (the phrasing is klutzy, the rhymes are forced) This suggests that it originally had Gaelic words from which a better translation could be produced, if they could be located. Danny Boy (to the same melody) doesn't appear to be a translation at all, but I don't care for those words either and would like to be able to sing something to this really rather pretty tune when I get a request for Danny Boy at a performance. Does anyone know where I might look?

-- Charles Cares


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Bruce O.
Date: 29 Mar 98 - 02:20 PM

There are no known words, English or Gaelic, to "Londonderry Air"

For a history of the tune go to:
www.standingstones.com/dannyboy.html

Then for 3 other early versions of the tune go to my website ( www.erols.com/olsonw )and look in S1.ABC for the tunes "The Young Man's Dream" (The song is in the Scare Songs file there)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Bruce O.
Date: 29 Mar 98 - 02:37 PM

Sorry, there's not supposed to be that l at the end of the first URL above, just .htm. You can click on the Michael Robinson's history of "Danny Boy/ Londonderry Air" from my website, near the bottom of the home page.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Bruce O.
Date: 31 Mar 98 - 11:14 PM

Michael Robinson just recently found and added the Gaelic verses to the "Young Man's Dream" (the apparent original of "Londonderry Air" used for Danny Boy") in his history of the tune. Go to
www.standingstones.com/dannyboy.htm
And for two earlier versions of the tune (and another of about 1800) go to S1.ABC, the tunes file for songs at
www.erols.com/olsonw
The apparently older English verses are there, too, in the SONGTXT1.TXT file, as is the unreprinted earlier English broadside ballad "Love's Fancy, or The Young Man's Dream" (and its 17th century English tune)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 01 Apr 98 - 09:59 AM

There was a set of Gaelic eords fitted during the Gaelic Revival around the 1890's by Osborne Bergin (?)

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 01 Apr 98 - 06:51 PM

"eords"? = words! Sorry - still recovering from a weekend of singing in the wilds of Donegal!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: different lyrics to danny boy
From: GUEST,pseidel
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 11:21 AM

i am looking for a version of londonderry air that begins "there is a gland that..... don't know much more than that. Help!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: English Jon
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 11:38 AM

Somebody once told me this tune was written in Manchester by a Frenchman. Is this true?

EJ


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 11:44 AM

EJ, the history is given on the website BruceO mentions above History of Danny Boy

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: English Jon
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 11:51 AM

It would appear not then. Even when I translated the page into French. How disappointing! It's amazing the stuff that people write websites about though...

Cheers

EJ


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 11:59 AM

For a midi with lyrics page go to:

http://www.contemplator.com/folk.html

One of the unfortunate aspects of "origins" work is it never examines the meanings of the songs in context.

As interesting as some of the history surrounding the tune family is (there never does seem to have been any mystery surrounding Weatherly's lyrics), none of that has ever been of interest to me. What is of interest to me is how and why this song became such a beloved part of the Irish American song canon.

Wonder why no one ever discusses that aspect of it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 12:22 PM

Hmmmm...this is disturbing. It appears there are two websites with virtually identical text giving the so-called "history" of Danny Boy.

First, the Michael Robinson page listed above:

www.standingstones.com/dannyboy.html

And the following copyrighted website:

www.melodylane.net

It appears to me that Michael Robinson may have just copied the text to his own website, without crediting the source at Melody Lane, a website for vintage music.

Sad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 12:32 PM

I meant to add after the last sentence (It appears to me...):

Or that this Jill person who owns the Melody Lane site did same to Michael Robinson.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: MMario
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 12:39 PM

I would suspect

1)from Bruce's post above

2) and the relative dates on the site files

Michael Robinson site is the older and original.

I cannot see Bruce stating Michael had "found and posted" the gaelic lyrics if it were not true.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 12:55 PM

Michael Robinson's site isn't dated. The Danny Boy page has the hits counter dated at October 25, 2000. On the home page, it says the entire site's hits counter has been in operation since 19 Oct 97.

Melody Lane site (a beautiful, really informative site for vintage music I might add!) shows the graphic design of the site is copyrighted effective 1999. The file modification for Danny Boy is shown as 6/2/01. However, it appears as though the website owner was caught in the Sonny Bono copyright snare, so it could be that the entire site was "redone" to comply with the law. Can't really discern that from the website.

One could email both website owners and ask, of course.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Jeri
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 01:03 PM

Michael Robinson's site says "Danny Boy—the mystery solved!
by Michael Robinson"
It further states:
"Based on an article published in the Folk Harp Journal. Some additional material has been added to the version originally published."

I can't find the history on the MelodyLane site, but I didn't try very hard. The graphics take forever to load on my pokey connection. (It does have some very nice midis and is pretty, if you can handle the bandwidth.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: MMario
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 01:08 PM

and bruce originally posted the link to Michael's site in 98. I cannot find any reference to Melody line prior to 99


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 01:13 PM

Right.

The Melody Lane site has also been undergoing continuing additions--and the major deletions I noted re: the copyright law. Whew! What a list!

At any rate, as most of us know, the best websites are constantly changing, and adding updates. I didn't mean to suggest Michael was THE "guilty party", though it does appear it was what I meant because my original post left the last sentence off (though I could swear I typed it!).

Michael's article does cite that source of information, but then again, he doesn't cite the source of "new information" you mention above.

Only way to know who got what from whom is to ask both parties.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: MMario
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 01:22 PM

Or the third party who helped Michael with his research, which is Bruce. As stated on Michael's website.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 01:27 PM

I noted the date of Bruce's post. I also note that the source of Michael's information appears to be the Irish traditional music mailing list, which is another on-line source.

Michael cites Phillipe Varlet and John Moulden, two very knowledgeable people. Which makes me wonder why he doesn't credit the other sources of his information. I just find that to be somewhat curious, in light of the second website with a MIDI, lyrics, and virtually the same text as Michael Robinson's.

I'm not claiming conspiracy theory here. Just thought I'd mention that likely one of the two websites isn't citing the other as it's source of information.

As I said, I'm more interested in why it became such a popular song in Irish America, and it's history in the Irish American song tradition. Michael Robinson's website doesn't mention anything about the history of the song in Irish American communities in North America really.

Guess I'll have to dust off Mick Moloney's dissertation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 02:54 PM

Use google to search for 'irtrad-l archives', and once there search on 'londonderry' and find John Moulden's and Phillipe Varlet's posts on the subject of the tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: MMario
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 03:03 PM

can't. blocked. (like many people - I live behind a content filter. virtually all of usenet and most of the internet are blocked. Sites have to be reviewed on a page by page basis. it can take weeks.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 03:24 PM

Actually, I just did a fairly extensive search on Google using "Danny Boy" as keywords.

The actual text referred to (ie Michael Robinson's and Melody Net) seems to be the virtual urban legend at this point. A couple of other sites mention Michael Robinson as their source. Other than that, there is nothing verifiable from over 450 sites I just viewed.

However, I found some astoundingly interesting things, like an Ulster Loyalist website claiming it is a Protestant/Loyalist song, which also appears to be the only site with enough cheek to have what may well be pirated versions of Elvis' and Eric Clapton's versions of Danny Boy!

Also, this Internet legend version of "facts" about this song also seem to only be concerned with the history in England of the song, and it's connections to Irish politics.

However, when you look at who has actually recorded this song, you see a STRONG line of African American artists who have covered it, from early jazz players, to Paul Robeson, to the Blind Boys of Alabama, to Wycliffe Gordon.

Since the "Internet legend has it" that the tune was mailed to an English man from his American sister-in-law, and seeing how deep the roots of the tune are in the African American music traditions, I'd say there is likely a whole lot more to this song/tune than Michael Robinson has included on his web page!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE LONDONDERRY AIR
From: radriano
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 04:04 PM

An interesting discussion. Following is a set of nice lyrics found in Sam Henry's Songs of the People:

The Londonderry Air
from Sam Henry's Songs of the People

Flood tide that ebbs, dark waves in sullen motion
Sad winds that sigh, take this, the heart of me
To yonder ship, white falcon of the ocean
Bearing so swiftly my lost love across the sea

Rain from gray skies like tears of lamentation
Beating across bleak sands and shoreland bare
Weep with my soul, alone in desolation
Hopeless the grief and anguish of my sad despair

Sweetest of all, my dream that, at the waking
Swiftly was gone and lost beyond recall
Rose on the rood that as the dawn was breaking
So softly died as morning wept thy silent fall

Sad wind and tide that two fond hearts now sever
Our faith proclaims, triumphant over tears
How still we love and shall do so for ever
Who wait alone the secret of the coming years

Notes from Songs of the People: Petrie (1855-57) says the air, without title or lyrics, was collected by Miss J. Ross in Limavady. According to local tradition, James McCurry, the blind fiddler of Myroe, Limavady, was the itinerant fiddler from whom Miss Anne Jane Ross of Limavady obtained the Londonderry Air. The lyrics in this version were written by T. Wray Milnes of Beeston, Leeds.


Richard


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Kim C
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 05:12 PM

Did anybody mention the Thomas Moore words? My Gentle Harp or something like that? I know it's not "original" but thought it was worth throwing into the stew.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 05:53 PM

There are over 100 recorded "versions" of lyrics to (London)Derry Air.

"My Gentle Harp" is by Thomas Moore "Londonderry Air" is by Anglo-Irish poet Katherine Tynan (nee Hickson) "Danny Boy" is by English songwriter (and lawyer) Fred Weatherly

As to the tune, the Petrie version is the most common one.

There are other airs, including one in O'Neil's collection (which was collected in Chicago, not in Britain or Ireland, which is considered "The Bible" of Irish traditional tunes by Irish musicians) called the "Londonderry Love Song" which some believe may be from a lost family of tunes of which the well known "Londonderry Air" is also one.

Additionally, there is an air attributed to Rory Dall O'Cathain called "Aisling an Oigfhir" (The Young Man's Dream) found in Bunting's 1796 collection, which predates Petrie. Some have suggested this as the "original" tune/air which developed into what we know today as the "Londonderry Air".

Like I said, I've got doubts about the story Michael Robinson gives on his web page. It is missing too many pieces of this fascinating puzzle, and he, like many others, are pretty damn contemptuous of the song.

Why research a song you hate?

Unfortunately, he also seems to have pretty much just taken the subsequent "history" he "discovered" from John Moulden's post on the Irish traditional music list, and claimed it pretty much as his own. Like I said, on all the sites I visited today related to this, all the attributions about this "version" of history are now attributed to Michael Robinson, and not John Moulden, as it should be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 06:04 PM

Sorry, I also meant to note that Katherine Tyson's lyric, "Londonderry Air(e)" is actually the same poem as "Would God I Were the Tender Apple Blossom"

"Would God I were..." is the first line of her poem.

She was a contemporary of Yeats, a Young Irelander, and is credited on the great Irish tenor John McCormack's sheet music of his version (from Paul Worth's Collection) thusly:

"Irish Love Song" An Ancient Air Arranged as a Song (Katherine Tynan Hinkson/Traditional arr by Alicia Adelaide Needham A UK: Keith, Prowse & Co. Note: Also known as "Would God I Were the Tender Apple Blossom" The melody is "The Londonderry Air"."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 06:46 PM

Where did that attribution to Rory Dall O'Cathain attribution come from? Bunting, 1796, didn't give that (although he gave the title in English as well as Gaelic), nor has anyone else that I know of. Besides, the tune was given twice in 'The Scots Musical Museum' before Bunting published it. Also "The Young Man's Dream" is an 18th century song based on a 17th century English one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 08:09 PM

At this point I begin to wonder just how many anonymous "GUEST"s we have in this discussion.  One of them seems primarily concerned in promulgating innuendo, (unsubstantiated by any specific reference), against Michael Robinson, who so far as I can tell has been conscientious in documenting his sources.  The Melody Lane site appears to carry no information about song or tune beyond a few short sentences which certainly appear to have been quoted from Michael, and a comment to the effect that ""Few people know it, but this song is about a mother and her love for her son", which in the absence of a statement to that effect from Fred Weatherly is no more than a statement of personal opinion, not fact.

I fail to see the relevance of all this vague speculation, particularly as any genuine confusion GUEST may have in his or her mind could easily be cleared up by contacting Michael, Bruce or John; it is unlikely that any further elucidation will be found here that they would be unable to provide.  I am at a loss as to what the point of all this empty and misleading speculation might be, unless it is the result of some private dispute.

Is the most recent post from an entirely different "GUEST"?  The whole debate so far has been so pointless that I'm not at all sure that I care.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Áine
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 08:50 PM

I agree, Malcolm. I've been following this thread with increasing confusion. I don't think I'd be accepting any criticism of any site from someone who won't sign his name. It appears to me that this is just more of the 'bollocks and blather' that's been going on lately in the forum, mostly under the 'Guest' banner.

-- Áine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jul 01 - 09:31 PM

Enjoyed Michael Robinson's site. Someone asked why the air is so popular in America. I don't see why there has to be a reason beyond the fact that the tune is haunting and memorable- it runs through the mind over and over. The common lyric, Danny Boy, is almost generic, so again has broad appeal.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 07:29 AM

There indeed is more than one guest in this thread.

As to Michael's site, his website generally is good. I now believe the Melody Lane site copied his work verbatim without crediting him. I am the guest who initially wondered aloud what was going on in that regard.

To find out, I spent a couple of hours doing a Google search, was able to come up with every on-line reference Robinson gives on his website and a whole lot more, in about an hour.

I read all the threads related to this on the Irish traditional music site yesterday. They go back to 1995. It appears to me that Michael Robinson's information on the Danny Boy page was largely gleaned from Internet sources and asking around, and not by doing legitimate research. There are so many holes in his story you could drive a truck through them.

In addition to that, he makes outrageously ignorant statements regarding the discourse surrounding this song, like:

"This illustrates one of the great modern myths of the traditional music establishment, which is that Irish traditional music is the province only of the Catholic Irish. In the Internet world of Irish music, people have been banned from list discussions for denying this myth.I would be hesitant to bring up the name of Jimmy McCurry in such online forums for fear of being accused of advocating the murder of children. (To some people this may seem ridiculous, but I speak from experience.) I'm afraid that dispassionate discussion of this part of the history of Irish music must be postponed until the Irish manage to settle their very complicated political disputes, which we all hope will come sooner rather than later. "

This is, I can only assume, is a reference to Conrad Bladey's removal from the Irish traditional music list after several years of his *abusive behavior* towards other posters on the list. To suggest that he was removed for discussing Orange music is disingenous in the extreme. John Moulden is probably one of the most expert, highly respected people alive today on Orange music in Ulster, and he regularly contributed (and sometimes still does) to that list.

Robinson's obvious personal bigotries calls his supposed "research" into question.

Robertson gives no information whatsoever to the many other sources of lyrics used with the tune, most notably Tynan's, whose version was sung by world famous Irish tenor John McCormack. I believe he didn't even bother with this fairly substantial Irish side of the song, because of his personal prejudices.

As I mentioned before, McCormick used Tynan's poem and an air which was believed to be traditional (the air is commonly believed to be "traditional" in Ireland, regardless of what Robinson claims). This is easily obtainable information, even on the Internet, and there is no reasonable explanation I can think of why that information wasn't included, if he is claiming to have "solved" the mystery (whatever the hell it was in his mind anyway).

I also stated he did no research into the American side of the story, including the O'Neill tunes, the most obvious place to look for American remnants of traditional tunes brought from Ireland. As I said, O'Neill's collection is referred to as "The Book" by Irish musicians.

Rather, Robinson's only real mention of this is in passing: referring (again) to another poster on the Irish traditional music list who is not an "expert" on Irish traditional music by any means.

He largely dismisses totally the idea that the tune Weatherly claimed came from an American source, may have come from O'Neill's collection. Rather, he focuses on an obscure cite about Percy Grainger (one of Robinson's Australian countrymen)being the American source for Weatherly's tune, which just flies in the face of reason.

He also dismisses out of hand the possibility that Weatherly may have appropriated/been influenced by the art song by Frank Bridge, which is an adapted version of the air. Rather, he creates wholly unrealistic speculation about Percy Grainger being the source, without presenting any evidence as to how Weatherly might have gotten the Grainger version (in the mail? I don't think so). Bridge's composition, apparently, was recorded in 1908, which fits the timeframe of the song's copyright date much more comfortably than does the Grainger version. Bridge was an English composer, the mentor to Benjamin Britten, and was a composer known for using folk music sources. If we are to look at composers of art songs from the era whom Weatherly may have been familiar with (as a contemporary), Bridge is much more plausible than Grainger.

Also, if Weatherly was, as many suspect, using folk music sources for tunes, as so many other composers of the era were, it is much more likely that he got the tune from the source most often cited, which is Petrie. It is possible that the source for his adaptation is O'Neill, which was also a published tune collection he may have had access to in London (and hence the claim it came from America).

Robinson doesn't even mention the connections of the song between Ireland and Britain--he doesn't mention Hyde or Yeats or Tynan or McCormack. Clearly hasn't done any research into the Gaelic League, Young Irelanders, or Anglo Irish literary movement of the era in both Ireland and London.

Rather, he quotes an Irish poem which doesn't even fit the music from Irish Minstrelsy, and uses that as his justification for claiming "mystery solved"! I might also mention that there is, to my knowledge, nothing in the historic record which connects that poem to the air in question. Robinson's website contains nothing more than idle speculation and wishful thinking. If that is what you call "conscientious" research, it says more about you than this anonymous guest.

We see this sort of so-called "research" more and more often on the Internet. Anybody can put up a website and make any outrageous claims they want, wholly unsubstantiated, without specific cites, and with only the sketchiest knowledge or background. Let me tell you something else--Robinson's page isn't where I'd go for information on the Irish language on-line.

BTW, to one of the other GUESTs--the source I quoted for Bunting was the one given on Robinson's page. There is a Bunting website on-line which may be the source of Robinson's claim, though he doesn't cite it. That page:

http://services.worldnet.net/~pybertra/ceol/tunes.htm

cites the source as "the first Bunting collection."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 07:42 AM

GUEST-most-recent:
You obviously care very much about this to have spent so much time on it. Your information is interesting, and leaves many questions unanswered about the sources. I know many of the Mudcatters reading this would like to know about you, who care so much about authentic sources and correct citations ana all. Tell us about yourself! Or at least, to distinguish you from other anonymous GUESTS, couldja type a pseudonym in the space labeled "From" when you post?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 08:01 AM

If it helps (which I doubt!) Michael Robinson's Robinson's article was published in Folk Harp Journal in Spring 1997, in number 95, p29, see Folk Harp Journal if you really care.

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 08:13 AM

The link you cite to the Folk Harp Journal index appears, to me at least, to be a review of a recording, not an article about Danny Boy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 08:18 AM

Given that the article listed in the index is entitled 'Danny Boy - the Mystery Solved', I think it is reasonable to surmise that this is the article in question. Perhaps, you were looking at the wrong part of the page GUEST? Try again.

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 08:26 AM

I stand corrected. Are you suggesting that because this journal published his article, that somehow lends more credibility to it?

Hogwash.

Folk music journals are full of some bad scholarship, mostly marginal scholarship, sometimes good scholarship, and rarely, outstanding scholarship.

Very few folk music scholars, particularly collectors, are professional academics in the field of music, and aren't trained to do research to an acceptable international standard, which is now required for publication of music history, ethnomusicology, and musicology, in most other music genres.

Folk music scholarship of Britain and Ireland both are pretty substandard in this regard.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Brian Hoskin
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 08:34 AM

Guest, as it happens I'm a professional academic and am well aware of variations in standards of scholarship. In this case that is irrelevant, because I was making no suggestions whatsoever about the veracity or quality of the research, I was merely supplying the reference. Incidentally, forming immediate and unsubstantiated assumptions based on misreadings is also common in poor scholarship.

I don't actually much care about the song or its origins, I was just trying to be helpful.

Brian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 08:42 AM

Supplying the reference is appreciated.

It also goes some way towards explaining how and why Robinson's unsubtantiated assumptions, based upon his misreading music history, is being given more credence than some of the much better interpretations of folk music history by scholars like John Moulden.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: toadfrog
Date: 18 Jul 01 - 11:51 PM

Well, if not above, the article is. here. Whatever the actual merit of the article, it's hard to believe that anything written in that format, in that language, could be "scholarship." I agree with Brian Hoskin - who could possibly care where a drippy piece of sentimentality like "Danny Boy" comes from?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 10:46 AM

I would agree about the sentimentality being mawkish, but there are many, many mawkish folk songs which never generate reactions even remotely close to the negative reactions some people have to Danny Boy. What interests me are the ways the song migrated from being an English art song, to becoming a "stage Irish" song in the US, to becoming a standard at weddings and funerals in some sections of the Irish American community, at the same time it became associated with Irish nationalism and the IRA in England, yet remained largely unknown in Ireland until possibly the last 20 or so years of the 20th century.

If you look at the reactions to the song in a detached and dispassionate way, you see how really over the top the negative reactions are among people overly concerned and seemingly obsessed with the "cultural authenticity" issues surrounding this song, or those who are so angered by what they believe is an obvious association between the song and Irish republicans in North America.

In reality, that association is pretty ludicrous. To me, the negative reaction to this song is out of all proportion to what the song means within certain segments of the Irish American community which embrace the song. You just don't see that sort of a history with most other mawkish, sentimental songs.

Also, there is an interesting history of the song in Ireland, which is rarely addressed. For instance, John McCormack, an ardent nationalist, never recorded Danny Boy, despite it's popularity in the US where he recorded and performed frequently.

Many Irish people have never even heard of the song, which raises the question--why the negative association of this song with Irish republicans to begin with? It isn't a part of the republican and nationalist song canon in Ireland.

Not too many songs are going to have such a convoluted history. I could care less about the origins of the tune. What is fascinating to me are the ways the Anglo vs Irish cultural identity wars are fought over the lyrics by Fred Weatherly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,Com Seangan
Date: 23 Jan 05 - 12:26 PM

Back to the original question about the Gaelic (orginal?) version) which has not yet been answered. Martin Ryan is correct about Irish words written for the air by Osborn Bergin. The Title was called "Maidin i mBeara". It begins thus:

"Is e mo chaoi gan mise maidin aerach
Amuigh i mBeara im sheasamh ar an dtra"

Sorry for omission the fadas - they don't come ouyt on this site. Why?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 23 Jan 05 - 02:20 PM

That's unusual. Usually the fadas do come out. BUT you have to put them in properly using HTML. for instance... é = é

In ONE of the many threads in the Mudcat, there are the Gaelic words for Young Man's Dream. They're here. If you want, you can also look at Michael Robinson's Standing Stones site which definitely does have them. It looks like that's among the oldest songs for that tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jul 11 - 05:20 PM

When folks write about a certain artist recording a well remembered song like Londonderry Air, I can help with the question of whether John McCormack recorded it: yes, on a song called Mary Dear (in 1932?). I do not know who wrote it but I only say that are any of you guys music teachers? The song Londonderry Air is more remembered as Fred Weatherly's 1913 song, Danny Boy, and contrary to what people think, Fred was not brought up in Ireland, but the North of England. This song has been used in others after he wrote the words that we sing today. Therw were 2 hymns written to the same tune, one called 'I Cannot Tell', which i think was written in 1928...though I can't remember who wrote it but it might have been the Scottish born John Bell.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 03:01 PM

In 2001, a guest posted this:

"Additionally, there is an air attributed to Rory Dall O'Cathain called "Aisling an Oigfhir" (The Young Man's Dream) found in Bunting's 1796 collection, which predates Petrie. Some have suggested this as the "original" tune/air which developed into what we know today as the "Londonderry Air"."

That tune, 'the Young Man's Dream' can now be heard and downloaded at this site:

http://pybertra.free.fr/ceol/tunes.htm

(Do a search - Cntl F - for 'young')

I am not convinced that this tune and the Londonderry Air are related. Yes, there's a mild similarity, but lots of tune have that. To me, the important thing is that the 'Dream' lacks the big jump to the tenth ("for I'll be H-E-E-E-R-E")
which makes the Londonderry Air so distinctive and so cloying.

That jump makes the song so hard to sing that I suspect it was written for an instrument, and an instrument only. Violin or harp, perhaps.

The other tune simply goes up to the tonic and ends on it. Nothing unusual there.

I'm collecting songs to play on the flute. I'll think I'll go see how the new tune works out. So Guest, after 10 years, thanks for the info.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: ripov
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 11:24 PM

My partner, whose family are Irish (Donegal), believes that this is a Scottish song. There was a continual traffic of seasonal workers between Northern Ireland (in the geographical, not political, sense) and South West Scotland, who frequently had family in both countries. So it is certainly possible.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 01:15 AM

Yes, it is.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Brakn
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 02:51 AM

GUEST "Fred was not brought up in Ireland, but the North of England."


Portishead, Somerset, is not the North of England.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 07:54 AM

To the best of my KNowledge and I'm a Trad Irish baladeer. The original Derry Air (the word London was later added by protestants, Derry's name is Derry) it was a fiddle tune written down by an English lady. I believe there was a contest to find words to fit the tune which led to several early versions, some of which are still sung, but Danny Boy became the most popular so far. So there is no Gaelic translation, and I think the words could net be bettered


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:03 AM

Not looking for a row.... honest!

Jane Ross, who noted the song from an itinerant fiddler, was Irish.

George Petrie, the (Irish) collector, gave the tune the title "Londonderry Air" in his Ancient Music of Ireland published in 1855.

There is (at least) one set of words in Irish set to the tune and still sung regularly. See earlier posts re Maidin i mBéara. It's not a translation, of course.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 10:37 AM

I posted this other set of words in English a while back on another thread:
(They appear, with the tune notated and "arranged by H.A.C.", in a pretty old News Chronicle Song Book - no date on it but full score edition cost 2s6d, or words only version 6d!)

LONDONDERRY AIR (IN DERRY VALE)
W.G.Rothery                         Tune: Londonderry Air

In Derry Vale, beside the singing river,
So oft I strayed, ah, many years ago,
And culled at morn the golden daffodillies
That came with Spring to set the world aglow.

Oh, Derry Vale, my thoughts are ever turning
To your broad stream and fairy-circled lea,
For your green isles my exiled heart is turning,
So far awa-a-ay acro-oss the-e sea.

In Derry Vale, amid the Foyle's dark waters,
The salmon leap above the surging weir,
The seabirds call – I still can hear them calling
In night's long dreams of tho-o-ose so dear.

Oh, tarrying years, fly faster, ever faster,
I long to see the vale belov'd so well,
I long to know that I am not forgotten,
And there at ho-o-ome in pe-eace to-o dwell.

And a glut of other info here (largely in concordance with what's been said above):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Londonderry_Air


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 11:10 AM

Nice word, Tattie. Thanks for posting.

I suggest that "For your green isles my exiled heart is turning" should be "To your green isles..."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 04:24 PM

For your green isles my exiled heart is yearning

See link above.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,Seonaid
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 08:20 PM

There's also a gagworthy set of lyrics called "Acushla Mine"...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,julia L
Date: 13 Jul 11 - 09:48 PM

I have over 24 sets of lyrics to this melody, with more surfacing all the time. I had not one, but two elderly ladies sing me their (different) summer camp songs which had been written to this tune. I think it is perhaps the very moving melody that is perennially appealing and transcends the lyrics, maudlin or not.

So, are there Gaelic words and if so could someone please post them?

best- julia


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 04:03 AM

Click here for a choral rendition on Youtube of "Maidin i mBéara", the Irish language set of lyrics to which reference is made (several times) in the thread. It was certainly taught in schools in my day (50 - 60 years ago) and may well still be. I have very occasionally heard it sung solo at singing sessions in Ireland - always by people of my generation who, I suspect, remember it from school.

A quick search hasn't produced a full set of lyrics - I'll get back to it later.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 04:11 AM

In fact, there's a set - where else? - on Mudcat already.

Click here.

Looks like it needs some tidying up as regards accents.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 10:34 AM

Thanks, Henry. "turning" rhymes with "yearning"

Julia - 24 sets of words. I had no idea.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 11:27 AM

(This will probably appear as "GUEST, An Buachaill Caol Dubh" -often called simply "ABCD"! - since I see there have been some problems with Membership &c)

Further to the post on 11th July 2011 regarding John McCormack's recordings of words to this air, he recorded both "O Mary Dear" in the 1930s, with Edwin Schneider at the piano, and much earlier, I'd guess around the time of the Great War, "Would God I were the tender apple-blossom/That floats and falls from off yon twisted bough..." (words by Kathleen Tynan; orchestral accompaniment). I have the sheet-music for "O Mary Dear", and the words are by McCormack himself.

Incidentally, if we're wondering about an original name for the city on the banks of Lough Foyle, there's a good argumaent for its being "Doire Colm Cille", the oak-grove of Saint Colmcille (i.e. Columba).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,An Buachaill Caol Dubh
Date: 14 Jul 11 - 11:30 AM

Further, the words to "In Derry fair, beside the singing river" are by one W G Rothery (?"Willaim George"), whose name I've often seen as the translator of European folk-songs (or, at least, one who made versions in English which can be sung to the origianl airs).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,Dale D.
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 07:53 PM

I'll try to post the Irish words to Maidin i mBéarra here, and see if the fadas show up. With my method, they do on every other site....

Maidin i mBéarra
Osborn ó hAmheirgin (1872-1950) (copied from a book, sorry I didn't get the title)

Is é mo chaoi gan mise maidin aerach
Amuigh i mBéarra im' sheasamh ar an trá,
Is guth na n-éan 'om' tharraing thar na sléibhte cois na farraige
Go Céeim an Aitinn mar a mbíonn mo ghrá.

Is obann aoibhinn aitseasach do léimfinn,
Do righfinn saor ó ana-broid an tláis,
Do thabharfainn droim le scamallaibh an tsaoil seo,
Dá bhfaighinn mo léirdhóthain d'amharc ar mo chaoimhshearc bhán.

Is é mo dhíth bheith ceangailte go faonlag,
Is neart mo chléibh á thachtadh anseo sa tsráid,
An fhaid tá réim na habhann agus gaoth ghlan na farraige
Ag glaoch is ag gairmar an gcroí so im' lar.

Is milis bríobhar leathanbhog an t-aer ann,
Is gile ón ngréin go fairsing ar an mbán
Is ochón, a rí-bhean bhanúil na gcraobhfholt,
Gan sinn-ne araon i measc an aitinn mar do bhímis tráth!


And for the record, I am looking for a translation.

Dale D.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 07:59 PM

For those interested in how I get the fadas to show up without using HTML, it's easy.

Hold down the ALT key and enter a three-digit number on the numeric keypad. (Sorry, I guess you can't do this on a laptop.) The numbers for the fadas are as follows:

ALT + 130 = é
ALT + 160 = á
ALT + 161 = í
ALT + 162 = ó
ALT + 163 = ú
ALT + 144 = É

The Capital E is the only character I found in the ALT key coding to give a fada mark to. If you're doing a last name, just use the lower case O and it should work okay. Any other capitals needed, I'm not sure what to tell you, but these are a start....

Dale d.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 08:02 PM

Oops! Just caught one error! I tried to proof it well, but missed on....

On the fourth line the second word is Céim -- the second "e" (the one without the fada)is extraneous.

Sorry!

Dale D.

Slán!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Sep 11 - 08:11 PM

One more correction....

fourth line in the third stanza:
the end should read "an gcroí seo im' lár." sorry, I dropped an "e" in "seo"....

Dale d.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 05:37 PM

I succeeded in finding an English translation to the lyrics. Is anyone else interested?

Dale D.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 06:49 PM

We're always interested! ;>)>

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,Slartibartfast
Date: 03 Feb 12 - 11:28 AM

John McCormack never recorded it? I HAVE A RECORDING OF JOHN MCCORMACK SINGING IT!
The melody undoubtedly Irish, and probably predates James VI/James I.
The strange thing about the melody is that it doesn't fit the traditional Irish meter, 3/4 or 6/8. One theory, put forward by Anne G Gilchrist in "English Folk Dance and Song Society Journal" (Dec 1932, p 115) is that Miss Ross mistranscribed it - and indeed if certain prolonged notes are shortened to allow it to be played in 6/8 time, it bears some resemblance to both "The Colleen Rue" and "An Beanasal Og".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Lighter
Date: 03 Feb 12 - 12:30 PM

Cited here by the late Bruce Olson long ago, and still - I'd think - the standard source of information:

http://www.standingstones.com/dannyboy.html

Bottom line: "Londonderry Air" is plausibly a descendant or variant of an older melody known as "The Young Man's Dream."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 12:32 PM

When it comes to the name of the tune, the bottom line surely is that calling it "the Derry Air" invites the listener to be aware of an unfortunate pun.

Sung simply, without exaggerated emotion, there's nothing particularly maudlin about the words. Unfortunately it rarely gets sung simply.

The best version perhaps is the simplified cod one where you just sing "Oh Danny Boy, Oh Danny Danny Danny Boy" throughout - in which case exaggerated emotion is de rigeur.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 12:35 PM

There's a song about that unfortunate pun in the Digital Tradition - London Derriere


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Lighter
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 02:15 PM

The second stanza is pretty maudlin, IMO: "When you come back, I'm likely to be dead. Pray over my grave in that case."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 05:24 PM

McGrath, when I was a student at The London Hospital, Whitechapel (since become ROYAL London, of course!) we did in fact call our Christmas show " The London Derriere"! And there's that line in "The Town I Loved so well" that you have to be awfully careful about how you sing it - "There was music there in the Derry air": I usually do a rather forced glottal stop between the y and the a!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Feb 12 - 05:57 PM

London derriere?

(sorry!)

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jun 17 - 06:12 AM

John McCormack was indeed a devout Catholic and an Irish Nationalist but his Father Andrew was a Scot! John was the Grandson of 3 Presbyterians of Scottish ancestry; not surprisingly he could bear prejudice of any kind. He recorded the Londonderry Air under the title 'Oh Mary Dear' arranged by Edwin Schneider and the lyrics as mentioned above are John's own and they probably are earlier than the popular Danny Boy version.

Oh Mary dear, a cruel fate has parted us.
I'll hide my grief, e'en though my heart should break.
Farewell my love, may God be always with you.
I love you so, I'd die for your dear sake.
But you'll come back to me my sad heart whispers.
You'll come with summer's flowers or winter's snow,
But I'll be there to wait if God should spare me.
And with the years, my love shall deeper, greater, grow.

Oh Mary dear, the years are lone and dreary,
And yet you come not back my soul to cheer.
My eyes grow dim, my path of life's near ended.
When death shall come, in spirit, Love, be near.
Remember then, my soul's deep adoration.
Shed one sad tear for all the world to see.
Breath one short prayer, and I shall know you love me.
And still be waiting, Mary, when you come to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 20 Jun 17 - 06:59 AM

I believe I'm right in saying there were NO original words, it was a tune noted down by an English lady and later there was a competition to put lyrics to it, what we now know as Danny boy the winner. B y the way the Original title would NOT have been Londonderry Air but The Derry air as London prefix did not exist then


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 20 Jun 17 - 07:17 AM

Depends on what you mean by "then". Londonderry was applied when it was first published.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: GUEST,DK
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 01:09 AM

Would everybody contributing anything other than puns to this thread please check the Standing Stones website above, about nine posts ago. As Lighter said, it's still the standard reference. As far as the name Londonderry is concerned, it is complicated by sectarian bigotry and lack of attention to history. When the 'Flight of the Earls' occurred in 1607 it left large tracts of land forfeit to the crown and the crown then coerced the London companies to fund
and carry out the colonisation which became known as the Ulster Plantation. The companies - Draper's, Goldsmith's, Mercer's, etc., - then changed the name of the area to the County of Londonderry. However, it had NOT previously been County Derry, it was the County of Coleraine since that town was for many years more important than Derry.
The modern Derry/Londonderry controversy is complete nonsense, when I was a boy in Co. Antrim a very long time ago, everybody whatever their religion called both the city and county 'Derry,' we knew the official name but it was hardly ever used. It is ironical that the hardline Protestants who like the 'London' prefix have, or used to have parade banners which reference Derry, Aughrim and the Boyne, and the Orange songbook contains the line 'we'll guard old Derry's walls.'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Londonderry Air's original (Gaelic?) words
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Jun 17 - 07:30 AM

Thanks for the info on Derry, DK. There's another, even more significant discussion by Brian Audley called "The Provenance of the Londonderry Air," published in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association in 2000.

Audley finds that

1. there's no record of a tune that is *clearly* the "Londonderry Air" before it was noted by Jane Ross in 1854,

2. but the shape of the air relates it to earlier melodies such as "Castle Hyde" and "The Young Man's Dream" (though only the latter bears any readily audible resemblance to it - and even that isn't clearly "the same"); so there's no doubt that the "Air" has traditional roots, no matter who adapted it.

Michael Robinson has posted Irish words (of 1831 or earlier) to "The Young Man's Dream":

http://www.standingstones.com/aisling.html

There seem to have been several English translations.

3. Very interestingly, Sam Henry collected a tune that *is* an obvious (if less polished) variant of the "Londonderry Air" from the itinerant whistle-player Simon O'Doherty of Co. Antrim in 1934. O'Doherty claimed to have learned the tune from his grandfather, who had been a noted piper in Donegal. O'Doherty called it "The Riverside," which he said was the name of a song (which he'd unfortunately forgotten) sung by his mother.

Audley observes that the 18th century song in English, "The Young Man's Dream," was set "by a murm'ring river's side." Edward Bunting collected several versions, and published the one played by the harper Dennis Hempson of Magilligan, Co. Derry in 1792. None is as graceful as the "Air," however.


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

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


Mudcat time: 20 June 11:22 PM EDT

[ Home ]

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