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Origins: Master McGrath

DigiTrad:
JOE BOWERS
MASTER MCGRATH
SWEET BETSY FROM PIKE
THE POKEGAMA BEAR
VILLIKINS AND HIS DINAH


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Sweet Betsy from Pike (25)
Help: Origin of Villikins&Dinah tune (16)
Lyr Req: Villikins & his Dinah: songs using tune (68)
(origins) Origins: They Died as they Lived (1)
Lyr Add: Little Dame Crump (2)
Where is Pike (as in 'Sweet Betsy from.. (22)
Lyr Req: Dinah and Villikens (23)
Sweet Betsy From Pike - refrain??? (50)
Info on: Master McGrath (14)
This remind you of Villikins & Dinah? (13)
SFTD-Pokegama Bear-11/17 (16)


GUEST,Max 23 Nov 04 - 07:32 PM
Snuffy 23 Nov 04 - 07:43 PM
GUEST,Max 24 Nov 04 - 10:35 PM
GUEST,Soundcatcher 24 Nov 04 - 11:32 PM
Peace 25 Nov 04 - 01:34 AM
Joe Offer 25 Nov 04 - 01:59 AM
Joe Offer 25 Nov 04 - 02:32 AM
ard mhacha 25 Nov 04 - 03:28 AM
Joe Offer 25 Nov 04 - 03:36 AM
Keith A of Hertford 25 Nov 04 - 03:47 AM
ard mhacha 25 Nov 04 - 06:09 AM
Snuffy 25 Nov 04 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,mick 25 Nov 04 - 08:52 AM
Snuffy 25 Nov 04 - 09:23 AM
Crystal 25 Nov 04 - 09:38 AM
ard mhacha 25 Nov 04 - 10:50 AM
OldPossum 28 Nov 04 - 03:57 PM
akenaton 28 Nov 04 - 04:30 PM
MartinRyan 28 Nov 04 - 05:00 PM
MartinRyan 28 Nov 04 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,beachcomber 29 Nov 04 - 03:52 PM
akenaton 29 Nov 04 - 04:18 PM
Big Tim 30 Nov 04 - 02:29 AM
ard mhacha 30 Nov 04 - 05:54 AM
Crystal 30 Nov 04 - 07:25 AM
ard mhacha 30 Nov 04 - 03:04 PM
Chris Green 30 Nov 04 - 06:52 PM
GUEST 12 Dec 04 - 08:30 PM
GUEST,Rjim 30 Apr 09 - 03:51 PM
curmudgeon 30 Apr 09 - 03:55 PM
Richard Mellish 30 Apr 09 - 05:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Apr 09 - 07:46 PM
Jim I 30 Apr 09 - 09:31 PM
ard mhacha 16 Jun 09 - 03:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Jun 09 - 04:05 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Jun 09 - 06:05 PM
Joe Offer 16 Jun 09 - 06:48 PM
MartinRyan 17 Jun 09 - 03:22 AM
MartinRyan 29 Jun 09 - 06:07 AM
Joe Offer 29 Jun 09 - 11:53 AM
MartinRyan 29 Jun 09 - 12:01 PM
MartinRyan 29 Jun 09 - 12:03 PM
Jim Carroll 29 Jun 09 - 12:12 PM
MartinRyan 29 Jun 09 - 12:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jun 09 - 12:49 PM
MartinRyan 29 Jun 09 - 07:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jun 09 - 07:57 PM
Jim Carroll 30 Jun 09 - 03:42 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Jun 09 - 03:50 AM
ard mhacha 30 Jun 09 - 04:48 AM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Jun 09 - 05:18 PM
ard mhacha 01 Jul 09 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,blackicerose 23 Feb 10 - 12:00 PM
GUEST 15 Nov 10 - 11:23 AM
GUEST 13 Jan 11 - 01:40 PM
GUEST,Seamus 24 Sep 15 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Peter hulme 17 Sep 17 - 06:26 AM
Thompson 17 Sep 17 - 06:43 PM
Murpholly 18 Sep 17 - 05:22 AM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Sep 17 - 05:34 PM
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Subject: info reqd: greyhounds/Villikins and his Dinah song
From: GUEST,Max
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 07:32 PM

There is a song I heard a long time ago that I'm sure was about greyhounds or greyhound racing or someone who had an event with a greyhound. Anyway, greyhounds featured in the lyrics.It was sung to the tune, Villikins(?) and his Dinah.Please post lyrics if you know them. Thankyou
Max


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Subject: RE: info reqd: Villikins and his Dinah song
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 Nov 04 - 07:43 PM

The song is Master McGrath
Messages from multiple threads combined. Messages below are from a new thread.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: GUEST,Max
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 10:35 PM

"Snuffy has kindly steered me toward the words to "Master McGrath". For my liner notes, what is the story behind the song?
Max


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Subject: ADD Version: Master McGrath
From: GUEST,Soundcatcher
Date: 24 Nov 04 - 11:32 PM

As Snuffy so rightly deduced the song referred to is indeed Master McGrath, however I fear that in popularising folk music the Clancy's did seem to lose a verse here and there.
Here follows a very slightly different and more complete version along with chords that Noel Murphy has sung for many many years
Chords don't appear to have uploaded real accurately but should give you some idea

                Master McGrath


Am                                        G                Am
Eighteen Sixteen Nine Being The Date Of The Year
        C        Em                        Am
Those Waterloo Sportsmen And More Did Appear
                Em                                        Am
To Win The Great Prizes And Bear Them Awa'
Am                        Em                Am        Em         Am
Never Counting On Ireland And Master McGrath

Am                                        G                        Am
On The Twelfth Of December That Year Of Renown
        C                Em                Am
McGrath And His Keepers They Left Lurgan Town
                Em                                        Am
A Gale In The Channel It Soon Drove Them O'er
Am                                Em                Am                Em         Am
On The Thirteenth They Landed On England's Fair Shore

Am                                        G                        Am
And When They Arrived There In Big London Town
        C                Em                        Am
Those Great English Sportsmen All Gathered Around
                        Em                                        Am
And Some Of Them Sneered With A Scornful Haw Haw
Am                                Em                        Am        Em         Am
Saying Is That The Great Dog You Call Master McGrath

Am                                                G                        Am
And One Of These Gents From His Nose Looking Down
        C                Em                        Am
Said We Don't Give A Curse For Your Irish Greyhound
                        Em                                        Am
And Another One Sneered With A Scornful Haw Haw
Am                                Em                        Am        Em         Am
Saying We'll Humble The Pride Of Your Master McGrath

Am                                                G                Am
Lord Lurgan Stepped Forward And Said Gentlemen
        C                Em                        Am
If There's Any Amongst You With Money To Spend
                                Em                                        Am
For Your Great English Nobles We Don't Give A Straw
Am                                Em                Am                Em         Am
Here's Five Thousand To One Upon Master McGrath

Am                                                G                                Am
Well McGrath He Looked Up And He Wagged His Old Tail
        C        Em                Am
Informing His Lordship' I Know What You Mean
                        Em                        Am
Don't Fear Them Dear Lurgan Don't Heed Them At All
Am                        Em                Am        Em         Am
I'll Soon Cripple Their Laughter Says Master McGrath

Am                                G                                Am
There Stood Rose Of England The Saxon's Great Pride
        C                Em                Am
The Master Quite Easy Stood Close By Her Side
                        Em                                        Am
They Led Them Away And The Crowd Cried Hurrah
Am                        Em                Am        Em         Am
For The Pride Of All England And Master McGrath

Am                                        G                        Am
As Rose And The Master They Both Ran Along
        C        Em                        Am
I Wonder Said Rose What Brought You From Your Home
                        Em                                                Am
You Should Have Stayed Home In Your Irish Domain
Am                        Em                Am        Em         Am
And Not Come Hunting Laurels On Albion's Plain

Am                                                G                        Am
Now I Know Says McGrath We Have Wild Heather Bogs
        C                Em                Am
But Old Ireland Is Famous For Good Men And Dogs
                        Em                                                Am
Lead On Bold Britannia Give None Of Your Jaw
        Am                        Em                Am        Em         Am
Stuff That Up Your Nostrils Says Master McGrath

        Am                                G                        Am
The Hare She Ran On With A Wonderful View
        C        Em                Am
And Swift As A Rocket They Crossed Waterloo
                                Em                                        Am
Rose Gave The First Turning According To Law
                Am                Em                Am        Em         Am
But The Second Was Given By Master McGrath

Am                                                        G                        Am
McGrath Paced The Hare Just As Fast As The Wind
                C                Em                        Am
He Was Sometimes Before It And Sometimes Behind
                                        Em                                        Am
Then He Jumped On Its Back And He Held Up His Paw
Am                        Em                        Am                Em         Am
Long Live Auld Ireland Says Master McGrath


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: Peace
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 01:34 AM

GUEST, Max

If you Google

"Master McGrath" history

you will find three sites on the first Google page you're taken to that may answer your questions.


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 01:59 AM

Of course, it certainly would be worthwhile to explore the song right here at Mudcat. Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Master McGrath

DESCRIPTION: The great Irish greyhound wins the Waterloo Cup, beating Rose, "the pride of all England." (The two dogs discuss their respective countries. The owners bet large sums. The Irish celebrate the fact that their dog was better than an English dog.)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1926 (Sam Henry collection)
KEYWORDS: racing dog gambling
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
1868, 1869, 1871 - Years in which Master McGrath, a hound belonging to Lord Lurgan, won the Waterloo Cup
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (6 citations):
SHenry H161c, pp. 32-33, "A Ballad of Master M'Gra[th]" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hodgart, p. 215, "A ballad of Master McGrath" (1 text)
OLochlainn 33, "Master McGrath" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hayward-Ulster, pp. 61-62, "A Ballad of Master McGrath" (1 text)
DT, MASMCGR*
Richard Hayward, Ireland Calling (Glasgow,n.d.), p. 16, "The Ballad of Master McGrath" (text, music and reference to Decca F-2604 recorded Oct 4, 1931)

Roud #3041
Notes: The date and master id (GB-3359) for Hayward's record is provided by Bill Dean-Myatt, MPhil. compiler of the Scottish National Discography. - BS
File: Hodg215

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Bibiography
Go to the Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2007 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Here's the entry from folktrax.org (which is admittedly hard to understand):

    MASTER McGRATH - "1869 being the date of the year, when the Waterloo sportsmen and more did appear" Champions of England against racing greyhound from Ireland - ROUD#3041 - HENRY SOP #161 - O'LOCHLAINN ISB 1939 pp66-7 Dublin - Cathal O BYRNE AIRO 1946 pp161-3 Notes about the race and the greyhound - O KEEFE FBIB 1955 p48 11v w/o - McCOLL-SEEGER 1986 p277 Sheila McGregor, Blairgowrie, Perthsh - Parody on this song see ARTHUR BOND -- Dominic BEHAN with Robin HALL (gtr): COLLECTOR JEI-1 1958 (45EP)/ (acc): TOPIC 12-TPS-145 1966 - John CORRY rec by James Foley, Castlederg, Tyrone 1985: 178


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Subject: ADD Version: Master McGrath
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 02:32 AM

The version in the Digital Tradition is from The Irish Songbook by the Clancy Brothers (Oak Publications, 1979). here are the background notes:
    Master McGrath was a greyhound who became an Irish national hero by beating an English bitch named White Rose and carrying back the coveted Waterloo Cup three times. There's a big stone monument to him in County Waterford. It's a hundred years since he chased the hare, and yet his picture is still proudly displayed in half the pubs and barbershops of Ireland.

The version in Sam Henry's Songs of the People has 11 verses (the Clancys have 8).
The Sam Henry book notes that M'Grath is pronounced M'Gra' - but we knew that, didn't we? It also says that Lord Lurgan's family name is Brownlow.

Here 'tis:

A Ballad of Master M'Gra[th]
(no source given)

Eighteen sixty-nine being the date of the year
When the Waterloo sportsmen once more did appear
To win the great prize and bear it awa'
From the champion of Ireland, our Master M'Grath.

On the twelfth of November, a day of renown,
M'Grath and his keeper they left Lurgan town,
A gale on the channel soon drove them o'er,
On the thirteenth they landed on fair England's shore.

When they arrived in big London town,
All the great English sportsmen were gathered around,
One of the gentlemen laughed a 'Ha ha!
Is that the great dog you call Master M'Grath?'

Then one of the gentlemen standing around
Said, 'What about you and your Irish greyhound?
For you and your greyhounds we don't care a straw,
And will humble the pride of your Master M'Grath.'

Lord Lurgan stepped forward and said, 'Gentlemen,
If any amongst you have money to spend,
For your great English greyhounds I don't care a straw,
Here's five thousand to one upon Master M'Grath.'

M'Grath he looked up and he wagged his big tail,
Informing his lordship, 'I know you'll not fail;
So, noble Brownlow, don't fear them ava',
We'll tarnish their laurels,' said Master M'Grath.

Then Rose was uncovered - - the great English pride - -
M'Grath and his keeper, they stood side by side;
The hare was let loose, the crowd cheered, 'Hurrah!
There's the pride of old England against Master M'Grath.'

As Rose and the Master they both ran along,
Said Rose, 'I wonder what took you from home;
You should have stopped on your Irish domains
And not come to gain laurels on Albion's plains.'

Said M'Grath, 'I know we have wild heather bogs,
But you'll find in old Ireland both good men and dogs,
So, hold on, Britannia, give none of your jaw
And stick that up your nostrils, said Master M'Grath.

The hare led off with a beautiful view,
And swift as the wind o'er the green fields she flew;
Rose gave the first turn according to law,
But the second was given by Master M'Grath.

M'Grath ran ahead as fast as the wind,
He was sometimes before and sometimes behind,
Then he jumped on the hare's back and held up his paw,
'Three cheers for ould Ireland,' said Master M'Grath.


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 03:28 AM

Joe, The song was acreddited to Henry McCusker Lurgan, Circa 1880.


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 03:36 AM

Thanks a lot, Ard Mhacha - I thought there ought to be a songwriter attribution somewhere. Where's you find it?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 03:47 AM

I recall that our own Kevin McGrath of Harlow believes the eponymous dog was named for his grandfather.


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 06:09 AM

Joe, An article in the Lurgan Mail some years ago gave the author as Henry McCusker of Lurgan, a relation of McCusker`s, now 82 years old, reminded me on many occasions that Henry wrote the words.
And Joe do add the second verse on the DT.


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: Snuffy
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 08:50 AM

The version given above by Joe is almost identical to the Dubliners' recording I have (but they omit the penultimate verse). Their tune is NOT Villikins.


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: GUEST,mick
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 08:52 AM

The song seems to be related to Skewball (stewball in US) about a racing horse. Skewball has the horses talking to each other in the same way as the dogs do in Master Mcgrath. I don't know which song came first.


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: Snuffy
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 09:23 AM

Master McGrath can't be earlier than 1869, Mick.


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: Crystal
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 09:38 AM

I agree the songs are similar.
Both animals come from ireland, both are not favoured in the betting, both talk to their owner/the other animal in the race, both win.
Probably have the same roots!


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 10:50 AM

Crystal, Master McGrath was not favoured in the betting when he was first entered for the Waterloo Cup in 1869, but in 1870-71 and 72 he was very much favoured.


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: OldPossum
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 03:57 PM

The song Master McGrath can also be found in volume 3 of Folksongs & Ballads popular in Ireland, ed. by John Loesberg, Ossian Publications. For what it is worth, here is what his notes say:
Master McGrath was named after an orphan boy who reared him in Colligan, Dungarvan and was two years old when he commenced running for his first Waterloo Cup in 1868. The dog had the distinction of being presented at court prior to the race and being petted by "all members of the royal family present". Lord Lurgan, its owner, stated that at the Waterloo Cup races of 1870 McGrath lost through foul play. The owners bookmaker had convinced the trainer to poison the poor dog causing it to loose that time. A memorial of Master may be seen just outside Dungarvan and strangely enough another may be found in Culford Hall, Bury St Edmunds, showing the respect he earned even with the English competitors. The tune is akin to: "Sweet Betsy from Pike" and "Still I love him".


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: akenaton
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 04:30 PM

I suppose Im the only mudcatter to hold a trainers license.

"The Master was in fact bred and schooled by his owner Lord Lurgan in County Armagh from an English sire and Irish dam.
The dam was a very fast bitch in her own right.

The interesting thing to me about the dog was his size, only 54lbs.
Today 54lbs would be very small for a bitch.

Racing dogs today average 75lbs, and my largest dog weighed in at 94lbs.

Due to the great competition in coursing now, Mcgraths achievments are never likely to be equalled   Ake


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: MartinRyan
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 05:00 PM

Did we have a thread once on another dog, called Lost Light? Must check...

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: MartinRyan
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 05:01 PM

No obvious sign of it here. I'll dig it up.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: GUEST,beachcomber
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 03:52 PM

Akenaton, I believe that you are quite correct about the birthplace of Master McGrath but, the greyhound was trained in Colligan, Dungarvan, Co.Waterford . Probably it had been bought after one or other of it's great victories, as is still common, for breeding purposes ?


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: akenaton
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 04:18 PM

Beachcomber...As far as Im aware Lurgan bred and owned the dog, its possible that he had him with a trainer in Waterford, although I would have thought lurgan would have his own trainer in Armagh.
Waterford is still a big greyhound area.
Most of my dogs came from a breeder in Kilkenny and were schooled at Waterford track....Ake


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: Big Tim
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 02:29 AM

The Master was born in 1866 in County Waterford, being bred by James Galway of Colligan Lodge, Ballymacmague, near Dungarvan. The memorial statue, erected there in 1873, tells us that his mother ("dam") was James Galway's "Lady Sarah" and that his father ("sire") was Lord Lurgan's "Dervock". Lord Lurgan is usually given as the owner but it seems that he was jointly owned by the two men. The story goes that The Master was the runt of a litter of 5 and that Galway wanted to drown him. However a young kennel boy, called McGrath, pleaded that he be spared: he was, and then named after the boy. It's a good story, all the better for probably being true.


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 05:54 AM

Akenaton, You are right, Master McGrath was trained by Lord Lurgan`s Trainer John Walsh a local Lurgan man, he was brought from Waterford as a pup.


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: Crystal
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 07:25 AM

ard mhacha I was talking about the similarity between the two songs not what actually happened. Was White Rose a previous winner or was it national pride which made her the favourite?


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 03:04 PM

Crystal, The Site which gave the Waterloo Cup Records has gone down the plughole otherwise I would have had some information on White Rose.
Master McGrath`s record three wins was surpassed by Fullerton a winner on four occasions, in 1889, 1890, 1891 and 92.
McGrath would likely have set a record 4 wins, but had the misfortune to fall through the ice of a small pond on the Course in 1870, he of course completed two wins in 1871 and 72 which added to his 1869 win made him the first three time winner of the Waterloo Cup, he won 36 of his 37 races.


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: Chris Green
Date: 30 Nov 04 - 06:52 PM

Touching on the afore-mentioned Skewball (and sorry for thread creep!) I was told that it was written by Terry Woods, as of Steeleye Span and the Pogues amongst others. Is this the case? I didn't know he was a songwriter.


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Subject: RE: Origins to: Master McGrath
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Dec 04 - 08:30 PM

There also is (or certainly was up to a few years ago) a metal statue of Master McGrath just outside Craigavon Civic Centre, the headquarters of Craigavon District Council (which covers the towns of Lurgan and Portadown, in North Armagh, Northern Ireland). The statue is unmistakeably masculine in its characteristics!

There was also a locally (ie Northern Ireland, possibly Co. Armagh) produced dogfood called "Master McGrath" but I don't know if it still produced.

Although it appears that Master McGrath was named after someone from Co. Waterford, there are certainly a few people of that surname in Co. Armagh (including 3 people at my place of employment, though 2, who started about the same time and also shared the same Christian name, soon left and the other recently changed her name). This is interesting as it is, I believe, a less common name in Northern Ireland than the Republic of Ireland. I have also heard it pronounce "McGra'" and "McGrath".

There is presumably still a strong local tradition of keeping greyhounds as about 2 years ago the above council built a so-called "greyhound gallop" beside the Craigavon Lakes (a local recreation area). As a conservationist I greatly deplored this (its original siting threatened a colony of rare orchids, though fortunately it was moved some distance away), though the important point here is that there was supposedly a demand for it (though I have only once seen anyone using it!).

Robin Morton of "Boys of the Lough" (also originally from Portadown) sang a song called "Jackson and Jane" about a talking racehorse called "Jane" owned by a Hugh Jackson of Co. Monaghan, on the first Boys of the Lough album. Possibly this refers to a real horse and owner. In the sleeve notes he says that Jane is Ulster's Stewball. Steeleye Span did a version called "Stewball" (or possibly "Skewball").

As we all know, no-one can talk to a horse, unless that horse should happen to be Mr. Ed!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: GUEST,Rjim
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 03:51 PM

About the song, it predates both the clancy's and the dubliners hence the pouges as well. I have an old recording in storage by a Patrick galvin from the 50's I think. Galvin was a poet who to my knowledge only had 1 released album on major label, but he wasn't really a singer. I do not think he wrote the song but its the earliest recording that I know of.

to Master Mcgrath cheers!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: curmudgeon
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 03:55 PM

Patrick Galvin had three LPs of Irish Rebel Songs on Stinson an one of Irish Drinking Songs on Riverside. I would love to get a copy of this last one as it had some great songs I've never heard anywhere else - Tom


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 05:21 PM

I THINK I learnt it from a recording of Dominic Behan. Words very close to the Sam Henry version above, but the first halves of the last two verses transposed.

I sing Behan's song of Arkle occasionally but realise that I have partly forgotten Master McGrath and ought to revise it.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 07:46 PM

My father used to say the boy the master was called after was my great-grandfather. I've never investigated whether that was true or not, perhaps in case it's not.

Anyway, here's the Master McGrath monument in Co Waterford.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: Jim I
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 09:31 PM

Of course it is typical that the song talks of a race in London when everyone knows the Waterloo Cup was held in Lancashire!

Just thought I'd mention that as I drove past the Master McGrath pub yesterday.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 03:30 PM

Jim, You are right to query why the song mentions Lord Lurgan as being in London, old McCusker`s geography wouldn`t have been very accurate.
The Waterloo Cup was held in Lancashire and I am sure Liverpool would hve been the nearest port to the coursing field.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 04:05 PM

Liverpool would scan easier - "big London Town" is a bit clumsy, and Liverpool Town would seem more natural. So maybe there's some actual historical basis for the Master being in London.

He did get taken to meet Queen Victoria in Windsor, though that was after his victory. And there's a row of houses in Walthamstow called "Master McGrath Terrace" (in Shernhall Street).

Here's a site with a biography and a couple of pictures.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 06:05 PM

A piece of Traveller folklore
Jim Carroll

Master McGrath origins.        (Tape 24).
'Twas this working man and he was working for this big farmer, so the farmer always kept thoroughbred dogs.
So this rough pup anyway, came like; oh, this is really the truth like; and he told him to take away the pup and drown him because he'd spoil the sale of his valuable pups. So bejay, your man never drownded him, the fellow working there; and he took him to his cottage and he kept him abide there.   
So he used always to be selling turf of a week-end with his donkey and car and he used to go into the town anyway, into Dungarvan, he used to go in there every Saturday with a bale of turf, and the pup used be following him.    He used have the pup tied on to the shaft of the car sometimes.    So he was inside every day.    It went on so the pup kept growing and growing away.   
And weren't they coming home this day anyway, and they were all bragging about a hare that couldn't be caught, he was down in the bog in the back of his house.    So away with your man anyway, the man that owned him, off down the bog someday, one day anyway.
'Jay, he turned the hare and killed him in the first round.
So he brought him the hare with him then, into town, be said, "that's the hare you've all the talk about now", he said. So bejay, they though he was trying to give his dog a name, anyway, and they spoke about another hare, and your man was trying to buy the bale of turf off him anyway,    so he was giving him a pound and he wanted twenty-five bob for it.
He said, "I'll bet you the pound against the bale of turf", he said, "that your dog don't kill the hare", he said, "that's out in this Red Bog", they used to call it.   
He said, "you're on, if we can see him", he said, "he'll kill him".   
So off they go, the two of them anyway, and out to the Red Bog, and the first round again he got his hare brought him down so he'd two pound for his bale of turf.   
So that was all right, he started growing and growing anyway, and he started running then in trials and all that was going on.    So that's how he got famous, that's how Master McGrath got famous; he made a millionaire out of him.   
Did you ever see the monument to him back there now?    He built a monument back there, behind Dungarvin, even now, back on the side of the road. Master McGrath.    'twas in Waterloo here and, you know.

Rose took the first round, according to law,
But the second was taken by Master McGrath.

He was poisoned then, that time, like.    But he made a millionaire out of him, an awful wealthy man.
Mikeen McCarthy,
Kerry Traveller


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Jun 09 - 06:48 PM

Up above, Martin mentionz a song about a dog named "Lost Light." As far as I can see, we haven't had that song posted and it isn't in any of our songbook indexes. Can somebody post it?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: MartinRyan
Date: 17 Jun 09 - 03:22 AM

Re Lost Light

I thought I had posted it a long time ago, together with some background - but can't find any trace of it. I have a newspaper cutting with the story on file somewhere and will dig it up when I have a chance.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 06:07 AM

Here's the song about Lost Light. It was written by a young army private in Athlone at the time (1944) and was, apparently, very popular.

Lost Light
Winner of the Irish Coursing Club 1944 at Clounanna
Air : Master McGrath

Nineteen forty four it has dawned the new year
For the Clounanna Cup dogs had come, far and near
But a young brindled greyhound was standing alone
And they called him Lost Light from the town of Athlone

He was entered, you know, by J. Clyne of East Hill
And he opened at 50 to 1 on the bill
He was trained as a pup and well we all know
That a dog trained by Clyne will put up a good show

When he reached the final, excitement was tense
The bookies were taking in shillings and pence
So Lost Light drew his breath, he was feeling for home
And he thought of the name he would make for Athlone

So at last came the hour for the final contest
Lost Light tossed his tail and he stuck out his chest
He followed that hare, he was out on his own
It's that cup and four hundred I'll bring to Athlone

He gathered all speed and he passed Billy Conn
And by Lucky House in a flash he was gone
He winked at the Doctor, there standing alone
Then moved along swiftly and next he was home

The news reached Athlone that Lost Light won the day
The tar barrel blazed and the people went gay
The reception committee got ready at home
And the band they turned out for Lost Light in Athlone

So down to the station the townspeople thronged
And Lost Light and the doctor arrived at half-one
The cup was held high and to all it was shown
That Lost Light was the Master McGrath of Athlone

D.E.Williams they filled the cup to the brim
And speeches were made by the town's leading men
O'Brien made a speech on behalf of Athlone
And they welcomed the sportsman once more to their home

Guard Tobin he spoke of the dog and his course
McFadden was there representing our Force
All Emergency Services gathered that night
As a tribute to Martin and gallant Lost Light

So here's health to his owner, his trainer and all
May their winnings be big and their losses be small
And the number of trophies be it ever known
That Lost Light will bring to the town of Athlone



Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 11:53 AM

Pretty good song, Martin. I'm glad you saved it - and found it.
Was the tune "Villikins and his Dinah?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 12:01 PM

Tune is the one used for Master Mcgrath, not surprisingly - which is also used for, amonst other, the Cod liver Oil song (Doctor de Jong rather than Adam mcNaughton!).

I imagine we have MIDI for the McGrath tune somewhere. If not, I'll dig it up.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 12:03 PM

Yeah - there's a (rather ponderous) MIDI with Master McGrath in the DT.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 12:12 PM

The common tune used for 'McGrath is 'Villikins and his Dinah', also used for 'The Thrashing Machine' and many others.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 12:22 PM

Thanks for that, Jim. One of the long-lasting confusions in my head has been the belief that 'Villikens and his Dinah' is the air of 'The Dark Eyed Sailor'!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 12:49 PM

I've never heard it sing to the tune I associate with Villikens. The tune I'm familiar with is distinctly different - though of course the meter is the same, so I imagine both tunes may have been used for both songs.

Colm O Lochlann in his notes to Master McGrath in "Dublin Street Ballads" writes "Often heard in Dublin to the same tune as 'The game played in Erin/go/bragh'...Also sung to 'Villikens and his Dinah'."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 07:34 PM

So point me at a midi of Villikens and his Dinah till I sort 'em out, please!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jun 09 - 07:57 PM

Here's a YouTube clip.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 03:42 AM

Tune also used for 'Ould Orange Flute' (with slight variation) and (for those of us old enough to remember the The Stone of Scone incident) 'The Wee Magic Stane'.   
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 03:50 AM

Sorry - that should be 'the first part of' The Ould Orange Flute; forgot it was a two-part tune.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 04:48 AM

In the Lurgan area from way back, the tune was always "Villikens and Dinah", when I heard Ronnie Drews version it didn`t have the same impact.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Jun 09 - 05:18 PM

Here's a fine version by Sean O`Se with the tune I've always sung it to.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: ard mhacha
Date: 01 Jul 09 - 10:25 AM

Thanks McGrath, that is my You Tube Site, the trainer John Walsh is included in the photo.
Walsh was from the Lurgan area from the townland of Ballinery.
David Hammonds version on the same lorgain2 Site is the version which was always sung in the Lurgan area.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: GUEST,blackicerose
Date: 23 Feb 10 - 12:00 PM

Hi McGrath of Harlow,

My grandfather used to talk about the greyhound being named after one of his grandmother's brothers, we have never researched it to see if it is true. I would be interested to know your great-grandfather's name to see if they are from the same family. My gr gr grandmother was Margaret Anne McGrath.


"My father used to say the boy the master was called after was my great-grandfather. I've never investigated whether that was true or not, perhaps in case it's not."


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath ..lost light athlone
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Nov 10 - 11:23 AM

great to read the song about lost light.the doctor was my uncle frank
martin from connaught st. athlone.
may they all rest in peace.
brian martin


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Jan 11 - 01:40 PM

the same tune was a song about the hearts football team wich most friends of mine seem to sing. the tune is older than 1944 the first song was the song about villikins and his daughter Dinah.
alot of the songs were written by writers hwho were around in the 1870s and that is true.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: GUEST,Seamus
Date: 24 Sep 15 - 09:22 AM

Master MaGrath the smallest dog in a litter of 7, born in1866 at Colligan Lodge, Co Waterford. He won the Waterloo Cup on three occasions, 1868, 1869 and 1871 and was the first greyhound to do so. He became such a celebrity that his owner, Lord Lurgan, was asked to take him to be seen by Queen Victoria and the Royal Family. His success enabled his owner to build a terrace of houses in Walthamstow from Master McGrath's winnings. These houses now form part of Shernhall Street, but are still clearly marked at one end of the terrace as "Master McGrath Terrace".
The statue to Master McGrath in Lurgan town, and the song...........https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-sIwOyaZwM


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: GUEST,Peter hulme
Date: 17 Sep 17 - 06:26 AM

I love this tune.My favouriterendition is by the Dubliners.At the beginning of the recording there'sa beautiful haunting bit of tin whistle music which seems to my novice ears to be different from the song.Does anybody know what this tune is called.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: Thompson
Date: 17 Sep 17 - 06:43 PM

The tin whistle tune isn't The Lonesome Boatman, is it?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: Murpholly
Date: 18 Sep 17 - 05:22 AM

We recently had to take a cat to the vet and she came from Lurgan! She said they still have an annual festival to Master McGrath. It's great that they still celebrate this wonderful dog/


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Subject: RE: Origins: Master McGrath
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Sep 17 - 05:34 PM

Forgive me if somebody said this already, but in Ireland McGrath is pronounced m'GRAH. That explains the rhymes.


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