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Irish songs which aren't Irish

McGrath of Harlow 02 Jan 05 - 08:02 PM
Midchuck 02 Jan 05 - 08:06 PM
Sorcha 02 Jan 05 - 08:09 PM
Bob Bolton 02 Jan 05 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,maryrrf 02 Jan 05 - 08:10 PM
Bernard 02 Jan 05 - 08:19 PM
GUEST 02 Jan 05 - 08:25 PM
vindelis 02 Jan 05 - 08:26 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 02 Jan 05 - 08:30 PM
Joybell 02 Jan 05 - 08:37 PM
GUEST,grow up 02 Jan 05 - 08:52 PM
GUEST,TJ 02 Jan 05 - 08:59 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jan 05 - 09:40 PM
GUEST,Julia 02 Jan 05 - 09:45 PM
Leadfingers 02 Jan 05 - 09:53 PM
Seamus Kennedy 02 Jan 05 - 10:38 PM
GUEST 02 Jan 05 - 10:43 PM
GUEST,maryrrf 02 Jan 05 - 11:30 PM
michaelr 03 Jan 05 - 12:21 AM
GUEST 03 Jan 05 - 01:20 AM
alanabit 03 Jan 05 - 02:51 AM
Gurney 03 Jan 05 - 04:21 AM
s&r 03 Jan 05 - 04:48 AM
GUEST,Mandotim 03 Jan 05 - 07:17 AM
Big Al Whittle 03 Jan 05 - 07:46 AM
Lanfranc 03 Jan 05 - 07:52 AM
GUEST 03 Jan 05 - 08:56 AM
Michael 03 Jan 05 - 09:55 AM
alanabit 03 Jan 05 - 10:25 AM
Hollowfox 03 Jan 05 - 10:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jan 05 - 11:04 AM
Bernard 03 Jan 05 - 11:31 AM
Weasel Books 03 Jan 05 - 11:36 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jan 05 - 12:05 PM
skarpi 03 Jan 05 - 12:20 PM
Bert 03 Jan 05 - 12:42 PM
squeezeldy 03 Jan 05 - 12:59 PM
DougR 03 Jan 05 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,petr 03 Jan 05 - 01:22 PM
Marje 03 Jan 05 - 02:06 PM
ranger1 03 Jan 05 - 02:16 PM
pavane 03 Jan 05 - 02:23 PM
GUEST 03 Jan 05 - 02:24 PM
alanabit 03 Jan 05 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,Com Seangan 03 Jan 05 - 03:26 PM
DonMeixner 03 Jan 05 - 03:29 PM
MartinRyan 03 Jan 05 - 03:46 PM
Weasel Books 03 Jan 05 - 04:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jan 05 - 05:20 PM
Ooh-Aah2 03 Jan 05 - 05:42 PM
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Subject: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:02 PM

Years back in a thread that has just flickered back to life (Sick of DADGAD) I commented (in a bit of thread drift) "The thing about the Wild Rover, of course, is that it isn't even an Irish song in origin. It was collected in Norfolk, and that's the version that the Dubliners picked up. Any good song will end up being sung in Ireland, and then people assume it's an Irish song to start with, rather than to finish with. The same goes for other Irish favourites like "I live not where I love" and "Fiddlers Green". I might start a thread on that, asking for other Irish songs that aren't.

Anyway, I never did start that thread back then, so here it is. For all I know someone else did start that thread, but that's no reason not to talk about it again. I can't see how anyone who thinks that the fact something has been done before is a reason not to do it again can enjoy folk music anyway.

So let's be having you...


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Midchuck
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:06 PM

Well, the one that drives me nuts is the goddam useless f***ing no-good s***-eating, Unicorn.

Which was one of the many fine childrens songs Shel Silverstein, an American Jew, wrote; until it got to be the practice to sing it every night, in every American "Irish" bar, with weird animal gestures, and I came to hate it.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Sorcha
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:09 PM

Danny Boy
I'll Take you home again Kathleen
When Irish Eyes are Smiling
Irish Jaunting Car
Want more?


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:09 PM

G'day McGrath,

Of course, any song is claimed as clearly Irish if it mentions:

Whisk(e)y,
drinking,
Fighting,
Singing,
Misspent youth (or adulthood),
Unrequited love,
Misbehaving,
Poverty - and if it
contains ... or rhymes with, Green!

Regards(les)s,

Bob


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:10 PM

Ditto for "The Unicorn"! Can't understand what the fascination is with those hand gestures. Do some folks never grow up??? Of course in the States there are all those pseudo Irish Tin Pan Alley songs like "When Irish Eyes are Smilin'", "My Irish Molly", and of cours "Galway Bay".


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Bernard
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:19 PM

Dirty Old Town (Ewan MacColl, Salford, England!)
Wild Colonial Boy (Oz!)


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:25 PM

This thread reminds me of the other sorts of "let's begrudge the Irish" threads like the recent one as to whether the Irish were genuine Celts.

So why not a thread re: Irish songs the English claim are English, hmmmm?

All this sort of thing is about is Brits (even those of Irish descent at times) being cheesed off at the success and popularity of Irish traditional music for the last decade and a half, instead of English music.

Who the bloody hell cares?


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: vindelis
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:26 PM

Don't forget that Great Christie Moore? song 'From Clare to Here'.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:30 PM

Sorry vindelis. You're right it's not Irish, but it's Ralph McTell that wrote Clare to Here

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Joybell
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:37 PM

OOOOH! Where to start! Where to start! Thanks, McGrath, good to get some things off your chest.
I've noticed these labled Irish:

Medals for Mothers (called an Irish mother's song)
The Grey Funnel Line (funny!, being as how it's about being in the British Navy)
Willie McBride
The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (for Heaven's sake)
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
And almost anything I ever sing to audiences at Folk Festivals and the like!!


and of course there's:
Danny Boy (tune collected in Ireland of course)
Rose of Allendale
Shoals of Herring (even if you say Shoals of Erin)
Irish Washerwoman (English according to our fiddler friend)
Blackwater Side
Maggie (try singing it with a friend singing "What a Friend we Have in Jesus" at the same time. Sounds a lot better)
I'll Take you Home Again Kathleen
Whe You Were Sweet Sixteen
Mother Machree
When irish Eyes are Smiling
My Wild Irish Rose
Mac Namarra's Band
Molly Darling
That's better. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: GUEST,grow up
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:52 PM

What's a "begrudger"? Someone who prefers the truth to a fashionable lie?


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: GUEST,TJ
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 08:59 PM

Those innumerable early-20th-century Tin Pan Alley songs ("When Irish Eyes Are Smiling", "My Wild Irish Rose", etc.) are totally phoney in terms of the tradition and not something I need to listen to myself, but hey, they made people smile in their time and thus justified their existence. My 85-year-old mother loves that sort of stuff to this day, having basically grown up on it, and so what's the harm in letting the elderly green-beer-and-shamrocks crowd enjoy them?

"The Unicorn", on the other hand, is a different matter. :-)


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 09:40 PM

Those Fenian songs of the Civil War era. Weren't they mostly written in America?

"It's Christmas in Kilarney."


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 09:45 PM

In the US, where people love labels,"Irish" tends to be what people call anything that isn't rock'n'roll, country,or "folk" (as in Bob Dylan). I used to describe the music I do (traditional Irish/ Scottish) as "Celtic" until Enya came along...
Anyway, a couple of "Irish" favorites from our great Maine songwriters
Dave Mallett- The Garden Song
Jud Strunk - A Daisy a Day

And what about that Jimmy O' Driftwood anyway- St Brendan's Fair Isle

Everyone Sing along!!
Julia


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 09:53 PM

It doesnt help when there are so many books published with titles like
'The Popular Irish Song Book' With Ralph Mc tell , Cyril Tawney and Eric Bogle songs in them . AND all UNCREDITED !!


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 10:38 PM

Song For Ireland.
Come To The Bower.
The Irish Lullaby.
The Irish Ballad.
The Wild Colonial Boy.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 10:43 PM

Hard TImes Come again no more


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: GUEST,maryrrf
Date: 02 Jan 05 - 11:30 PM

Yes it's amazing how the old Stephen Foster song "Hard Times Come Again No More" came to be considered Irish! Was it because Mary Black sang it?


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: michaelr
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 12:21 AM

Who cares -- a good song is a good song, and a crappy song is crap.

I don't understand why McGrath wants to perpetuate this debate. I'm sure anyone who wants to inform themselves whether a song is Irish, Scots, or Swahili, can do so by looking up the innumerable threads here on the subject.

I played a gig on New Year's Eve, and an elderly woman in front kept suggesting "Wild Rover" and "Irish Eyes"... I just ignored her, and she went home happy after applauding loudly and buying a CD.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 01:20 AM

Sonny's Dream


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: alanabit
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 02:51 AM

The only attempt to start a brawl here (so far) has come from an (inevitably anonymous) guest. What is interesting to note here, is the way that a living Irish culture has adopted and sustained songs, which would otherwise have slipped out of sight. Most English guys I know, would be embarrassed to admit that they knew the words of a folk song. Irish people come together at pubs, parties and weddings and proudly sing the songs they know - and this canon is constantly being updated, extended and changed. It goes to the heart of what folk music is about. The only times I have known spontaneous sessions of folk song singing in Germany or Britain, were when I was among groups of predominantly Irish people.
Another "Irish song which isn't", in the sense of the thread title, is Molly Malone. It was allegedly written by a Scottish broadsheet writer, who had never visited Dublin. I think there is some case for arguing that these songs become Irish songs. They start life somewhere else, but they enter the Irish tradition.
Brecht's "Caucasian Chalk Circle" poses the question, "Does the child belong to the birth mother, or the woman who nourished it?" I think you can view "adopted" Irish songs in the same light.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Gurney
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 04:21 AM

The Curragh of Kildare springs to mind.
However, I think all other folksingers help the misconceptions, because of the 'pub-Irish' accent we adopt when singing an Irish song.

The Irish, of course, sing EVERYTHING with an Irish accent regardless of origin, so if we learned the song from them, we do tend to perpetuate the notion.

This slant on the thread reminds me of a short-lived group I was in. Our first-half closer was 'The Banana-Boat Song,' but claiming that we learned it from a poor recording, we sang it in upper-crust English accents, whilst wearing bowler-hats and carrying umbrellas.
Hope no-one learned it from us.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: s&r
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 04:48 AM

Bread and Fishes (sometimes under other titles) Alan Bell


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: GUEST,Mandotim
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 07:17 AM

Galway Farmer, by Steve Knightley of Show of Hands?
Tim


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 07:46 AM

Black is der colour!
Zis is my last territorial claim!


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Lanfranc
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 07:52 AM

I have often wondered what Sam Larner - the Norfolk singer from whom the Wild Rover was collected - would have made of the later notoriety of that song. Personally, I do tend to become a bit anally retentive about misattributions, and, for one reason or another that is something which happens frequently where Irish singers and musicians are concerned. They are not the only culprits (I could cite a certain Fr*d W*dl*ck!), but they just seem to do it more often!

More examples of non-Irish songs: John O' Dreams (Bill Caddick / Tchaikovsky); My Lady's a Wild Flying Dove (Tom Paxton)

But, what the hell, as someone said above, at least the songs and tunes are being kept alive by being sung and played! A moratorium of, say, ten years would be good for some though IMHO, Wild Rover and Athenry in particular!

Alan


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 08:56 AM

michaelr, you hit the nail on the head.

I believe these threads--never begun by Irish posters, mind--are a form of anti-Irish bigotry, just as the "Irish weren't Celts" sorts of threads are. You never would see this sort of thread about any other nationality in the folk scene, and these threads certainly have more than wee bit of Brit triumphalism to them, don't they?

I do put that down to jealousy. The Irish have a strong, vital LIVING folk music tradition, not just a hobby/museum tradition like the Brits and Americans and most other Europeans have.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Michael
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 09:55 AM

'The Irish have a strong, vital LIVING folk music tradition.'
And that GUEST,as I see it, is partly the point of the thread.
Mike


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: alanabit
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 10:25 AM

Actually guest, this thread was started by an Irishman. I have at least read your post, or posts in full. I wonder if you might do the rest of us the same courtesy before going off at half cock!


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Hollowfox
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 10:55 AM

Funny, I just finished a very readable book on the song Danny Boy and it's origins over the holidays. It was a more tangled skein than I thought. (sic) by Malachy McCourt, Running Press, 2002 ISBN 0762411244


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 11:04 AM

Stir, stir, stir.

The ability of the Irish singing tradition to adopt and nurture songs from all over the place is something to be proud of. Fortunately songs don't have to carry passports, and noone's entitled to ask you for a passport before you're allowed to sing them either. There's some who might wish they could, I suspect.

It's interesting to know where a song came from, the same way it's interesting to know where a person comes from, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't both be made welcome regardless.

If people fall into the trap of assuming that just because they hear someone from Ireland sing a song that means it must be a song that originated in Ireland, that's just a reflection of what alanabit mentioned, the fact that there's more of a living Irish singing culture than there is in some places.
.........................

Looking through the songs in this thread it occurs to me there are three types of "Irish songs which aren't Irish" - there are those by non-Irish writers, but written as consciously Irish songs. Or maybe "Oirish" songs. These are mostly American, but a fair number from Engand. One that hasn't been mentioned is "A long way to Tipperary". Some of these are pretty dire, but every now and then there's a good one, and that then moves over into a second category.

And that is, songs which have been picked up and get sung in Ireland because people see them as good songs, wherever they come from they get adopted and naturalised.

And the third category is, the songs which are common to the tradition in Ireland and Great Britain, and noone knows where they started.

I'm always pleased that one of the most widely used sets of song books are the four Ossian volumes of "Folksongs and Ballads popular in Ireland", with the remark by the editor in the Introduction "The purpose of this book is to provide you with the song that are actually popular in Ireland". And even though the books don't even set out to be scholarly, they have the notes at the back which indicate the songs that camed from overseas, and where they came from.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Bernard
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 11:31 AM

Well, I for one cannot see anything dereogatory in McG's original post which started this thread.

If some people want to twist it into something inflammatory, then we shall just ignore them - after all, they only get their kicks from upsetting people!! ;o)

There are lots of songs which have been mis-labelled 'traditional' in the past - Pete Coe's 'Wizard of Alderley Edge' immediately springs to mind.

The 'folk process' is alive and well - it doesn't really matter where the songs originate if they stand the test of time... except, of course, those songs which are subject to copyright, which then is a legal matter, not just a passing interest.

I say 'it doesn't really matter' in the sense that the song itself isn't affected, just one's interpretation of it... maybe! If people want to pigeonhole something, they will - despite any evidence to the contrary!!

Interestingly, there is a school of thought which believes 'Hard Times' originated in Ireland, and Stephen Foster 'borrowed' it... many songs and poems attributed to Robert Burns are also believed to have originated elsewhere... did Shakespeare write his plays... ??!

Without irrefutable proof, much of it is hearsay - even 'irrefutable proof' has been later discredited!

So perhaps we should just enjoy people's opinions for what they are without being so judgemental - they serve to enrichen our education if we use them as a basis for discussion!


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Weasel Books
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 11:36 AM

I don't think this thread was started with bigotry in mind. Is it bigotry to talk about the real origins of a song? Has anyone said Irish CAN'T sing them?

So many of the songs in the irish tradition are Scottish anyway, but they are still GOOD SONGS.

Just scanning the back of a Dubliner's recording, here are a few:

The High Reel (Lord MacDonald, Lord MacDonald's March to Harlaw).

Tramps and Hawkers.

Banks of the Roses.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 12:05 PM

"Tramps and Hawkers" is maybe a song that sums it all up, in the verse:

I think I'll gang tae Paddy's Lan', I'm makin' up my mind
For Scotland's greatly altered noo, I canna raise the wind
But if I can trust in Providence, if Providence should prove true
I'll sing ye's a' of Erin's Isle when I come back to you.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: skarpi
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 12:20 PM

How about Whystling gypsy rover that s from Scotland?
I am told.
all the best Skarpi Iceland.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Bert
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 12:42 PM

I think that "Still I Love Him" was collected from Suffolk, does anyone know for sure?

And there's also "Irish" songs written by Mudcatters from all over. I know 'cos I've written a couple myself and I'm only 1/8th. Irish, and I'd just love it if I heard anyone say that they are Irish songs.

It's great that such a powerful tradition not only keeps singing but also spreads around the world.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: squeezeldy
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 12:59 PM

This is a very interesting thread. At the risk of bringing fire down upon my poor little gray (or grey, as it were) head, let me speak in defense of all those non-Irish Irish songs, regardless of what we think of them, their origin, or the categorization of such...
Many of them were, of course, of Tin Pan Alley and dance hall origins. Yes, they were written to exploit sentiment, stereotpyes, bigotry and anything else that would make a dime. Many of them were truly awful, and died natural and unlamented deaths. Others endured through merit--musical, literary, or emotional--and because of real or fictitious beliefs about them. But here are a couple of thoughts.
1. Many of the Irish immigrants in America were maintaining traditional music, in their lives, but not making any money at it. So, some of them wrote music for publication and performance in dance halls and taverns, which enabled them to live long enough to preserve genuine ITM in this country. Eventually, interest in true Irish music arose, and lo, here were the people with the memory and the music, ready to pass it all on.
2. Many of us--alas, I must count my sullied soul here--were brought to a genuine love for "real" Irish songs and music through the back door of pseudo-Irish Tin Pan Alley stuff. In the quest to learn more about the music, I found out amazing things, heard beautiful and meaningful songs, and became more and more drawn into true Irish song. Does that diminish my value as a performer and lover and listener? Sure, lots of people think so, because they value the "pure drop" and worry about what is real and what isn't. That's how we get fascinating conversations like this.
Pax


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: DougR
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 01:02 PM

When my wife and I were in Ireland last Fall we had an opportunity to hear some sessions and on one occasion a group performing in a Restaurant/Pub atmosphere in Dublin. The group included some of the songs included in this thread without identifying those that were, or those that were not written in Ireland by Irish composers. I suspect the reason for this is the group plays to tourists who expect to hear those songs. Another reason is, many of them are good songs!

I don't think for a minute Kevin started this thread because any bias against the Irish. Why would he, he's Irish?

I question, though, if it is important whether or not the song was actually composed by a Irish composer born and bred in Ireland. The subject matter of the songs is Ireland or the Irish way of life, and that, it seems to me, is the most important consideration.

Some of you perform regularly, and I'm sure you tire of performing certain songs, even grow to hate them, as demonstrated by several posters who put the Unicorn Song in this category. That begs the question, though, whether the role of the performer is to perform what the paying public wants to hear, or perform only those songs the performer wants to sing or play.

Thread creep, I know, and Kevin I apologize. I cannot offer any songs for the thread.

DougR


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 01:22 PM

to the person above who said the only time they saw people get together and sing was among Irish people, Id say you havent gotten out much. Many of my Czech friends often get together and sing folk songs (Czech ones, or what they call tramp songs) My grandad used to go to the pub daily and often they would sing drinking songs.
Im sure that was fairly common all over central and eastern Europe.

what about fiddle tunes, or instrumental tunes written in the tradition by non-Irish people, or second generation folks like Liz Carroll. Tunes such as Brenda Stubberts (CapeBreton tune by Gerry Holland) which I heard in a Galway session. (As well as other Canadian or Scottish tunes that have made it into the Irish repertoire)


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Marje
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 02:06 PM

I don't see anything derogatory or bigoted about being interested in songs' origins, or trying to analyse the phenomenon of the "non-Irish" Irish song.

There's a big difference between (on one hand) vaguely Irish songs that are about Ireland or that have been written to express Irish sentiments and (on the other) songs that have been written by Scots, English, Australians etc about their own cultures but which are being passed off as Irish.

Why does it matter? Because it's fair and honest to give credit to the source or composer whenever possible.

And there's another reason: The English (as has been remarked already) are often a bit embarrassed and ignorant of their own traditional songs. If some of the best of these are passed off as Irish, the less informed English audiences will continue to believe that all the good songs and tunes are Irish and that the English tradition has nothing worth listening to.

When I hear songs with dubious Irish credentials sung in exaggerated pseudo-Irish accents by English or American singers, I can't help thinking of how we once used to accept white men with blacked-up faces singing "negro" songs. Some day, maybe, we'll care enough about our own and each other's cultures to stop accepting the Plastic Paddy thing either.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: ranger1
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 02:16 PM

For some odd reason, many people that I know think that The Lakes of Ponchatrain is Irish. Being of both Quebecois and Irish descent, I find it mildly amusing, but not insulting. The beauty of folk music is that it migrates and evolves, and the people who listen to it listen because they enjoy it, no matter the origin or the age of the song or tune. I like finding out about the origins and folklore of the music, but it has nothing to do with my actual enjoyment of the music. Thank you, McGrath of Harlow, for starting an interesting thread.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: pavane
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 02:23 PM

Black Velvet Band - first known version is set in Barking, LONDON.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 02:24 PM

I found this on Amazon.

Noel McLoughlin 20 Best of Ireland  


1. Star of the County Down
2. Carrickfergus
3. Hills of Connemara
4. Travelling People
5. Follow Me Up to Carlow
6. Spancil Hill
7. Farewell to the Rhonda
8. Fiddlers Green
9. Song for Ireland
10. Lord of the Dance
11. From Clare to Here
12. Boys of Killibegs
13. Reason I Left Mullingar
14. Foggy Dew
15. Cliffs of Dooneen
16. Botany Bay
17. Town I Love So Well
18. Galway Races
19. She Moved Through the Fair
20. Wild Rover


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: alanabit
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 02:48 PM

This is developing into one of the better Mudcat threads I have read recently. Guest petr, I hope you sign up and join Mudcat. It would be lovely to have you posting here. You raised an interesting point. My one experience of a jam/song swap with Czech musicians, was one of the highlights of my many years on the road.
Squeezeldy, I really enjoyed your post too. I would like to say that I think you have described a sort of snobbery about how certain people see themselves as superior listeners/performers, simply on the basis that they know older songs. I am sure you are as discerning as anyone. You just entered the same room through a different door. Your ears have remained open to music which is new (to you) although you started out listening to what I might disparagingly call "The Irish Pub Greatest Hits"... I earlier mentioned "Molly Malone", which certainly began life as a commercial song. However, it has now been around and sung by generations, qualifying it (in my book) as a traditional Irish song. I mean that in the sense that Irishmen themselves accept it as part of their culture.
It has been an interesting and fruitful discussion and I am looking forward to learning more.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: GUEST,Com Seangan
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 03:26 PM

Thanks to all the contributors. I had been sure that the Derry Air was a tune collected in Ireland. I am not referiing to the words of Danny Boy. There are many lyrics put to that Air. Tom Jones version of Danny Boy is my own favourite!!

BUt we are so lucky to have had Bunting come along at the time he did and set a professional standard for collectore who came after him. And while you are at it you can add "The Rose of Tralee" to the songs that are not of Irish origin.

By any chance would anyone have information on traditional songs collected by John Strachan and Dr. Dick Henebry in the Isle of Man around 1912 ?


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: DonMeixner
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 03:29 PM

I'm surprised no one has hit upon "Belfast Mill" yet, or I probably missed it in the reading. Actually it is "Aragon Mill" by Si Kahn and it is quite new in the scheme of things. I did Aragon Mill once and was told that I did it wrong, wrong, wrong and I should learn things better.

Because an Irish band like "The Dubliners" or "Christy Moore" sings a song from another country and it becomes popular enough for others to do it (Like Sonny's Dream by a Canadian named Ron Hynes) then it becomes Irish by osmosis. (Altho' I do ponder why Sonny's Dream is done the way it is and not the way Ron wrote it. Do we blame that on Hamish Imlach who appears to have brought Sonny to Europe?) Like when I read about Brian MacNeil playing the Bouzouki, a tradional Irish folk instrument. They apparently never saw the movie, "Zorba the Mick".

I've always looked at music done by Irish bands as music done by Irish bands. Not necessarily Irish because of the artists.

And most of these songs mentioned are found the four books of "Songs Popular in Ireland" Ossian Press I think. They are usually reasonably well annotated in the back as to their history and point. of origin.

Don


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: MartinRyan
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 03:46 PM

Squeezeldy has it about right, I reckon!

Regards

p.s. The Maid of Cabra West.


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Weasel Books
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 04:37 PM

Actualy, I think a fair point can be made for the bozouki being a traditional Irish instrument. The Irish one has evolved into a different beast than it's noble predecessor.

Does anyone (maybe Johnny Moyinihan) even use Greek Bowlbacks anymore?

BTW I had seen advertised a CD of Greatest Irirsh Folksongs, including "Goodnight Irene"!!


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 05:20 PM

I'm sure I read somewhere in a thread about someone who got told off by Greek listeners when he called the instrument he was playing "a bouzouki".

In a way, since the instrumenmt was exported to Ireland and to its neighbours, it's evolved back into something much closer to a version of the cittern, though with only four courses of strings. It really bears relatively little relation to the original Greek instrument, either in structure, tuning or technique of playing. Only it's kept the name, perhaps because it sounds like bazooka, with all those tough associations - even if it may cause a few problems at immigration security these days. (Maybe best describe it as "a kind of guitar" to avoid misunderstandings.)
...............................
"The subject matter of the songs is Ireland or the Irish way of life" said Doug. Sometimes that's true enough, but often the subject matter isn't particularly Irish, and the songs are about aspects of life which are shared between Ireland and other places, and that's one reason they work so well.

Someone said "Why not a thread about English songs that aren't English?" I can't think of that many, but I'm sure there are some. There are plenty of American songs that have their origin elsewhere, but that's generally understood, and I don't think many American would take it as offensive to pick over the origins. I don't think things like "Song Links" are seen as too problematic.

But there are some songs which I think many people would assume were American to start with which aren't - "The Lily of the West" is one such. There might be a thread in that some time. Better started by an American though...


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Subject: RE: Irish songs which aren't Irish
From: Ooh-Aah2
Date: 03 Jan 05 - 05:42 PM

I notice that 'The Star of the County Down' is at the top of the list provided by GUEST as the 20 greatest Irish. Well, this is definetely an Irish song but it comes from a tune family which almost certainly comes from England - slow it down and you get 'Dives and Lazarus', a song noted in 16th century London, though it may not be the same one of course. Still, it's a distincive and unusual title.

I have a fabulous CD by a group called the 'York Waites' which claims that the Scottish tune 'Cock of the North' similarly comes from a 16th-century English one. What a bunch of stirrers!


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