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Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin

DigiTrad:
THE ROCKY ROAD TO DUBLIN


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Rocky road to Dublin - mp3 (15)
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Help: Rocky Road to Dublin: Fiddle part (8)


Blackcatter 07 May 05 - 11:56 AM
Malcolm Douglas 07 May 05 - 12:23 PM
Blackcatter 07 May 05 - 11:59 PM
pavane 18 Sep 08 - 11:11 AM
Paul Burke 18 Sep 08 - 11:34 AM
Folkiedave 18 Sep 08 - 01:57 PM
Malcolm Douglas 18 Sep 08 - 09:06 PM
MAG 19 Sep 08 - 10:06 AM
MartinRyan 19 Sep 08 - 10:17 AM
Folkiedave 19 Sep 08 - 11:00 AM
MartinRyan 19 Sep 08 - 11:50 AM
GUEST,MAG at work 19 Sep 08 - 07:14 PM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Sep 08 - 09:06 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 Sep 08 - 03:17 AM
GUEST,Foobear 23 Sep 11 - 01:14 PM
Paul Burke 23 Sep 11 - 01:24 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Sep 11 - 01:25 PM
GUEST,Foobear 26 Sep 11 - 03:17 AM
Les in Chorlton 26 Sep 11 - 05:16 AM
Tattie Bogle 26 Sep 11 - 07:50 PM
Tattie Bogle 26 Sep 11 - 07:54 PM
GUEST 27 Sep 11 - 07:52 AM
PHJim 27 Sep 11 - 01:26 PM
Tattie Bogle 27 Sep 11 - 08:25 PM
Jack Campin 27 Sep 11 - 09:30 PM
Les in Chorlton 28 Sep 11 - 03:08 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 28 Sep 11 - 04:36 AM
Les in Chorlton 28 Sep 11 - 04:37 AM
Tattie Bogle 29 Sep 11 - 12:08 PM
Phil Edwards 24 Feb 13 - 12:58 PM
Phil Edwards 24 Feb 13 - 06:48 PM
Lighter 24 Feb 13 - 09:16 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Feb 13 - 03:06 PM
Lighter 25 Feb 13 - 04:47 PM
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Subject: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Blackcatter
Date: 07 May 05 - 11:56 AM

Hello all - looking around I see there there hasn't been much of a dicussion on this song, yet it's one of the most popular. Below is the Traditional Ballad Index info, but it doesn't exactly help all that much.

Does anyone have any more info?



Rocky Road to Dublin, The

DESCRIPTION: An emigrant from Tuam recounts his comical misadventures on the way to England. He is flirted with in Mullingar, robbed in Dublin, put with the pigs on board ship, and ends in a brawl with "the boys of Liverpool."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1867 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(3304))
KEYWORDS: emigration humorous Ireland
FOUND IN: Ireland US
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Hodgart, p. 207, "The Rocky Road to Dublin" (1 text)
SHenry H44, pp. 178-179, "The Rocky Road to Dublin" (1 text, 1 tune)
O'Conor, pp. 19-20, "Rocky Road to Dublin" (1 text)
OLochlainn 51, "The Rocky Road to Dublin" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, RCKYDBLN*

Roud #3012
RECORDINGS:
American Quartet, "Along the Rocky Road to Dublin" (Victor 17900, 2926; rec. 1915)
Sam Ash, "Along the Rocky Road to Dublin" (Little Wonder 254, 1915)
Liam Clancy, "The Rocky Road to Dublin" (on IRLClancy01)
Marguerite Farrell, "Along the Rocky Road to Dublin" (Columbia A1920, 1916; rec. 1915)
Osey Helton, "Rocky Road to Dublin" (Broadway 5122A, c. 1931)
Edward Herborn & James Wheeler, "Rocky Road to Dublin" (Columbia A2217, 1917)
Bill McCune & his Orch. "Along the Rocky Road to Dublin" (Vocalion 04281, 1938)
Premier Quartet, "Along the Rocky Road to Dublin" (CYL: Edison [BA] 2817, n.d.)
Allen Sisson, "The Rocky Road to Dublin" [instrumental] (Edison 51559, 1925)

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 11(3304), "Rocky Road to Dublin," J. Harkness (Preston), 1840-1866; also Harding B 18(417), Johnson Ballads 2804 [same as LOCSinging as203070]; Harding B 11(454), "Rocky Road to Dublin"
LOCSinging, as203070, "The Rocky Road to Dublin," H. De Marsan (New York), 1864-1878 [same as Bodleian Harding B 18(417)]; also as111860, "The Rocky Road to Dublin"

NOTES: [Tune listed in broadsides LOCSinging as203070 and Bodleian Harding B 18(417) as "Irish Jig." True, but hardly helpful.... - RBW/BS]
Broadside LOCSinging as203070: H. De Marsan dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
File: Hodg207

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

The Ballad Index Copyright 2011 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 May 05 - 12:23 PM

The words were written by D K Gavan, "The Galway Poet", for the English music hall performer Harry Clifton (1824-1872), who popularised the song. The tune may be older, but there doesn't seem to be any concrete reference to it prior to the song.

See threads Harry Clifton Songwriter and Rocky Road to Dublin question.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Blackcatter
Date: 07 May 05 - 11:59 PM

Thanks Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: pavane
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 11:11 AM

In case you are interested:

The copy from America, listed above as Harding B 18(417), has two extra verses, not found in the other versions. They don't really add anything to the song, though.

Rocky Road to Dublin


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Paul Burke
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 11:34 AM

Are there any older references to the tune, as distinct from the song? Or any older settings of the tune with a different name?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Folkiedave
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 01:57 PM

I remember reading once that it was used as a test on nannies to see if they could sing and were worth employing though in fairness it doesn't sound much like a lullaby!!

And sorry I don't have the reference.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 18 Sep 08 - 09:06 PM

It may be that the tune as we know it today got its name from Gavan's song; or he may have taken his cue from a tune he knew. Whether it was set to an existing tune I haven't been able to discover, though naturally there are references to 'Rocky Road' tunes in various early C20 collections of Irish music. None of these, it appears, can confidently be said to pre-date the Gavan-Clifton song, except anecdotally.

The Fiddler's Companion has some useful information (including a report of the anecdote that Dave mentioned) but it assumes uncritically that the song must have been later than the tune and doesn't credit either Gavan or Clifton, so should be used with caution.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: MAG
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 10:06 AM

What is the correct pronunciation of "Tuam"?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: MartinRyan
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 10:17 AM

In English, it's roughly chewm or, if you need two syllables, chew - um

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Folkiedave
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 11:00 AM

(including a report of the anecdote that Dave mentioned)

And I thought my memory was going.

I am so pleased!!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: MartinRyan
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 11:50 AM

Seems likely the "test" is really an index of the prevalence of Irish nannies in Britain at one stage?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: GUEST,MAG at work
Date: 19 Sep 08 - 07:14 PM

Oh I don't know; it's pretty bouncy -- great for lap bouncing.

In fact, I think I'll add it to my next baby time at work.

(It also involves the eventual emigration to England)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Sep 08 - 09:06 PM

I had quite forgotten that Jack Campin pointed out in another discussion that the tune is basically a 9/8 version of the old 3/2 hornpipe 'Cam Ye Ower Frae France', also known as 'The Keys of the Cellar'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Sep 08 - 03:17 AM

It's hard to believe that such a strong 9/8 jig wasn't from the Irish tradition. But then it's hard to believe that if it was, it would have been found by now. If that makes any sense.

Lots of "jolly" Irish songs have the feel of music hall. Is this their probable origin?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: GUEST,Foobear
Date: 23 Sep 11 - 01:14 PM

@Malcolm: "I had quite forgotten that Jack Campin pointed out in another discussion that the tune is basically a 9/8 version of the old 3/2 hornpipe 'Cam Ye Ower Frae France', also known as 'The Keys of the Cellar'."

Cam Ye O'Er Frae France doesn't sound anything like the Rocky Road to Dublin, even in a different time. I've listened to numerous versions of it, as well as Rocky Road...

The Wikipedia page for Rocky Road to Dublin repeats this claim, but the reference it provides for it shows no evidence that it is based on Cam Ye O'er Frae France.

All the reliable references I've read said the source is unknown.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Paul Burke
Date: 23 Sep 11 - 01:24 PM

"Cam Ye O'Er Frae France doesn't sound anything like the Rocky Road to Dublin"

You're thinking of a different cam Ye O'er, or a different Rocky Road, or perhaps both.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Sep 11 - 01:25 PM

Purely mnemonic FYI ~~

Rocky Road on fiddle is my ringtone.

Who cares? I hear you say. Well whack-falal-de-da

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: GUEST,Foobear
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 03:17 AM

>>You're thinking of a different cam Ye O'er, or a different Rocky Road, or perhaps both.

Eh, I don't think so. I've pretty comprehensively gone through all the folktunes.org midis and recordings on Youtube.

The Fiddler's Companion lists a few different songs that sound like it, but Cam Ye O'Er Frae France isn't one of them. (And then again, none of those sound very much like Rocky Road to Dublin, either.)


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 05:16 AM

Jack Lintell's Jig close to Cam Ye?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 07:50 PM

"Cam Ye O'er Frae France" in 6/4 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL0A9bGQaZk

"Rocky Road to Dublin" in 9/8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtEKUWRpUWg

If you can't see/hear the resemblance in tune (albeit in different timing) something's wrong!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 07:54 PM

Ok, first one might be 3/2 and not 6/4! Discuss!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 07:52 AM

>>If you can't see/hear the resemblance in tune (albeit in different timing) something's wrong!

You're being sarcastic, right? They're nothing alike. =)

Those links were purple - I've been to both those videos before.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: PHJim
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 01:26 PM

I played it for years as a slip jig before discovering that it had words, although the instrumental slip jig version doesn't exactly match the vocal version. It has to be stretched a bit to get all the words in.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 08:25 PM

Not sarcastic at all - come out of your purple haze Guest!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Jack Campin
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 09:30 PM

I never suggested any resemblance between "Cam ye Ower Frae France" (aka "Wee Totum Fogg") and "Rocky Road".

On the other hand I *do* think there is a non-coincidental resemblance between "Rocky Road" and "Ay Waukin O", which is a different Scottish song also dating back to around 1700.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 03:08 AM

Jack Lintell's Jig close to Cam Ye?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 04:36 AM

"You're being sarcastic, right? They're nothing alike. =)"

They aren't the same right enough but they certainly sound pretty similar.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 04:37 AM

Nurse, nurse ..............


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 12:08 PM

That should be doctor, doctor!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 24 Feb 13 - 12:58 PM

Jack Lintell's Jig close to Cam Ye?

Just noticed this myself, eighteen months later - to my ear Cam Ye seems very close indeed to the A part of Jack Lintell's. Can't see the connection with Rocky Road though.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 24 Feb 13 - 06:48 PM

According to this page Cam Ye O'er Frae France? and Jack Lintel's are both versions of a 3/2 hornpipe called Cellar Door Key. You pays your money...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Lighter
Date: 24 Feb 13 - 09:16 PM

The tune appears in "The Citizen; or, Dublin Monthly Magazine" for April, 1841. According to the anonymous writer (Conceivably Edward Bunting?):

"'The Rocky Road' is, we believe, rather a 'Modern Irish Dance.' We have been told that the name is taken from a road so called in the neighbourhood of Clonmel. Be that as it may, however, it is the air which is sung by the nurses for their children in a great portion of the southern parts of Munster, and they frequently put forward, as one of the advantages to be attained by hiring them, that 'They can sing and dance the baby to the "Rocky Road." '"

http://books.google.com/books?id=9LgRAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA264-IA2&dq="Rocky+Road+to+Dublin"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Feb 13 - 03:06 PM

On the original sheet music 1860s (before 1867) only the words are credited to Gavan, The Galway Poet. The tune is given as arranged by M. Hobson as on many of Clifton's pieces, and is not attributed to anyone. Clifton did take some of his tunes from existing sources, some dance tunes even. We don't know when Gavan wrote the words. It could be before 1841. Gavan is credited with the words of at least one other Clifton song. If he was known as The Galway Poet, there is a pretty good chance his works appear in local literature and dating could be improved.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Rocky Road to Dublin
From: Lighter
Date: 25 Feb 13 - 04:47 PM

> they frequently put forward, as one of the advantages to be attained by hiring them, that 'They can sing and dance the baby to the "Rocky Road."

That sounds as though the tune was a novelty at the time, at least in Munster. The writer certainly thought it was "modern."


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