Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: The Flower of Sweet Strabane

DigiTrad:
FLOWER OF SWEET STRABANE


Related threads:
Where is this stanza from? (9)
Help: Flower of Sweet Strabane (6)


Maelgwyn 12 Jan 99 - 04:46 AM
Martin Ryan. 12 Jan 99 - 05:55 AM
Jon W. 12 Jan 99 - 11:35 AM
Frank Maher 12 Jan 99 - 05:59 PM
Martin Ryan. 12 Jan 99 - 07:23 PM
Jon W. 12 Jan 99 - 07:56 PM
Áine 17 Apr 00 - 06:55 PM
Conrad Bladey (Peasant- Inactive) 17 Apr 00 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 18 Apr 00 - 02:50 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 18 Apr 00 - 03:46 AM
Ranks 18 Apr 00 - 12:27 PM
Conrad Bladey (Peasant- Inactive) 18 Apr 00 - 06:44 PM
Áine 21 Apr 00 - 12:22 PM
Áine 22 Apr 00 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,Patgm@aol.com 11 Jan 03 - 10:09 AM
Sorcha 11 Jan 03 - 10:32 AM
Peg 11 Jan 03 - 11:30 AM
ciarili 12 Jan 03 - 02:06 PM
Big Tim 13 Jan 03 - 06:18 AM
John Moulden 13 Jan 03 - 07:49 AM
ard mhacha 13 Jan 03 - 08:01 AM
Paddy Plastique 13 Jan 03 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 13 Jan 03 - 10:26 AM
weerover 13 Jan 03 - 11:07 AM
Big Tim 13 Jan 03 - 03:00 PM
ciarili 13 Jan 03 - 11:07 PM
GUEST,Cormac 22 Sep 12 - 11:50 PM
GUEST 23 Sep 12 - 09:00 AM
GUEST,Desi C 24 Sep 12 - 08:44 AM
GUEST,Lighter 24 Sep 12 - 02:34 PM
GUEST,Direct descendant 06 Dec 15 - 07:30 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: flower of sweet strabane
From: Maelgwyn
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 04:46 AM

Does anyone know any versions of this besides the one in the database? I think De Danann did a slightly different version of it, but it's been a while since I heard it so I might be wrong.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: flower of sweet strabane
From: Martin Ryan.
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 05:55 AM

Maelgwyn,

The version in the DT is the one I sing. Some of it remembered from childhood and some, I think, based on Dan Mulner's (Liam's Brother!) book "Bonny Bunch of Roses".

There are variations around alright - rather than particularly different versions. There's a verse that refers to Inishowen (in Donegal - great festival there in March) - I've no idea why I don't sing it. It just doesn't stick in my head!

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: flower of sweet strabane
From: Jon W.
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 11:35 AM

I have a tape of De Danaan's version somewhere. It is slightly different. In fact it is an a-cappella rendition by Johnny Moynihan and is found on the album "Selected Jigs, Reels, and Songs". I'll try and post the lyrics later if I can find the tape.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: THE FLOWER OF SWEET STRABANE (trad. Irish
From: Frank Maher
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 05:59 PM

Here's the one I have from the late 1930s sung by The McNulty Family...

If I were king of Ireland and all things at my will,
I'd roam for recreation, no comforts to find still.
The comforts I would like the best, as you might understand,
Is to win the heart of Martha, the flower of sweet Strabane.

Her cheeks they are a rosy red, her hair a lovely brown,
And o'er her milk-white shoulders, it carelessly hangs down.
She's one of the finest creatures of the whole Meladian clan,
And my heart is captivated by the flower of sweet Strabane.

I wish I had my darling girl, way down in Inishowen,
Or in some lovely valley in the county of Tyrone.
I'd do my whole endeavor; I'd work my newest plan,
To win the heart of Martha, the flower of sweet Strabane.

I've often been to Phoenix Park and in Killarney fair,
I've been to bonny Scotland, down the winding banks of Ayr,
But yet in all my travels, I never met with one
That could compare with Martha, the flower of sweet Strabane.

Adieu unto your Liffy's banks, and all its waters wide.
I'm sailing for America, whatever may betide.
Our boat is bound for Liverpool, right by the Isle of Man,
So farewell, my lovely Martha, the flower of sweet Strabane.

I'm taking this from a very old and scratchy 78 rpm so the words may not be 100% right...

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 9-Feb-03.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: flower of sweet strabane
From: Martin Ryan.
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 07:23 PM

Near enough, I'd say! In the second verse, "Meladian" should be "Milesian" - an old word for the Irish.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: FLOWER OF SWEET STRABANE (from J Moynihan
From: Jon W.
Date: 12 Jan 99 - 07:56 PM

And here's the one I promised...nothing new here, though.

THE FLOWER OF SWEET STRABANE
As sung by Johnny Moynihan

If I was king of Erin's Isle, had all things at me will
I would roam throughout creation, new comforts to find still.
And the comfort I would seek the most, you well may understand,
Would be to gain lovely Martha, the flower of sweet Strabane.

Her cheeks, they are like the roses red, and her eyes are a lovely brown,
And over her lily white shoulders, her hair comes tumbling down.
She is one of the fairest creatures, and famous is her clan,
And me heart is fairly captured by the flower of sweet Strabane.

And if I had you, Martha, way down in Inishowen,
Or in some lonesome valley of the wild woods of Tyrone,
I would use me whole endeavor, and I'd strive to work me plan,
For to gain me prize and feast me eyes on the flower of sweet Strabane.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: flower of sweet strabane
From: Áine
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 06:55 PM

I've been listening to Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill's version of this song on her CD No Dowry. In the back of my mind is the thought that I've heard the same tune used in a song that's sung in Irish. Does anyone know what song it might be? I can't think of the words -- I seem to remember hearing it at a pub one night in Donegal. Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

-- Áine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: flower of sweet strabane
From: Conrad Bladey (Peasant- Inactive)
Date: 17 Apr 00 - 07:40 PM

best version I have heard is by Margaret Barry on Her Mantle So Green I think!

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: flower of sweet strabane
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 02:50 AM

áine

Doesn't "Gleanntán glas Gaoith Dobhair" use the same air? I think there are others as Gaeilge - all relatively recent.

Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: flower of sweet strabane
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 03:46 AM

Now that my ears have woken up, I realise "Gleanntán.." is to the "Paddy's Greeen Shamrock Shore" air - which is a distant cousin of "Strabane", at most.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: flower of sweet strabane
From: Ranks
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 12:27 PM

You are right Conrad, Maggie Barrys version is by far the best.

Ranks


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: flower of sweet strabane
From: Conrad Bladey (Peasant- Inactive)
Date: 18 Apr 00 - 06:44 PM

IMHO all of the songs on that recording are fantastic. The galway shawl is also sung properly- I really dont like the 3/4 version unless folks are dancing.

Conrad


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Chords Req: Flower of Sweet Strabane
From: Áine
Date: 21 Apr 00 - 12:22 PM

Does anyone have the chords for guitar to this song? We've two great threads discussing the lyrics, but no one's mentioned the chords yet. If you happen to have them in standard tuning, that would great!

-- Áine


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Chords Add: THE FLOWER OF SWEET STRABANE
From: Áine
Date: 22 Apr 00 - 06:08 PM

Well, I found them myself. Here they are (for the first verse) if anyone's interested:

If(D) I were King of Ire(A)land and all things at(Bm) my will
I'd roam through all creation's new fortunes to find still(A)
And the for(Bm)tune I would seek the most you all must understand(A)
is to win(Bm) the heart of Mar(A)tha the flower of sweet(Bm) Strabane.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: flower of sweet strabane
From: GUEST,Patgm@aol.com
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 10:09 AM

I am looking for the music for Flower of Sweet Strabane.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: flower of sweet strabane
From: Sorcha
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 10:32 AM

Flower of Sweet Strabane at Another Digital Tradition. E mail sent, with link.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: flower of sweet strabane
From: Peg
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 11:30 AM

I sing Maighreadh ni Dhomnaill's version; slightly different lyrics than those above. That is a great CD, by the way for anyone interested in traditional singing! and Donal Lunny's arrangements are great.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: FLOWER OF SWEET STRABANE
From: ciarili
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 02:06 PM

This is Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill's version:

Flower of Sweet Strabane

If I was King of Ireland, with all things at my will
I'd roam for recreation, new comforts to find still
But the comfort I would like the best, as you will understand
Would be to gain that lovely maid, the Flower of Sweet Strabane

Her cheeks were like the roses red, her hair of lovely brown
And o'er her milk-white shoulders in ringlets hanging down
She is one of the fairest creature of the whole Milesian clan
Sure my heart is fairly captured by the Flower of Sweet Strabane

I've often been in Phoenix Park, and in Killarney fair
Likewise in bonnie Scotland, and the winding banks of Ayr
But yet, in all my travels, I never met with one
That I could compare with Martha, the Flower of Sweet Strabane

I wish I had my darling way down in Inishowen
Or in some lonesome valley in the wild woods of Tír Eoghain
I would do my best endeavour, I would work my newest plan
For to gain you, lovely Martha, the Flower of Sweet Strabane

But since I cannot win you, love, no joy there is for me
And I will seek forgetfulness in that land across the sea
Unless you chance to follow me, I'll swear by my right hand
MacDonald's face you never will see, fair Flower of Sweet Strabane

Farewell to bonnie Lifford and to Mourne's sweet waterside
I'm sailing for America whatever may betide
Our ship is bound for Liverpool, straight by the Isle of Man
So, farewell my dearest Martha, the Flower of Sweet Strabane


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: flower of sweet strabane
From: Big Tim
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 06:18 AM

Other notable recording include:

John McGettigan (1882-1965), from Donegal, date not found, but probably 1920s.

Bridie Gallagher, from Donegal, 1962.

Norma Waterson, very recent. Learned from the Barry (1917-89) recording, 1955.

Strabane and Lifford are "twin towns", tho Strabane is in NI and Lifford is in the Republic. There, the River Mourne combines with the River Finn to form the River Foyle, then Lough Foyle, the western shore of which is "way down in Inishowen".

I seem to recall from a previous discussion that it first surfaced in the 1830s. Anyone know the origins of this beautiful song?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: flower of sweet strabane
From: John Moulden
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 07:49 AM

The version Mairead sings is substantially that given in Sam Henry's "Songs of the People" but omits the opening verse. According to Sam Henry's note (of 1928) - "It tells of a draper's assistant named MacDonald who soughht in vain the hand of his employer's daughter, Miss Ramsay, of Strabane. The song is about 80 years old. It was first published in a Derry newspaper by Dan McAnaw in 1909 but the air is now published for the first time."

That dates it approx 1846. The paper mentioned is probably the Derry Journal but a search I made some time past did not reveal it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: flower of sweet strabane
From: ard mhacha
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 08:01 AM

Great song sung by a great singer Paddy Reilly, none better. Ard Mhacha.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: flower of sweet strabane
From: Paddy Plastique
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 08:22 AM

Great song alright - love the Margaret Barry version.
Must also take the chance to mention that Strabane is also the birthplace & early childhood home of Brian O'Nolan / Flann O'Brien. I've heard they've even named some street after him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: flower of sweet strabane
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 10:26 AM

Paddy

Which of him? !!! Or maybe it was Sir Myles na Gopaleen?
Regards


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: flower of sweet strabane
From: weerover
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 11:07 AM

I have just received a bunch of miscellaneous recordings from a most generous regular Mudcat contributor. By coincidence I was listening to Margaret Barry singing "Flower of Sweet Strabane" as I read this thread - she sure gets my vote.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: flower of sweet strabane
From: Big Tim
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 03:00 PM

Thanks John. Strabane is also the home town of Paul Brady!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: flower of sweet strabane
From: ciarili
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 11:07 PM

John, is this the first verse, the one left out by Maighread?

As I rode out one evening being in the month of May
Down by a shady garden I carelessly did stray
I spied a lovely fair maiden as you can understand
And they called her lovely Martha, the Flower of Sweet Strabane


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Flower of Sweet Strabane
From: GUEST,Cormac
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 11:50 PM

ciarili    version and jon w versions are away off track,   as a Strabane man and a direct Descendant of Martha Ramsey "The flower of sweet Strabane"   I have the correct version somewhere, and when I get time I will post it. :)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Flower of Sweet Strabane
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 12 - 09:00 AM

Check out my YouTube version:

The Flower Of Sweet Strabane

Kind regards from the Isle of Man

Tony


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Flower of Sweet Strabane
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 08:44 AM

I'm sure there's a version on Martin Dardis's site unitedirelandtripod.ie


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Flower of Sweet Strabane
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 24 Sep 12 - 02:34 PM

Nice! A great song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Flower of Sweet Strabane
From: GUEST,Direct descendant
Date: 06 Dec 15 - 07:30 PM

@Frank Maher There are some words in your version that are wrong.   I am a direct descendant of Martha Ramsey I still live in Strabane not to far from where Martha was born actually. I shall post the proper version when I have time.   The are verses missed down through the years. Great to see so many comments and interest shown.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 23 October 12:50 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.