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Lyr Req: Lakes of Pontchartrain - Irish Words

DigiTrad:
ADALIDA
CHARLIE RUTLEDGE
LAKES OF PONCHARTRAIN
LAKES OF PONCHARTRAIN 2
LAKES OF THE PONCHARTRAIN (4)
THE LAKES OF PONTCHARTRAIN 3


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Lakes of Pontchartrain (132)
Banks of the Old Pontchartrain (Williams/Vincent) (21)
Question about Lakes of Pontchartrain song (55)
Chords Req: The Lakes of Ponchartrain (68)
Lakes of Ponchartrain on banjo (11)
Lyr Req: The Man That Shot the Dog (Mick Quinn) (22)
Spelling of 'Pontchartrain' ? (16)
Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchetrain? / Ponchartrain (47)
Lyr/Chords Req: Lakes Of Ponchartrain (Deanta) (13)
Lyr Req: On the Banks of Lake Pontchartrain (13)
Lakes of Ponchartrain through Irish lang (7)
Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain (from Sam Henry) (16)
Origins: Lakes of Ponchartrain (2) (closed)
Lakes of Ponchartrain (20)
Recording Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain (17)
Inf. Lakes of Ponchatrain? / Ponchartrain (4) (closed)


Jimmy C 12 Jun 02 - 11:35 AM
greg stephens 12 Jun 02 - 11:46 AM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 12 Jun 02 - 11:49 AM
greg stephens 12 Jun 02 - 11:53 AM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 12 Jun 02 - 12:01 PM
Francy 12 Jun 02 - 12:06 PM
Declan 12 Jun 02 - 12:21 PM
GUEST 12 Jun 02 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 12 Jun 02 - 12:40 PM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 12 Jun 02 - 12:43 PM
IanC 12 Jun 02 - 12:45 PM
Declan 12 Jun 02 - 12:46 PM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 12 Jun 02 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 12 Jun 02 - 12:54 PM
Declan 12 Jun 02 - 12:58 PM
GUEST,Nerd (at work) 12 Jun 02 - 01:10 PM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 12 Jun 02 - 01:12 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 12 Jun 02 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 12 Jun 02 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,Nerd (again) 12 Jun 02 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,Nerd 12 Jun 02 - 01:26 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 12 Jun 02 - 01:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jun 02 - 01:26 PM
Ballyholme 12 Jun 02 - 01:29 PM
GUEST,Nerd 12 Jun 02 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Nerd 12 Jun 02 - 01:35 PM
greg stephens 12 Jun 02 - 01:51 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 12 Jun 02 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Nerd 12 Jun 02 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,Nerd 12 Jun 02 - 02:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jun 02 - 02:51 PM
greg stephens 12 Jun 02 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,Nerd 12 Jun 02 - 03:06 PM
GUEST,SeanN 12 Jun 02 - 04:22 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 12 Jun 02 - 04:31 PM
Bat Goddess 12 Jun 02 - 04:39 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Jun 02 - 07:49 PM
Áine 12 Jun 02 - 08:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jun 02 - 08:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jun 02 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,SeanN 12 Jun 02 - 09:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Jun 02 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 13 Jun 02 - 10:26 AM
Declan 13 Jun 02 - 10:44 AM
MMario 13 Jun 02 - 10:50 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Jun 02 - 11:18 AM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 13 Jun 02 - 11:36 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Jun 02 - 11:47 AM
Les from Hull 13 Jun 02 - 12:31 PM
Jimmy C 13 Jun 02 - 04:12 PM
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Subject: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: Jimmy C
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 11:35 AM

I need the words to this song. It was recorded on a CD " Eist Aris". by Andy Irvine. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: greg stephens
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 11:46 AM

sorry, cant do blue clickies,but I'm sure someone will in a minute so I wont type them out. And is Mudcat is the one place in the worldwhere everyone is allowed to be pedantic, Ithink I should point out that as far as I know Andy Irvine is Scottish and got the song of the Watersons who are English...though maybe it was Irish before that?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 11:49 AM

Is

this any use? I got it on a google search, but don't know if it's the version you're after.

The "definitive" rendering by dint of superstardom is Paul Brady's, so you might try putting his name into a search there and checking out webfanzines devoted to him.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: greg stephens
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 11:53 AM

IMHO the Best Song in the World. Bet Paul Brady got it from Andy Irvine though (speaking from memory, perhaps I ought to check dates on discograpies before opening my big mouth).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 12:01 PM

Here's the Brady version. (I needed to refresh my blue clicky skills).

Funny, I thought the song had some association with the American Civil War (or whatever we're supposed to call it in politically correct terms), but I don't see any obvious internal evidence of this. Am I imperfectly remembering a rambling intro by PB? When I see the words written down it looks more like a plea for the Euro, disguised by geographical transposition.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: Francy
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 12:06 PM

Whereever it came from, it's a wonderful song and thanks for those lyrics.... I really love to sing this song...Another song with similar melody and lyric line is the Lily Of The West..........Frank Of Toledo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: Declan
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 12:21 PM

greg,

Do you really find it necessary to react like that every time someone puts the word Irish into a thread name ?

The version that Jimmy C was looking for is in the Irish language, which as far as I know is neither Scotish nor English.

Andy recorded the song with Planxty before Paul Brady did. Paul found his version in the US, which is obviously where the song was written. From both the language in the song and the tune, I'd say the author was Irish, but that is neither here nor there.

I'm not sure if the song was set around the American Civil war although "foreign money" could be a clue to this as the confederacy issued their own currency, which would have been useless after the war was over. Might also date back to the time of the battle of New Orleans (about 1812 if my memory serves me right)- Louisiana being a French settlement may have had a different currency in those days ?

I think it was actually Paul Brady who recorded it on Eist aris. I'll check out the CD this evening and will post the words some time soon.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 12:25 PM

Every song ever written, if ever performed by an Irish artist becomes Irish!

Cunning old Celts!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 12:40 PM

don't know of any Irish words, though there is a version, #1 in DT, that is more common in Ireland than Paul Brady's version. Google search brings up dozens of websites with lyrics, some of which differ slightly or greatly with DT's 4 versions. Maybe time for a study thread on this song. I'd say, agreeing with many, that the song dates from after the Civil War, and don't know of any evidence at all, in the song or otherwise, that it involves an Irishman (though we get around, don't we!). It is most probably an older Creole song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 12:43 PM

Decko,

The 1812 lead sounds quite plausible, given the use of the word "foreign". Maybe PB is fallible after all?

It didn't even occur to me that Jimmy C might be looking for words as gaeilge (pardon my html experimentation, I try to use it as a spurious justification for hitting mudcat from work!). I'd no idea that Andy Irvine (one of whose parents was/is Irish, I gather, so he comfortably qualifies to wear the green jersey) ever sang in the first official. What's the Coimisiún um Lugainmneacha official Irish translation of Pontchartrain? Droichead na gCartúsach?

And while I'm slaggin' PB (and by the way I do actually like his music), here's a stop press news item. I had agreed with Mooman that we should be ready to do the PB version of the rocks of bawn in time for the recent Brussels Mudcat gathering, but we never got round to doing it that weekend. So we tried it last night unrehearsed at our monthly pub session. I launched into it on my concert-pitch uilleann pipes, feeling altogether very Liam O'Flynn-like. Then Mooman joins in on the vocals and realises that he (unlike PB) is NOT your standard Irish tenor, and the song is just pitched three or four notes too high to sing in the same octave and about the same amount too low to sing the octave below. So it quickly turned into an instrumental solo. Suppose I'll just have to mortgage the wife, order a Bflat set from Geoff Woof and wait twelve or thirteen years before we try it again.

html fixed by mudelf


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: IanC
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 12:45 PM

This older thread Lakes of Ponchartrain has quite a lot of useful information.

:-)
Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: Declan
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 12:46 PM

greg,

Sorry for my intemperate opening to my last post. I got a bit carried away there.

Also it was Arthur McBride that Andy recorded with Planxty. I've never heard Andy singing the song except possibly as a backing vocalist to Paul Brady, who recorded it on the Welcome Here Kind Stranger album in 1978. I think my memory is right though when I say that Paul brought the song back from the states with him.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 12:53 PM

Further afterthought (and now it's way past quittin' time!)which has been below conscious thought level and alligator-like has just broken the surface.

I was struck by the persistence of the alligators through the different versions which I glanced over in response to Declan's original enquiry. Could the song also have been lodged in the subconscious of the swimming coach referred to in the current SONG CHALLENGE!?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 12:54 PM

Planxty DID record 'Lakes of Ponchartrain', it's on their last album, Cold Blow & A Rainy Night, can't remember if it's in any way different lyrically from the PB version, from 'Welcome Here Kind Stranger'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: Declan
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 12:58 PM

Making an awful prat of myself today. I think I'll go home soon ! Christy Moore recorded Pontchartain first with Planxty and he did learn it from Mike Waterson.

I now remember that Paul Brady always introduced the song as a song he learnt off a Planxty record (but from Christy rather than Andy).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Nerd (at work)
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:10 PM

Hooh! Lost of activity on this thread. here's what I know on this:

Firstly, Cold Blow is not Planxty's last album, just their third. This is important because it predates Paul Brady being in the band. I believe it's sung by Christy Moore there. Christy got it from Mike Waterson, who heard it and thought it had Irish connections. It is, obviously, an American song.

It's very likely that PB (which in my community means Peanut Butter, but which I guess means Paul Brady here) learned it at least in part from Christy, to sing with Planxty, since Planxty was rather like a pick-up band with rotating members for a while, and included both Christy and Paul.

The Irish words are a translation made by Proinnsias O Maonaigh, Francie Mooney, the Father of Altan's fiddler/frontwoman Mairead. PB has indeed sung them. I don't know if they've been published.

Nerd


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:12 PM

Donegal mafia alert!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:20 PM

found this info:

Trip to Galway Thu 27 Apr 2000

Francie Mooney television special.

Trip to Galway. One of the most popular progammes on TG4, Irelands Gaelic language television channel, is Sibin. The final programme of the current series featured Francie Mooney (Proinnsias O Maonaigh), Mairead's father and was a celebration of his achievements in the areas of teaching, music, drama and Gaelic football. We certainly enjoyed the great music on the show. Altan played and were joined by Francie and he led the band in some some tunes. Mairead and Triona Ni Dhomhnaill sang a song written by their father, Aodh, a friend of Francie's. Mairead's joined Gearoid and his son Ciaran for a brace of fiddle tunes. Paul Brady sang Francie's translation of The Lakes of Poncartrain, Ar Bhruach Loch Ponchartrain. Paul reminded us that it was Gleanntain Ghlas Gaoth Dobhair, a composition of Francie's that had helped launch his own career with The Johnstons. Paddy Glackin and Micheal O Domhnaill were there to play a set of three reels. We were remided of the long friendship between Paddy's own father, Tom Glackin, and Francie. Noel and Padraig Duggan, from Clannad, were joined by their friend Thomas Loeftke who plays the harp and they spoke about their early days on stage. Many of Francie's friends from the regular music session held in Tigh Hiudai Beags in Bunbeg came down to Galway for the recording of the show and they made sure there was no shortage of music until late into the night. Our thanks to Christy King and Carmel Ni Bhriain of Gaelmedia for the warmth of their welcome and their wonderful hospitality.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:23 PM

that info was found here BTW:

http://www.altan.ie/news/items/item-22.phtml

I thought I had implied that Paul was NOT the singer on the Planxty album cited, prob. Christy, but that Paul's WHKS version was derived and very similar.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Nerd (again)
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:23 PM

Here's what Peanut Butter himself has to say!

"After the collapse of my previous band The Johnstons I was stuck in a going nowhere period in New York City in late 73 when I got a letter from my friend, the uileann piper Liam O'Flynn asking me to come home and join Planxty, the great Irish folk band of that era. It was a complete change of direction for me. Although I had recorded lots of traditional music and songs in the late 60's/ early 70's with the Johnstons, I was at that time moving in a contemporary songwriting direction. Arriving home in Ireland the following year, the Planxty album that was currently in the shops included a song sung by Christy Moore, 'The Lakes Of Pontchartrain'. I loved it.

Two or three years later when the band had broken up and I was touring with Andy Irvine, I drifted back to the song and eventually decided to do my own version when it came to recording my first solo album 'Welcome Here Kind Stranger' in 1978. It quickly became one of my most popular songs and for years later and to the present day people ask me to sing it."

--Paul Brady


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:26 PM

Indeed, Bill, I did not think you had suggested that Paul sang it on the album. I was just saying that, since it predated his being in the band, it was already in Planxty's repertoire when he joined. Therefore, he'd have to learn at least the guitar parts when he joined up, and that was a reasonable place to assume he first came in contact with it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:26 PM

This song has been discussed ad nauseum; there are as many versions as there are people who have sung the song, but so far, no Irish words. I don't see why they would be necessary. The thread mentioned and given a clickie by Ian C (21105) has the most data. There are four versions in the DT. Many of the folksong books have a version or two. One in Randolph is called "The Ponsaw Train." The song may be based on an English ballad about a lass (see the thread mentioned above).
Definitive version? You may have a favorite, but why should one set of verses be declared definitive? Another version is in thread 7008: Lakes


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:26 PM

So what is the Irish word for alligator?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: Ballyholme
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:29 PM

Christy did get The Lakes of Ponchartrain from Mike Waterson but something tells me that their is a version in the Sam Henry Collection. If John Moulden is online he can certainly tell me if I'm right or wrong.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:32 PM

Ballyholme, I think you're right, there IS a version in Sam Henry. This may be what gave Mike Waterson the impression there were Irish connections.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:35 PM

BTW, Dicho, two separate posts in this thread have established that there ARE Irish words, translated from English by Francie Mooney. Whether they're "necessary" is anyone's call, I suppose, but they do exist! You should try to read the threads first; even if the discussions go on ad nausaeum, they do sometimes add new information...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: greg stephens
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 01:51 PM

Hey Declan, dont apologise, misunderstandings in the air, Sorry if I sounded stroppy, inadvertent.I was just repeating a quip by an Irish musician friend "Funny that the definitive Irish song was sung by a Scotsman (Andy I), learnt off a Yorkshieman, and it's about Louisiana". I'm not anti irish, honest: I just dont like Riverdance. And to prove it, come round and have a drink and go through my Irish record and book collection...you'll be here for weeks! (I've already typed this out once and itsseems to have vanished into the air...if it appears again..too bad) Cheers Greg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 02:13 PM

I did read the thread, with increasing boredom, and saw that a translation was made by someone, but so far NO Irish words have appeared in this thread. Good! I suppose silliness will prevail, however.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 02:17 PM

Andy's not a scotsman, anyway. He was born in England to a Scots father and an Irish mother. He was mostly raised in England, but moved to Ireland at 20, pretty much to stay. Since he's 60 this year, has lived in Ireland forty years now, considers himself Irish, and his mother's Irish, I think we can call him Irish. If not, the second most obvious identification would be English. Only hard-core patriarchal fanatics would say he's Scottish...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 02:26 PM

Whew! In the time i take to compose a post, there's always a reply made to a previous post! Here goes:

Dicho,

I can appreciate your boredom at repeated information. But there are some people to whom an Irish translation of a folk song might hold interest. It is an old tradition in Ireland to translate both folk and book-learned materials into Irish and introduce them to the oral tradition...the best-known case would be the translations of Boccaccio that became part of the folktale tradition in the Blasket Islands. This could be seen as a continuation of that venerable tradition. In addition, Francie Mooney is not just "somebody" but a major force in Donegal folk music.

Your reply is sort of like hearing that Allen Ginsberg had translated Rimbaud into English and saying "well, i heard that a translation had been done by somebody, but who cares? It's all silliness" Francie's got every right to translate, and to be taken seriously by you and all of us.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 02:51 PM

Since the natural language of the human race, which everyone ought to be speaking all over the planet is clearly supposed to be English, translating songs into any other language is merely a way of trying to fend off that happy day....

And here is that in Portuguese (sort of) courtesy babelfish:

Desde la lengua natural de la raza humana, que cada uno ought hablar todo sobre el planeta se supone claramente para ser inglés, traduciendo canciones a cualquier otra lengua es simplemente una manera de intentar apartar de ese día feliz....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: greg stephens
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 03:02 PM

It was a little quirky joke about Andy Irvine being a Scotsman, made by a seriously longterm friend and musical colleague of his, in the context of how funny/interesting it is how people and tunes move around. Nothing to get hetup about.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 03:06 PM

No hard (or het) feelings, Greg :-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,SeanN
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 04:22 PM

Actually, I thought Declan's original remark:

"Do you really find it necessary to react like that every time someone puts the word Irish into a thread name ? "

to be dead on. Do you realize you appear to have a definite anti-Irish streak, greg?

As to the Gaelic lyrics issue--it appears that Dicho shares a similar anti-Irish prejudice.

Why all this hostility towards the Irish here?

FWIW, Francie also did a very nice translation of Barbara Allen for Altan's performance of it with Dolly Parton. As Nerd pointed out, it is a common practice among Gaelic speaking traditional musicians.

Also, the Monday night session at Teach Hiudai's kicks ass.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 04:31 PM

I'd like to see the same attempt at respect by the many Irish speakers in the Cat who wonder quite annoyingly why anyone would want a translation of a 'perfectly good Irish song'. We want them because we want to understand them and sing them to people who will understand them, or at least be able to explain them to people who don't understand them. Translation is an art, and Francis is an artist, good on him, and maybe his translations will enter the canon of Irish Ballads, maybe not. I don't think it a sillything to do, but in the case of an Irish audience, maybe unnecessary. Except as an expression of his art, and for the love and perpetuation of the Irish language.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 04:39 PM

Was going to mention it's in the Helen Creighton collection of Nova Scotia songs published in the 1930s, but that was mentioned in the old thread.

Yet another performer/group who has recorded it is Trapezoid, though I think they sang it too slow. I know of several different versions -- some mentioning a train, and some not.

All of its references, of course, are American -- how did it get to be so identified as "Irish"? (And recorded by Irish musicians.)

Anywho, I don't have Irish (Gaelic) words to it, and that's what the original request was for.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 07:49 PM

The text of Ponchartrain is clearly American; it is sung to more than one tune, but the best-known is the one that also carries most (?) versions of Lily of the West. The tune was also widely (and, I think, earlier) used for Caroline of Edinburgh Town, and under that name was often the prescribed tune for topical broadsides issued in 19th century America, so it may reasonably be supposed to have been well-known there by the time of the Civil War, wherever it came from before that. The tune has been found in tradition throughout Britain and Ireland, but if I had to vote for a country of origin for it, I would at present think Scotland most likely. Having said that, these things are often untraceable as to origins, and I am not a tune historian.

There's a tendency for arguments to develop here (and elsewhere) when people ask for "Irish words" or "Irish songs"; this is not because of any particular anti-Irish feeling, but rather the result, I think, of a certain weariness when the same misapprehensions are so often repeated. If people want "Irish language" (that is to say, "Irish Gaelic") texts, then they should say so; it is however the case that a lot of people do not understand that Irish, Scots and Gaelic (in whichever of its forms) are not the same thing. It is also the case that only a small minority of people understand any kind of Gaelic; it is therefore appropriate to translate, at least approximately, texts posted in a "common language" forum such as this. I always add translations when posting French texts here, and see no difference in the principle, except that French is more widely understood.

It is also the case that, due to the wide recording of songs of varied origins by popular performers such as the Clancy Brothers, the Dubliners, Planxty and so on, many people simply assume that a song is Irish because they have heard it sung in that accent. Since not a few of the most popular songs in the repertoires of such performers were drawn directly from English and Scottish traditional sources, it is a little galling when those equally valid traditions are snubbed as if they did not exist or were of no consequence. From my own point of view it is simply a question of giving credit where it is due, acknowledging one's sources and, above all, telling the truth; regardless of what might at one time or another be fashionable.

As to modern translations of English-language songs into Gaelic; this is, as has already been said, by no means a new phenomenon in either Ireland or Scotland, and it bears repeating that Proinsias Ó Maonaigh is considered a fine translator. It is however the case that a great many ill-informed people will, unless the details are spelled out to them, automatically assume that anything in Gaelic must, by definition, be "the original"; we do have to be careful that we do not inadvertently spread misinformation.

The Lakes of Ponchartrain as given in the Sam Henry Collection, incidentally, came from Paddy M'Closkey (Carnamenagh, Corkey, Co. Antrim), who learned it from Frank M'Allister (Carnagall, Corkey) around 1905; Frank had learned the song when a woodsman in America.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: Áine
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 08:03 PM

McGrath of Harlow (Hi! Kevin):

The Irish word for alligator is ailigéadar ;-)

-- Áine


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 08:31 PM

If someone asked for the Russian words of the Lakes of Pontchartrain, wouldn't most people assume that meant the words in Russian?

Admittedly that first link An Pluiméir Ceolmhar gave does appear to rather bizarrely imply that it is Irish in origin (rather than Irish by adoption, which is true of just about any good song.) But then that happens all the time.

And I still am curious to know the Irish for alligator.

Normally when people ask for this song don't you find they tend to say "The one about the alligators..."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 08:36 PM

And while I was writing that, Áine has come up with the answer - thanks for that. I had a feeling it might be something like that. That's a much better way of spelling it. At least, if I was an alligator I think I'd prefer it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,SeanN
Date: 12 Jun 02 - 09:36 PM

Malcolm, I agree that it is common courtesy to post English language translations for Irish songs, as one would for songs in any other language, in a predominantly English language forum.

I disagree with a number of your other points, though. I'm sure this won't be seen as pretty for some of the English posters here, but I'm going to have my say on the issue, regardless.

None of the reasons you cite for being "argumentative" (as you put it) are reasonable justifications for snide comments and remarks about Irish music. A mere 20 or so years ago, the exact opposite influence was afoot--everything Irish was presumed by most Americans to be English. What goes around, comes around as Vonnegut said.

These "origins" obsessesions are driven by a nationalist desire seen all too often among English and "British" folk. Among certain elements of the English folk scene in particular, that desire then becomes an obsession with dispossessing the Irish of any "ownership" of songs which can also be found in English or Scottish traditions, especially in international forums on the web.

Those sorts of "arguments" only matter to those of you who believe the indigenous music of those islands needs to be "owned" by the English or Scottish. It is the result of many years social conditioning among the English/British. We see this sort of anti-Irish English nationalism rearing it's ugly head all over the internet in forums where English and Irish interests are both discussed.

It would be nice if these same English/British folk would become a bit more self-aware of their own prejudices, and try to refrain from making these sorts of essentialist statements which have no real foundation or relevance to the matter at hand.

The original poster was looking for the Irish lyrics to an American song, not for a bigoted diatribe against the Irish, the Irish language, or even Andy Irvine for referring to himself as Irish.

Is mise le meas,

SeanN


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 10:19 AM

Trying to get it right about the history and provenance of a song seems to me a good thing in itself. It's wrongheaded to take it as some kind of assault on a tradition to point out that a particular song comes from another tradition.

In fact it can be the other way round. When for example, someone points out that a song like the Wild Rover, in the version normally sung, came to Ireland fairly recently from a version collected in Norwich, this is not in any way an attack on the Irish song traditions. It makes it easier to recognise the special qualities which the Irish traditions bring to the shared pool of songs and music.

I think most people who truly value a tradition are irritated when things get blurred like that, regardless of whether it's Irish being labelled as English, or English being labelled as Irish, or either of them being labelled as American.

Combining the different traditions and coming up with new types of music is great when it's good - but mislabelling the ingredients, that's is something else entirely. It doesn't make for good cooking.

And when people get strident about it doesn't make for good fellowship - and no it isn't pretty, regardless of whether you or they are you are Irish, Scots, English, American or Ruritanian.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 10:26 AM

McGrath

Well said.

Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add: AR BHRUACH LOCH PONTCHARTRAIN
From: Declan
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 10:44 AM

Folks,#

Sorry to butt in on such an interesting argument (and yes I know I started it!) but this is what Jimmy C was looking for :

AR BHRUACH LOCH PONTCHARTRAIN

Ar mhaidin geal sa Mharta, dfhag me slan ar New Orleans,
Is thug me aghaidh ar Jackson town ag lorg stor is maoin,
Mo ghran ar airgid iasachtachni raibh cairde agam le fail,
Sin a Bhris mo chroi le cra is cumhaidh ar bhruach loch Pontchartrain.

Thug me leim ar traein, le heiri grein agus thriall me rith an lae,
's ag deireadh neoin le tuirse is broin ba mhian liom dhul faoi shuain.
Nior chairde domh na stainseiri gur tharla fa mo dhein,
An ainnir chron de threibh Creole ar Bhruach Loch Pontchartrain.

Ar me "A chailin Creole, ta mo phocai lom foraoir,
Ach ab e na alligators, do luifonn sios faoin speir".
"Ta failte romhat go dti mo thi, ce gur simpil e i reim,
Ach nior diultadh riamh don strainseir ann ar bhruach Loch Pontchartrain.

Thug si go teach a mathara me is rann si liom go fial,
'S a folt dubh cas in a ndlaoithe deas thar a guailli chroch aniar,
Ar a mhaise is sceimh, nil scriobh na leamh ar a hailleacht na a gnaoi,
Is i an annair chaomh a mheall mo chroi ar Bhruach Loch Pontchartrain.

Dhiultaigh si me a phosadh ach d'inis si liom go fior,
Go raibh a gra ar bharr na dtonn i bhfad i gcein on tir,
Duirt si go mbeadh si dilis do is go bhfanadh si lei fein,
Go bpillfeadh se chuig a ghra Creole ar bhruach loch Pontchartrain.

Cead slan le bron, A chailin chron, anois ta ag imeacht uaim,
Ach beidh coimhne ar do chinealtas ag teach beag cois an chuain,
'Measc cairde cleibh ag spraoi no scleip go lionfad gloine lan,
Le slainte ag ol d'ainnir Creole ar Bhruach Loch Pontchartain.

To me this is an excellent piece of translation, true to the original but not slavishly so, poetic in its own right (note internal rhymes at the start of Verse 2) and still totally singable to the original tune. Maith thu a Phronnsias.

(Mo bhron faoi easpa sinti fada).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: MMario
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 10:50 AM

well done Declan!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 11:18 AM

But I see that he used the English version of ailigéadar...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 11:36 AM

Agreed, Seán, but sometimes we Irish and our hibernophile friends overcompensate, and I think that's what gets up the nose of people who haven't had to put up with what we put up with for years, e.g. in British sports commentaries. Apparently even this week, one of the British TV commentators was referring to the Irish soccer team as "we", but he was ribbed about it by his colleagues and now we can laugh it off.

Isn't there some saying about being magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat (or words to that effect)? Let's be honest and admit that there has been an awful lot of cultural chauvinism around in Ireland for much of the last century, and now that we are getting recognition let's not claim more than our due.

In a forum like this, a light-hearted tease or self-deprecatory throwaway remark is too often seen as flaming or provokes a flame, so it would be helpful if people tried not to over-react. Peace, man (Oh me heart is livin' in the sixties still).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 11:47 AM

One of the British TV commentators was referring to the Irish soccer team as "we" Well, what made it extra notable was that he was a former manager of the English team.

Actually I think most English people I've met tend to think of it that way, and it'll stay that way up until the day the Irish team meets the Engish team in the final (and that's the only way they can actually meet in this year's World Cup). That's largely because all the Irish players play normally in English clubs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: Les from Hull
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 12:31 PM

An interesting thread with many sensible things said about one of the best songs around, thanks everybody!

Slight thread creeps here - in the excellent (Irish) film 'Last of the High Kings' there's a politician who says - 'there's even been allegations about me, but I have the names of all the alligators'.

And about the football, even with my barely existing Irish ancestry (me mam is a Walsh) swamped by lots of English, I'm still cheering on the Irish team as well as England. Well, perhaps that's because they start with three Leeds players!

That Mike Waterson, he was from 'ull an all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Lakes of Ponchartrain - Irish Words
From: Jimmy C
Date: 13 Jun 02 - 04:12 PM

Declan.

Go raibh mile mait agat.

That is exactly the song I was looking for, You are probably right about it being Paul Brady and not Andy, anyway it is a great song and I appreciate your input.

Thanks again.


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