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Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore

DigiTrad:
GRANEMORE HARE
HILLS OF GREENMORE (2)
THE HILLS OF GREENMORE


Related threads:
(origins) Lyr/Chords Req: The Hare of Kilgrain (36)
(origins) Origins: The Lurgan Hare (18)
Tune Add: The Granemore Hare (7)


GUEST,Olga 29 Oct 02 - 04:03 PM
bill kennedy 29 Oct 02 - 04:11 PM
Joe Offer 29 Oct 02 - 05:24 PM
Declan 30 Oct 02 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,tamlin 30 Oct 02 - 06:44 AM
Wolfgang 30 Oct 02 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,Guest, Big Tim 30 Oct 02 - 11:15 AM
Declan 30 Oct 02 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,JohnB 30 Oct 02 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 30 Oct 02 - 01:15 PM
Big Tim 31 Oct 02 - 03:16 AM
GUEST 31 Oct 02 - 08:06 AM
Ballyholme 31 Oct 02 - 08:11 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 31 Oct 02 - 08:14 AM
Brían 31 Oct 02 - 08:42 AM
fogie 31 Oct 02 - 09:00 AM
Big Tim 31 Oct 02 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,cassidy 18 Feb 03 - 08:30 PM
Cluin 18 Feb 03 - 09:03 PM
Cluin 18 Feb 03 - 10:00 PM
MGM·Lion 22 Apr 12 - 12:31 AM
GUEST,PFT63 15 Jul 12 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,PFT63 15 Jul 12 - 02:10 PM
GUEST 15 Jul 12 - 02:26 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Jul 12 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 15 Jul 12 - 02:58 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Jul 12 - 03:10 PM
MartinRyan 15 Jul 12 - 03:14 PM
MartinRyan 15 Jul 12 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Jul 12 - 10:14 AM
MGM·Lion 16 Jul 12 - 11:08 AM
Les from Hull 16 Jul 12 - 11:20 AM
MGM·Lion 16 Jul 12 - 12:05 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 12 - 05:06 AM
MartinRyan 17 Jul 12 - 11:11 AM
MartinRyan 17 Jul 12 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Ballyholme 17 Jul 12 - 12:16 PM
MGM·Lion 17 Jul 12 - 12:42 PM
Noreen 17 Jul 12 - 06:13 PM
MGM·Lion 18 Jul 12 - 12:58 AM
Seamus Kennedy 18 Jul 12 - 01:22 AM
Seamus Kennedy 18 Jul 12 - 01:25 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Jul 12 - 02:01 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Jul 12 - 03:29 AM
MartinRyan 18 Jul 12 - 04:51 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Jul 12 - 05:23 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Jul 12 - 05:26 AM
MartinRyan 18 Jul 12 - 05:34 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Jul 12 - 09:28 AM
GUEST 18 Jul 12 - 04:25 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 18 Jul 12 - 04:26 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Jul 12 - 07:07 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 19 Jul 12 - 07:47 AM
GUEST,leeneia 19 Jul 12 - 11:14 AM
Seamus Kennedy 20 Jul 12 - 12:30 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Jul 12 - 01:16 AM
Big Mick 20 Jul 12 - 01:17 AM
Big Mick 20 Jul 12 - 01:20 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Jul 12 - 02:05 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Jul 12 - 05:56 AM
MartinRyan 20 Jul 12 - 02:02 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 20 Jul 12 - 03:07 PM
MGM·Lion 20 Jul 12 - 03:51 PM
MGM·Lion 21 Jul 12 - 03:17 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Jul 12 - 03:31 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Jul 12 - 06:06 AM
MGM·Lion 21 Jul 12 - 08:21 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 27 Jul 12 - 10:12 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 27 Jul 12 - 10:17 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Jul 12 - 11:26 AM
GUEST,John Moulden 27 Jul 12 - 12:45 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,Olga
Date: 29 Oct 02 - 04:03 PM

And even more thanks to all others who can send lyrics to another irish song 'Fields of Greenmore'. Are there other records of this song exept Dervish's?


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Subject: Lyr Add: HILLS OF GREENMORE (from Steeleye Span)
From: bill kennedy
Date: 29 Oct 02 - 04:11 PM

it's in the DT as HILLS OF GREENMORE

Steeleye Span recorded this song for their first album, Hark! The Village Wait.

Lyrics
One fine winter's morn my horn I did blow
To the green fields of Keady for hours we did go
We gathered our dogs and we circled around
For none loves the sport better than the boys in the Dell.


And when we arrived they were all standing there
We set off for the fields, boys, in search of a hare
We didn't get far till someone gave the cheer
Over high hills and valleys the wee puss did steer

As we flew o'er the hills, 'twas a beautiful sight
There was dogs black and yellow, there was dogs black and bright
Now she took the black bank for to try them once more
Oh it was her last look o'er the Hills of Greenmore.

In a field of wheat stubble this pussy die lie
And Rory and Charwer they did pass her by
And there we stood at the top of the brae
We heard the last words that this wee puss did say:

``No more o'er the green fields of Keady I'll roam
To trip through the fields, boys, in sport and in fun
Or hear the long horn that your toner does play
Or home to my den by the clear light of day.''

You may blame ol' Mac Mahon for killing the hare
For he's at his ol' capers this many's a year
On Saturday and Sunday he never gives o'er
With a pack of strange dogs round the Hills of Greenmore.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Oct 02 - 05:24 PM

Also see Hare's Lament, and the crosslinked threads listed above.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Declan
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 05:52 AM

Olga,

Yes there are pre-Dervish versions of this song. I just can't remember who recorded them. When I think of the song now I hear Kathy Jordan singing it. One clue is that Keady is mentioned, which is in South Armagh (Dervish are from Sligo). Singers that come from that area include Len Graham and Tommy Makem, but I don't know for definite if either of them recorded the song.

I also have a vague notion that there's a connection between Andy Irvine and this song, but I might be way of the mark here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,tamlin
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 06:44 AM

Dick Gaughan has a version of this song on Kirst o Gold which also mentions Keady. Anne Briggs' version is set in Kilda.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Wolfgang
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 09:36 AM

May I add Al O'Donnell to the list

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,Guest, Big Tim
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 11:15 AM

Declan, maybe you're thinging of Andy Irvine singing The Creggan White Hare? There's a Creggan in Armagh, tho not sure if this is the same one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Declan
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 11:27 AM

Big Tim,

You're spot on, and I think it is set in the South Armagh area, but its a different song. There's another one that was sung by Geordie Hanna that starts "On Yonder Hill there stands a Hare", which doesn't try to preach about this type of activity, but leaves you in no doubt as to where the songwriter's sympathy's lie.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 12:22 PM

Martin Simpson does a great version, can't remember which CD it is on though. Should be able to check on the "Topic" site.
JohnB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 30 Oct 02 - 01:15 PM

The place in question in the song is Granemore near Keady in Mid-Armagh.
The Steel Eye Span certainly have a good "up beat" version of the song , pity they got the placename wrong. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Big Tim
Date: 31 Oct 02 - 03:16 AM

Granemore is a townland about three miles directly east of Keady. It is hilly country, rising to about 160m, c.500 feet. The Granemore River runs through. It seems certain that this is the location of the song. There is no townland called Greenmore in Northern Ireland. As Terry Woods, who later found fame in the Pogues, was a member of Steeleye Span at the time of their recording of the song, I blame him for getting the name wrong!

Re "Creggan Hare", there are townlands of this name in Counties Armagh, [London]derry, and Tyrone, plus a "Cregan" in Antrim.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Oct 02 - 08:06 AM

The "Cregan white Hare" is the


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Ballyholme
Date: 31 Oct 02 - 08:11 AM

Add the (Irish) Country Four to the list of those who have recorded this fine song. They included it on the album they made for Topic in the late 60s/early 70s.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 31 Oct 02 - 08:14 AM

"The Cregan White Hare" is the Tyrone Cregan, a verse of the song would indicate this, as all of the placenames are in County Tyrone,

"And some jolly sportsmen came down from Pomeroy,
Dungannon and Cookstown and likewise the Moy,
With their pedigree hounds which they brought from afar,
And they landed in Cregan in their fine motor-cars".

The late Sean Dynes did a fine recording thirty years ago. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Brían
Date: 31 Oct 02 - 08:42 AM

I have a cassette tape By "Kevin McElroy and Friends" with this song, though the recording is probably out of print. Kevin says he first heard Sean Tyrell of Galway singing it.

It is in Robin Morton's Folksongs Sung in Ulster. It was written by an old woman in Ballylisk near Tandragee as a parody of a song called THE HILLS OF GLENSWILLY. It appears to have been sung to a variant of SWEET BETSY FROM PIKE.

Brían


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: fogie
Date: 31 Oct 02 - 09:00 AM

Rory and Charwer is it ? I've been trying to work that out since I bought the LP. I thought it was bonny wee charmer- presumably one or two dogs?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Big Tim
Date: 31 Oct 02 - 10:34 AM

Brian: it's amazing how things go round. The Hills of Glenswilly was written by Michael McGinley (of Glenswilly)who also wrote the Irish Civil War song "The Drumboe Martyrs", which we have discussed at some length on Mudcat in the past.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,cassidy
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 08:30 PM

well I may appear foolish but can someone tell me
why the May-Down boys and there dogs are spoken badly of and what they are balming coyle for?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Cluin
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 09:03 PM

From the version (found here in the DT)on Dick Gaughan's Kist O' Gold album (which he credits his learning of it to Tommy Sands), the song is from the point of view of the hunted hare.

The "Boys from Maydown" loved the sport of hunting more than any other and their dogs were hard "to get clear of".

Coyle was apparently an avid weekend rabbit hunter ("From Friday to Sunday he'll never give o'er"), but the dying hare's curse was on McMahon for "bringing Coyle here".


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Subject: Lyr Add: GRANEMORE HARE (from Dick Gaughan)
From: Cluin
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 10:00 PM

By the way, there are a few little mistakes in the DT version (that I linked to above) which credits its source as Dick Gaughan's Kist O' Gold. According to the lyrics enclosed with the album, the proper lyrics are (with corrections bolded):


GRANEMORE HARE

Last Saturday morning, the horns they did blow
To the green hills round Tassagh the huntsmen did go
To meet the bold sportsmen from around Keady town
For none loved the sport better than the boys from Maydown

And when we arrived they were all standing there
So we took to the green fields in search of the hare
We had not gone far when someone gave a cheer
Over high hills and valleys this "puss" she did steer

With our dogs all abreast and that big mountain hare
And the sweet sounding music, it rang through the air
Straight for the Black Bank for to try them once more
And it was her last sight round the Hills of Granemore

And as they trailed on to where the "puss", she did lie
She sprang to her feet for to bid them goodbye
Their music, it ceased and her cry we could hear
Saying, "Cursed be the ones brought you Maydown dogs here"

"Last night as I lay content in the glen
It was little I thought about dogs or of men
But when going home at the clear break of day
I could hear the long notes that young Toner did play"

"And it being so early I stopped for a while
It was little I thought they were going to meet Coyle
If I had known that I'd have lain near the town
Or tried to get clear of those dogs from Maydown"

"And now I am dying, the sport is all done
No more through the green fields round Keady I'll run
Or feed in the glen on the cold winter's night
Nor go home to my den when it's breaking daylight"

"My curse on MacMahon for bringing Coyle here
He's been at his old capers for many's the year
From Friday to Sunday, he'll never give o'er
With a pack of strange dogs round the Hills of Granemore"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Apr 12 - 12:31 AM

Regarding this character called Coyle, arbitrarily introduced towards the end whose role in the affair remains unclear:-

surely the result of a misunderstanding of

"I blame old MacMahon for bringing coil here"

~~ 'coil' in the old sense of "tumult, hubbub, noise, fuss: [as in Hamlet III i 67] ('mortal coil') the toil and trouble of human life" [Chambers Dictionary]?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,PFT63
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 02:02 PM

The Hare as allegory for the (Republican) tradition in the North of Ireland, being chased and subdued and ultimately slain by Coyle, who is perhaps standing as an allegory for a Traitor from within that Republican community?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,PFT63
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 02:10 PM

We have a variation of the tune on Johnny McEvoy's old vinyl album "Leaves in the Wind" (Hawk Records?) but I believe the tune is called "The Hills of Greymore" on that album. I have been a fan of this song for years. Really glad to see that other folks are, as well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 02:26 PM

And McEvoy's version speaks of Maydown and Keady and the nearby "green fields (hills?) of Tassagh' in County Armagh. From Keady, you can take the Granemore Road east to Tassagh. In fact, if you go to Google Maps, you can find some ground-level photo images of the Granemore Road as it passes through Tassagh, and these photos contain images of green hilly country along the side of the Road that "could" be the scene of some Hare coursing I suppose!!! Youtube has a video of the tune that depicts photos of dogs (some of them muzzled, some not) as they chase the Hare through the fields. But that particular video is listed under the spelling of "Greenmore" I believe.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 02:47 PM

'Greenmore' & 'Granemore' seem to co-exist as alternative versions.

But nobody seems to have taken me up on my suggestion that 'Coyle', an arbitrarily named character who doesn't appear till the last verse, is surely a mondegreen for 'coil' in the sense of 'trouble or discord'.

I blame old lame MacMahon for bringing [the equivalent of trouble & discord] here,
He's been at his old capers for many's the year


seems to me a perfectly acceptable rendering of the aurality of the lyric.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 02:58 PM

This song is locally attributed to Owen McMahon of Tassagh and he names himself in it. Coyle was a person rather than a personification of any kind of struggle, Republican or concerning life. There is no evidence that this song, or the Creggan White Hare, about which it is also said, is any kind of allegory for a fugitive Republican. Both these songs describe exactly the sort of hunt that was, in the past, conducted by local men, each on foot with his own dog, over their local ground. Though the hare was hunted, there were seldom reports of them being caught. The relationship between these men, their dogs, their locality and the quarry was quite complicated emotionally, it involved exercise, skill and affection rather than bloodlust.
I am not a supporter of blood 'sports' but the past is another country and my aim is understanding and the accurate interpretation of songs, which are one of the few records in which we can spot the feelings and aspirations of ordinary people in theor own words.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 03:10 PM

But did Owen McMahon publish it in print himself, with the name 'Coyle' printed as such - in which case who was he and why was his being 'brought here' prove so fatal to the narrating hare? -

- or was it orally transmitted originally, before seeing print? - in which case I stick to my contention that 'coil', simply meaning trouble, no kind of 'personification', might possibly have been aurally and orally misinterpreted.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 03:14 PM

Thank you, GUEST,John Moulden. As ever, there is a tendency to forget that - sometimes - a cucumber is just a cucumber.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 15 Jul 12 - 03:15 PM

p.s. Of course, the condition is often seasonal! ;>)>

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 10:14 AM

I looked up coil in my unabridged dictionary. It does indeed give 'trouble or tumult' as a meaning, and then it cites one quote from Shakespeare. It also calls it 'archaic & dialect.'

There's no reason to suppose that the author of the song had ever heard 'coil' used in this odd sense. Personally, I think that Hamlet was referring to the human body when he said, "...shuffle off this mortal coil."

As for the republican allegory idea - the heck with it. You could take any song in the world and declare that it's an allegory for some political struggle. Let's see:

Bicyle Built for Two - 19th C. presidential candidate seeks v.p.

Once in Love with Amy - "amy' is obviously friendship in disguise. Song is a thinly-veiled enconium to gay and lesbian liberation.

:)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 11:08 AM

"Archaic & dialect", eh, leeneia. Wonder where.   Parts of Ireland, maybe. & when became "archaic" ~~ later than McMahon wrote, perhaps? I have always taken the line to mean "I blame McMahon for bringing all this trouble." Someone called "Coyle" who suddenly makes an appearance in the song & doesn't do anything has never made sense to me. Why would they need him? What was his precise function? Why couldn't they have just hunted the hare without this outside visitor having to be sent for by McMahon?

Sorry; but "Coyle" seems to me to make absolutely no sense; never has.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Les from Hull
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 11:20 AM

I always assumed that Coyle was the name of a dog. But I've been wrong before.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Jul 12 - 12:05 PM

coil 2 (koil)
n.
A disturbance; a fuss.
[Origin unknown.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
.,,.,.
American online dictionary. No suggestion of archaism or dialectism ['updated 2009', NB]. Just defined as a normal word.

Most familiar, of course, as occurring in probably the most famous & familiar of all Shax's speeches {"To be or ..."}. But seems a perfectly usable word to me.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 05:06 AM

Only just noticed this in leneeia's post above:

Personally, I think that Hamlet was referring to the human body when he said, "...shuffle off this mortal coil."

Did you find 'coil' defined as 'body' anywhere,leneeia? If so, you didn't say where. If not, what are your 'personal' grounds for 'believing' this somewhat mnemonic & eccentric interpretation?

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 11:11 AM

"mnemonic"? Exactly! ;>)>

Noh mower to be said, really.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 11:53 AM

Despite which...

The "mortal coil" is the soul's wrapping i.e. the body. If Shakespeare had a second level of meaning in his head, it was probably Satanic.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,Ballyholme
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 12:16 PM

I remember that (quite a few years ago) an acquaintance from County Armagh whose surname is Coyle, told me that the Coyle mentioned in the song was, in fact, a family member of his.

I didn't query the grounds for this belief but it was obviously something he believed to be true.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 12:42 PM

No, Martin. Nice try, but that is not what Will meant whatever.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Noreen
Date: 17 Jul 12 - 06:13 PM

Did Will tell you that personally, M?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 12:58 AM

There are such things as study and authorities and annotations, Noreen. There are such things as interpretations that make sense and as ones that are so convolutedly fanciful as to be absurd.

Did Galileo tell you personally that the earth revolves around the sun?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 01:22 AM

MIchael - Coyle also appears a verse or two before:
"And it being so early I stopped for a while
It was little I thought they were going to meet Coyle
If I had known that I'd have lain near the town
Or tried to get clear of those dogs from Maydown"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 01:25 AM

Last verse:
"My curse on MacMahon for bringing Coyle here
He's been at his old capers for many's the year
From Friday to Sunday, he'll never give o'er
With a pack of strange dogs round the Hills of Granemore.

Seems he was a person.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 02:01 AM

Not necessarily, Seaumus. My interpretation of 'coil' [assuming the word misheard from oral rendition] would equally well fit meaning of your additional verse ["they were going to run into difficulties, or find trouble"] - which was why they 'stopped for a while'. Otherwise why should their meeting a person surprise the narrator ["little I thought"]. If Coyle a person, who, or what his function? Why should their meeting him, particularly, have so baleful an effect for the fox? The 'he' who has 'been at his capers' could equally refer to MacMahon, whom the victim-fox is cursing for the fatal effect on him of those perpetual 'capers' of his.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 03:29 AM

Apologise for misspelling your name ~ typo rather than ignorance!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 04:51 AM

There are such things as study and authorities and annotations,...

Indeed. Can you point me towards one (preferably non-American) that supports your interpretation of "shuffle off this mortal coil"? I used to know this text only too well and can't recall ever hearing it glossed in that way . I recognise the double sense of "coil" alright but remain sceptical of its application in the phrase.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 05:23 AM

Martin ~~

mortal coil; fuss of life
Penguin Shakespeare, edited G B Harrison, 1937

mortal coil bustle and turmoil of this mortal life
The RSC Shakespeare COMPLETE WORKS, ed Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 2007

COIL, sub. bustle, tumult. Much Ado, iii.3.99; Ham, iii,1,67
Glossary to Oxford Complete Works, ed W J Craig, 1905

Must in honesty concede, rather to my surprise, that the Signet pb edition of 1963, ed Edward Hubler, seems to recognise both our interpretations ~~

coil (1) turmoil (2) a ring of rope (here the flesh encircling the soul) ---

--- But then that is a American one, which you imply, Martin, that you would in any event regard as less reliable!

Those all the annotated editions I can lay my hands on around the house at the moment.

Best

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 05:26 AM

Sorry a 'small' command appears to have remained unclosed above. Here it is again ~~

Martin ~~

mortal coil; fuss of life
Penguin Shakespeare, edited G B Harrison, 1937

mortal coil bustle and turmoil of this mortal life
The RSC Shakespeare COMPLETE WORKS, ed Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, Basingstoke, Macmillan, 2007

COIL, sub. bustle, tumult. Much Ado, iii.3.99; Ham, iii,1,67
Glossary to Oxford Complete Works, ed W J Craig, 1905

Must in honesty concede, rather to my surprise, that the Signet pb edition of 1963, ed Edward Hubler, seems to recognise both our interpretations ~~

coil (1) turmoil (2) a ring of rope (here the flesh encircling the soul) ---

--- But then that is a American one, which you imply, Martin, that you would in any event regard as less reliable!

Those all the annotated editions I can lay my hands on around the house at the moment.

Best

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 05:34 AM

Thanks for that.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 09:28 AM

See also ~~

‪Mortal coil‬
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mortal coil is a poetic term that means the troubles of daily life and the strife and suffering of the world. It is used in the sense of a burden to be carried or abandoned, most famously in the phrase "shuffle[d] off this mortal coil" from Shakespeare's Hamlet. (For more context of the phrase, see To be, or not to be.)

Derivation
Derived from 16th Century English, "coil" refers to tumults or troubles. Used idiomatically, the phrase means "the bustle and turmoil of this mortal life." [1] "Coil" has an unusual etymological history. It was coined repeatedly; at one time people used it as a verb to mean "to cull," "to thrash," "to lay in rings or spirals," "to turn," "to mound hay" and "to stir." As a noun it has meant "a selection," "a spiral," "the breech of a gun," "a mound of hay", "a pen for hens", and "noisy disturbance, fuss, ado."[1] It is in this last sense, which became popular in the 16th century, that Shakespeare used the word.
"Mortal coil"—along with "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune," "to sleep, perchance to dream" and "ay, there's the rub"—is part of Hamlet's famous "To be or not to be" speech...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 04:25 PM

Can we abandon conjecture and look at what singers and collectors have said about this song?

It has been collected three times from traditional singers, in 1952 for the BBC, from Jimmy McKee, Armagh (Folktrax); from Frank Mills, Tyrone by Robin Morton in about 1968 (published in Folk Songs Sung in Ulster); and in 1980 by Keith Summers & others from Patsy Flynn at Magheraveely, Fermanagh (as the Grangemore Hare)(issued in The Hardy Sons of Dan); in addition, the version recorded by The Irish Country Four may have some local authority, though the notes give no provenance.

I don't have access to the McKee version but Peter Kennedy and the BBC Catalogue have this to say:

From the Folktrax Catalogue
GRANEMORE HARE, THE - "One fine winter's morning our hunt they did blow" comp by Pat Toner of Tullyglish, Keady and Owen Mc Mahon of Tassagh, Co Armagh, fellow huntsmen in Keady & milltown Hunt Club - tune: "Villikens" - Hunt took place at Granemore Rock, Hayes Public House and featured a black hare - ROUD#2883 - MORTON FSSU 1970 #42 from Frank Mills - Cf ARTHUR BOND'S MARE - HARE OF KILGRAIN - OLD GREY MARE - WHITE HARE OF CREGGAN -- Jimmy McKEE rec by PK, Armagh 10/7/52: RPL 18409/ FTX-431 - Frank MILLS, Co Tyrone: MERCIER IRL-12 1970 - STEELEYE SPAN: B & C CREST-22 1970 & CS-12 1973 with Gerry Conway on drums, titled "Greenmore Hare" - IRISH COUNTRY FOUR: TOPIC 12-TS-209 1971 - KESTY: MODELLO 1979 / FTX-240 "Hills of Granemore"- LIVING TRADITION LTCD-001 1994 DERVISH (Group from Sligo) "The Hills of Greenmore" (from Whirling Discs WHRL-001 1993)

From the BBC Index:

GRANEMORE HARE, The

Singer:Jimmy McKee                                                                 4,10    18409
Armagh.   
10.7.52 (P.K - S.O'B.)

'One fine winter's morning, our horns they did blow …'

Song written by Owen McMahon of Tassagh to the well-known air 'Villikens'.   A hunting song typical of many such which are still composed in the district.   Some verses in it are sung by the hare!   Cf. 'The White Hare of Creggan' (18532) which uses the same air.   Cf. also Sam Henry Collection, No, 12: 'The Hare of Kilgain' (from Antrim).

Robin Morton, in Folk Songs Sung in Ulster gives no information about authorship but Coyle is mentioned twice:

Verse 7
It being so early, I stopped for a while
It was little I thought they were going to meet Coyle

Verse 9
I blame McMahon for bringing Coyle here
He's been at the same caper for many a long year
Every Saturday and Sunday he never gived o'er
With a pack of strange dogs round the Hills of Granemore.

My copy of Robin's book records some variations which I evidently heard in my misspent Belfast youth.

The version in The Hardy sons of Dan, has only a verse similar to the one immediately above; Coyle is mentioned only once.

In addition, Tom Moore and Allan Hampton give the song (mentioning Coyle twice) in their privately compiled book of hunting songs from county Down (Tom states that he heard it in the fities) and Seán McElgun gives a text, equally clearly from tradition but without any details in the second volume of his Songs of the Winding Erne (Hills of Graymore)- it names Coyle only once. Both give 'Coyle' with a capital letter, obviously, from the versions they heard, believing that it is a surname.

The surname Coyle is attested by Edward MacLysaght 'The Surnames of Ireland' and Robert Bell 'The book of Ulster Surnames' who associate it most frequently with Donegal, Derry, Tyrone and Cavan. It derives from an Irish sept name Mac Gilla Chomhghaill which was anglicised MacIlhoyle, MacCoyle and Coyle.

I think that conjecture and interpretation of songs is absolutely allowable but can see no justification in fact, context or syntax for the 'mortal coil' interpretation - but go ahead if you like, though for me the idea is no more than fantasy.

There is an old saying in Ulster which seems appropriate "Shall we let the hare sit?"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 18 Jul 12 - 04:26 PM

My apologies, the lengthy anonymous contribution above came from me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 07:07 AM

So, John, what do you think Mr Coyle had to do, with his late arrival on the scene & all, with the operation of the hunt? Really just curious. What is so 'fantastic' about the idea that it was trouble that they met, & that the anthropomorphised hare objected to MacMahon bringing, rather that a man who happened to have a local name but doesn't appear actually to have done anything? The 'justification' for my interpretation seems to me to be that it makes perfect contextual sense, whereas the random & otiose introduction of an inactive character who has no influence on events seems to me merely confusing. So now you 'justify' that interpretation, eh?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 07:47 AM

I think it might be worthwhile explaining the nature of these hunts. They were conducted by local men over the local ground. Each man had his own dog, usually one, occasionally two and the hunt was conducted on foot. There was no 'master' no whippers-in and the number of people who took part was simply the number who appeared; anyone could take part, from within the district or from outside.

In the song, there are named, Owen McMahon, young Toner, and some of us would hold, 'Coyle'. In the reading that allows Coyle to be a person, he took part, with his own dog, or dogs, in the Tassagh Hunt and he and they played a significant part in the killing of a hare which the local men held in some esteem. In this case, as with the hare eulogised in several other hunt songs, The Creggan White Hare, The Hare of Kilgrain, Geordie Hanna's 'hare on yonder hill" and others, the hare is personified. Sam Hanna Bell remarks on the matter in a chapter of his 'Erin's Orange Lily'. In a similar way, horses, like Skewball or Creeping Jane are afforded voices. Here, the Granemore Hare echoes the desire of his usual human hunters that he should have stayed out of the way of Coyle and his dog(s) and thereby lived to hunt another day. Incidentally, the line 'with a pack of strange dogs' probably indicates that Coyle was not a local, the 'strange dogs' were not his but those of the men whose hunt he had (temporarily) joined. It was not unusual that men would travel to the ground of another hunt.

As I said above, there appear to be three and no more traditional versions and about the same number of versions that, because of their closeness to the area or to Northern Irish hunting practices, have more authority than others. The versions by Steeleye Span and others contain misunderstandings and mishearings that merely confuse. If we want to find out what something means to those whose experience is commemorated, we must go back to the versions closest to those people.

Unless evidence, gained hopefully by questioning people in the locality of this hunt, can be brought forward to support any other view, I do not intend to contribute again, though, for the sake af clarity, I should say that I believe any interpretation save the mundane, to be a farrago.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 19 Jul 12 - 11:14 AM

"Can we abandon conjecture and look at what singers and collectors have said about this song?"

In other words, can we abandon the thoughts of lowly Mudcatters and respect the conjectures of people of yore?

No, why should we? We can conjecture as well as anybody else, modern or historic.

Shakespeare grew up in the country, and I believe that when he wrote "shuffle off this mortal coil," he was thinking of the soul shuffling off the body the way a snake shuffles off its skin. Remember he had to keep the attention of rowdy audience, and a vivid image like that would appeal to it.

I believe Coyle appears in the song because he almost rhymes with 'while.' I hope that's mundane enough.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 12:30 AM

John - don't keep trying to discuss rationally with people who are bound and determined to be wrong. You'll be spinning your wheels, and they will continue to subject you to their Chinese water-torture.(Ooh, mixing metaphors).
Damn close to trolling, if you ask me, which nobody did.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 01:16 AM

Seamus

Form Message permanently bookmarked:

It is my policy to make no further response than this to posts which are purely abusive, as I take yours to be.

No further correspondence will be entered into.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Big Mick
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 01:17 AM

John Moulden has always represented several things to me. 1) He is a gentleman, even to those he must be patient with. 2) He is an excellent researcher who thoroughly studies the customs, culture, and context of the ltimes in which the lyric in question was written. 3) His scholarship is universally respected by those in the know on three continents, including myself.

John, I would suggest that you follow Seamus' advice. I don't have a problem with random musings, but there is no point in engaging in debate with those who lack respect for your scholarship. By the way, any new books in the works?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Big Mick
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 01:20 AM

MtheGM, that is very kind of you.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 02:05 AM

... and of you, Big Mick.

I have the utmost respect for John Moulden's scholarship and reputation; but was not aware that such a reputation, or such respect, rendered his views infallibly ex cathedra indisputable. I shouldn't imagine that he would expect such treatment, either ~~ not if he is truly scholarly.

FWIW, which appears to some to be not all that much, I stick to my view of the correct interpretation, which nobody has made any attempt to disprove, rather than presenting generally accepted alternatives which seem to me erroneous.

I don't know that it would be altogether out of place here to point out that, though I am now old and to a large extent a forgotten yesterday's man, there was a time, from about 60s-90s, when I was a very regular critic and feature writer on folk matters for such prestigious journals asThe Times, The Guardian, Folk Review, Plays & Players, Notes & Queries (OUP), The Glasgow Herald, The Irish Press..., when my own scholarship & views had a certain not entirely unfavourable reputation. Disagree with me all you will ~ that is what a forum like this is for: but I should prefer not to be patronised by such as I see no particular reason to kowtow to, if that is not too much to ask.

~MGM~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 05:56 AM

Ah ~~ four hours and no rejoinder. How interesting. Perhaps some recent posters have decided, on better recollection, to remove their tongues from Mr Moulden's fundament. I cannot but hazard that he may well have been acutely embarrassed by the outright sycophancy to which he has been subjected in some of the latest contributions to this thread.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 02:02 PM

Kyle

Or, in other words, Good knight suite prints...

Regards

P.s. with apologies to MnG


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 03:07 PM

A small experiment - it consists of substituting the word 'coil' for 'Coyle' where it occurs in the text offered by Robin Morton in Folksongs Sung in Ulster'. It is quite close to the second text offered above except for the addition of a third verse. It's differences mark the authentic speech of the area it comes from:


GRANEMORE HARE

Last Saturday morning, our horns they did blow
To the green hills round Tassagh our huntsmen did go
For to meet the bold sportsmen from round Keady town
None loved the sport better than the boys from Maydown

And when we arrived they were all standing there
So we took to the green fields in search of the hare
We did not go far when someone gave a cheer
Over high hills and valleys this "puss" she did steer

When she got to the heather she tried them to shun,
But our dogs never missed one inch where she run,
They kept well packed when going over the hill,
For they had set themselves this "puss" for to kill.

With our dogs all abreast and that big mountain hare
And the sweet sounding music, it rang through the air
Straight for the Black Bank for to try them once more
And it was her last sight round the Hills of Granemore

And as they trailed on to where "puss", she did lie
She sprang to her feet for to bid them goodbye
Their music, it ceased and her cry we could hear
Saying, "Bad luck to the ones brought you Maydown dogs here"

"Last night as I lay content in the glen
'Twas little I thought of dogs or of men
But when going home at the clear break of day
I could hear the long horn that young Toner doth play"

"It being so early I stopped for a while
It was little I thought they were going to meet Coyle [or, 'coil'?]
If I had knew that I would have lay near the town
And tried to get clear of those dogs from Maydown"

"Now that I'm dying, the sport is all done
No more through the green fields round Keady I'll run
Or feed in the glen on a cold winter's night
Nor go home to my den when it's breaking daylight"

"I blame MacMahon for bringing Coyle [or, 'coil'?] here
He's been at the same caper for many a long year
Every Saturday and Sunday, he never gived o'er
With a pack of strange dogs round the Hills of Granemore"

In my view, if it's 'coil' once, it has to be 'coil' twice: or, if it's 'Coyle' it needs to be 'Coyle' both times.

Do both readings make sense? Certainly, in this version, Coyle is not 'arbitrarily introduced'. Does anyone have evidence on how common the word 'coil', in the sense used by M G-M, would be in the common English usage of the Armagh/Tyrone area?

By the way, I make it a policy to comment only on matters that have to do with the occurance and circulation of vernacular songs in oral tradition or popular print. I am not interested in defending my reputation; it depends absolutely on how I conduct and report on my research and on how I couch my arguments. If anyone wishes to be unpleasant in my defence or in order to attack me or my views, I will not join in.

Michael, I know your work but in this I think that your position is much more difficult to defend than to assert. Have you a defence?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Jul 12 - 03:51 PM

"Defend/defence" to what, or in what sense, John? I have simply suggested what I believe to be a truer reading than [or at very least a viable alternative to] the transcription most often given: for which I have been denounced as a 'troll', and enjoined to have more respect for your authority because someone on Christian names with you points out in an aside that you have written books, cor! Surprised to find BM coming over like this ~~ have never prevuously had him earmarked as that sort of creep.

But I am genuinely exercised as to what you think I should be "defending": it seems you mean more than the view I have expressed?

If you do simply mean defence of my view: surely "little they thought they were going to meet coil" would mean, quite literally, if my reading is correct, "they were surprised to run into a bit of trouble, which made them pause for a while".

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Jul 12 - 03:17 AM

"Does anyone have evidence on how common the word 'coil', in the sense used by M G-M, would be in the common English usage of the Armagh/Tyrone area?" asks John Moulden above.

I find this on an earlier thread:~

Subject: Tune Add: HARE OF KILGRAIN
From: Malcolm Douglas - PM
Date: 26 Apr 03 - 11:41 AM

The text in Sam Henry's Songs of the People (University of Georgia Press, 1990, p.31) is a collation from three unidentified sources; one presumably would be William Sloan of Dundooan (formerly Bushmills) who provided the tune. Henry's notes attribute authorship of the song to James Sloan of Topland, Ballyrock, c.1770, and further comment:

"An 18th-century hunting song supposed to have been written by the hare... The song must have been written about 1770. Its author['s]... great grandchildren are still in the district."


The OED gives usages of "coil" in sense of fuss or tumult up to Charles Reade's The Cloister & The Hearth [1861] ~~ so word still current nearly 100 years after Henry's speculation as to date of composition of the Greenmore song. All very well for dictionaries to call 'coil' archaic in this sense: if still in current use in mid-C19, hardly an 'archaism' in sense that eg 'yclept' & 'gadzooks' are, is it? And if still current in 1770, then why not in Armagh/Tyrone as much as anywhere else?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 12 - 03:31 AM

The word seems to have been treated as a name in virtually all the versions, including local ones.
The name 'Coyle' is common in the Armagh/Monaghan area and turns up regularly in connection with sporting activities, if you can describe the persecution and killing of animals as 'sport' - (sorry - had a traumatic experience as a teenager at a 'sporting' event at Waterloo, Merseyside, where I witnessed a crowd cheering on two dogs who were tearing a live hare in half - 'shuffling off its mortal coil' so to speak).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 12 - 06:06 AM

Coupled with the fact that there is no evidence whatever of 'Coil' or 'Coyle' being used in the 'Bardic' sense as a slang or colloqial term in Ireland - Share, Dolan, O'Muirithe (slang experts) give no reference to it.
A local (Clare) handbook of 'Gaelicisms' gived coileen as "a whelp - usually applied to a woman, but that's all.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Jul 12 - 08:21 AM

It wasn't a 'slang or colloquial term', Jim. It was a perfectly standard word, right up, as I have shown, at least to mid-C19 [Reade: Cloister & Hearth, 1861 - OED]. So why shouldn't it have been used in Armagh as well as anywhere else?.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 27 Jul 12 - 10:12 AM

I'm now in a position to answer my own questions as to what the local people would say about the 'Coyle', 'coil' controversy. I consulted Seán Mone of Keady, Co Armagh, local singer and song maker. He has sent me a copy of an article from a booklet produced in 1984 by the local GAA club, St Mary's Granemore. Page 106 has the following by a man who, as a son of the owner of The Rock Bar, mentioned in the article, has claim to some authority.

The Granemore Hare
(by Joe McGleenan)
The story of the Granemore Hare as told in the song can be heard sung by traditional singers not only throughout Ireland but further afield in England and America. Hunt¬ing the hare as a pastime is enjoyed by many and the huntsmen are a breed apart for when they gather together after a day's hunting their hours are filled with songs and stories of past chases and favourite dogs.

The chase mentioned in the song took place in the 1933/34 season and it is believed that the song originated in the Toner household of Joe and Pat Toner. Toners' was one of the favourite "ceili" houses where everyone gathered to tell stories and sing songs of hunting and memorable chases.

Many of the men mentioned in the song are in the photograph as are some of the dogs. The "Keady, Lower Darkley, Granemore and Tassagh Hunt Club" as was in existence at the time was famous throughout the hunt¬ing fraternity. The dogs in fact were even more famous than their owners as was discovered in researching this story when the men spoken too could recognise every dog in the photo quicker than their owner.

Owen McMahon's dog "Fifer" was well known as well as Peter McArdle's "Dancer", Arthur Molloy's "Stormer, Statley and Countess", Frank Rocks "Harper", Joe McCann's "Shamrock", Johnny McClelland's "Famous", Paddy Cassidy's "Drifter", Paddy Toner's "Rover and Crowner" and Patrick Hughes "Violet".

Patrick Deesey's version of the chase which led to the song gives some insight into the fervour generated by the hunt. He relates how he collected the dogs with pride of place being given to the late Patrick Hughes dog "Violet". Owen McMahon met Billy Coyle with his men and dogs from Blackwatertown on the Markethill Road. They had walked from Blackwatertown and after raising two hares they all made their way through Granemore.

Every hare has its circuit around which it runs when pursued by the dogs and the Granemore Hare was well known as unlike most hares in the area it remained in a circuit of the Granemore Hills and did not run for the mountains to lose its pursuers in the heather.

Huntsmen are all renowned for their fairness in the chase and their dislike of a kill. Their sport is in watching the chase and calling off their dogs when a kill is likely. The outcome of this particular chase was that the "pack of strange dogs" killed the Granemore Hare much to the annoyance of Owen McMahon and Paddy Toner.

The rivalry between the hunt followers was always keen with each area comparing their dogs, with fair-mindness and sportsmanship the main ingredients of each hunt. Patrick relates how all the huntsmen retired to the "Rock Bar" after the hunt for a night of songs and story-telling.

This passion for hunting the hare still continues today with men like Jim Haughey, Jim McClelland, Joe McCann, James McDonald, Pat Digby and Frank O'Hare.

Like every traditional song the exact origins are unknown with not only Joe and Pat Toner involved but also Billy Coyle and possibly a Monaghan Poet.
END OF ARTICLE

I have regularised some of Joe McGleenan's spelling.

This is the text of the song given in the article. There are obvious slight problems, like the lack of rhyme in the fourth verse but nothing poses a real problem.

The Granemore Hare

On a fine winters morning our horns hard did blow,
To the green fields of Tassagh our huntsmen did go,
To meet those good sports from around Keady town
None loved the sport better than the boys of May down.

When we arrived they were all standing there
We took to the green fields In search of a hare
We hadn't gone far till someone gave a cheer
Over high hill and valley a hare she did steer.

With our dogs all abreast on that big mountain hare
Their sweet charming music rang through the air.
Straight to the 'Breague for to try them once more
But it was her last view of the Hills of Granemore.

And as she led on what a beautiful sight
There were dogs brown and yellow and dogs black and white
Their cry was delightful going 'over the Blackbank
Because they had set themselves this wee hare to kill.

When she got to the heather she tried them to shun
But our dogs never missed an inch where she run,
And as they chased up to where pussy lay down
Their sweet heavy tongues could be heard In Newtown.

And as they chased up to where pussy did lie
She jumped to her feet for to bid them goodbye
But the cry it did cease and all we could hear
'Twas my curse on the man brought you Maydown dogs here.

For last night as I lay so content In the glen
'Tis little I thought of hounds or of men
And when going home at the clear break of day
I could hear die long horn that young Toner doth play.

I sat for to listen or rest for a while
'Tis little I thought he was going to meet Coyle.
If I had a knew I'd have lay near the town
It's then I'd have been clear of these dogs from May down.

But it's now that I'm dying and my life is done
Never more to the green fields of Keady I'll run
Or feed in the glen on a long winter's night
Or go home to my den when it's breaking daylight.

But I blame McMahon tor bringing Coyle here
He's been at this "auld Caper" for manys a year
Saturday and Sunday he never goes oer
With a good pack of hounds on the hills of Granemore.
END OF SONG AS GIVEN

I have done a little more inquiry. It might be useful to elucidate the locality:

Tassagh is located just off the Granemore Road between Keady and the Markethill Road, in Co Armagh. Granemore is at 8833 of the Irish 1:50000 Discoverer/Discovery map series; Tassagh is further north and in the 'lowlands'. It is likely that the hunt took place in the foothills of the hills that form part of the Fews Forest.

Further inquiry on the internet, especially from the 1901 and 1911 Irish Census records, lead to probable identifications of Owen McMahon and William Coyle. In 1911, Owen McMahon lived with his widowed mother in Tassagh townland and was aged 39. Willie Coyle was in Drumduff, Co Armagh, aged 15 in 1901 but absent in 1911. His brother James lived at home in Drumduff in 1901 and was a National School Teacher aged 31. In 1911 James was 41 and living in Moy, married with a young son and a National School Teacher. By that time their father, also William Coyle was 72 so I conjecture that William returned at some time to work the farm and perhaps inherited; a National School Teacher had much more status than a farmer and probably earned more – the Land Annuity Returns for 1896 show that William Coyle farmed just over 6 acres. Drumduff is within a kilometre of Maydown (close to Benburb).

Accordingly it is clear that the Coyle of the song was a person and a real person.

This closes my account and if it is not conclude to the discussion someone has to produce some real evidence.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 27 Jul 12 - 10:17 AM

Sorry, the last sentence of the above should read.

This closes my account and if it is not to conclude the discussion someone has to produce some real evidence.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Jul 12 - 11:26 AM

Superb research, John, which I much admire and fully accept. I should like to think that perhaps somewhere in the mind of the maker of the lyric might have lingered some more or less conscious Metaphysical-style poetic pun, about how Coyle was the bringer of coil. But, alas, I suspect that is probably only my fancy, and am happy indeed to give best to so conclusive a piece of scholarship.

Adieu. No more through the green fields of Keady I'll run, seeking for images.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 27 Jul 12 - 12:45 PM

Thank you Michael, it is a pleasure to contend with someone so generous. By the way, I completely approve of new interpretations, or even misunderstandings, of traditional songs; how else did variants arise? The changes indicate changes of mentality or experience as distance or time passes. It's only in the matter of the context in which the song was made that I would insist on the exercise of science. In all else, flights of fancy are not only to be condoned but encouraged. Folklore aspires to be disciplined and objective, singing is an Art; the rules are different.

Please retain your images.


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Mudcat time: 17 October 5:48 AM EDT

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