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Origins: Leaving of Liverpool

DigiTrad:
LEAVING LIVERPOOL
LEAVING OF LIVERPOOL (new version)


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Fare Thee Well? / Farewell (Bob Dylan) (9)
Lyr Add: The Leaving of Limerick (16)
Obscure Dylan song: Fare Thee Well? / Farewell (38)
Lyr/Chords Req: The Leaving of Liverpool (3)
Chords Req: Leaving of Liverpool (7)


GUEST 17 May 20 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,henryp 16 May 20 - 04:53 PM
Lighter 16 May 20 - 11:16 AM
Jim Carroll 16 May 20 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Starship 16 May 20 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,Peter Cripps 16 May 20 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 16 May 20 - 04:48 AM
GUEST,henryp 16 May 20 - 04:35 AM
GUEST,henryp 16 May 20 - 04:28 AM
GUEST 23 Nov 12 - 06:44 PM
GUEST,Lighter 21 Nov 12 - 11:01 AM
MartinRyan 21 Nov 12 - 03:58 AM
Charley Noble 17 Nov 11 - 07:58 AM
Greg B 16 Nov 11 - 04:38 PM
Lighter 15 Nov 11 - 08:46 PM
Greg B 15 Nov 11 - 07:40 PM
Lighter 14 Nov 11 - 07:59 PM
Greg B 14 Nov 11 - 07:06 PM
Lighter 14 Nov 11 - 01:26 PM
MartinRyan 14 Nov 11 - 09:57 AM
BobKnight 31 Oct 11 - 11:43 AM
GUEST 14 Jun 11 - 09:20 PM
Gibb Sahib 07 Sep 09 - 11:27 PM
mayomick 07 Sep 09 - 03:32 PM
The Sandman 06 Sep 09 - 04:32 PM
Les in Chorlton 26 Aug 09 - 03:22 PM
Les in Chorlton 26 Aug 09 - 03:20 PM
smpc 26 Aug 09 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,MV 19 Feb 09 - 04:18 PM
Les in Chorlton 19 Feb 09 - 02:18 PM
Barry Finn 19 Feb 09 - 01:43 PM
Les in Chorlton 19 Feb 09 - 09:24 AM
MartinRyan 19 Feb 09 - 09:01 AM
Les in Chorlton 19 Feb 09 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,MV 19 Feb 09 - 06:17 AM
Barry Finn 19 Feb 09 - 03:02 AM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 06:58 PM
curmudgeon 18 Feb 09 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,MV 18 Feb 09 - 03:11 PM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 03:04 PM
Terry McDonald 18 Feb 09 - 02:53 PM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,MV 18 Feb 09 - 02:29 PM
Terry McDonald 18 Feb 09 - 02:17 PM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,MV 18 Feb 09 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,MV 18 Feb 09 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,George Henderson 18 Feb 09 - 10:56 AM
MartinRyan 18 Feb 09 - 10:50 AM
Fred McCormick 18 Feb 09 - 10:42 AM
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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST
Date: 17 May 20 - 05:26 AM

dots! dots!- this is folk music, don't be b... ridiculous!!-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 16 May 20 - 04:53 PM

Thank you, Lighter. I'm not sure when this came to light.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Lighter
Date: 16 May 20 - 11:16 AM

Henryp, thanks for the correction.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 May 20 - 09:11 AM

"Yea, I've told Jim he'll have to work on his accent if the media "
Don't forget he needs passport too Derek we're quite fussy there
I can remember when the Beatles ht the fan - there were more mid-Scouse accents around than there were Mid-Atlantic ones
Jim


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 16 May 20 - 08:47 AM

I can't find notation, but perhaps the following will help someone:

https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/tab/muireann-nic-amhlaoibh/the-leaving-of-limerick-chords-2481674


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,Peter Cripps
Date: 16 May 20 - 08:23 AM

Hi does anyone know where I can find the dots or abc of "Leaving of Limerick"?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 16 May 20 - 04:48 AM

Yea, I've told Jim he'll have to work on his accent if the media are going to refer to him as 'Liverpudlian', although he does now live in Liverpool...
Derek


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 16 May 20 - 04:35 AM

BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Saturday 16 May 2020

The show must go on; the programme ended with 'Liverpudlian' Jim Moray singing The Leaving of Liverpool.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 16 May 20 - 04:28 AM

From: Lighter Date: 14 Nov 11 - 07:59 PM Except for the chorus, Tayluer's words differ considerably from Maitland's. Since they both lived at Sailors' Snug Harbor, I wonder if T could have picked up the chorus from M.

According to Library of Congress editor Stephen Winick, "The Leaving of Liverpool" was first collected by Doerflinger from Maitland, whose repertoire he recorded at Sailors' Snug Harbor in Staten Island from 1938 to 1940. In early 1942, Doerflinger found another version sung by a retired sailor named Patrick Tayluer, who was living at the Seamen's Church Institute at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan.

Winick, Stephen "Sung With Gusto by the Men": A Unique Recording of "The Leaving of Liverpool" in the AFC Archive. Wikipedia

The buildings of Snug Harbor remain an impressive sight; they are considered an incomparable remnant of New York's 19th-century seafaring past.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Nov 12 - 06:44 PM

Please does anyone have the dots for Deirdre Scanlon,s version of The
Leaving of Limerick.The tune is causing mild "disharmony" in our household as my other half and I seem to be hearing different things.Thank You


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 11:01 AM

That the "Limerick" song may be older is suggested by the presence of "of you," which recurs in "Liverpool" in spite of the rhyming requirement.

It's no more than a suggestion. However, one might expect a post-1941 lyricist to have preferred the presumably more "romantic" "thee."

(Romantic for folksong aficionados, that is.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 03:58 AM

For a full recording of Deirdre Scanlon singing Leaving of Limerick

Click here

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Charley Noble
Date: 17 Nov 11 - 07:58 AM

Greg and Lighter-

Always interesting to get further updates.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Greg B
Date: 16 Nov 11 - 04:38 PM

It's rather frustrating that only the catalog entries of the original Tayluer and Maitland recordings are available on-line, and that the recordings are not, for example, on YouTube.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 08:46 PM

Could be. Maitland's versions often sound highly improvisatory.

But in this case, less so than Tayluer's.

We'll never know. But somebody extensively "rewrote" the lyrics in an authentically traditional way. (Nothing as "poetic" as the Clancys' "The sun is on the harbor, love....")


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Greg B
Date: 15 Nov 11 - 07:40 PM

I fine article it is! I'd suggest the other way 'round... that Maitland may have gotten his chorus from Tayluer (who was born in Maitland!).

My reasoning is that Matiland's version, which he purportedly overheard being sung by a sailor in the fo'c's'le, is a forebitter... no chorus required. Tayluer specifically identifies his version as a hauling chantey.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 07:59 PM

Interesting, Greg.

Tayluer's version *also* has "you" where "thee" would rhyme.

Except for the chorus, Tayluer's words differ considerably from Maitland's. Since they both lived at Sailors' Snug Harbor, I wonder if T could have picked up the chorus from M.

Winick's 2008 article is essential reading for anyone interested in "The Leaving of Liverpool," Doerflinger, or the collecting of American sea songs in general.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Greg B
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 07:06 PM

I had the honor of co-hosting Bill Doerflinger's final singing party at his house in Convent Station, NJ., as well as shuttling him everywhere from New York to Mystic during his later years; we were practically neighbors.

He was a very open-minded gent, but he was a stickler for detail. He transcribed his collections exactly as rendered. At the same time, he recognized that his sources' memories might not be perfect. None the less, he left it for the rest of us to figure out.

(BTW, he essentially ghost-wrote Woody Guthrie's "Bound for Glory." Woody himself was in no condition. Indeed, his final decline began when he was found wandering on highway 24, just a couple of miles from Bill's house, where he'd stayed for a while during the writing of the auto-biography.)

Anyway, as the grandson of a Lancashire family, I always am amused when New Yorkers, as fiercely loyal to Bill as can be, make known their objections to "my darlin' when I think on thee."

Bill never sought such loyalty; he just reported what he heard or recorded. He was a scholar above all else.

If Cpt. Dick Maitland ever mis-remembered anything, it was likely this. My Grandma and Papa, as well as their siblings, said "thee" and "thou" even in their new home, California, in the 1960's. Well, they said "Tha'rt" (you are) and "Thou'wt" (you have or you should) more often than "thee" or "thou."

The idea that a Midlands sailor would say "darling when I think on thee" is incredibly obvious to those of us who grew up hearing one of the Midlands dialects.

It's the single rhyme failure in the whole of the lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 01:26 PM

Turns out Doerflinger collected a *second* version of "The Leaving of Liverpool." It was sung by Captain Patrick Tayleur, one of his best informants.

Go here for the article by Steve Winick. Scroll to Page 3:

http://www.loc.gov/folklife/news/pdf/FCN_Vol30_3-4optimized.pdf


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 14 Nov 11 - 09:57 AM

The video BobKnight refers to is on Youtube HERE - run the timer on to about 13 mins and you'll pick it up.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: BobKnight
Date: 31 Oct 11 - 11:43 AM

For a brilliant version of "Leaving Limerick" check out the version by Muireann Nic Amhlaodh, which she sang on Transatlantic Sessions, series five, episode five. Best thing on the entire series so far in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jun 11 - 09:20 PM

capt john burgess lived in somerset massachusetts usa his house still stands on main st


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 11:27 PM

Regarding the tune, it's notable that most performers sing certain, significant "wrong" notes, i.e. if we are in the key of C, they are singing the note A in 2 places they should be singing B. In no way am I suggesting there is only one "right" way to do things -- rather, just noting that the one authentic source for the song, Doerflinger's transcription of Maitland, is one way, whereas some early revivalist (Dubliners or whoever) changed it to the way nearly everyone does now. In sum: not much relevance from an artistic standpoint since art is as art does, but relevant if one is exploring "origins," where one needs to carefully check the primary source!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: mayomick
Date: 07 Sep 09 - 03:32 PM

People have been tracing the song/s mostly through the lyric/s.Would anybody have any ideas on musical antecedents ? Does it sound like an Irish tune ? To my ear the Liverpool tune - I haven't heard the Limerick one- sounds very slightly like The Boys of Wexford in the chorus.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Sep 09 - 04:32 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa0KBosXB34http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa0KBosXB34
oh and 101


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 03:22 PM

Oh and 100!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 03:20 PM

Is that Rip van Wincle smpc?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: smpc
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 03:17 PM

ever think they might not have any connection at all i no plenty of songs that have similer lines but are not connected? ? ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 04:18 PM

Yes but opinions are fun LOL if we didn't speculate we wouldn't accumulate!

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 02:18 PM

Barry,

"We have no evidence to base anything on".

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

L in C


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 01:43 PM

Not only are there no fingerprints but in the absence of any DNA, feelings & speculations about the origins don't count. We have no evidence to base anything on.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 09:24 AM

True enough Martin, the accused's previous cannot be taken into account, and in fact his fingerprints have not been found at the scene

Cheers

L in C


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 09:01 AM

To answer my own earlier question about similar "orphan twins", to coin a phrase, I suppose the most obvious one is the weird and wonderful "Jimmy Murphy", which also seems to have survived in oral tradition in two pockets on either side of the Atlantic. HOWEVER in its case there is a broadsheet version known.

Regards
p.s. Re Bert Lloyd: No reason to suspect the accused, m'lud!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 07:55 AM

Has anybody detected Bert Lloyd's fingerprints?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 06:17 AM

There would have been Irish men in Liverpool working on both the docks and on the ships. Irish sailors or dockers or labourers could have taken it back to Ireland. Limerick is a port like Liverpool so the song could easily go either way.

My feeling is that the Liverpool song came first because I can't imagine a more polite song such as "Limerick" being taken up and reworked by dockers and sailors in Liverpool. I can imagine the chorus and melody of "Liverpool" being admired and reworked for Irish folk music.

The words of "Limerick" are in observer mode rather than first person like "Liverpool". Maybe the writer of the Limerick song is revealing his distance from the song's origins. We'll probably never get to the bottom of this mystery.

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 Feb 09 - 03:02 AM

One thought, no a couple thoughts. How odd it would be for a song sung in the custom of sailors would be heard in Liverpool by a Irish laborer, taken back to Liverpool been adopted into a very different singing tradition & then not only be taken into that tradition but then have another song grow out of it & that be exceptable enough to have survived while the orginal died off???

I think that it's possible but highly unlikely & nothing more than a wild guess.

Think of the possibilities
A song sung in Limrick going to Liverpool & being taken into, again a very different tradition, being adopted into that tradition but nearly disappearing in the tradition of it's origin. If it weren't good enough to nearly survive in it's birth place why would it be good enough to survive in a foriegn tradition??

I think that's also possible too, but again highly unlikely & is, again nothing more than a wild guess

But it is a sand pit worth digging around in.

Barry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 06:58 PM

Hi Tom!

Upon listening to the fragmentary clip of "Limerick," I heard a tune somewhat similar to "Liverpool," but with more Irish flavor. If I could hear the whole song, I might find more similarity, but I doubt it.

That's all I can find online for now - We'll see if we can organise a full verse!

Over many years I have observed that those who are most likely to find similarities in tunes just haven't heard enough tunes..

You may take it that I (and Fred McCormick, an earlier contributor) have heard more than enough tunes in both genres (Irish and maritime) to recognise similarities!


Also the words as printed here do not scan well to the "Liverpool" tune and would need to be forced and/or altered. The words seem to be a bit contrived; they have neither the honesty of a trad song nor the art of a parlour song.

Nobody claimed the two were identical! Given the much freer approach to time in Irish singing, I'd be highly suspicious if they DID match! The "contrived" language you mention is excellent evidence of 19 C. Irish origin. Placing them between "traditional" in the strict sense and "parlour" (for which read Moore etc. in Ireland) is perceptive.

Doerflinger published "Shantyboys and Shantymen" in 1951. "Limerick" supposedly appeared in that same decade. Dick Maitland died in 1942 which meams that "Liverpool" had to have been collected that year or earlier. Did Doerflinger ever give anyone transcripts of the songs he was collecting prior to the publication of the book?
This implies a possibility that "Limerick" was composed in the light of Doerflinger's publication of Maitland's song. The language of "Limerick" is such that it would amount to a truly wonderful pastiche of 19 C. Hiberno-English. Taking only the limited timeline we currently have, this is technically possible - but highly unlikely!


While we will never know when either song was composed, we do know which was first to surface.

Now - THAT is perfectly true!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: curmudgeon
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 06:07 PM

I learned the Leaving of Liverpool from the singing of Ewan MacColl on the Prestige LP, A Sailor's Garland. I had never heard of the Leaving of Limerick prior to finding it this week in this thread.

Upon listening to the fragmentary clip of "Limerick," I heard a tune somewhat similar to "Liverpool," but with more Irish flavor. If I could hear the whole song, I might find more similarity, but I doubt it. Over many years I have observed that those who are most likely to find similarities in tunes just haven't heard enough tunes.. Also the words as printed here do not scan well to the "Liverpool" tune and would need to be forced and/or altered. The words seem to be a bit contrived; they have neither the honesty of a trad song nor the art of a parlour song.

Doerflinger published "Shantyboys and Shantymen" in 1951. "Limerick" supposedly appeared in that same decade. Dick Maitland died in 1942 which meams that "Liverpool" had to have been collected that year or earlier. Did Doerflinger ever give anyone transcripts of the songs he was collecting prior to the publication of the book?

While we will never know when either song was composed, we do know which was first to surface.

Just a few random observations - Tom Hall


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 03:11 PM

This is from www.movinghere.org.uk about Irish migration to Liverpool in the 19th Century. It includes a line about seasonal workers returning to Ireland so it is possible Irish people took the song home with them:-

"Liverpool already had a substantial Irish population of about 50,000 in 1841, making it the most densely settled Irish town in mainland Britain.

It became the main pressure point for Famine refugees in 1847-1848. The historian David Fitzpatrick estimates that, at the height of the Great Famine, a quarter of a million passengers were arriving in Liverpool from Ireland every year. Of these, two-thirds departed overseas and many others were seasonal workers who later returned to Ireland."

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 03:04 PM

Terry

Not really - nothing more than the rather vague references by the late Tom Munnelly which are mentioned earlier in this thread. These suggest that he was conscious of it being in the tradition in the Limerick/Munster area (probably 1970's?). It is not clear if he collected versions himself. If he did, his usual meticulous notes will be attached. I'll make enquiries.

Regards

p.s. With a strong interest in both the maritime and Irish song traditions - I've no axe to grind either, believe me!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:53 PM

Martin - I've no axe to grind either way! It's just that 'tradition' is such an elusive word - do you know when the Leaving of Limerick was first mentioned, as opposed to appearing in print?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:39 PM

Terry

We're talking about tradition - not print. That's the point. I assume nobody believes that "Limerick" was produced from "Liverpool" post Doerflinger . In that case, what we're saying is that in the late 19C., both songs existed in oral tradition - and neither were well-known! Whichever direction the transfer happened in, it's unusual. Can anyone think of another such example?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:29 PM

If you date the link from the 1840s/1850s the Liverpool singer of the song would surely know it was based on an Irish song of his or his father's generation. Would the Liverpool sailor have passed on the song without revealing it's roots? Would he have known it's roots? How well known was the Limerick song? If anyone can date the Limerick song to the 1840s/1850s period or before then that would make me start thinking that the Limerick song came before the Liverpool song.

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:17 PM

Until someone produces evidence of the Leaving of Limerick being mentioned or collected in Ireland before 1885, any suggestion that Leaving of Liverpool is based upon it seems like wishful thinking to me.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:13 PM

In a way, of course, what's most interesting is that they BOTH survived - each by its own slender, traditional thread.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:07 PM

Sorry blank post above.

It's quite possible that Irish settlers in Liverpool introduced the song to the city. The considerable numbers of Irish people living here in the 1840s and after would facilitate the link. However if Limerick was not a port on the coast I would be more convinced by the Limerick first case. The port link could take the song the other way.

MV


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,MV
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 02:00 PM


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: GUEST,George Henderson
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:56 AM

Yes. And right underneath the Devils Bit there is a village called Killea. The Killea singers circle meets on the second Monday of every month (October to May) in Sullivans pub.

And a great session it is too.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: MartinRyan
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:50 AM

Yes - both spellings seem to have been used. Gabbett's Grove is in Corbally, now a suburb of Limerick city.

Regards

p.s. IIRC, the Devil's Bit is a feature in a mountain range in Tipperary!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Leaving of Liverpool
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 10:42 AM

Actually spelt Gabbett's, it seems to have been somewhere pretty close to Limerick. But look what I turned up by googling Gabbett.

From http://www.freewebs.com/vitaphone1/victor2.html . Victor 20713 was a 78 RPM record with a tune called Gabbett's Grove on one side and Devil's Bit on the other. Played by the P. J. McNamara Quartet.


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