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Where is Spancil Hill?

DigiTrad:
SPANCIL HILL


Related threads:
(DTStudy) DTStudy: Spancil Hill (64)
Where is Spancil Hill (continued)? (45)
New Spancil Hill (19)
Spansel Hill (14)
Spancil Hill (14)
Tune Add: Spancil Hill (4)
Lyr Add: Filkin' around Spancil Hill (1)
Spancil Hill (4) (closed)
No more Spancil Hill? (14)
Spancil Hill Horse Fair Postponed - 2001 (4)
DT & original Spancil Hill (5)


Alice 24 Apr 98 - 11:49 AM
BAZ 24 Apr 98 - 04:19 PM
Frank in the swamps 24 Apr 98 - 05:12 PM
erica 24 Apr 98 - 05:39 PM
Alice 24 Apr 98 - 05:48 PM
Alice 24 Apr 98 - 05:53 PM
Martin Ryan. 24 Apr 98 - 07:10 PM
Dave Brennan 24 Apr 98 - 07:13 PM
Frank McGrath 24 Apr 98 - 08:46 PM
Big Mick 24 Apr 98 - 09:30 PM
Alice 24 Apr 98 - 09:48 PM
Jes 26 Apr 98 - 10:34 AM
Alice 26 Apr 98 - 11:45 AM
27 Apr 98 - 09:08 AM
Martin Ryan 27 Apr 98 - 11:35 AM
dick greenhaus 27 Apr 98 - 01:27 PM
Alice 27 Apr 98 - 03:35 PM
Barbara Shaw 27 Apr 98 - 04:38 PM
McGrath 27 Apr 98 - 05:32 PM
McGrath 28 Apr 98 - 10:17 AM
Alice 28 Apr 98 - 12:06 PM
Martin Ryan 28 Apr 98 - 12:32 PM
erica 28 Apr 98 - 02:55 PM
Big Mick 28 Apr 98 - 10:30 PM
29 Apr 98 - 11:08 AM
McGrath 29 Apr 98 - 11:58 AM
Martin Ryan. 30 Apr 98 - 04:25 PM
Alice 30 Apr 98 - 08:51 PM
McGrath 01 May 98 - 09:23 AM
Antaine 01 May 98 - 11:22 PM
Antaine 01 May 98 - 11:27 PM
Alice 02 May 98 - 12:48 AM
Don of Poteen 02 May 98 - 08:51 AM
Martin Ryan 02 May 98 - 06:34 PM
McGrath 04 May 98 - 10:47 AM
McGrath 04 May 98 - 10:53 AM
McGrath 05 May 98 - 04:57 PM
Alice 05 May 98 - 05:05 PM
Antaine 05 May 98 - 05:48 PM
John in Brisbane 05 May 98 - 06:57 PM
Art Thieme 06 May 98 - 02:03 AM
Antaine 10 May 98 - 09:51 PM
Antaine 2nd try at address 10 May 98 - 09:57 PM
McGrath 11 May 98 - 03:26 AM
Big Mick 12 May 98 - 12:02 AM
Big Mick 12 May 98 - 01:25 AM
Big Mick 12 May 98 - 01:42 AM
Alice 15 Jun 98 - 03:28 PM
Brack& 31 Jul 98 - 09:09 AM
Martin Ryan. 31 Jul 98 - 10:25 AM
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Subject: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Alice
Date: 24 Apr 98 - 11:49 AM

I have asked this question of Irish websites with no reply. Since those of you here who are Irish were so quick with geography information on the Boulavogue thread, I hope you can tell me where Spancil Hill is located (if it is a real place in Ireland). The song is a real crowd pleaser here, since so many can relate their grandparents experience to it. It's especially appropriate if I end it with 'I woke in Butte, Montana' instead of 'California'.

Thanks.

alice


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: BAZ
Date: 24 Apr 98 - 04:19 PM

Alice
A great song. According to our song book on the road between Ennis and Tulla where a fair is held each year at the end of July, you can find the Cross of Spancil Hill.
It's funny you should mention that you have changed the end to fit your location as we have ahanged Eric Bogle's Shelter to Black and Gold the Cornish colours from Green and Gold.
Regards Baz.


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Frank in the swamps
Date: 24 Apr 98 - 05:12 PM

Isn't a Spancel (Spell?) a particularly horrible piece of witchcraft in which a strip of skin is cut from a human body all around the person? That is, around the fingers, up the arms over head down to feet, toes, around crotch and etc.etc. You come up with an outline which can be worn or thrown around someone or something or other. I think it's supposed to give you power over the person surrounded by it, I'm not sure.

Frank in the eerie, eerie, swamps.


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: erica
Date: 24 Apr 98 - 05:39 PM

frank o'the swampland--that's a little bit creepy... seeing as i'm already kinda scared of the dark, maybe i'll have to start watching out for things lurking in the cafe as well!! i think i'll stick to singing the song! cheers.


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Alice
Date: 24 Apr 98 - 05:48 PM

ugh!, Frank, how grotesque. Do you need a cup of cocoa and a nap? I'm having nightmares already from the image.
alice


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Alice
Date: 24 Apr 98 - 05:53 PM

Thanks, BAZ. I have a rather detailed roadmap of Ireland, and found Ennis and Tulla, with two places marked between them. Near Ennis is Fair Green (would that be where Spancil Hill is located?) and closer to Tulla is Moymore.

alice


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Martin Ryan.
Date: 24 Apr 98 - 07:10 PM

The full name, oddly enough, is "The Cross of Spancil Hill". The general description of the location in the thread is correct. Nowadays there's little there but a crossroads and some ruined buildings but it was once the site of a famous horse-fair. A man called Robbie McMahon sings the "real" version of the song and can identify most of the people - never mind the places!

A good, geographically neutral ending is "And I woke to factory whistles...."!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Dave Brennan
Date: 24 Apr 98 - 07:13 PM

It's a horse fair and has some great music at it too. I would sometimes go to a dance there and a ceili band would be playing. If we were lucky we'd make the last pint at Mullach. It's name comes from the time of the Spanish Armada, when ships from it were wrecked on the beaches around that area. I know, too much info.


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Frank McGrath
Date: 24 Apr 98 - 08:46 PM

Yes, Spancil Hill is a very real place and the "Parish Church of Clooney" is only about a mile from Spancil Hill.

Robbie McMahon did a workshop in Ennis some weeks back on the song "Spancil Hill". The highlight was Robbie singing the original and full version of the song accompanied by a dozen or more of his students, all of whom were word and note perfect to Robbies version.

Unfortunately I did not witness this myself because I would have treasured the memory of the scene in years to come. However, for anyone interested in the full "Robbie" version of Spancil Hill I shall ask him to provide a copy which I will post on this thread in the future, unless someone beats me to it. Also, Robbie has a tape of his songs which I don't have yet. I'll inquire about copies for anyone interested. He has written many brilliant songs and he sings the best "Bard of Armagh" I have ever heard.

Dave,
I'm new to the singing scene and so I don't know you...yet... but I shall be delighted to pass your regards onto Frank Harte.

Best Regards Frank McGrath


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Big Mick
Date: 24 Apr 98 - 09:30 PM

Frank,

I perform Spancil Hill and it is one of my audiences favorite songs. I am anxious for you to post the "real" lyrics.

All the best, Mick


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Alice
Date: 24 Apr 98 - 09:48 PM

Martin, Dave, and Frank,
The Mudcat never ceases to amaze me... I just love all the details you have provided. I really like the song, and any more information anyone can provide is welcome... especially the full lyrics. (Who was Tailor Quigley??) I first learned it with the line ...the young the old, the brave and the bold, their duties to fulfill, at the Parish Church of Clooney, near the Cross at Spancil Hill. Since then I have seen other versions not mentioning the church, but I prefer the one including it.

I find all your comments about the song very interesting. Let us know how we can get Robbie's tape. Thank you.

alice, in montana


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Jes
Date: 26 Apr 98 - 10:34 AM

I grew up in West Clare about 30 miles from Spancil Hill. I can't help wondering if the Spancil mentioned relates to the practice of spancilling which was to use a short rope to tie an animals left fore-leg to its right hind leg , thereby hobbling the animal and stopping it from wandering too far


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Alice
Date: 26 Apr 98 - 11:45 AM

Martin and Frank,
I'm curious about the people in the song. As you noted, Martin, Robbie McMahon can identiy the characters in the lyrics. (Not to imply Tailor was his name, I meant to write, who was the tailor, Quigley.) Also, I have seen versions of lyrics with different names of his sweetheart. Meg, the farmer's daughter, Peg, the farmer's daughter... If Robbie knows the original lyrics, does that mean that the name of the song's creator is known?

Anxiously awaiting the "real" lyrics.....

alice


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From:
Date: 27 Apr 98 - 09:08 AM

Spancill Hill is a lovely song you are right about that! But isn't it a trad.? I mean who can tell wich is the "real" Lyric. I beliave it up to the performer to decide. Also 1000 thanx for the geografical lessons.

Johnny


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 27 Apr 98 - 11:35 AM

Johnny

It's "trad" in as much as its already evolved slightly via the folk process. But it's not trad in that it is known who wrote it, it wasn't very long ago ..... and it hasn't changed significantly!

Not looking to start a row, just trying to be helpful! Honest!


Regards


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 27 Apr 98 - 01:27 PM

We got it from Christy Moore; if anyone has different, or more lyrics, please post 'em


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Subject: Lyr Add: SPANCIL HILL
From: Alice
Date: 27 Apr 98 - 03:35 PM

Dick, here is more or less the version I know compared to the one you have in the database. As mentioned above, I changed the end from 'California' to 'Butte, Montana".

SPANCIL HILL

Last night as I lay dreamin' of pleasant days gone by
My mind being bent on ramblin' to Ireland I did fly
I stepped aboard a vision and followed with my will
Until I came to anchor at the cross of Spancil Hill

It bein' the 23rd June the day before the fair
When Ireland's sons and daughters in crowds assembled there
The young, the old, the brave and the bold their duties to fulfill
At the Parish Church of Clooney near the Cross of Spancil Hill.

I went to see my neighbors to hear what they might say
The old ones were all dead and gone, the young ones turning grey
I met with the tailor Quigley, he's bold as ever still
He used to make my britches when I lived on Spancil Hill

I paid a flying visit to my first and only love
She's fair as any lily as gentle as a dove
She threw her arms around me saying "Johnny I love you still
She's Meg, the farmer's daughter, the pride of Spancil Hill.

I dreamt I knelt and kissed her as oft in days of yore
She said, "Johnny you're only teasing as many a time before"
Then the cock it crew in the morning it crew both loud and shrill
And I woke in Butte, Montana, many miles from Spancil Hill.

Still eagerly awaiting the original lyrics...

Alice in Montana


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 27 Apr 98 - 04:38 PM

There's an Irish band named Spancil Hill from Massachusetts with Sean and Des Burke (friends of ours), both of whom I believe were born in Spancil Hill. As soon as I hear from Sean I will pass along any additional information.


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: McGrath
Date: 27 Apr 98 - 05:32 PM

How are ye lads?

It's great to see so much interest in Spancihill.

As Martin pointed out, it's a relatively new song. And he's right again! There is no need for argument. It's a mighty song and that's why it's sung often and has adopted by many and adapted here and there along the way. And shure who gives a tinkers flying spit as long as we all enjoy ourselves and harm nobody.

God! I write so much unneccessary s*#% at times!

I'll have the "full" Spancilhill lyrics by post from Robbie in a couple of days and will add them to this thread upon receipt. (It's a lot longer than the pop version(s) )

Robbie has given me permission to put his address and phone details here for anyone who wants to contact him directly. (But please be mindful of the time differences and don't phone him at unsocial hours.) He has his own cassette tape (no CD yet) which he sells for £5 (1 Irish Pound = US$ 1.38 approx.) plus postage.

Robbie McMahon
Greenview
Spancilhill
Ennis
Co. Clare

Ph: 065 29874
Ph: 011 353 65 29874 (from the USA)

I promise just to write the words of the song and cut out all the crap in future.

Frank McGrath


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: McGrath
Date: 28 Apr 98 - 10:17 AM

Robbie McMahon promised to start writing out his history and stories relating to the song "Spancilhill" but here is a little sample just to keep the thread current. The song I will have in two days and the full history in another a week or two.

The author of "Spancillhill", Michael Considine, was born around 1850 and emigrated to the USA from Spancillhill around 1870. Working in Boston for about two years, he went to the USA with the intention of bringing his sweetheart over and for them to be married when he had made enough money for the passage. "Johnny you're only jokin'...." a line from the current version, in the original, of course, reads... "Mike you're only jokin' " His sweetheart was "Matt the Rangers Daughter" and not Matt the Farmers daughter as in the popularised version. The Rangers house was visible from Michael Considine's house as was the Taylor Quigley's.

He stayed in Boston for two years or so before moving to California. He suffered from ill health for a long time and, knowing he hadn't long to live, he wrote the poem "Spancilhill" to send home in rememberence of his love and it was kept safe by his 6 year old nephew, John Considine.

Michael Considine died sometime in 1873. And it seems he go home somehow (I don't know yet whether it was dead or alive) as he is buried in Spancilhill garveyard, close to where Robbie has a little plot chosen. Robbie reckons there will be a mighty session in Heaven and Spancilhill when that day comes around (hopefully a long time from now).

In the late 1930's or early 40's, Robbie was in a neighbours house with some friends singing when someone suggested singing "Spancillhill". The woman of the house, Moira Keane, left the room and when she came back said, "If ye are going to sing that song ye might as well sing it right" and she gave Robbie the original song.

Some time later at another session in the parish Robbie was asked to sing "Spancilhill" when a gruff voice in the corner growled out "Don't sing that song". When asked "why not?" the voice barked back " 'Cos ye don't know it."

Robbie, however insisted he did and launched into the version he'd gotton from Moira Keane. After singing a few lines Robbie noticed the gruff man sitting up and paying attention. As Robbie progressed with the song the gruff man foostered more and more with his cap and became agitated. When the song ended, the gruff voice in the corner demanded "Where did ya get that song?". The gruff old man seemed both perturbed and pleased.

Robbie explained the source. Moira Keane was the gruff man's aunt and the gruff man was 76 year old John Considine, who had kept his uncle Mike's song safe for 70 years.

More in a couple of days.

'Till then, Slán.

Frank McGrath
Nenagh Singers Circle


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Alice
Date: 28 Apr 98 - 12:06 PM

Frank, Thank you so much!! When I asked this question, I had no idea there would be such a wonderful history still known of its origin. What a sweet story. Thanks again, Frank, and thank Robbie for me.

Alice, in Montana


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 28 Apr 98 - 12:32 PM

Good man, Frank!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: erica
Date: 28 Apr 98 - 02:55 PM

wow, frank, i know that everyone's already said this, but THANK YOU!! that was wonderful! aie, brilliant--and certainly, thanks to robbie, too!


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Big Mick
Date: 28 Apr 98 - 10:30 PM

Frank, I consider myself to be far above average in my knowledge of things Irish, most especially the music. It has been an integral part of my life for 40 years. But I must bow to the Master. I never knew the story behind Spancil Hill. I will be incorporating it into my performances. I am one of those annoyingly Irish performers who figures that if you are going to hear the music, you are going to learn something about this fabulous culture of ours. You have added to my knowledge and I thank you, sir. Please share more when you get the time. And by the way, when I sing the song I usually say "Mick, You're only foolin...." or "Mike, you're only foolin...." so that fits with the story.

Sla/n go foill,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From:
Date: 29 Apr 98 - 11:08 AM

Hey, Are you the Frank McGrath that sings his messages onto my answering machine??.....From Nenagh?

...Come all ye Naynah singers and listen to my song.....

From the boy that sent you the list of clubs.


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: McGrath
Date: 29 Apr 98 - 11:58 AM

The brazen pup who posted the last message is none other than the great Antaine O'Faracháin. And yes, I am the eejit who gets to leave singing messages on your sean nós answering machine.

Alice from Montana needs to speak to you about sean nós so keep an eye on the Mudcat Cafe 'cos she might be leaving you a message. I lied like a divil and told her that you are the great god of sean nós in Ireland. But shure you're only a frustated jackeen who really wants to be a culchie.

Antaine is the one who did all the research for the singing clubs list on the Nenagh Singers Circle web site and he'll be cribbin' now because we gave him no credit for it on that page.

Seriously though Antaine, keep an eye on these pages because your expertise will be called for frequently. Lots of interest in Irish songs, even those old nose songs like you sing.

Nice to hear from you again.

Frank McGrath
Naynaa Squwakers Ring


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Martin Ryan.
Date: 30 Apr 98 - 04:25 PM

Is nowhere safe? Ladies - lock up your fridges, never mind your daughters!

Welcome aboard, Antaine
Regards


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Alice
Date: 30 Apr 98 - 08:51 PM

Sign up with a free membership, Antaine, so we can bother you with questions.

Alice in Montana


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: McGrath
Date: 01 May 98 - 09:23 AM

Sorry folks. No post today from Robbie. Hopefully I'll have the song by Tuesday 5th.

Regards,

Frank McGrath


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Antaine
Date: 01 May 98 - 11:22 PM

Mmmm what's all this about locking up your fridges?? And yes, there is nowhere safe!!!


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Antaine
Date: 01 May 98 - 11:27 PM

By the way there's a spancil mentioned in the following song : Na Ceannabháin Bhána

Goirim fhéin, goirim fhéin, goirim fhéin, Goirim fhéin Micil ’s Máire, Goirim fhéin, goirim fhéin, goirim fhéin, Siúd iad na Ceannabháin Bhána. (x2)

Cuirfidh mé, cuirfidh mé, cuirfidh mé, Cuirfidh mé suas chuig Sadhbh Sheáin thú, Cuirfidh mé, cuirfidh mé, cuirfidh mé, ’S cuirfidh sí buairthín sa ngleann ort. (x2)

buairthín = spancil

c.f. Peadar Ó Ceannabháin's C.D. "Mo chuid den tSaol" Cló Iar-Chonnachta CICD131 cic@iol.ie (He has a web page, translation incl. etc. etc.)

Highly recommended.


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Alice
Date: 02 May 98 - 12:48 AM

So what exactly does the word spancil mean? Hopefully it isn't what Frank suggested earlier.

alice


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Don of Poteen
Date: 02 May 98 - 08:51 AM

Alice, I can see from your time of post, you 're as hopelessly hooked in here as the rest of us. Great thread, and remarks. The Mudcat never ceases to amaze me!

Don of Poteen.


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 02 May 98 - 06:34 PM

Alice

Jes is right on what "spancil" means in Ireland. For that matter - "jesses" is not a million miles from the same meaning!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: McGrath
Date: 04 May 98 - 10:47 AM

Good Man Antaine! Here is my lowdown on - The Spancil

In North Tipperary and most other places in the country a "spancil" is used on cattle and livestock to hinder their movement.

It can be as simple as a short piece of rope or a custom made from timber with leather straps. Normally, a spancil is attached above the knees of the hind legs to restrict but not disable the animal. If you are being kicked by a particular cow regularly at milking time you will "spancil it" as soon as it is brought into the milking parlour. The spancil is then removed when milking is finished.

"Frank in the swamps" is probably quite correct with his explaination but thankfully I have nither witnessed nor heard of such practices in our locality. Mind you, if me missus (my wife) thought it might work I could wake up some morning soon both sore and powerless. (I can think of more pleasant ways of getting me into the same condition).

Frank McGrath


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: McGrath
Date: 04 May 98 - 10:53 AM

To fill in the time until I get Spancilhill from Robbie, here are a couple of tips for formatting text on the threads or even emails.

They are just a couple of simple HTML commands.

----------------------------------------

"Line BReak" Command
<BR>

This skips you to a new line ..........handy for song lyric formatting. - e.g.

Goirim fhéin,<BR>goirim fhéin,<BR>goirim fhéin,<BR>Goirim fhéin Micil ’s Máire,<BR>Goirim fhéin,<BR>goirim fhéin,<BR>goirim fhéin,<BR>Siúd iad naCeannabháin Bhána.

Will look like this when posted to the thread;

Goirim fhéin,
goirim fhéin,
goirim fhéin,
Goirim fhéin Micil ’s Máire,
Goirim fhéin,
goirim fhéin,
goirim fhéin,
Siúd iad naCeannabháin Bhána.

----------------------------------------

"New Paragraph" Command
<P>

This skips you to a new line and leaves a space. - e.g.

Na Ceannabháin Bhána<P> Goirim fhéin,<BR>goirim fhéin,<BR>goirim fhéin,<BR>Goirim fhéin Micil ’s Máire

Will look like this when posted to the thread;

Na Ceannabháin Bhána

Goirim fhéin, goirim fhéin,
goirim fhéin,
Goirim fhéin Micil ’s Máire

----------------------------------------

"Bold" Command
<B>...text...</B>

Not to be confused with ..."Get your knickers off!" ; it gives you bold text for headings. - e.g.

<B>Na Ceannabháin Bhána</B><P>Goirim fhéin,<BR>goirim fhéin,<BR>goirim fhéin,<BR>Goirim fhéin Micil 's Máire

Will look like this when posted to the thread;

Na Ceannabháin Bhána

Goirim fhéin, goirim fhéin,
goirim fhéin,
Goirim fhéin Micil 's Máire

----------------------------------------

"Italic" Command
<I>...text...</I>

Same as Bold but gives Italics. Useful for notes etc. - e.g.

<I>buairthín = spancil</I>

Will look like this when posted to the thread;

buairthín = spancil

----------------------------------------

Lower case or capitals will work fine;

<p> or <P>, <br> or <BR>, <b>...txt...</b> or <B>...txt...</B>, etc.


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: McGrath
Date: 05 May 98 - 04:57 PM

This is the original version of "Spancilhill".

All the characters and places in this song are real. It is a song written by a 23 year old man in the full knownedge that he was mortally ill. He knew he would die far from home and far from his loved one whom he would never see again.

Many thanks to Robbie McMahon, Spancilhill, Co. Clare for keeping the song and it's stories alive and for sharing them with us.

Spancilhill

Last night as I lay dreaming, of the pleasant days gone by,
My mind being bent on rambling and to Erin's Isle I did fly.
I stepped on board a vision and sailed out with a will,
'Till I gladly came to anchor at the Cross of Spancilhill.

Enchanted by the novelty, delighted with the scenes,
Where in my early childhood, I often times have been.
I thought I heard a murmur, I think I hear it still,
'Tis that little stream of water at the Cross of Spancilhill.

And to amuse my fancy, I lay upon the ground,
Where all my school companions, in crowds assembled 'round.
Some have grown to manhood, while more their graves did fill,
Oh I thought we were all young again, at the Cross of Spancilhill.

It being on a Sabbath morning, I thought I heard a bell,
O'er hills and vallies sounded, in notes that seemed to tell,
That Father Dan was coming, his duty to fulfill,
At the parish church of Clooney, just one mile from Spancilhill.

And when our duty did commence, we all knelt down in prayer,
In hopes for to be ready, to climb the Golden Stair.
And when back home returning, we danced with right good will,
To Martin Moylan's music, at the Cross of Spancilhill.

It being on the twenty third of June, the day before the fair,
Sure Erin's sons and daughters, they all assembled there.
The young, the old, the stout and the bold, they came to sport and kill,
What a curious combination, at the Fair of Spancilhill.

I went into my old home, as every stone can tell,
The old boreen was just the same, and the apple tree over the well,
I miss my sister Ellen, my brothers Pat and Bill,
Sure I only met my strange faces at my home in Spancilhill.

I called to see my neighbors, to hear what they might say,
The old were getting feeble, and the young ones turning grey.
I met with tailor Quigley, he's as brave as ever still,
Sure he always made my breeches when I lived in Spancilhill.

I paid a flying visit, to my first and only love,
She's as pure as any lilly, and as gentle as a dove.
She threw her arms around me, saying Mike I love you still,
She is Mack the Rangers daughter, the Pride of Spancilhill.

I thought I stooped to kiss her, as I did in days of yore,
Says she Mike you're only joking, as you often were before,
The cock crew on the roost again, he crew both loud and shrill,
And I awoke in California, far far from Spancilhill.

But when my vision faded, the tears came in my eyes,
In hope to see that dear old spot, some day before I die.
May the Joyous King of Angels, His Choicest Blessings spill,
On that Glorious spot of Nature, the Cross of Spancilhill.

Michael Considine... born circa 1859 and died circa 1873


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Alice
Date: 05 May 98 - 05:05 PM

Thank you, Frank. Yes, it brings tears.

alice


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Antaine
Date: 05 May 98 - 05:48 PM

Frank, Thank you for the original version of Spancilhill. See you at the Fleádh in Ennis? Old Ground at 2.30pm Saturday 23/5/98? After all it's not that far from Spancilhill itself. Nár laga Dia thú! Antaine


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 05 May 98 - 06:57 PM

To paraphrase another thread, this is why I LEVITATE to Mudcat. Truly remarkable, inspirational!

Many thanks John


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 06 May 98 - 02:03 AM

Simply fantastic! Have not had words transport me like those found herein in a very long while---possibly not since first encountering Thomas Wolfe! Heartfelt thanks to you all!!

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Antaine
Date: 10 May 98 - 09:51 PM

Re my message 1/5/98

Peadar Ó Ceannabháin's Web page is at http://www.grafxsource.com/MCS/cuid_den_tsaol.html

Hope I got that right!!


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Antaine 2nd try at address
Date: 10 May 98 - 09:57 PM

Forgot some Capital letters. Here it is again: http://www.grafxsource.com?MCS/Cuid_den_tSaol.html

Now, I'm definitely off to sleep this time!! Oíche mhaith agaibh.


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: McGrath
Date: 11 May 98 - 03:26 AM

http://www.GrafxSource.com/MCS/Cuid_den_tSaol.html
Antaine, you were shiftin' when you should have been slashin'

Frank McGrath
Nenagh Singers Circle


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Big Mick
Date: 12 May 98 - 12:02 AM

Hi Frank,

I never cease to be amazed at what we find on Mudcat. Please add my thanks to the list that you pass on to Robbie. And my thanks to you for sharing this with us. You have added a new piece to my repertoire, but more importantly you have added another level of appreciation that I have for my immigrant grandparents and the price they paid to "give my the gift of this country". All my performances are dedicated to them, and I am sure they would approve of this one. Take care and thanks again


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Big Mick
Date: 12 May 98 - 01:25 AM

Since this is such an august body of knowledge, I wonder if you all could help me with a couple of sets of lyrics/chords that I have been looking for? Forgive spelling errors on the first one, but it seems it was called "Grainne Mhaol". The second is "The Jackets Green". It seems as though I heard them on a Wolfe Tones album, but I can't seem to lay my hands on them. All assistance is greatly appreciated.

Mick in Michigan


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Big Mick
Date: 12 May 98 - 01:42 AM

By the way, have any of you ever heard of Beaver Island, Michigan? It is a great story. It is the northernmost inhabited island in the Great Lakes. It is located about 35 miles out in Lake Michigan northwest of Charlevoix. It was settled by Irish immigrants from the Arran Islands. It seems it reminded them of home. They established the town of St. James, complete with a Catholic Church and were quite happy until a Mormon leader by the name of James Jesse Strang decided that he needed a place to call home for himself and his followers. So he came to the Island and promptly declared it a Kingdom with himself as King. The lads abandoned the Island and changed their base of operations to the mainland. It seems that King James (The only King in American History) pissed off a few of his followers and they assassinated him. The lads heard the news and promptly went back to the island and threw the interlopers out and reclaimed their turf. That was in the mid to late 1800's and the island has been Irish ever since. The music of the island is clearly Irish, but it has developed a style of its own which has many influences from Great Lakes sea shanties to the music of the lumber camps. It is really a kick when you take the ferry to the Island to see one "Old Glory" and about 10 Irish Tri-Colors. It has such a great history and ambience that Dermott Gallagher, before leaving the States to go home from his Ambassadorship, brought his family to the Island for a two week visit. It is quite interesting to hear how some of the old Irish music has evolved separately on the island. There are several musicians there who have recorded the music of the island. My band has performed there and the hospitality is Irish through and through.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Alice
Date: 15 Jun 98 - 03:28 PM

Bringing this wonderful story and the lyrics up to the top again....
alice


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Brack&
Date: 31 Jul 98 - 09:09 AM

Just some more info on Spancil Hill taken from a book by Sonny Enright called The Rambler From Clare.

It was originally called Cnoc Fuar Choile (the hill of the cold wood) and was somehow anglicised to Spancil Hill.

Michael Considine (the author) emigrated to The States following his brother John and his sister Mary. John died shortly after his arrival and Mary was joined later by her fiancee Patrick Clune, from the Clooney area. They married and he became a noted legal practitioner. Another brother, William(jnr) died before Michael emigrated. His other brother Pat, died leaving a his widow to look after her father-in-law William and a five month old son called John. It was John who received the poem, in the form of a letter, from his uncle Michael.

Mack the Rangers daughter was his childhood sweetheart Mary MacNamara. They planned to marry but Michael died before saving enough money to enable them to do so. Mary "Mack" remained faithful to his memory and never married. According to this source he was buried in California.

Spancil Hill fair always took place on the 23rd of June. In the song he arrived on the 23rd the daybefore the fair but in an earlier verse had said that it was also on a Sabbath morning. Observance of the Sabbath would take precedence over the fair which would've started a day late, the 24th.

There is another song called Spancil Hill, does anyone know what the air is? The first verse is as follows

I have travelled the fairs of Ireland
From Ballinasloe to Ballinakill
But my favourite one of all
Is the fair of Spancil Hill

Regards Mick Bracken

I once told Dermot O'Brien that he sang the wrong words and he wasn't too impressed!!


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Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Martin Ryan.
Date: 31 Jul 98 - 10:25 AM

I was talking to Robbie McMahon at the weekend - he was delighted to hear of the spread of the story.

Regards


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