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Origins: Ah you're..? / Are Ye Right There Michael

DigiTrad:
ABDUL ABULBUL AMIR
ABDUL EL BULBUL, EMIR!
ABDUL-A-BUL-BUL-AMIR (A SEQUEL)
ARE YE RIGHT THERE, MICHAEL?
BENDEMEER'S STREAM
CARRIGDHOUN
COME BACK PADDY REILLY
DONEGAN'S DAUGHTER
MOUNTAINS OF MOURNE
PHIL THE FLUTHER'S BALL
PRETENDY LAND
PRIDE OF PETROVAR
SLATTERY'S LIGHT DRAGOONS


Related threads:
Lyr Req: McBreen's Heifer (Percy French) (24)
Lyr Req: Carraig Donn / Carrigdhoun (51)
(origins) The Songs of Percy French (31)
Lyr Req: little known Percy French songs (30)
Lyr Req: Darling Girl from Clare (Percy French) (23)
Lyr Req: Rafting Down The Rio (Percy French) (11)
Tune Req: Sweet Marie (Percy French) (9)
Req: Slattery's Light Dragoons/Mounted Fut (17)
Lyr Add: The Sligo Railway Song (Kevin Conlon) (12)
Lyr Req: The Emigrant's Letter (Percy French) (14)
Lyr Req: Mountains of Mourne (Percy French) (13)
lafferty's mounted foot (8)
Lyr Req: Come Back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff (37)
Music Notation - Percy French Songbook (4)
Lyr Req: Phil the Fluther's Ball (Percy French) (27)
Lyr Req: Mary's Reply (Mountains of Mourne sequel) (27)
Lyr Req: Oklahoma Rose (Percy French) (24)
Lyr Req/Add: Mick's Hotel (Percy French) (3)
Lyr Req: Are Ye Right There Michael (Percy French) (26)
Lyr Req: Are Ye Right There Michael? (Percy French (3) (closed)
Lyr Add: No More o' Yer Golfin' for Me (P French) (2)
Lyr Req: Night That Miss Cooney Eloped (P French) (3)
Lyr Add: West Clare Light Railway (7)
Lyr Req: Slattery's Mounted Fut (Percy French) (7)
Lyr Add: Tullinahaw (Percy French) (1)
Lyr/Chords Req: Mountains of Mourne (Percy French) (10)
Crimean ballad/ epic poem (5) (closed)
Lyr/Tune Add: Pretendy Land (Percy French) (8)


harvey andrews 13 Dec 02 - 07:28 PM
michaelr 13 Dec 02 - 08:20 PM
thehiker 13 Dec 02 - 08:23 PM
CraigS 13 Dec 02 - 10:11 PM
Genie 13 Dec 02 - 10:30 PM
Banjo-Flower 14 Dec 02 - 05:05 AM
harvey andrews 14 Dec 02 - 06:11 AM
greg stephens 14 Dec 02 - 06:56 AM
Jeri 14 Dec 02 - 09:28 AM
Fiolar 14 Dec 02 - 09:38 AM
Fiolar 14 Dec 02 - 09:49 AM
harvey andrews 14 Dec 02 - 10:25 AM
Hrothgar 14 Dec 02 - 09:44 PM
alison 14 Dec 02 - 10:20 PM
GUEST,ceejay 15 Dec 02 - 01:25 AM
GUEST,Ard Mhacha 15 Dec 02 - 07:15 AM
harvey andrews 15 Dec 02 - 07:32 AM
Banjo-Flower 15 Dec 02 - 10:15 AM
GUEST,weerover 15 Dec 02 - 10:59 AM
harvey andrews 15 Dec 02 - 12:04 PM
Banjo-Flower 15 Dec 02 - 02:35 PM
ard mhacha 15 Dec 02 - 03:28 PM
GUEST 16 Dec 02 - 12:52 AM
GUEST,paddymac 16 Dec 02 - 12:53 AM
GUEST,Declan 16 Dec 02 - 12:14 PM
GUEST,maire-aine at work 16 Dec 02 - 12:44 PM
ard mhacha 16 Dec 02 - 01:30 PM
Hrothgar 17 Dec 02 - 05:22 AM
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Subject: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: harvey andrews
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 07:28 PM

I remember a very early TV prog in the 50's. It was the dramatisation of the life of a signalman in Ireland who wanted to be a songwriter. Eventually he gained success in the music hall with a song I think was called "Ah, you're right there Michael"
Anyone know who it was and his history please?


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: michaelr
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 08:20 PM

"Are you right there, Michael?" by Percy French is here in the DT, with a bit of info.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: thehiker
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 08:23 PM

The song in question was penned by the great Percy French and came about as a result of a disasterous trip he undertook on the West Clare Railway.Such was the outrage of the said railway company that they actually instigated legal preceedings for defamation but if my memory serves me correctly the case was dropped before it came to court.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: CraigS
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 10:11 PM

The story goes that the case came to court, and French turned up 20 minutes late. When asked why, he said it was because he had to come on the train, and the train was late. The judge promptly dismissed the case!


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: Genie
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 10:30 PM

LOL! Good for ol' Percy!


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 05:05 AM

As a result of all this there is a Bar named after Percy French
In Kilrush,West Clare and also a restoration project on the West Clare
Railway where they've restored a short stretch of narrow guage trackand are running short trips using a small loco used in building the channel tunnel eventually they are hoping to restore an original
locomotive which stood for many years on Ennis station.
If your visit West Clare please support this project (the engine driver is quite a character)

Gerry(anorak)


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: harvey andrews
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 06:11 AM

Many thanks all. I love this site!Any further details on French. What else did he write?


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 06:56 AM

Phil the Fluters Ball and Abdul the Bulbul Amir for a start.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 09:28 AM

A DT search for "percy french" turns up the following, plus a couple where he's mentioned in the notes. I included the ones mentioned by other folks just so all the links were in one lump.

ARE YE RIGHT THERE, MICHAEL?
PRETENDY LAND
SLATTERY'S LIGHT DRAGOONS
PRIDE OF PETROVAR
MOUNTAINS OF MOURNE
PHIL THE FLUTHER'S BALL
COME BACK PADDY REILLY
DONEGAN'S DAUGHTER
ABDUL ABULBUL AMIR


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: Fiolar
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 09:38 AM

William Percy French (1854 - 1920) was born in County Roscommon and educated in Windemere College, Foyle College and Trinity College, Dublin. He graduated as a civil engineer in 1881 and joined the Board of Works in County Cavan. His song writing career had already begun and around this time "The Mountains of Mourne" became popular. The Board reduced its staff in 1887 and he turned to journalism editing for about a year a comic magazine called "Jarvey." When this packed up he joined with a fellow writer and they produced a musical comedy "Knights of the Road" in Dublin. He never looked back and had a long and successful career as a songwriter and entertainer touring Canada, the United States and England. The song mentioned above "Are Ye Right There, Michael?" led to a libel action. In addition to his talents as a song writer, he was also a gifted painter. He moved to London in 1890 and died in Formby, Lancashire. Information from "A Dictionary of Irish Biography."


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: Fiolar
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 09:49 AM

A 1957 movie entitled "The Rising of the Moon" directed by John Ford was a trilogy of stories, one of which was called "A Minute's Wait" which if memory serves me right dealt with the Percy French song and the West Clare Railway. Also if I remember corectly the song was sung in that section of the film. Mind you it is almst 45 years since I saw it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: harvey andrews
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 10:25 AM

Fascinating stuff. Reason I asked is because I'm making notes for a memoir. My father wrote his when he was 60 and as I am 60 in a few months time I thought I should do the same for my son. However, the more memories I noted the more I realised that up to the age of 20 everything tied in to songs and music. The theatre, films, family moments, TV, all were musically based memories. I feel certain now that I saw a TV play on the life of French in black and white when I was 11 or 12. The song stuck and I've never heard it since, but I can sing the melody to the line "Are ye right there Michael, are ye right" to this day.Hope I see the film one day.
Think I must have a very well developed rostromedial prefontal cortex.
But then, haven't we all? Or we wouldn't be Mudcatters?


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: Hrothgar
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 09:44 PM

Percy French also wrote "Ballyjamesduff."

He was rash enough to boast that he could write a song about any town in Ireland, and somebody challenged him with "Ballyjamesduff." Did well, I reckon, considering it is only stage Irish after all.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: alison
Date: 14 Dec 02 - 10:20 PM

although you'll have more luck finding it by the name "Come back Paddy Reilly"...

I remember as a child my dad had an LP, Brendan O'Dowda sings "the Immortal Percy French".... some great songs on that....

including one of my favourites "little bridget Flynn".


slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: GUEST,ceejay
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 01:25 AM

Yes, its a fun song and I'm sure Percy would be amazed that anyone could regard his type of 'oirish' humor as offensive. Yet its a menancholy fact that by gradually adopting the language of their conquerors the Irish eventually came to also adopt the English viewpoint as regards Ireland and the Irish with a view to giving the English-speaking world the images it could accept (and no doubt, pay well for). So today its mostly Irish writers perpetuating the 'stage Irish' stereotypes when most English writers would be too politically correct to do so. It all comes down to economics in the end it seems.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: GUEST,Ard Mhacha
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 07:15 AM

Hrothgar, The song which includes "Ballyjamesduff" is actually "Come back Paddy Reilly" it is in the DT.
The Town he was challenged to write the song on was Drumcollogher,
The Paddy Reilly of the song was a Jarvey who transported Percy French to his work, Paddy for reasons best known to himself, departed Ballyjamesduff for foreign shores and as Paddy was an entertaining sort and kept Percy amused with all the local gossip, he regretted the loss of Paddy`s company and thus was born the song.
Harvey Andrews your memory is correct, BBC televised French`s life story in 1958,and also the late Brendan O`Dowda who performed French`s songs did a really brilliant programme on his life for RTE TV, interviewing some of the people who knew French/
The interview with one of Percy`s neice`s was fascinating, her reciting of Percy`s poem,Comody`s mare was hilarious.
He also met one of Paddy Reilly`s relations, a programme to savor, and if my memorys correct it ran for 90 minutes. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: harvey andrews
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 07:32 AM

1958! Well, that's brilliant. It dates a whole chapter I'm writing. I'm still intrigued by the fact that, apart from anything Tony Hancock did, a 14/15 year old boy who couldn't play an instrument was so engaged in the life story of a songwriter that the memory is still there when he's 59 and has been a songwriter for 40 years. If I'm not careful I'll start believing in predestination instead of a very well developed rostromedial prefontal cortex!


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 10:15 AM

Harvey have you or could you write a song about a a very well developed rostromedial prefontal cortex?

Gerry


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: GUEST,weerover
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 10:59 AM

Unless I've missed it, nobody has mentioned French's most famous song, The Mountains of Mourne. There is a book currently in print with words and music to over 40 of his songs - I think it cost me a fiver or so a couple of years ago. (Ossian publications, ISBN 1 900428 25 3, edited by James N. Healy)


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: harvey andrews
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 12:04 PM

Actually;
I have a well developed rostromedialprefrontalcotex,
That's why I sing this song
I have a welldeveloped rostromedialprefontalcortex
So you can sing along
All those kids on TV
who think they're a star
Can't compete with us
They'll never get far
They don't have the right stuff
They're missing a bar
in their undeveloped rostromedial prefontal cortex!

Well, I've only got two minutes then I'm off to a gig!


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: Banjo-Flower
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 02:35 PM

Is it coming out on C D ?

Gerry (well done mate)


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: ard mhacha
Date: 15 Dec 02 - 03:28 PM

Telling an old friend about this thread on Percy French came up trumps, he managed to locate the RTE programme , which was shown in the 1980s.
I really enjoyed looking again at a gem of a programme,the Video may have been a bit grainy, as in the 1980s RTE reception was poor up here in the north, but the singing by Brendan O`Dowda and the stories by Percy French`s two daughters Ettie and Joan made up for that.
Etttie`s brilliant reciting of Carmody`s Mare and the various stories concerning her father were fascinating.
Percy`s Abdul Abulbul Ameer was composed in 1876 when French was a student in Trinity College Dublin, not knowing anything about copyright the song was pilfered by Frank Crumit, old Ettie wasn`t too pleased with the boul Frank.
French used the tune of "Carrighdoon" for "The Mountains of Mourne" which he composed in London.
Percy also had much tradgey in his life his first wife Ethel; Amitage Moore whom he married in Dublin in 1890 died a year later in shortly after the birth of her first child a girl who also died two weeks after her mother.
According to French`s two daughters he sufffered badly and his hair had turned to white within a month, they also stated that the lovely song "The woods of Gortnamona", was written by French during his mourning at Gortnamona, where he and Ethel had spent some time while Percy carried on his other great love landscape painting, the music for the song was later written by Phil Green whose orchestra always accompianed Brendan O`Dowda.
There may be a slight chance that the Programme can still be obtained at RTE, it would be worth a try as any music lover would relish this. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Dec 02 - 12:52 AM

Among his other contributions to the folklore of Ireland, French is generally credited with introducing the banjo into Irish folk. I don't know that he was the "first," but his fame and popularity certainly made the banjo more "credible." Last time I was in Ireland, I was browsing in Kenny's Book Store in Galway city, and read bits of a small book telling stories about French. I recall it saying that the action instituted by the West Clare Railway over "Are Ye Right There, Michael, Are Ye Right" resulted in a ten pound judgment against French, who promptly threatened to write another song about the railway if they tried to collect. He was moved to write the first one because the railway's poor performance caused him to miss a concert. French was a fine lyricist, but I don'y know which of his melodies were original. He often collaborated with a gent named Collison (I think)who fitted French's lyrics to traditional tunes. "Mountains of Mourne" is one such from that pair. That practice is a well established "tradition" is Irish folk music, and, I suspect, many other traditions as well.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: GUEST,paddymac
Date: 16 Dec 02 - 12:53 AM

Sorry. My cookie still seems to be ailing. The nameless post above is from me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: GUEST,Declan
Date: 16 Dec 02 - 12:14 PM

I met Brendan O Dowda once when I was a kid. I think he may have been a distant cousin of mine.

I probably should have saved this one for the obscure facts thread.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: GUEST,maire-aine at work
Date: 16 Dec 02 - 12:44 PM

Percy French was quite a talented watercolorist. You can see some of his work at some paintings


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: ard mhacha
Date: 16 Dec 02 - 01:30 PM

Thanks Maire-Aine, some of those paintings were included in the RTE Programme.Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Origins: 'Ah, you're right there Michael
From: Hrothgar
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 05:22 AM

Gee, Ard Mhacha, I was told that story by an Irishman, so it must be true ........


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