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Origin: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland

DigiTrad:
SHALL MY SOUL PASS THRU OLD IRELAND?
THE LEGEND OF THE REBEL SOLDIER


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Legend of the Rebel Soldier (32)
Lyr Req: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland? (17)
Lyr Req: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland? (18)
Lyr Req: Will My Soul Pass Through Ol' Ireland (3)
Lyr Add: Shall My Soul Pass through Old Ireland? (2)
Lyr Req: Will My Soul Pass through the Southland? (4)


wilco 25 Sep 02 - 01:48 PM
Big Mick 25 Sep 02 - 02:07 PM
Sorcha 25 Sep 02 - 02:08 PM
Big Mick 25 Sep 02 - 02:12 PM
Sorcha 25 Sep 02 - 02:12 PM
Big Mick 25 Sep 02 - 02:21 PM
Sorcha 25 Sep 02 - 02:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Sep 02 - 03:04 PM
Sorcha 25 Sep 02 - 04:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Sep 02 - 06:54 PM
Noreen 25 Sep 02 - 08:31 PM
Big Tim 26 Sep 02 - 06:28 AM
Pied Piper 26 Sep 02 - 08:57 AM
wilco 26 Sep 02 - 11:50 AM
Gareth 26 Sep 02 - 06:42 PM
wilco 27 Sep 02 - 11:30 AM
Hrothgar 27 Sep 02 - 10:00 PM
Big Tim 28 Sep 02 - 06:29 AM
Jim Dixon 14 Oct 08 - 06:38 PM
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Subject: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: wilco
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 01:48 PM

I was researching the "Legend of the Rebel Soldier," and there was a reference to its progenitor "Shall my Soul Pass thru old Ireland." What is the origin/age/chords of "Shall my Soul Pass through Old Ireland?" I live in an area that is surrounded by US Civil War battlefields (ie Chickamauga), and there is always interest in Civil War songs. The Irish version of this would be wonderful history!!!!

Wilco in Tennessee


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 02:07 PM

Supersearch turns up these two threads:

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?ThreadID=2509

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=18252#179955

DT search turns up this song:

http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=5257


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 02:08 PM

I have it. It was written by Kevin Barry in 1920 to the hunger strikers in Brixton Prison where Terence McSwinney, Lord Mayor of Cork, died. Do you need the lyrics and tune? I have both. Tune in either G or Bb.


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 02:12 PM

Sorch, I would love a copy. Can you scan it and send it to me?

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 02:12 PM

Sure--but did Kevin Barry write it or is that the name of the tune? Which key?


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: Big Mick
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 02:21 PM

Kevin Barry is the name of the tune. Would you mind sending it in both keys?

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 02:22 PM

OK, coming up.........3 pages, 3 e mails.


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 03:04 PM

The tune is a lot older than either Kebon Barry or Shall my Soul- it's the one used for "Rolling Home to Dear Old England" (or to any other place that fits, where you might be rolling home to).

Since Terence McSwiney died on 25th October 1920 in Brixton and Kevin Barry was shot in Mountjoy a week later on 1st November it's not too likely he'd have had anything to do with writing the song.

My impression is that both songs emerged independently, using the same tune.


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: Sorcha
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 04:20 PM

Thank you, McGrath.


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 06:54 PM

But of course Kevin Barry wasn't shot, he was hanged. A strange mistake I made there. But the dates were correct.


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: Noreen
Date: 25 Sep 02 - 08:31 PM

Shoot me like an Irish soldier,
Do not hang me like a dog...


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: Big Tim
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 06:28 AM

"Better to die like a man than be shot like a dog in the ditches" - Fr. John Murphy (of Boolavogue) - 26 May 1798.


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: Pied Piper
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 08:57 AM

"Best not to get shot at all"- Pied Piper ( pearls of wisdom VolII)


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: wilco
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 11:50 AM

Thanks for all of the info. What I have heard is that it was an American Civil War tune (1861-1865). I thought the Irish version predated it.

Wilco in Tennessee


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: Gareth
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 06:42 PM

Tunes and songs are imortal - only the history changes.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: wilco
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 11:30 AM

Is it possible that the US version predates the Irish?

Wilco in Tennessee


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: Hrothgar
Date: 27 Sep 02 - 10:00 PM

Heresy, Wilco!!!

Worse heresy - not an Irish tune - they just pinched it for their songs.


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Subject: RE: Help: Shall my Soul pass thru Old Ireland
From: Big Tim
Date: 28 Sep 02 - 06:29 AM

Here's some more verses on the subject. Written by Brian O'Higgins, 1882-1949. He fought in the Easter Rising. The lyrics are prefaced by O'Higgins' own note: "I was digging out potatoes in a sheltered field within a few hundred yards of Kilmainham Jail...when the news came to me that Terence MacSwiney's long battle for Ireland's honour and Ireland's independence was at an end, that his 73 days of agony were over and that he lay dead in Brixton Prison in London. And there by myself in that quiet field in the cool of an October afternoon I put these words of tribute together and sent them down that same night to the "Irish Independent" in which they appeared next morning along with other tributes that were pouring in to Ireland hour by hour from all over the world".

Shed we no tear for you Terence MacSwiney!
God set the seal of his love on your brow,
Gave you to Ireland - a saint and a soldier,
Who can be fitter to plead for her now?

Joy for the valiant heroic heart of you!
Joy for the soul of you whiter than snow,
Joy for the Cause that has claimed your allegiance,
Your death is its challenge to friend and to foe!

Raise we no "caoine" [keen, mournful cry] for you Terence MacSwiney,
High is our pride in your name and your deed,
Humble our prayer to the great God of Battles,
That we, too, will be strong in this dark hour of need.

Joy for your love and your faith and your courage,
Glowing and glad to the last anguished breath,
Thanks be to God for you Terence MacSwiney,
Thanks be to God for your life and your death!


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Subject: Lyr Add: WILL MY SOUL PASS THROUGH IRELAND?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Oct 08 - 06:38 PM

From
Kickham, Charles Joseph. Knocknagow; or, The Homes of Tipperary. Dublin: A.M. Sullivan, 1879.

(This is a popular book that has been reprinted many times. The scene described here takes place in Liverpool.)
    "Well," he replied, "when I had administered the Sacraments to her, and remained some time by her bedside, I thought I noticed that she wished to say something to me, but hesitated to speak.... So when I was going I asked her was there anything on her mind that was troubling her.

    "'There is then, sir,' said she, 'but maybe 'tisn't much, an' I oughtn't to be bothering you with it....

    "'Well, sir,' she said, looking anxiously into my face, 'I'd like to know will my soul pass through Ireland?'"
[The above line has been quoted in several other works, and I assume it inspired the following poem.]

##############################################################################

First 2 verses copied from

Meehan, Eleanor Childs. Memories of a Red-Letter Summer. Cincinnati: The Robert Clarke Co, 1903, p 102.

--which seems to be more reliable though it is incomplete; and the remainder copied from a genealogy web site, where it is said to come from The Brooklyn Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, USA; Feb 15, 1880:

    WILL MY SOUL PASS THROUGH IRELAND?
    [Dennis O'Sullivan?]

    1. "Oh, Soggarth Aroon! sure I know life is fleeting;
    Soon, soon in the strange earth my poor bones will lie;
    I have said my last prayer and received my last blessing,
    And if the Lord's willing, I'm ready to die.
    But, Soggarth Aroon! can I never again see
    The valleys and hills of my dear native land?
    When my soul takes its flight from this dark world of sorrow,
    Will it pass through old Ireland to join the blest band?

    2. "Oh, Soggarth Aroon! sure I know that in heaven
    The loved ones are waiting and watching for me;
    And the Lord knows how anxious I am to be with them
    In those realms of joy, with the souls pure and free.
    Yet, Soggarth, I pray, ere you leave me forever,
    Relieve the last doubt of a poor, dying soul,
    Whose hope, next to God, is to know that when leaving,
    'Twill pass through old Ireland on the way to its goal.

    3. "O Soggarth Aroon! I have kept through all changes
    The thrice blessed shamrock to lay o'er my clay;
    [THERE SEEMS TO BE A MISSING LINE HERE.—JD]
    And oh, it has 'minded me, so far, far away.
    Then tells me, I pray you, will I ever again see
    The place where it grew, on my own native sod?
    When my body lies cold in the land of the stranger,
    Will my soul pass through Erin on its way to our God?"

    4. "Arrah, bless you, my child, sure I thought it was heaven
    You wanted to go to the moment you died,
    And such is the place on the ticket I'm given,
    But a coupon for Ireland I'll stick to its side:
    Your soul shall be free as the wind o'er the prairies,
    And I'll land you at Cork on the banks of the Lee;
    And two little angels I'll give you, like fairies,
    To guide you all right over mountain and lea."

    5. "Arrah, Soggarth Aroon! Can't you do any better?
    I know that my feeling may peril your grace,
    [ANOTHER LINE MISSING HERE?]
    I won't make a landing at any such place.
    The spot I long for is sweet Enniskillen,
    As among the far down I was born and bred—
    The Corkies I never much fancied while living,
    And I don't want to visit them after I'm dead.

    6. "Let me fly to the hills where my soul can make merry,
    In the north, where the shamrock more plentiful grows;
    In the county of Cavan, Fermanagh and Derry
    I'll linger till called to a better repose.
    And the angels you give me will find it inviting
    To visit the shrines in the Island of Saints;
    If they bring from St. Patrick's a small bit of writing
    They'll never have a reason for any complaints."

    7. "A soul, my dear child, that has pinions upon it
    Need not be confined to a province so small—
    Though Ulster and Munster, and Leinster and Connaught—
    In less than a jiffy you're over it all.
    Then visit sweet Cork, where your Soggarth was born,
    No doubt many new things have come into vogue,
    But one thing you'll find, that, both night, noon and morn,
    As for centuries back, there's no change in the brogue."

    8. "Good Mother, assist me in this my last hour.
    [ANOTHER LINE MISSING HERE?]
    And, Soggarth for all, and for all you have power,
    And I take it as penance for what I have said;
    And now, since you tell me through Ireland I'm passing,
    And finding the place so remarkably small,
    I'll never let on to the angels in crossing
    That we know a distinction in counties at all."
-----
Soggarth aroon = dear priest


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