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Lyr Req: The Orangeman's Hell

GUEST,~Eugene~ 10 Dec 03 - 02:08 PM
Bill D 10 Dec 03 - 11:42 PM
GUEST,weerover 11 Dec 03 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,Ballyholme 11 Dec 03 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,WellBoy 11 Dec 03 - 01:40 PM
David Ingerson 11 Dec 03 - 04:28 PM
Big Tim 11 Dec 03 - 05:39 PM
David Ingerson 11 Dec 03 - 08:01 PM
Seamus Kennedy 12 Dec 03 - 12:15 AM
Big Tim 12 Dec 03 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Ballyhome 12 Dec 03 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,weerover 12 Dec 03 - 08:29 AM
GUEST,Philippa 12 Dec 03 - 01:39 PM
Big Tim 12 Dec 03 - 03:50 PM
Seamus Kennedy 12 Dec 03 - 04:25 PM
paddymac 12 Dec 03 - 08:18 PM
GUEST,Ballyholme 12 Dec 03 - 09:44 PM
Jim McLean 13 Dec 03 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Ballyholme 13 Dec 03 - 10:53 PM
Seamus Kennedy 14 Dec 03 - 02:06 AM
GUEST,paddymac 26 Apr 08 - 02:14 PM
Mrrzy 27 Apr 08 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,david mc fadden 27 Apr 08 - 03:00 PM
Charley Noble 27 Apr 08 - 09:22 PM
Rumncoke 27 Apr 08 - 09:47 PM
GUEST 11 May 10 - 02:32 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: GUEST,~Eugene~
Date: 10 Dec 03 - 02:08 PM

A few years back i heard this sung, but it was originally a recitation. About an orangeman who died and went to heaven, but it turned out to be hell, a place identical to his native belfast. thinking it ok, he wandered in, but everything had changed, it was all republic, and catholic, the place became living hell for him, but heaven for others, very good, with good moral, but not to be found anywhere, anyone?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Dec 03 - 11:42 PM

no..never heard that, but perhaps there is a theme in Green Irish music? I posted this several years ago as an example of a song of anger. I hope the one you are looking for is not quite so hateful....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: GUEST,weerover
Date: 11 Dec 03 - 06:48 AM

Sounds a bit like a poem I heard years back - 2001? by Crawford Howard? Something like that anyway.

wr


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: GUEST,Ballyholme
Date: 11 Dec 03 - 08:12 AM

Sounds very much like a piece written by the late Belfast comedian James Young. I believe a lot of his stuff has been reissued on CD by Emerald.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ORANGEMAN'S HELL
From: GUEST,WellBoy
Date: 11 Dec 03 - 01:40 PM

Here we go: Somebody, somewhere gave me this one night in a pub, have no information on the writer or performer, but believe it was a recitation, not a song. Assuming this is the one you were after....


The Orange Man’s Hell

It was Sammy McNello that done it.
He's never done swingin' the lead,
And one afternoon as he swung it,
He struck me a belt in the head.

"Get up," says he, trying to shift me.
I never nothing he said.
"Are you deaf?" he says, trying to lift me,
But I wasn't deaf; I was DEAD.

Of course, I went straight up to Heaven.
It’s millions o miles past the sun.
I arrived at a quarter past seven,
In the year of three thousand and one.

I met this big chap in the hallway,
And says I, "I'm just in from Belfast."
Says he, and his accent was Galway,
"So they've let an old prod in at last!"

I followed him down a long passage.
Where it led to, your man wouldn't tell,
But I very soon got the message
When I seen a big sign saying HELL.

Says I, "Ah, for God’s sake, have pity!
I repent all the wrongs of my past."
But he led me on into a city,
A place, dead spit o Belfast.

"Is that Hell?" I said quite astounded.
"That's it indeed," said the lad.
"If that's so," I says, looking around it,
“If that's Hell, it can't be too bad.”

The city was just as I knew it.
All the friendly aul places were there.
Street by street I went wandering through it,
And then into Donegal Square.

There nobly before me, God love it,
The oul City Hall stood in state,
With the TRI COLOUR flying about it,
And two CIVIC GARDS on the gate.

It was only the start of the torment.
I soon learned the terrible facts.
The Pope was now living in Stormont,
And Paisley was cleaning the jacks.

The head of the great orange order,
Had long ago given himself up.
Reynolds had abolished the border,
And Linfield were out of the cup.

All the Fenians had lovely fat faces,
But the poor prods were queuing for soup.
There were papists in all the high places,
And the Abbey was playing at the Group.

By this time, I was damn nearly crying.
Demented, me nerves were on edge.
I went down DeValera Street flyin'
And over the Vatican bridge.

To the shipyard I galloped like lightning.
I knew I'd find Orangemen there.
But what I did find it was frightening.
Speaking in GAELIC they were.

The whole blinkin' city was sinking.
There was nowhere a poor prod could go.
Oh, what desperate thoughts I was thinking!
Then it came in a flash, Sandy Row.

I knew they'd be loyal to Lizzie,
And wouldn't leave me in the lurch,
When I got there, they were busy
Building a Catholic church.

I stood looking on, broken hearted,
My thoughts, ach! there's no words could tell,
For now all my hopes had departed,
I knew I was REALLY in Hell.

I went back to the fella that brought me.
He was having a snooze at the gate,
And I tried to get out, but he caught me.
"You can't get away from your fate."

Says I, "I don't like where you've brought me.
If I'd known it, I'd never a came."
Says he, and he standing fornit me,
"Are you not happy? What a shame.

"Up here, every freedom is given.
You can wander about as you will.
It's just that there's some think it’s Heaven,
And then again, some thinks it’s Hell.

"It's all in the mind. Sure it's tragic.
Hell's the things and people you hate.
The more hate, the more Hell. Sure it's logic,
But some finds that out just too late."

I'm a ghost now, ach! just a beginner,
But if I was mortal again,
I'd be nice to the Micks and the Shiners,
And I'd speak to the Pope now and then.

Every man born on earth is your brother,
So don't write them things on the wall,
Because if we all loved one another,
Belfast could be Heaven for all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: David Ingerson
Date: 11 Dec 03 - 04:28 PM

Far out! Thanks for sending that in, WellBoy.

Can anyone help me with the meaning of "swinging the lead"?

And should "fornit" actually be "forenenst"? Or is that the way it's pronounced?

David


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: Big Tim
Date: 11 Dec 03 - 05:39 PM

SWTL = skiving, doing as little as possible, while being paid!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: David Ingerson
Date: 11 Dec 03 - 08:01 PM

Thanks, Big Tim. Makes the beginning of the recitation even more interesting.

David


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 12 Dec 03 - 12:15 AM

I believe it was Sammy McNally what done it.
James Young, to the best of my knowledge was the author and the performer.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: Big Tim
Date: 12 Dec 03 - 06:21 AM

From Brewer's Dict. of Phrase and Fable - "Swing the Lead. To malinger or make up excuses. The allusion is to a lazy leadsman on a ship who idly swings the line and protracts the job of taking soundings".

"Fornit or fornenst"? I'd have said "fornenst" (as Florence Wilson did in "Man From God Knows Where") but then I'm not a Belfaster. Over to Seamus and Ballyholme!

Very witty verses: kinda like "Old Orange Flute", and, to keep things balanced, "Fenian Record Player"!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: GUEST,Ballyhome
Date: 12 Dec 03 - 08:23 AM

In my experience "fornenst" is more likely to be used in rural areas rather than in a city like Belfast (for instance, my country-born grandparents used the word frequently but it was never part of my Belfast-born and bred parents' vocabulary), but it certainly wouldn't be misunderstood by any one who grew up in Belfast. "Fornit" is a new one on me.

I think the reference to "the Group" is a giveaway that it came from the pen of James Young. For many years the Group Theatre in Belfast was the artistic home of Young.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: GUEST,weerover
Date: 12 Dec 03 - 08:29 AM

I definitely remember hearing this on radio ascribed to a guy whose name was Crawford Howard or something very similar, think it was actually recited by one of the Sands family.

wr


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Subject: Have we settled the question?
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 12 Dec 03 - 01:39 PM

Dinny McLaughlin of Buncrana, well-known as a fiddler and music teacher, does a recitation like that. He ends it "... if we all loved one another, We'd find that there's no hell at all"

The switching of Orange and Green roles is a common enough theme. Earlier this year I participated in a singing weekend organised by the Antrim Glens Traditions Group in memory of Archie McKeegan. The group has produced a recording of Archie's songs including "They have settled the question". I think the song was composed for a BBC Northern Ireland political satire. But I'm also thinking something about a revue in the Group Theatre (did the mention of Jimmy Young put that into my head??). Whatever, there was some wonder that Archie, who had led an old-fashioned life, had picked up this song somewhere and included it in his repertoire. I'm sure John Moulden could fill us in on the details.

You have to know the placenames, mostly areas of Belfast, to appreciate much of the song. For instance Glengall St. is the site of the Unionist Party headquarters:

Father Simmons is running a mission in the Shankill Road Methodist Hall
And they're running a dance in Glengall St. in aid of St. Vincent de Paul.


I haven't learned or written out the whole song yet, but I have bits of it. The song begins:

We have settled the question that rankles
How everyone crosses the Boyne
Hibernians live in the Shankill
And the Orangemen march to Ardoyne.


and goes on with verses and lines like

The women are out with their tables
In the streets all around Sandy Row
Scrubbing William the third
(?) from the gables
And they don't tell the Pope where to go.
...
And Gerry himself is delighted
To agree that the border should stay
To Hell with ould Eireann united,
Two parliaments means double pay.

...
the last lines are
We've all done or said something rash
Let us all join in and sing Kevin Barry
And a stave or two of the Sash.


tune as for "The Salt" (which is posted elsewhere in Mudcat); if you play it a bit faster it's a dance tune, but I can't recall the title for the instrumental version.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: Big Tim
Date: 12 Dec 03 - 03:50 PM

"Fornit" is also a new one on me. MY father, who came from very rural Donegal, always said "fornenst"!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 12 Dec 03 - 04:25 PM

I think it eminently possible that Wellboy who so kindly posted the piece simply misheard "fornenst' as "fornit" as with the Sammy McNally/McNello.
My old county Fermanagh grandmother used the expression "sidey-fornenst" to mean standing right next to someone.
I really don't think this is a Crawford Howard piece, because I've heard James Young do it live and on record, and to the best of my memory, he was credited with the writing of it on the album cover.
It was recorded (though I may be mistaken) on the Outlet label in Belfast late '60's, early '70's.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: paddymac
Date: 12 Dec 03 - 08:18 PM

"Fornit or fornenst" But what does/do the word/s mean? As a WAG estimate, "Fornit" suggests to me something like "fortnight" - a measure of time. Then again, mayby the "for" syllable comes from "fore," as "in front" which could open other possibilities. Can anybody "define" or explain the coloquial meaning?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: GUEST,Ballyholme
Date: 12 Dec 03 - 09:44 PM

Fornenst would generally be taken to mean "close to", "near by", "up against".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: Jim McLean
Date: 13 Dec 03 - 06:18 AM

There is also the word for(e)nent meaning opposit to or in front of.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: GUEST,Ballyholme
Date: 13 Dec 03 - 10:53 PM

Seamus, I believe most of Young's stuff was released on the Emerald Record label and they have recently re-released some of it on CD. Crawford Howard did, incidentally, have a poem about an Arab Orange lodge and this is what might have people believing that he wrote the "Orangeman's Hell" poem.

Jim, "forenent" could well be the origin of "fornenst" since quite a few Elizabethan English words have survived in the north of Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 14 Dec 03 - 02:06 AM

Ballyholme, I think you are correct. I gave all my vinyl away when I transferred them to cassette years ago.
I'd like to get them onto CD now, if they are not already available in that format.
All the best.

Big Tim, I'm getting near the end of your book and I've enjoyed it immensely. great research into great songs. Well done. eminently enjoyable and informative.


Seamus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: GUEST,paddymac
Date: 26 Apr 08 - 02:14 PM

What a treasure we have in the 'Cat. I'm visiting family in Denver and forgot to bring my collection of favorite poems for the houlie tonight. It's my auntie's 87th birthday and I want to do "The Orangeman's Hell" and "Wee Davey Shaw" for her. I'm delighted to have found the first, but haven't yet found the key to locate the later. It's here, somewhere,I'm sure. I think I'll have one of the collegians in the house hunt it for me.

Love to all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 12:01 PM

Wow. This is great. Can't wait to invent a tune...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: GUEST,david mc fadden
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 03:00 PM

i remember this well. it was the late james young. i think there are a couple of verses missing... i can remember one of them. it came after the 7th verse and went.....the whole thing was very provokin,
                           here was a place i knew well,
                           surely to god he was jokin,
                           surely belfast wasnt hell?
to answer swingin the lead is taken to mean he was swinging a hammer or pick axe.. and thats how he was killed... as for forenenst me just means next to me or beside me


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: Charley Noble
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 09:22 PM

What a treasure of a song!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangemans Hell
From: Rumncoke
Date: 27 Apr 08 - 09:47 PM

Oh that takes me back to the school yard.

To be 'fornen up' to someone would be to square up - as two belligerents would face each other.

There were a fair few Irish in Yorkshire where I grew up and a fair few fights too.

If you wanted a tune to sing the words to 'we're all bound for Botany bay' aka 'If I had the wings of a turtle dove' fits it well enough and has a certain regretful air about it that seems apt.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Orangeman's Hell
From: GUEST
Date: 11 May 10 - 02:32 PM

i know this song very well its by a local band to my area called Murphy's law, i had the cd but my car was stolen and im trying very hard to replace it


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