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Origins: Irish Rover

DigiTrad:
THE IRISH ROVER


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Irish Rover (various versions) (18)
Irish rover - chorus? (4)
Irish Rover copyrighted? (13)
Lyr Req: Illegal Cargo in the Irish Rover (3)
Chords Req: Irish Rover (8)


RobbieWilson 12 Mar 05 - 02:01 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Mar 05 - 03:15 PM
Joe Offer 12 Mar 05 - 05:01 PM
Malcolm Douglas 12 Mar 05 - 05:15 PM
GUEST 13 Mar 05 - 02:53 AM
GUEST,Julia L 19 Sep 17 - 04:48 PM
Tattie Bogle 19 Sep 17 - 08:09 PM
Lighter 19 Sep 17 - 08:15 PM
Leadfingers 20 Sep 17 - 05:23 AM
Tattie Bogle 22 Sep 17 - 05:43 PM
Tradsinger 22 Sep 17 - 05:48 PM
Tattie Bogle 22 Sep 17 - 05:49 PM
Lighter 23 Sep 17 - 09:37 AM
Dave the Gnome 23 Sep 17 - 10:56 AM
Tiger 23 Sep 17 - 11:28 AM
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Subject: Origins: Irish Rover
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 02:01 PM

I was recently asked if The Irish Rover was an old song and had to say I didn't know. I looked through the threads and can only find reference to the Clancys copyrighting their arrangement in the sixties.
Can anyone tell me about the history of the song prior to this?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 03:15 PM

The earliest reference in the Roud Folk Song Index at present is to an example recorded by Helen Hartness Flanders from David Kane, Searsport, Maine, in 1941.

Best guess available at present seems to be, as mentioned in earlier threads, 19th century (quite late on, perhaps); likely a stage or music hall song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 05:01 PM

Malcolm, is "Irish Rover" printed in a Helen Harkness Flanders songbook? I couldn't find it in her Ballads Migrant in New England, Vermont Folk-Songs and Ballads, and New Green Mountain Songster. Seems to me that it was the Clancy Brothers that brought the song to common knowledge. Note that there are several versions of the song in the Various versions thread. Sources in that thread attribute the song to J M Crofts, but there's little indication who Crofts is, or when he/she wrote the song (other than that Crofts is also credited by Walton Publishing books with authorship of Noreen Bawn, and Eileen McManus).

It would be nice to see the lyrics from the Flanders version. Gee, maybe her source learned it from an early Clancy recording...
-Joe Offer-
The entry from the Traditional Ballad Index gives very little information, just the Roud reference and the Digital Tradition citation. Here's the Ballad Index entry, posted just to prove that there ain't nothin' there:

Irish Rover, The

DESCRIPTION: "In the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and six We set sail from the coal quay of Cork." The ship, with too many masts, too strange a crew, and too unusual a cargo, sinks on its own improbabilities; only the singer is left to tell the tall tale
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1963

KEYWORDS: sailor ship talltale humorous disaster wreck
FOUND IN:
REFERENCES (1 citation):
DT, IRSHROVR*
Roud #4379
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Katey of Lochgoil" (click) (theme)

File: DTirshro


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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


There ain't much at folktrax.org, neither nohow - just Clancy Brothers references - but I get a kick out of the tone of the entry:

IRISH ROVER, THE - "In the year of our Lord 1806" - Canal Boat nonsense song about craft sailing from Cork - New York - CLANCY Brothers & Tommy Maken Songbook p96 -- Tommy MAKEM (with whistle) & Eric WEISBERG (gtr/banjo): TRADITION TLP-1044 1961- CLANCY BROTHERS (Pat, Tom & Liam) & TOMMY MAKEM: HALLMARK SHM 729 1963 - INN FOLK rec by PK, Soundpost Studios, Dartington, Totnes, Devon 1975 - BARNBRACK Irish Party Sing-Song: CASS-60-0926 & 0927 nd - TRADLADS TLCD001 1997 (Denmark)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 12 Mar 05 - 05:15 PM

Unpublished so far as I know. The reference is Helen Hartness Flanders Collection (Middlebury College, Vermont) D67 A 09 (sound recording). Too early for a Clancys connection, I'd think.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 02:53 AM

I remember our headmaster singing this when I was in first year primary school in 1944,
he was a wonderful comic singer and he put the names of local people in the song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: GUEST,Julia L
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 04:48 PM

The singer in the Flanders collection is David Kane from Searsport Maine. She collected the song from him in October 1941. It is thought to be the earliest recorded version; there is a reference in 1960's songbook to 1911 Dublin songwriter J M Crofts (probably music hall) but have not found solid evidence of this

best- julia


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 08:09 PM

I found a handwritten copy amongst various 1st WW memorabilia that my mother had kept from when my grandfather and great-grandfather had served in that conflict (in the Gordon Highlanders) , so it may well be quite old! I suspect they also changed the names to some of their comrades.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Sep 17 - 08:15 PM

Relevant to Crofts:

http://www.countysongs.ie/song/?songwriter=J%20M%20Crofts

I don't know the ultimate source of this information, or whether Crofts is supposed to have written these songs ("The Wild Colonial Boy"!?)or just sung them for some collector. Or even if it's the same Crofts.

The Library of Congress Catalog of Copyright entries for 1951 (!) registers a 1951 copyright to Walton's Piano & Musical Instrument Galleries, Dublin. The Catalog gives Crofts's birthdate as 1886 - apparently he was still alive in 1951.

Other songs attributed to him in the Catalog, all copyright 1951 by Walton's, are:

Bould Thady Quill
Eileen McManus
How Dear to Me the Hour
In the Sweet Lovely Vale of Adair
My Dark Slender Boy
The Ploughman
'Twas One of Those Dreams


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Sep 17 - 05:23 AM

I have heard with an added chorus :-

Fare thee well my pretty little girl , I can no longer stay

Fare thee well my pretty little girl , for I am bound away

Any info on who added this ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 Sep 17 - 05:43 PM

So here is the version from my family memorabilia: some verses the same as in the DT, others quite different, especially the third verse:

THE IRISH ROVER
In the year of our Lord, 1806,
We set sail from the fair Cobh of Cork,
We were bound far away with a cargo of bricks
For the great City Hall of New York.
We'd a beautiful craft, she was rigged fore and aft,
And boys! How the trade winds drove 'er,
Sure she stood fearful blasts,she bad twenty-six masts,
And we called her The Irish Rover.

We had one million bags, of the best Sligo rags,
And we had rwo million barrels of bones,
We had three million sides of ould blind horses' hides,
We had four million barrels of stones.
We had five million dogs, we had six million hogs,
And we had seven million bundles of clover,
We had eight million bales of ould Jimmy-goats' tails
In the hold of The Irish Rover.

Donoghue and McHigh came from Red Waterloo
And O'Neill and McPhail from the Rhine,
There was Ludd and McSpudd from The Land of the Flood,
Nick Malone, Mike McGlone and O'Brien,
Thete was Mick McIntee and a big Portuguee,
And Michael O'Dowd from Doverf,
And a man formTurkestan, by the name of Pat McCann
Was the skipper of The Irish Rover.

Then we sailed eleven years till the measles broke out
And the ship lost her way in a fog.
And the whole of the crew 'twas reduced into two,
'Twas meself and The Captain's ould dogj.
Then we struck on a rock, with a horrible shock
And then she rolled right over',
Turned eleven times around,
Then the poor dog got drowned,
I'm the last of The Irish Rover.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: Tradsinger
Date: 22 Sep 17 - 05:48 PM

From a Hampshire folk club in the 60s, I learnt this song with a chorus:

So fare thee well, my own true love
And when the storm is over
I will return in true Irish style
I'm the last of the Irish rover.

Does anyone else sing this chorus?

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 22 Sep 17 - 05:49 PM

Doh, several typos there: proof-read before you post!
HAD twenty-six masts,
TWO million...
McHUGH
DOVER
FROM Turkestan
DOG (no j!)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: Lighter
Date: 23 Sep 17 - 09:37 AM

What's a "Jimmy-goat"?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Sep 17 - 10:56 AM

There was Barney McGee from the banks of the Lee
There was Hogan from county Tyrone
There was Slugger O'Toole who was drunk as a rule
And a man from West Mead named Malone
There was Danny McGurk who was scared stiff of work
And fighting Bill Tracy from Dover
And yer man, Mick McGann, from the banks of the Bann
Was the skipper of the Irish Rover

The other difference I can remember, and maybe answering the earlier query is

We had five million dogs, we had six million hogs,
And we had seven million barrels of porter,
We had eight million bales of old Nanny goats tails
In the hold of The Irish Rover.

There are other differences from the posted one but I am just back from a beer and gin fest. Say no more...

:D tG


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Subject: RE: Origins: Irish Rover
From: Tiger
Date: 23 Sep 17 - 11:28 AM

DtG ... Westmeath


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