Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)

Related threads:
Lyr Req: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (54)
Lyr Req: Boys of barr na sraide (45)
Lyr Req: Boys of Barr na Sraide (Arcady) (3)
Lyr req: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (5)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Boys of the Barr na Sraide


Ezio 04 Sep 98 - 10:22 AM
04 Sep 98 - 12:34 PM
Barry Finn 04 Sep 98 - 10:55 PM
Martin Ryan 06 Sep 98 - 11:20 AM
Dan Milner 06 Sep 98 - 11:53 AM
Martin Ryan 06 Sep 98 - 06:15 PM
Martin Ryan 07 Sep 98 - 03:07 PM
Liam's Brother 07 Sep 98 - 10:03 PM
Martin Ryan 08 Sep 98 - 07:52 PM
tremodt 19 Jul 01 - 08:55 PM
Big Tim 20 Jul 01 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,Den 20 Jul 01 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 20 Jul 01 - 07:01 PM
Brían 21 Jul 01 - 07:45 AM
Big Tim 21 Jul 01 - 10:23 AM
Brían 21 Jul 01 - 10:46 AM
Big Tim 21 Jul 01 - 10:50 AM
Brían 21 Jul 01 - 11:26 AM
Big Tim 21 Jul 01 - 02:13 PM
Den 21 Jul 01 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Britta 29 Apr 08 - 02:28 PM
Big Tim 29 Apr 08 - 04:29 PM
Big Tim 29 Apr 08 - 04:30 PM
Big Tim 29 Apr 08 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,Eoin O'Neill! 16 Mar 09 - 10:58 PM
katlaughing 16 Mar 09 - 11:11 PM
GUEST,schlimmerkerl 12 Dec 11 - 11:51 AM
MartinRyan 12 Dec 11 - 06:51 PM
schlimmerkerl 13 Dec 11 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,mg 14 Dec 11 - 02:18 PM
MartinRyan 21 Dec 11 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,dan sheehan 30 Aug 13 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Dom Griffin 17 Dec 13 - 05:30 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Lyr Add: THE BOYS OF BARR NA SRÁIDE (w/RA)
From: Ezio
Date: 04 Sep 98 - 10:22 AM

CLICK TO LISTEN
------

THE BOYS OF BARR NA SRÁIDE

Oh, the town, it climbs the mountains and looks upon the sea
At sleeping time or waking time, it's there I'd like to be.
To walk again those kindly streets, the place where life began,
With the Boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren.

With cudgels stout they roamed about to hunt for the dreólín*
We searched for birds in every furze from Litir to Dooneen.
We danced for joy beneath the sky, life held no print nor plan
When the Boys of Barr na Sráide went hunting for the wren.

And when the hills were bleedin' and the rifles were aflame
To the rebel homes of Kerry the Saxon strangers came,
But the men who dared the Auxies and fought the Black-and-Tan
Were the Boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren.

But now they tiol in foreign soil where they have made their way
Deep in the heart of London or over on Broadway,
And I am left to sing their deeds and praise them while I can
Those Boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren.

And here's a health to them tonight wherever they may be.
By the groves of Carham river or the slope of Bean 'a Tí
John Daly and Batt Andy and the Sheehans, Con and Dan,
And the Boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren.

When the wheel of life runs out and peace come over me
Just take me back to that old town between the hills and sea.
I'll take my rest in those green fields, the place where life began,,
With those Boys of Barr na Sráide who hunted for the wren.

------
Sung by Christy Moore on 'Live in Dublin' ------
Background:

The Wren Boys, and hunting the wren on St. Stevens' Day are very old Irish customs. A related song is Steeleye Span's 'The Cutty Wren'. *Dreólín is the Irish Gaelic word for wren.

submitted by: EB


I've collected most of the lyrics I've posted here during the past months.
These lyrics, along with the .RA audioclips, are available at
http://geocities.com/Nashville/Opry/7424
Ezio


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE BOYS OF BAR NA SRAIDE
From:
Date: 04 Sep 98 - 12:34 PM

I first came across The Boys of Bar na Sraide in 1981 or 1982 when I was looking for songs for the Oak book, Songs of England, Ireland & Scotland: A Bonnie Bunch of Roses. I could not include it when I discovered it was not traditional song. My mother is from Co. Kerry and she tells me that her earliest childhood memory was of being lined up with her family by Black & Tans in the middle of the night outside her home. Her brothers were "Boys of bar na sraide" in every regard.

Years ago, Mick Moloney pointed out to me that in addition to the obvious reference to this mumming tradition on St. Stephen's Day (26 Dec) in which the dead wren is paraded from door to door, the song is also very much about the breakup of rural Irish community life through emigration. There are many references to this within the song.

Because this is a composed (as opposed to traditional) song, at the end of the day, there can be no debate about the correctness of the lyric. Having said that, I don't have a copy of the poem but I believe what's below may be closer to the original...

Oh, the road that lines the mountains and looks down o'er the sea,
In my waking hours or dreaming, it's there I long to be.
To meet again those friends I knew when first I came a man
With the boys of bar na sraide who hunted for the wren.

Oh, with cudgels stout we roamed about for to hunt the grey drolin.
We searched 'neath every hawthorn bush from Litir to Duneen.
We jumped for joy beneath the sky, life held no print or plan,
Oh, we boys of bar na sraide who hunted for the wren.

And when the hills of Kerry were bleeding and the rifles were ablaze
To the rebel homes of Kerry the Saxon stranger came
But the boys who dared the Auxies and who fought the Black & Tans
Were once boys of bar na sraide who hunted for the wren.

And they are far across the sea where they have gone to stay
Deep in the heart of London town or over on Broadway
And I am left to sing their deeds and to praise them while I can,
Those boys of bar na sraide who hunted for the wren.

Oh, here's a health to them tonight, those boys that fought with me
From the groves 'round Callan River to the slopes of Mi na Ti
Con Dalton and Bat Andy and the Sheehans Con and Dan,
The boys of bar na sraide who hunted for the wren.

And when the wheel of life runs down and death comes over me,
Just lay me down in those green fields between the hill and sea.
Just lay me down in those green fields where first I came a man
With the boys of bar na sraide who hunted for the wren.

The boys of bar na sraide = boys from the top of the street, i.e. the neighborhood boys.
Litir, Duneen = Co. Kerry place names.
Auxies, Black & Tans = auxilliary British soldiers.
Callan River, Mi na Ti = geographical features.

All the best,
Dan Milner

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 15-Mar-02.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Barry Finn
Date: 04 Sep 98 - 10:55 PM

Hi Dan, After a search for Billy O'Shea, I finally found it on your tape (I knew you were doing it but at late night Mystic sessions, I forgot to ask you to do it), I read your reference to Shay, & asked him about what he remembered about it, just that he used to know one verse otherwise not a thing, so he loanded me the tape you sent with the two versions on it, so I guess I owe you a round about Thanks & say hi to Bonnie from me. Barry Finn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 06 Sep 98 - 11:20 AM

"Barr na Sraide" , which is the name of a street in Cahirciveen in Co. Kerry, was written by Sigerson Clifford - who also wrote the "Ballad of the Tinkerman's Daughter", on which there was a thread some time ago. I think some of the place names (all around Cahierciveen) are common to both songs.

Regards p.s. "Barr na Sraide" literally means "top of the road".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Dan Milner
Date: 06 Sep 98 - 11:53 AM

Hi Martin! I spent many years working with Scandinavians and I have often wondered how an Irishman got what is very close to a traditional Scandinavian surname (Sigerson, close to Sigurdsson or son of Sigurd) for a first name? Any idea?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 06 Sep 98 - 06:15 PM

Dan

Don't know, offhand. A small piece of evidence is that Sean Garvey, a fine singer from the same town, refers to him as 'Eddie "Sigerson" Clifford' in the sleeve notes to a recent CD. I'll check.

Regards

p.s. Those quotation marks should give our resident pedants something to talk about!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 07 Sep 98 - 03:07 PM

Dan

Clifford was christened Eamonn (Irish form of Edward). Born in Cork (c. 1915), he spent his childhood in Kerry before moving to Dublin, where he worked as a civil servant. He was also a poet, playwright and composer of ballads. He used "Sigerson Clifford" as a pen-name. Sigerson was his mother's maiden name! He died around 1985.

Of course - that doesn't really answer your question! McLysaght's book "Surnames of Ireland" lists the name and says roughly: "..of Norse origin, this name has been in Ireland since at least the 16th C. Now largely confined to Kerry."

Mind you - the Norse/Danes were ejected from Ireland in the 11th century, so there's still a gap to be explained!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 07 Sep 98 - 10:03 PM

Very interesting, Martin. Thank you. My mother has said that we are "descended from the Danes" so maybe "Eddie" and I are related.

Of course, if he was a Mudcat Member he would have a screen name like "Ned of the Hill". After all, he did grow up on the "road that lines the mountains".

All the best.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 08 Sep 98 - 07:52 PM

Incidentally, the song was originally published as "Hunting the Wren in South Kerry" - but is alwas known now as "The Boys of Barr na Sraide".

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: tremodt
Date: 19 Jul 01 - 08:55 PM

it is nice to get the words of a song that i heard and loved


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Big Tim
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 02:43 PM

There's more! It's "by the groves of CARHAN River", not Callan as above, or Carham, as on the Christy Moore album sleevenotes. Its on the north east edge of Cahersiveen. SC learned to swim there as a boy. Also Daniel O'Connell was born there and SC wrote a play about him called "The Great Pacificator". Christy made a few minor changes from the original, which I think actually improved it. Also the hill's name is Beenatee. I believe the wren was hunted because of the legend that its singing led to the capture and execution of St Stephen. As a small child I remember being terrifed by the wren boys coming to our cottage door in Donegal in the early 50s. SC was an amateur ornithologist and his first published piece was about local birdlife. He was a civil servant and spent much of his life stuck in a Dublin office dreaming about happy days in rural Kerry. Apart from "The Ballad of the Tinker's Daughter" (very Yeatsian) his other best known poem is "I Am Kerry". First verse; "I am Kerry like my mother before me,and my mother's mother and her man, now I sit on an office stool remembering, and the memory of them, like a fan, soothes the embers into flame, I am Kerry and proud of my name". Among the wreaths at his funeral was one from Dan Sheehan (London)one of those immortalised in the poet's most famous ballad. For me the song is more about a happy, idyllic childhood than anything else.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: GUEST,Den
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 02:56 PM

A beautiful song no matter how you look at it. That was an interesting piece of history about Sigerson Clifford, thanks Martin. I wonder if he new Flann oBrien. Actually on one of the Christy Moore albums that I have, as Christy is introducing this particular song he says "I new three men who sang this song and all of them are dead, I'd like to sing it now." Whereupon the audience errupts with laughter as Christy realizes what he just said. Den


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 20 Jul 01 - 07:01 PM

Den

he may well have known O Nolan/O'Brien/Myles - but I don't see the connection?

Tim
I agree about the childhood!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Brían
Date: 21 Jul 01 - 07:45 AM

Boy, just when we thought there wasn't more to say about a song!

Big Tim, I would love it if you posted "I AM KERRY" in its entirety.

Brían.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Big Tim
Date: 21 Jul 01 - 10:23 AM

I AM KERRY


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Brían
Date: 21 Jul 01 - 10:46 AM

RAOTFLOFL,

Brían.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: I AM KERRY (Sigerson Cliford)
From: Big Tim
Date: 21 Jul 01 - 10:50 AM

I AM KERRY a poem by Sigerson Cliford (1913-85)

I am Kerry like my mother before me,
And my mother's mother and her man.
Now I sit on an office stool remembering,
And the memory of them like a fan
Soothes the embers into flame.
I am Kerry and proud of my name.

My heart is looped around the rutted hills,
That shoulder the stars out of the sky,
And about the wasp-yellow fields,
And the strands where kelp-streamers lie;
Where, soft as lovers' Gaelic, the rain falls,
Sweeping into silver the lacy mountain walls.

My grandfather tended the turf fire,
And, leaning backward into legend,spoke,
Of doings old before quills inked history.
I saw dark heroes fighting in the smoke,
Diarmuid dead inside his Iveragh cave,
And Deirdrie caoining[keening] upon Naoise's grave.

I see the wise face now with its hundred wrinkles,
And every wrinkle held a thousand tales,
Of Finn and Oscar and Conawn Maol,
And sea-proud Niall whose conquering sails,
Raiding France for slaves and wine,
Brought Patrick to mind Milchu's swine.

I should have put a noose about the throat of time,
And choked the passing of the hob-nailed years,
And stayed young always, shouting in the hills,
Where life held only fairy fears,
When I was young my feet were bare,
But I drove cattle to the fair.

'Twas thus I lived, skin to skin with the earth,
Elbowed by the hills, drenched by the billows,
Watching the wild geese making black wedges,
By Skelligs far west and Annascaul of the willows.
Their voices came on every little wind,
Whispering across the half-door of the mind,
For always I am Kerry...

Publisher's notes: Diarmuid (pron. Dermot); with Finn, Oscar, Conawn Maol, Caoilte (pron. Keeltha), Niall, Naoise (pron. Neesha), was one of the great fighting-men of pagan Ireland.

Iveragh: a barony in south Kerry [Cahersiveen is in the Iveragh Peninsula, on the "ring of Kerry" road - B. Tim!].

Deirdrie: the most beautiful woman in Irish legend.

Caoining: keening, wailing.

Published in "Ballads of a Bogman" Sigerson Clifford, Mercier Press,Cork and Dublin, 1986. ISBN 1 85635 010 x. (Still in print - B.T.)

line breaks fixed by mudelf ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Brían
Date: 21 Jul 01 - 11:26 AM

Is breá an dán ar fad a Tim,
Go raibh míle maith agat.<

I will send this poem to my sister in-law whose people are from Kerry.

Brían.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Big Tim
Date: 21 Jul 01 - 02:13 PM

Should be "raiding France for SLAVES and wine". Thanks for line breaks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: LYR ADD: The Boys of Barr Na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Den
Date: 21 Jul 01 - 03:12 PM

Martin I just mentioned it because O Nolan was a civil servant too. Den


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)
From: GUEST,Britta
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 02:28 PM

My grandfather, Bartholeow O'Connell, was Batt Andy. It's good to know that other people enjoy Clifford as much as my family does!

UP KERRY!

- Britta


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Big Tim
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 04:29 PM

Cahersiveen born singer has made a CD of Sigerson Clifford's song.

It's called 'Between the Mountains and the Sea' on Sceilig Records. (2003). 'Barr' is included as well as 'I am Kerry', plus a reading by Clifford'd widow. Included too is a most informative booklet, with a school photo of the 'Boys' dated 1928. Two boys named O'Connell are included, Charles and Eoin but no Batt.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Big Tim
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 04:30 PM

That should be Caher singer Tim Dennehy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)
From: Big Tim
Date: 29 Apr 08 - 04:35 PM

I forgot, the pic also includes 'John Dawley' (Daly).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)
From: GUEST,Eoin O'Neill!
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 10:58 PM

Hi There,

I live in San Francisco orignally from Dublin but my first cousin is from Gurteen(Cahirciveen) and she sings I think agreat version of the Boys of Barr Na Sraide!her name is Marion O'Neill


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)
From: katlaughing
Date: 16 Mar 09 - 11:11 PM

Welcome to the Mudcat, Eoin. Do you have an audio file of your cousin online where we might hear her version?

I did find a nice video of it on YOUTUBE.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)
From: GUEST,schlimmerkerl
Date: 12 Dec 11 - 11:51 AM

Is the tune a variant of "The Echo Mocks the Corncrake"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 12 Dec 11 - 06:51 PM

GUESTschimmerkerl

Yes

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)
From: schlimmerkerl
Date: 13 Dec 11 - 04:14 PM

Thanks very much. Now the task is to learn "Echo" without "Boys" popping up in my head. At least they're both about birds. . .


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 14 Dec 11 - 02:18 PM

My father's family is from Kerry..well, 3 out of 4..one is probably from King's County from a French/Irish family...One from Tralee, one from Ballyferriter/Dunquin but a local pointed me to a place right near Gallarus..one a Crehan/Crean.. we don't know but they tend to be from the Blasket Islands or Annascoul (Like Tom Crean). Anyway, Smerwig Harbor is right there and is from a Danish word for butter as they used to export butter from there to Denmark I think..or maybe they just liked the Kerry butter..on my ancestors' property is said to be some old Nordic stones or ruins or something..I was close but never got to the exact place. mg


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Dec 11 - 11:49 AM

The link provided by the OP has long since died. For a recording by Sean Garvey -

Click here

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)
From: GUEST,dan sheehan
Date: 30 Aug 13 - 03:19 PM

dan sheehan was my father


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Boys of Barr na Sraide (w/RA)
From: GUEST,Dom Griffin
Date: 17 Dec 13 - 05:30 AM

GUEST.Dansheehan - If you are still about drop me a line here. I'd like to talk to you.

To answer an earlier question, the "Sigerson" name is indeed Scanadavian. The Sigerssons landed and settled in Ballinaskelligs in the 15 century. Their castle is still visible on Ballinaskelligs beach in Kerry. They were well heeled, married well (into the famous O'Connells) and the bloodline continued for centuries and indeed was part untimately of Sigersons bloodline. (and mine!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 22 October 3:40 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.