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Help: The Flower of Magherally

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THE FLOWER OF MAGHERALLY


Related threads:
Chord Req: The Flowers of Magherally (7)
Lyr Req: Flower of Magherally (32)
Lyr Req: Flower of Magherally (from Kevin Conneff (40)
Tune Req: The flower of Magherally-O (6)


GUEST 11 Sep 02 - 12:11 PM
Ballyholme 11 Sep 02 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 11 Sep 02 - 01:22 PM
GUEST,guest Worf 11 Sep 02 - 01:59 PM
GUEST 11 Sep 02 - 02:20 PM
Noreen 11 Sep 02 - 02:33 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Sep 02 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 12 Sep 02 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 12 Sep 02 - 05:22 AM
ard mhacha 12 Sep 02 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 12 Sep 02 - 04:57 PM
ard mhacha 13 Sep 02 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 13 Sep 02 - 12:40 PM
GUEST 08 Apr 03 - 05:42 PM
GUEST 31 Oct 12 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,leeneia 31 Oct 12 - 02:47 PM
MartinRyan 01 Nov 12 - 06:31 AM
GUEST 01 Nov 12 - 04:05 PM
MartinRyan 01 Nov 12 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 02 Nov 12 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Susan 01 Aug 17 - 10:21 AM
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Subject: The Flower of Magherally
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 12:11 PM

Hi there

I am working with BBC Northern Ireland television on a music series about Irish songs. One of the songs we've recorded is "The Flower of Magherally" and I was wondering does anyone out there know anything about this song, it's origins and any facts about it that we can include in the programme? Any help appreciated.

Irish Songs


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: Ballyholme
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 01:13 PM

I heard Niamh Parsons sing the song recently and she alluded to the fact that the song was associated with the Bronte family, who originally came from County Down. The song is certainly well known to Ulster singers. John Moulden, a Mudcat poster, would be the man to talk to.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 01:22 PM

it's sung by almost everybody, very popular in Scotland as well, Sam Henry collected it and wrote a little about it. It also appears in the Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society. Issues #1-1904 #57 & 58; don't know how much information is there though. it is thoroughly traditional I should think, curious to know where it is first recorded, ballet sheet perhaps


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: GUEST,guest Worf
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 01:59 PM

Thoroughly useless facts: sung by Dr Julian Bashir on a Startrek episode as "The Flower of the Station;" "her shoes were Starfleet boots-o," etc.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 02:20 PM

The Flower of the Station


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: Noreen
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 02:33 PM

Put Magherally in Forum search (Quick links drop-down menu at top of page) for previous discussions.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Sep 02 - 03:01 PM

The supposed association with the Bronte family may derive from a marginal note in one of the archive sets of Songs of the People, where someone has written "Hugh Bronte's bride". Apparantly Hugh Bronte was married to Alice McClory in the church at Magherally, Co. Down (I don't know the date), but I wouldn't like to guess whether there's any real connection; it doesn't really seem very likely. (See Sam Henry's Songs of the People, ed. Gale Huntington, 1990: H220, p.243). The set in Henry came from Dominick Maguire of Coleraine (1928). Notes: "...A charming little song from Co. Down. The exigencies of rhyme required a humorous substitution of "the great titter-a-tally O", the reference being in all probability to Damer, of Shronhill, near Tipperary, the richest man in Ireland about the year 1800, or it may be a corruption of "the great Tetrarch Ali O!" as the old song makers were very fond of learned allusions".

The set in Colm O Lochlainn's Irish Street Ballads (1939) has just the comment "Air from Cathal O Byrne, Belfast. **BS". The latter indicates that the text was from a printed ballad sheet, but no details are given.

This song is number 3009 in the Roud Folk Song Index. So far, only four examples are listed, all from the North of Ireland.

The text in the DT unfortunately names no source, but it may perhaps be the set printed in Sean O Boyle's The Irish Song Tradition.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 03:45 AM

Magherally is listed by PRONI as being a townland in Co Down. I haven't managed to locate it yet.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 05:22 AM

Malcolm

Looks like I supplied the DT version. Its basically the same as the O Boyle version. I've never been able to sing the "Titerally" verse without people looking puzzled. Since I can't make sense of either - I drop it!

Regards

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: ard mhacha
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 06:11 AM

Maherally near Banbridge Co Down, as the song says"I met my love near Banbridge Town, my darling blue eyed Sally-O, She is the Queen of the County Down, and the flower of Magerally-O". Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 12 Sep 02 - 04:57 PM

Magherally is marked on the 1:50,000 OS map sheet 20 (Craigavon) as being about 2.5 miles NE of Banbridge town centre, half a mile east off the main Banbridge-Dromore(Lisburn) road. "Magherally Old Church ...is the burial place of the scholar and author Helen Waddell (1889-1965), best known for the phenomenally successful novel 'Peter Abelard'"- From: "Visitor's Guide to Northern Ireland" by Rosemary Evans, 1998 ed. (The church is also associated with Patrick Bronte).


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: ard mhacha
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 05:17 AM

And not forgetting this magnificent womans greatest work, "Songs of the Wandering Scholars" and the wonderful quote from the book, "The Scholar`s lyric of the twelfth century seems as new a miracle as the first Crocus: but its earth is the leafdrift of centuries of forgotten scholarship," . Better that. Ard Mhacha


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 13 Sep 02 - 12:40 PM

How about "How many roads must a man walk down before you call him a man"?

Guest: can you tell us the names of any of the other songs, are they being sung, by whom, and when - so that I can organise somebody to tape the show for me, being exiled in foreign parts?


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Apr 03 - 05:42 PM


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Oct 12 - 02:00 PM

Someone, actually a singer from Co. Down in her own right, claims that her father or possibly grandfather, etc, knows who the girl referred to in the song actually was, the implication being that she lived not all that long ago, although presumably it was earlier than 1904. Personally I am a bit doubtful about this; the style of the lyrics seem definitely 19th century or earlier. Or maybe a local beauty, perhaps called Sally, was given the title by her admirers, etc.

I came across this when Googling for the Flower of Magherally, although I used to post occasionally to Mudcat. I hope to perform the song in public this evening and may see the person in question, by which I mean not the Flower of Magherally but the singer referred to above, of course.

By coincidence earlier this year I also attended some singing lessons in the Rectory beside Magherally Parish Church which is the one referred to above. It is actually in a different townland although adjacent to the townland of Magherally.

Oddly perhaps, as in my opinion it should be more popular and better known, the only time I have heard it sung live was by a visiting folk singer, who I think may have been Canadian, although I believe he had an Irish surname. The Star of the County Down, which also refers to Banbridge, is of course very well known.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 Oct 12 - 02:47 PM

I agree that it's a lovely song. The famous band Altan performed it, and I first heard the song when they came to Kansas City on tour from Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: MartinRyan
Date: 01 Nov 12 - 06:31 AM

For an old recording by the great Niamh Parsons, mentioned earlier in the thread
Click here

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Nov 12 - 04:05 PM

It appears that it is the female singers father, who is apparently aged about 80, who remembers the actual person on whom the song The Flower of Magherally is based; since this would make him born about 1932, then since the song must have been written by 1904 or earlier, though probably not earlier than 1800, as there appears to be a reference to Damer of Shronhill, Co. Tipperary, said to be Ireland's richest man about 1800, in it, then the lady known as the Flower of Magherally would have been at least well into her middle age if still alive, but then only if the song was written around 1904 and she was fairly young at the time; if not she would have been a good bit older, but of course this is all possible; even in the early 20th century, people did sometimes live to 80, 90 or even 100. The main reason the average lifespan has gone up so much in the last 100 years in the more prosperous Societies is more due to much smaller child mortality, rather than at the other end of life.

If I can find out more e.g. the name of the person, I will post it here. In the case of the other well-known song about a Banbridge beauty, The Star of the County Down, the person is named as Rosie McCann; while this is certainly plausible as the name of an actual person in the area, my own feeling is that someone is probably going to make up a name rather than name an actual person as the object of their affections, which also makes it easier for others to relate to it, if you can see what I am driving at.

I am glad to say that I was reasonably happy with the way the song went yesterday evening, although there was a very small audience of a dozen or so, probably because it was Halloween night and people were doing other things, although as there have been as few as about 5 on occasions it could have been worse.

I presume that the line in the Limerick Rake, as sung by the Dubliners, which I never really could make out properly, refers to Damer of Shronhill, who was mentioned in the earlier post, goes like this

?Young Damer of Shronhill had plenty of gold
And Lord Devonshire's treasures are twenty times more
But they're laid on their backs, and it's nettles and stones

etc - the last line of this verse, which is also the last line of other verses of the song, is I think in Gaelic, meaning something like We'll leave it as it is.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: MartinRyan
Date: 01 Nov 12 - 05:38 PM

the last line of this verse, which is also the last line of other verses of the song, is I think in Gaelic, meaning something like We'll leave it as it is.

Yes - the literal translation is "We'll leave that as it is". The SENSE is equivalent to the English "'Nuff said!"

Regards


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 02 Nov 12 - 10:33 AM

The case concerning the Flower of Magherally is much as stated by Malcolm Douglas (RIP) above. The earliest reference is to Dominick Maguire and he is the source for the JIFSS report and for Sam Henry's. Despite Colm O'Lochlainn's reference to ballad sheets my research into this aspect of song circulation in Ireland did not turn up any sets of this song on such sheets.

As far as The Star of the County Down is concerned this is what I said in another thread:
"According to Colm O'Lochlainn "Songwriters of Ireland in the English Tongue" The Star of the County Down was undoubtedly written by Cathal McGarvey 1866-1927, a native of Ramelton, Co Donegal who lived most of his life in Dublin.

McGarvey also wrote the Devil and Bailiff McGlynn."

Rosie McCann is invoked not because she was a local beauty but because the name McCann rhymes with Bann.


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Subject: RE: Help: The Flower of Magherally
From: GUEST,Susan
Date: 01 Aug 17 - 10:21 AM

Thank you, Bill Kennedy!


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