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Origins: Follow Me Up to Carlow

DigiTrad:
FOLLOW ME UP TO CARLOW


Related thread:
TUNE ADD: Follow Me Up To Carlow (2)


GUEST,kilshannig 14 Oct 02 - 07:22 PM
michaelr 14 Oct 02 - 07:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Oct 02 - 08:10 PM
michaelr 14 Oct 02 - 08:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Oct 02 - 08:31 PM
michaelr 14 Oct 02 - 08:46 PM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Oct 02 - 08:46 PM
Jon Bartlett 15 Oct 02 - 01:03 AM
MartinRyan 15 Oct 02 - 03:44 AM
MartinRyan 15 Oct 02 - 03:48 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 15 Oct 02 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 15 Oct 02 - 05:33 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Oct 02 - 05:48 AM
MudWeasel 16 Oct 02 - 02:07 AM
manitas_at_work 16 Oct 02 - 08:23 AM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Oct 02 - 09:06 AM
Brakn 16 Oct 02 - 09:10 AM
Big Mick 16 Oct 02 - 10:56 AM
IanC 16 Oct 02 - 11:25 AM
IanC 16 Oct 02 - 11:32 AM
Big Mick 16 Oct 02 - 11:49 AM
IanC 16 Oct 02 - 12:03 PM
Big Tim 16 Oct 02 - 12:16 PM
Big Mick 16 Oct 02 - 12:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Oct 02 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,Kilshannig 16 Oct 02 - 01:17 PM
Big Tim 16 Oct 02 - 03:22 PM
GUEST 16 Oct 02 - 03:31 PM
Manitas_at_home 17 Oct 02 - 02:08 AM
Malcolm Douglas 17 Oct 02 - 01:34 PM
belfast 21 Oct 02 - 09:56 AM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Oct 02 - 10:20 AM
belfast 21 Oct 02 - 10:56 AM
Big Tim 04 Mar 04 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,mick 04 Mar 04 - 11:37 AM
Big Tim 04 Mar 04 - 01:21 PM
Little Robyn 04 Mar 04 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,rsanfilippo@ameritech.net 09 Apr 04 - 11:50 PM
MartinRyan 12 Apr 04 - 07:50 AM
artbrooks 11 May 05 - 12:40 PM
GUEST,Allen 11 May 05 - 01:53 PM
MartinRyan 11 May 05 - 02:40 PM
Reiver 2 11 May 05 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Allen 11 May 05 - 04:37 PM
mandoleer 11 May 05 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,Allen 12 May 05 - 03:30 AM
GUEST,Tír Chonaill 12 May 05 - 06:53 AM
GUEST 12 May 05 - 07:00 AM
GUEST,Tír Chonaill 12 May 05 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,leeneia 12 May 05 - 08:59 AM
artbrooks 12 May 05 - 09:16 AM
GUEST,Allen 12 May 05 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,leeneia 12 May 05 - 10:44 AM
GUEST 09 Feb 06 - 10:22 PM
GUEST,Jay MacDonald 20 Mar 07 - 01:29 AM
GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie 20 Mar 07 - 06:59 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 20 Mar 07 - 07:54 AM
GUEST,Bardan 20 Mar 07 - 08:06 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 20 Mar 07 - 10:26 AM
GUEST,Gerry 21 Mar 07 - 12:34 AM
GUEST,Kearns 24 Oct 07 - 09:26 PM
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GUEST,martin 09 Nov 07 - 03:27 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Nov 07 - 05:18 AM
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michaelr 11 Dec 07 - 07:38 PM
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Subject: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,kilshannig
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 07:22 PM

Getting kind of confused of all the names and places. I know by now there were "good" guys and " bad" guys. Anybody knows some more background on this song?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: michaelr
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 07:50 PM

I found this in the liner notes to a recording of the song:

"This song commemorates the victory of Fiach McHugh O'Byrne over the forces of the Crown as led by Lord Grey de Wilton in a battle which took place at Glen Malure, Co. Wicklow in the years 1580."

It's come up in quite a few threads before (put the title into the Lyrics and Knowledge Search box at top right) but no lyrics seem to have been posted. Has anyone got them?

Also in a previous thread, someone asserted that this is a recent song. If so, who wrote it?

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 08:10 PM

Recent in terms of Irish history, and a long time after the events decribed. It was written in the 19th century by Patrick Joseph McCall, who also wrote other songs such as Kelly, the Boy from Killane.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: michaelr
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 08:26 PM

McGrath, could you post the text, please?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 08:31 PM

This site has the lyrics, and some interesting background information

But we've got the lyrics in the Digital Tradition on this site already, here.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: michaelr
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 08:46 PM

Silly me, didn't see the lyrics for the threads...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 08:46 PM

As McGrath says, the lyric (I don't know how accurate) in the DT, but the midi file is corrupt and won't play. The tune is the first two parts of Sweets of May; a 6/8 set dance, not a march as sometimes stated, and was posted in this previous thread: TUNE ADD: Follow Me Up To Carlow. So far as I know, the song has never been found in tradition, but was rescued from oblivion by Christy Moore in the 1960s.

Does anybody know if the text was originally set to Sweets of May when it was written (presumably at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries)? Quite a lot of websites out there optimistically state things like melody dates from pre-1500's; but that's normal ignorance; there seems to be no available evidence that it's much older than the lyric.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:03 AM

McGrath, could you kindly give me a source for the authorship of "Kelly". The words of that song are superb, compared to these dreadful (unsingable, unpoetic, fake medieval) ones! I suppose it's quite possible that one author is responsible for both, but... The tune is a good one, though.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 03:44 AM

McCall also wrote "Boolavogue".


Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 03:48 AM

Jon


I agree "Follow Me..." uses a very different language to McCall's other well-known songs, alright - but he did write it!

Patrick Galvin's book "Irish SOngs of Resistance" says of "Follow..":
It is said that this air was first performed by the pipers of Feach McHugh as he m arched to attack Carlow after his victory over Lord Deputy Grey at Glenmalure (1580)

I would take that with large amounts of salt.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 05:23 AM

The midi-file played ok for me, and the words are the same as Christy Moores on the Planxty LP. And Christy`s version is much much better. Ard Mhaca


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 05:33 AM

Any Dublin Soccer fans may like to guess who featured in a parody based on this called Follow me up to Tolka!


Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 05:48 AM

Round here it tends to get heard as (and even sung as) "Follow me down to Harlow".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: MudWeasel
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:07 AM

From what I've heard (no idea at all how accurate this is), MacHugh led a pitifully small band of Irish against a superior English force, saw what he had gotten himself into, and turned tail. Or so the English thought.It was all a clever ruse on the part of the Irish. The English gave chase up into the hills, through a narrow mountain pass where MacHugh had the rest of his force waiting to ambush and wipe them out.

Again, I'm a guitarist, not a historian. I don't vouch for the accuracy of this story.

-MudWeasel


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 08:23 AM

I've been told that this song was set to an already existing air known as Follow me DOWN.. or CARRY me DOWN... and that traditional musicians tend to use DOWN. Johnny O'Leary had it as Follow me down to Carlow.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 09:06 AM

I've always heard it as "down". It sings easier too, with the more open vowel.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Brakn
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 09:10 AM

I was playing near Doncaster earlier this year and a woman asked me to sing "Follow Me UP To Carlow" which I did. She told me, to my surprise, that she was Patrick Joseph McCall's great granddaughter.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 10:56 AM

We do a fairly hard driving version of this, using "The Swallowtail" between the verses, at the lead break and (with a key change) to end the song. It is on our new CD. I have always loved the song.

It is true that O'Byrne suckered the troops into pursuing him up that draw. It is also true that the troops were very inexperienced, having been pressed into service quickly and rushed to Ireland due to the rising. Someone verify, but I believe I read somewhere that they were Hessian mercenary troops

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: IanC
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 11:25 AM

Mick

This appears to be fairly accurate.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: IanC
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 11:32 AM

Just to highlight the appropriate section:

Sir Francis Cosby and Captain Green with their hired Gaelic troops from Connacht formed the advance's spearhead. They were followed by the Berwick regiment under Colonel George Moore. Officers such as Sir Peter Carew, Captain Audley, Captain Furres, Captain Bernard Fitzwilliam and Audley's lieutenant were among the vanguard. Sir Henry Bagenal and Sir William Stanley protected the rearguard with their companies of shot.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 11:49 AM

Yes, Ian, and thank you for that link. I must be mixing memories of other incidents. But you leave a few things out. The document says in several places that the troops were very inexperienced, as was Grey, but that they had some veteran Captains whose experience left them very uneasy about entering the horseshoe valley. It goes on to say that the "hired" Irish troops deserted the English troop and joined with the rebels as soon as the first shots were fired.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: IanC
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 12:03 PM

Mick

Quite right, but I didn't want to quote the whole lot ... put the link in for that.

;-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Big Tim
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 12:16 PM

McCall (1861-1919) also wrote "Grainnu Mhaol" (Grace O'Malley), 6 verses and chorus, air 'Mo Theaglach', "Sailing in the Lowlands Low" (not the trad. folk song of same name), 6 verses, traditional air, "Ballad of Redmond O'Hanlon", "Henry Joy McCracken" ('Twas on the Belfast Mountains)- the latter according to John Moulden recently on Mudcat, tho no source quoted.

Anyone know of any other songs by him?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Big Mick
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 12:37 PM

Tim, do you know of any good recordings of "Grainnu Mhaol". I have been struggling with a good arrangement on this one and would love to hear others versions.

All the best,

the other Big Fella


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 12:57 PM

If you're reading, kilshannig, I imagine you get the picture now. Ask the right question, and it's a case of "light the blue touch paper and stand back".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Kilshannig
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 01:17 PM

I'm reading, McGrath of Harlow. the good thing is I know more about the song. The bad thing is ... more dates, more names, more places...will it ever stop? Anyway, you all made me more curious. The Swallowtail?Grainnu Mhaol?'Mo Theaglach'? Follow me DOWN ...?
And the key question: How much can a Dutch guy like myself handle so much international information about an Irish song?
Mudcatters...thanx!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Big Tim
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 03:22 PM

Can't help you Mick, I don't actually know the song, I just have the words as in "Irish Ballads and Songs of the Sea" by James N. Healy, Mercier Press, 1967. A biog of GOM "Granuaile: the Life and Times of Grace O'Malley c.1530-1603" by Anne Chambers was published by Wolfhound Press (+Irish American Book Company), 1998. It gives the words of 9 poems and songs on GOM tho not McCall's.

I did John Moulden a disservice on my previous post: he named the "Henry Joy McCracken" source as the "Shan Van Vocht" magazine, tho he didn't know the issue number. The mag only ran from Jan 1896 to Apr 1899, so shouldn't be too hard to find. If John doesn't come back, I'll try to remember to check it in the Linen Hall Library next time I'm in Belfaast!

All the best to you too,BT.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 03:31 PM

The tune of "Follow me up/down to Carlow" is Donald Dow's "Bonnie Annie", c 1775.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 02:08 AM

That's interesting! Was that a jig rhythm and is the notation on-line?the .


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 01:34 PM

Dow wrote Bonnie Annie as a reel. Notation quoted from The Athole Collection (1884) can be seen at The Fiddler's Companion. It's recognisably ancestral to the tune used for Carlow, but the latter has undergone considerable modification over the years.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: belfast
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 09:56 AM

Malcolm Douglas suggests that the song was rescued from oblivion by Christy Moore. This is not my memory. I had heard the song long before I ever heard of Christy. And some of us even knew the Dominic Behan song using the same air, "Barry's Column".


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 10:20 AM

My impression was formed from Christy's own comments, but I guess I should know better than to take him too literally. I'd still put the song's spread outside Ireland over the last thirty years down to him in large, though.

Back to the tune, for a moment; does anyone know if McCall specified it, and under what name he referred to it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: belfast
Date: 21 Oct 02 - 10:56 AM

I wouldn't for a minute that Christy was too big a claim for himself. I assume that he hadn't heard it sung anywhere and came across it some book or other. (Is it, for example, in Paddy Galvin's Irish Songs of Resistance?) And I've no doubt that Christy's singing of the song popularised it immensely. There's many a song that nobody in Ireland would ever have heard of had it not been for Christy Moore.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Big Tim
Date: 04 Mar 04 - 11:01 AM

Who was MacCahir Oge?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,mick
Date: 04 Mar 04 - 11:37 AM

McCall published a collection of traditional music with somebody called Darley . It was reprinted sometime in the 1980s. One of the tunes in it was Follow me Down to Carlow .


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Big Tim
Date: 04 Mar 04 - 01:21 PM

As far as I can trace, the song was first published in McCall's "Songs of Erinn", first ed in 1899, originally titled "Marching Song of Fiach MacHugh". I've tracked down everyone named in the song except MacCahir Oge!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Little Robyn
Date: 04 Mar 04 - 01:52 PM

Didn't McCall also write the words for My Lagan Love - also known as Love is Lord of all???
We learnt Carlow from the Johnsons, back in the 60s. Maybe they learnt it from Christy?
Robyn


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Subject: Lyr Add: FOLLOW ME UP TO CARLOW
From: GUEST,rsanfilippo@ameritech.net
Date: 09 Apr 04 - 11:50 PM

"FOLLOW ME UP TO CARLOW "

Lift MacCahir ogue your face
Brooding o'er the old disgrace
That black FitzWilliam stormed your place,
Drove you to the Fern!
Grey said victory was sure
Soon the Firebrand he'd secure;
Until he met at Glenmalure
Feagh MacHugh O'Byrne.

Chorus:
Curse and swear Lord Kildare!
Feagh will do what Feagh will dare
Now FitzWilliam, have a care
Fallen is your star, low
Up with halbert out with sword!
On we'll go for by the Lord!
Feagh MacHugh has given the word,
Follow me up to Carlow!

See the swords of Glen Imayle,
Flashing o'er the English Pale
See all the children of the Gael,
Beneath O'Byrne's banners
Rooster of the fighting stock,
Would you let a Saxon cock
Crow out upon an Irish rock,
Fly up and teach him manners.

Chorus:
Curse and swear Lord Kildare!
Feagh will do what Feagh will dare
Now FitzWilliam, have a care
Fallen is your star, low
Up with halbert out with sword!
On we'll go for by the Lord!
Feagh MacHugh has given the word,
Follow me up to Carlow!

From Tassagart to Clonmore,
There flows a stream of Saxon gore
Och, great is Rory Oge O'More,
At sending the loons to Hades.
White is sick and Lane is fled,
Now for black FitzWilliam's head
We'll send it over, dripping red,
To Queen Liza and the ladies.

Chorus:
Curse and swear Lord Kildare!
Feagh will do what Feagh will dare
Now FitzWilliam, have a care
Fallen is your star, low
Up with halbert out with sword!
On we'll go for by the Lord!
Feagh MacHugh has given the word,
Follow me up to Carlow!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: MartinRyan
Date: 12 Apr 04 - 07:50 AM

"Lagan Love" was by Joseph Campbell?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: artbrooks
Date: 11 May 05 - 12:40 PM

How is Feigh/Fiach/Feach pronounced?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 11 May 05 - 01:53 PM

Christy at least says it Feekh (or a hard ch, like in loch).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: MartinRyan
Date: 11 May 05 - 02:40 PM

Two quick syllables: fee-uck

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Reiver 2
Date: 11 May 05 - 03:49 PM

That's a question I was going to ask. I've seen the various spellings and have heard several pronounciations. I'd like to know which are the correct ones. With the Reivers, we sang this song, but never publicly as we weren't sure of the pronounciation. As I recall we learned the song from a Planxty recording.

I've figured out the identities of most of the people and places, but "ma cahir Og" or "McCahir Og" still eludes me. Nor have I definitely located "the Fern" or "Ferns" (I've heard it both ways). Any info. on these would be appreciated.

As to whether it was originally Up to Carlow or Down to Carlow, the recordings I've got each list it as "Up." However, "Down to Carlow" seems more appropriate. Feach's main territory and the battle site of Glen Malure were in the mountains, if I'm not mistaken, while Carlow is on the Barrow River, so it would seem logical that O'Byrne would have been exhorting his men to follow him DOWN to Carlow.

Great Song! I'm glad for the information about the author -- the 7' tall Kelly from Killane also makes a great song.

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 11 May 05 - 04:37 PM

Thanks for the correction. He says it so fast you'd swear was Feekh.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: mandoleer
Date: 11 May 05 - 04:58 PM

On a total irrelevancy, my late mother acquired a totally black cat (even eyes and whiskers black) and named him FitzWilliam because of this song. She was rather more into heavy metal music, but she did like Planxty.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 12 May 05 - 03:30 AM

Judging by old photos of the band, Donal certainly looked as if he were in a metal band.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 12 May 05 - 06:53 AM

Info on the Byrne Clan There is a relationship mentioned to the McCahir's


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 05 - 07:00 AM

From the above link...

Later, in 1543, the senior O'Byrne leaders petitioned the government to shire their territory. St Ledger, three years later, praised the effectiveness of the sheriff of O'Byrnes' Country. A force under Dowlyn McCahir Roe O'Byrne and another Callogh McBran served in Scotland during Henry VIII's 1544-1545 Scottish campaign. Callogh McBran was captain of the Irish kerne. This force quickly earned a reputation among the Scots for ferocity. For his services Callogh McBran was rewarded with the sum of £13 6s 8d in September 1545, before his repatriation. Their service in Scotland had much to do with Earl James's leadership of the Irish contingent. Further signs of their goodwill towards the government were evinced in 1546. Dowlyn O'Byrne appeared among a list of lords considered fit to serve Henry VIII in a fresh Scottish campaign. This period, through government campaigns and treaties, saw a decline in the power of Gaelic overlords, which facilitated the rise of the traditionally weaker septs in east Leinster.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 12 May 05 - 07:03 AM

'Black' Fitzwilliam


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 12 May 05 - 08:59 AM

The MIDI file in the DigiTrad doesn't play. When I tried to save it and listen to it in Noteworthy, I got an ominous message saying "There is a serious problem in the something-or-other. It is recommended that you save your work ASAP."

Can somebody fix this?

I want to see if this tune is the same as the "Follow me Down to Carlow" that I sang in high school.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: artbrooks
Date: 12 May 05 - 09:16 AM

Works fine in my downloaded copy of the DT.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 12 May 05 - 09:32 AM

http://sniff.numachi.com/~rickheit/dtrad/aidx/aidxF.html try the MIDI here, it's the same as the one in the DT, but works.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 12 May 05 - 10:44 AM

I don't know what's wrong with the piece in the DT. Could be it, could be my computer. However, I work with MIDI's all the time and have never seen this problem before. Oh, well.

Thanks for the link, Allen. It is the same tune I learned in high school. I think it was a dance tune before someone used it for the poem "Follow me up to Carlow." It just sounds like a dance tune, with a low A and a high B part, and a short shift from minor to major at the begging of the B part. Dance tunes do this all the time.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 06 - 10:22 PM

I believe "Mac Cahir Og" may refer to Bryan McCahir who was the son of Cahir McArt Kavanagh. He was also the husband of Fiach McHugh O'Bryne's sister Elinor. He was in rebelion in 1572, pardoned in 1573 and died 1575(1578?).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Jay MacDonald
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 01:29 AM

Could it be that Fitzwilliam is a reference to Arthur Grey himself. Fitz is a patronymic prefix used in many Irish names of late medieval origin, signifying "son" (like Mc, Mac, O', and the Hebrew Ben). Emmett O'Byrne's excellent essay mentions that Grey's father was William Grey, making Arthur = Fitz William. Put in context of the lyrics it makes sense, especially since he was the Queen's representative - what better than to send his head to her.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 06:59 AM

...There's a nice easy to understand potted history on wikipedia, search on 'Fiach McHugh O'Byrne'


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 07:54 AM

Fitz actually means "illegitamate son of"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Bardan
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 08:06 AM

fitz, at least traditionally means "bastard son of" rather than just son. Is the Fiach, just short for Fiachra, in which case something like fee-ach would be the pronunciation, (where "ch" is like in loch or that hebrew noise- either way the flemmy one).


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 10:26 AM

Michael

As mentioned earleir in the thread, this one was written by PJ McCall

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 12:34 AM

James Keelaghan & Oscar Lopez do a good job on this song, though they refer to it as Follow Me Up There, Carlos.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Kearns
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 09:26 PM

MacCahir Og......like, generic. Cahir, perhaps Irish for general walled town, correct me if my Irish is rusty.

I keep hearing that the air itself dates back to 1580, the time of the battle of Glenmalure. Now, not a musician, is 'air' just the tune portion. Did McCall set down words to paper that had already been sort of attached to the song?

Also, great explanations about the battle. It is said, that the massacre at Dun An Oir, in Dingle in October of the same year was retribution, anyt thoughts? Grey's forces here killed, beheaded, 600 Italians and Spaniards who had surrendered seeking terms.

We went there this summer, saw the monument, all in irish, spooky place. Call it the field of heads, so they do.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Kearns
Date: 24 Oct 07 - 09:37 PM

Fitzwilliam, aka William Fitzwilliam, Lord Deputy of Ireland as replacement for Arhtur Grey de Wilton, whom some said was too brutal in beheadings at Dun An Oir and still did little to quell the north.

Fitzwilliam essentially retaking an old post nobody wanted. First time round he was accused of financial misdealings but, hey? It's not like Liza gave him the financing he needed in the first place.

Sorry to drone, writing a book about the period. Want to use this song desperately in the text. Not historically accurate but, who's gonna know except everyone who wrote all this stuff on this page...which sort of means everybody ahhg!

MacCahir Og, again I take to mean "hey average Irish guy! Dont be so down! Follow me to Carlow!"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,martin
Date: 09 Nov 07 - 03:27 PM

I still don't know what the reference to Carlow is all about if the battle and O'byrnes stronghold were both in county Wicklow. Anyone know?


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Subject: Lyr Add: MARCHING SONG OF FEAGH MACHUGH
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Nov 07 - 05:18 AM

From Songs of Erinn by Patrick Joseph McCall, 1899:

MARCHING SONG OF FEAGH MACHUGH.
"THE FIREBRAND OF THE MOUNTAINS."
A.D. 1580.

(It is a tradition that this air ("Follow me up to Carlow") was first performed by the pipers of Feagh MacHugh as he marched to attack Carlow after his victory over Lord Deputy Grey at Glenmalure. MacCahir Ogue was Brian MacCahir Cavanagh, whom Fitzwilliam had driven out of his possessions.)

Lift, MacCahir Ogue, your face,
Brooding o'er the old disgrace,
That black Fitzwilliam stormed your place,
  And drove you to the fern!
Grey said victory was sure—
Soon The Firebrand he'd Secure;
Until he met at Glenmalure,
  Feagh MacHugh O'Byrne!

  Chaunt—
Curse and swear, Lord Kildare!
Feagh will do what Feagh will dare—
Now, Fitzwilliam, have a care—
  Fallen is your star, low!
Up with halbert, out with sword!
On we go; for, by the Lord!
Feagh MacHugh has given the word—
  Follow me up to Carlow!

See the swords of Glen Imayle
Flashing o'er the English Pale!
See all the children of the Gael
  Beneath O'Byrne's banners!
Rooster of a fighting stock,
Would you let a Saxon cock
Crow out upon an Irish rock?
  Fly up, and teach him manners!

  Chaunt—
Curse and swear, Lord Kildare! etc.

From Tassagart to Clonmore,
Flows a stream of Saxon gore!
Och, great is Rory Ogue O'More
  At sending loons to Hades!
White is sick, and Lane is fled!
Now for black Fitzwilliam's head—
We'll send it over dripping red
  To 'Liza* and her ladies!

  Chaunt—
Curse and swear, Lord Kildare! etc.

* Queen Elizabeth.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Scatterling
Date: 10 Dec 07 - 06:07 PM

I'm from Carlow, and I was told by my school teacher when I was a kid that Carlow was always a Garrison town and therefore safe for the supporters of the Crown during Nationalist unrest. The Brits wanted to march south and they had 2 routes - thru Wicklow (full of mountains and easy ambush country) or the longer way thru their stronghold of Carlow. So while Carlow people sing it like their rebel song - they didn't do anything in this case. The Brits came thru Wicklow because their intelligence said that rebels had withdrawn from Wicklow to consolidate their forces, but they had been fed false information (a rebel allowed himself to be caught and tortured to pass on false info) and the rebels ambushed them and slaughtered them in the bottle neck passes of the Wicklow Mountains where the Irish held the high ground. So follow me up to Carlow is a taunt. If they had gone to Carlow - they would have lived. So I was told anyway. Check with a Historian.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,Scatterling
Date: 10 Dec 07 - 06:26 PM

O yeah - sorry I meant to add Jim Dixon's version is exactly the way I heard it - except for the interpetation of the line "Follow me up to Carlow". His makes more sense, though I wasn't awear of an attack on Carlow having taken place then. Hit the history books and it will confirm what Jim says. "Lift Mac Cahir Og" (meaning young) was the way I was thought the song. So lift your head young man and stop brooding about how Fitzwilliam stole your land and drove you into the ferns (the scrub vegatation in the Mountains). Bang on the way I heard it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Nerd
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 12:36 PM

I think one error people make is in assuming the song is ABOUT the battle of Glenmalure, which it isn't. It is the TUNE that is supposed to be from A.D. 1580; it was reputed to be the march played by O'Byrne's pipers. But the battle of Glenmalure is clearly in the past from the song's point of view.

The song is actually about Fiach's whole career, referencing incidents as early as 1572 and as late as 1592, and seems to be set on the eve of one of his raids leading up to the nine years war--in the 1590s.

Did Fiach ever attack Carlow? Not that I know of. So this is a fictional or legendary raid being depicted, which is what has made this song so difficult to date! McCall says only that it is after Glenmalure, but not how long after. But there are clues...

First of all, if it's not about Glenmalure, why bring it up in the song? Glenmalure is brought up as the reason why MacCahir Og should take heart. The song is saying, "like the current Lord Deputy (William FitzWilliam), Lord Deputy Arthur Grey de Wilton had ALSO thought victory was sure, and it was Fiach that defeated him; so now that we are going up against another cocky Saxon Lord Deputy, FitzWilliam, it's good to have Fiach leading us."

MacCahir Og is Fiach's brother-in Law, Brian MacCahir Kavanagh, as the song's author confirms. The backstory here is that in 1572, Fiach and Brian were implicated in the murder of a landowner who was son-in-law to the Queen's Seneschal in Wexford. As a courtier, the Seneschal (Nicholas White) brought the matter to the Queen personally, and Fiach was locked in deadly dispute with White for over a year. It was during this period that William FitzWilliam, then Lord Deputy of Ireland, dispossessed MacCahir Og of his lands. Fiach's brother was also killed in 1572 as part of the campaign against the O'Byrnes and Kavanaghs. This is the "old disgrace," which gave both Fiach and MacCahir a grudge against both FitzWilliam and White.

FitzWilliam gave up the post of Lord Deputy in 1575, and was not in Ireland during the battle of Glenmalure--He was at Milton, Northants, his hometown in England (and was also governor of Fotheringhay castle during the imprisonment and execution of Mary, Queen of Scots). This is one reason why I think the song is not set right after Glenmalure; it makes it necessary to assume that the songwriter is calling Grey de Wilton "FitzWilliam" because his father had been called William, while the FitzWilliam who drove MacCahir Og out was William FitzWilliam. It would be both confusing and silly for the songwriter to refer to both men (who were not related, and one of whom was never actually referred to this way) as "FitzWilliam."

So, if FitzWilliam left Ireland in 1575, how could Fiach be fighting him after Glenmalure? Because FitzWilliam came back to Ireland and served as Lord Deputy again, from 1588 to 1594. It is in this period that the song is set, I believe. Probably it is before Fiach's sons took Ardree and burnt the Sheriff of Kildare to death, and so "Lord Kildare" is Pierce FitzGerald, who did indeed "curse and swear" at Fiach's exploits. It must certainly be before FitzWilliam left Ireland in August 1594.

The line "White is sick" makes it likely that we're speaking about sometime between 1590, when Fiach's old enemy Nicholas White, during a bout of illness, was arrested and sent to the Tower of London, and 1592, when White was executed. In 1592, also, FitzWilliam's star began to "fall low." He was accused of taking bribes, but defended by friends who were close to the Queen. Then in August, rumors of his death circulated in England--surely an inauspicious sign.

So all in all, I think it is likely that the words to the last verse are set in 1592, when White was sick (but still alive), And FitzWilliam's star was falling low, but not so low that he ceased to be a formidable adversary whose head was worth pursuing.

FitzWilliam's star fell still lower after White's death. He had been ill for some time, he pleaded with Elizabeth to recall him, and he had to appoint lieutenants to do the work of governing. Soon after his return to England in 1594, he became completely blind. He died in 1599.

Grey de Wilton, by the way, had left Ireland in 1582. He died peacefully in England, in his own bed, in 1593. He had been consistently employed by the queen, but kept at arm's length, and was never a true insider at court, due to rumors that he was a radical protestant. But he did fairly well for his last years, despite his failure in Ireland. He was a very well known man in his day; Spenser created a character, Artegall, who was a cipher for Arthur Grey de Wilton.

Finally, it was of course Fiach's head that was sent to Queen Liza, after he was killed in 1597. (Not dripping red, however; it had already been displayed for some time on the walls of Dublin Castle, and then pickled.) The Queen was not amused, and ordered that it be taken away. Presumably, McCall knew this story when he wrote the song, and put in the bit about sending FitzWilliam's head to Liza as a bit of irony.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: michaelr
Date: 11 Dec 07 - 07:38 PM

That should put it to rest, then. Thanks for the info, Steve!

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 14 Jun 08 - 04:35 AM

Incidentally, Carlow is a *county*, so it's not necessarily the town we're talking about.

The 'Irishry' of the Wicklow Hills, centred on Glen Imaal and Glenmalure where the O'Byrnes had their HQ, harried the Pale - Dublin and its surrounds - trying to drive out the English and lowland Scots settlers, for some hundreds of years. The Military Road south from Dublin through Wicklow was built to bring soldiers easily into their territory. Nice scenic drive now.

There were constant reports of raids into such neat suburbs as Donnybrook by the Wicklow contingent.

Incidentally, it's not only Fitzwilliam who was black; the O'Byrne/O Broin family are a very dark-skinned and dark-haired lot. I used to know some of them. It's still traditional for every eldest son to be called Fiach.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Jim McLean
Date: 14 Jun 08 - 11:04 AM

As far as the tune is concerned, I used it in 4/4 time in 1964 for my song The Declaration of Arbroath. I heard the tune first from Dominic Behan.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 08 - 05:38 PM

Hi everyone - I'm an American lady from Boston, now living in Louisville, KY, whose last name is McHugh.

I have liked this song so well, because it is the only one I know of with any version of my last name in it, but it is also so Irish/Catholic.

I just had the Boston Irish radio station streaming live on my computer so I could have a piece of home here in Kentucky, and on came this song. It made me look up the lyrics so I could sing along, and I ended up on this so very interesting site.

God bless you all.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: katlaughing
Date: 04 Oct 08 - 07:06 PM

Welcome, Guest, McHugh. Please remember to sign in with some name, along with "guest" so that we may distinguish your postings from others. My son used to live in Louisville; we are in Colorado, now, but we also used to live in Western Mass!

We have a Mudcat member, Big Mick, who did a great rendition of this song on his band's CD which you may read about on another thread. Just .

Again, welcome to the Mudcat!

kat


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Oct 08 - 03:07 AM

Christy Moore didn't know how to pronounce ' Hades '

eric


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,GALOOT
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 12:25 PM

Nerd provides great info on names and facts, but he does not mention the Lane: "White is sick, Lane is fled" Christy Moore clearly sings "Grey: instead, and that would make sense given the facts of Grey de Wilton leaving in 1582. Any comment?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Cluin
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 11:44 PM

"Remember Mullaghmast!" was the battle cry of many at Glenmalure.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Stu
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 06:02 AM

My favourite Christy Moore song, and one of my all-time favourites.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Nerd
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 12:47 PM

Galoot,

Sir Ralph Lane was the Muster Master General of Ireland from January 1592 until his death in 1603. He is the same famous Ralph Lane who had been the governor of the failed Roanoke Island colony in Virginia.   He is said to be the man who introduced tobacco to England, although there is no proof of this. A personal friend of Sir Walter Raleigh, a good and loyal servant of the Queen, and a well-connected petty nobleman (his father was a knight and his mother a cousin of Catherine Parr), he continued to be given responsible positions despite his failure in Virginia.

As muster master, Lane was responsible for mustering, inspecting, equipping, and paying the Queen's troops in Ireland, and he took part in actions himself. He was badly wounded in an uprising in 1594 (I don't know if it was one of McHugh's, but it may have been the same one in which they burned Pierce FitzGerald of Kildare). Lane never fully recovered from his wounds, and didn't do his job very well from then until his death, which contributed to the continuing success of small rebellions in Ireland. Indeed, Elizabeth wrote to her treasurer in 1596:

And for you our Treasurer, of all other, we see nothing but great sums expended, and no good nor timely certificates how they are issued, but in generalities, with accompts of idle and particular charges, wherein we find large allowances made to yourselves by yourselves in all things. And for the musters (of which let Ralph Lane be sharply warned) either we have none, or such as we assure you it is ridiculous to the world to hear what an army we pay, and yet what an army we have.

Again, since this is a fictional or legendary raid, essentially the narrator is imagining a path to victory, which in 1592 would include putting Lane and his troops to flight.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: Brakn
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 05:42 PM

Not the best but.........

my version on MySpace.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Follow me up to Carlow
From: GUEST,andy
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 11:47 AM

Hello, are other songs or tunes about McHugh, Glenmalure or Carlow?
I mean with the same subject.

Thanks in advance.
andy from Italy.


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