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Origins: Path Across the Ocean/Why Left I My Hame

Martin _Ryan 03 Feb 99 - 08:18 AM
Liam's Brother 03 Feb 99 - 10:09 AM
Martin _Ryan 03 Feb 99 - 10:14 AM
Liam's Brother 03 Feb 99 - 10:26 AM
George Henderson 04 Feb 99 - 09:39 AM
Martin _Ryan 04 Feb 99 - 10:47 AM
Martin _Ryan 09 Feb 99 - 01:32 PM
Martin _Ryan 09 Feb 99 - 02:11 PM
Antaine 09 Feb 99 - 06:31 PM
Martin _Ryan 10 Feb 99 - 02:51 AM
Martin _Ryan 10 Feb 99 - 04:58 PM
Martin _Ryan 19 Apr 99 - 06:16 PM
GUEST 23 Oct 09 - 05:04 AM
MartinRyan 08 Aug 11 - 09:21 AM
MartinRyan 08 Aug 11 - 09:25 AM
MartinRyan 08 Aug 11 - 09:39 AM
Jack Campin 08 Aug 11 - 09:52 AM
MartinRyan 08 Aug 11 - 10:14 AM
Jack Campin 08 Aug 11 - 11:03 AM
MartinRyan 08 Aug 11 - 11:17 AM
MartinRyan 08 Aug 11 - 11:25 AM
MartinRyan 20 Apr 13 - 03:40 PM
Jim Dixon 21 Apr 13 - 10:49 AM
MartinRyan 06 Mar 15 - 12:11 PM
MartinRyan 06 Mar 15 - 12:13 PM
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Subject: Path across the ocean
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 03 Feb 99 - 08:18 AM

Frank McGrath mentioned Robbie McMahons fine version of this in a recent thread. Barry Gleeson also recorded a slightly different version a while ago. Both appear to derive from a Scottish song called "Oh Why Left I my hame?". I've seen this in a book for schools called "Songs of the Nation" (Stanford, 1906), where it is described as based on a poem by someone called Gilfinnan (I think! Don't have it to hand).

Anyone heard of the song, poem or poet?

Regards

p.s. The only other version I have heard is a strict waltz-tempo song called "My home in sweet Tralee", still occasionally played by wedding-bands and such!


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 03 Feb 99 - 10:09 AM

Just a fast word or two about Barry Gleeson's exceptional CD entitled The Path Across The Ocean. I had the great pleasure of meeting Barry and of hearing him sing for the first time a year ago.

Do you like The Dubliners? Get this CD.

Do you like songs newly composed in true traditional style? Get this CD.

Do you appreciate great wit? Get this CD.

Do you like reading James Joyce? Get this CD.

This is a true breath of fresh air and really unique for what's happening in Irish music today.

How do you get the CD? Martin, can you find out and report? Telephone number for Wavelength is (01) 473 0147.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 03 Feb 99 - 10:14 AM

Dan

I'll check on the availablity of Barry's CD as soon as possible. You can always pick up a few when you're over! Which reminds me - I presume you got my message re Good Friday?

What was the Wavelength reference about? Is that the bargain reissue with the rather lurid cover?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 03 Feb 99 - 10:26 AM

Hi Martin!

Wavelength is the CD company. Rather than being bargain basement, it's a very nice production with a 12-page booklet including words to all songs, etc.

If you can speak with Barry or Wavelength about making the CD available in the USA, maybe I can bring a few back with me.

Send me a personal note with any info you come up with and we'll take it from there. Thanks.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: George Henderson
Date: 04 Feb 99 - 09:39 AM

Martin.

Barry pays tribute to Robbie in the sleeve notes and names him as his souce of the song. I will ask Robbie where he got but don't be surprised if he says that he wrote ti. He is writing phenominal stuff at the moment.

George


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 04 Feb 99 - 10:47 AM

George

Johnny Johnston has a version that seems to sit between the Scottish and Irish versions.

I'll post Barry's version here when I get a chance to cut and paste.

Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add: A PATH ACROSS THE OCEAN (from B Gleeson)
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 09 Feb 99 - 01:32 PM

Here's Barry Gleeson's version, as promised. Hope the cut-and-paste holds the format!


A PATH ACROSS THE OCEAN

There's a path across the ocean; there's a track across the sea
There are green sunny lands in some foreign country
I will leave my native Irish home and sail across the sea
And when weary I'll return, lovely Erin, to thee

CHORUS: Why did I leave my native land, or why did I cross the deep
Or why did I leave the land where my forefathers sleep
I sigh for dear old Ireland as I sail across the sea
Will I ever catch a glance lovely Erin of thee?

I hear no Sabbath bell to awake the Sunday morn
I hear no reaper singing among the yellow corn
But I hear a tyrant's voice and the wail of slavery
Still I hear the linnet singing in my own country. CHORUS

There's a sigh for every woe; there's a balm for every pain
Still my heart is nearly broken sore till I return again
To my own dear native Irish home where I was bred and born
Then I'll hear the linnet singing among the yellow corn. CHORUS

ÿ
Note:
Barry got this from Robbie McMahon. There is a Scottish version in "The National Songbook" (1906).


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 09 Feb 99 - 02:11 PM

Near enough, I suppose!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: Antaine
Date: 09 Feb 99 - 06:31 PM

Near enough!.......
Ah yes.......
Just like Athlone!!!!!
xxx


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 10 Feb 99 - 02:51 AM

Antaine

Make that Moate (or, more correctly, Shurock) - from next week!


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Subject: Lyr Add: OH WHY LEFT I MY HAME? (R. Gilfillan)
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 10 Feb 99 - 04:58 PM

Here's the Scottish version:

OH WHY LEFT I MY HAME?
Poem by R. Gilfillan

Oh! Why left I my hame? Why did I cross the deep?
Oh! why left I the land where my forefathers sleep?
I sigh for Scotia's shore, and I gaze across the sea,
But I canna get a blink o' my ain countrie!

The palm-tree waveth high, and fair the myrtle springs,
And to the Indian maid the bulbul sweetly sings:
But I dinna see the broom wi' its tassels on the lea,
Nor hear the lintie's sang o' my ain countrie!

Oh! here no Sabbath bell awakes the Sabbath morn,
Nor sang of reapers heard amang the yellow corn:
For the tyrant's voice is here, and the wail of slaverie,
But the sun of freedom shines in my ain countrie!

There's a hope for every woe, and a balm for every pain,
But the first joys o' our heart come never back again.
There's a track upon the deep, and a path across sea,
But the weary ne'er return to their ain countrie!

Source: "The National Song Book," edited by C. Villiers Stanford, 1906


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 19 Apr 99 - 06:16 PM

The author of the Scottish version seems to have been one Robert Gilfinnan (1798-1850). Anyone know if it's still sung?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Oct 09 - 05:04 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: MartinRyan
Date: 08 Aug 11 - 09:21 AM

Refresh for reference


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: MartinRyan
Date: 08 Aug 11 - 09:25 AM

The National Song Book referred to earlier in this thread is now available online;

Click here.

Regards

p.s. I'm still interested in any details on Gilfillan, the author of the poem.


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: MartinRyan
Date: 08 Aug 11 - 09:39 AM

Yeah - as I guessed - there's much more available online today about this minor poet than was the case in 1999:

Click here , for example.

Anyone ever heard the Scottish version sung?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Aug 11 - 09:52 AM

Gilfillan was pretty well known in Scotland in his time. I have two parodies/pastiches of that song in my "Embro, Embro" collection - one is about a mine disaster and the other about the Disruption of the Church of Scotland.

Biography here:

http://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/gilfillan_robert.htm


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: MartinRyan
Date: 08 Aug 11 - 10:14 AM

Thanks Jack - Yes, that's the same bio as I've posted above. IIRC, all I could find in 1999 were his dates! I also got it into my head that he was a clergyman, which is clearly not the case.

I haven't yet checked the air given in The National Song Book to see if it matches the one which, with some variations, is used in Ireland.

The obvious question is whether the song went feral in Ireland before or after its distribution, through schools, in the book. Hard to tell.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Aug 11 - 11:03 AM

It must have been widely known by 1843 to be parodied for that Disruption song. I'd guess it appeared in anthologies all over the British Isles by the middle of the 19th century, before Stanford was born. Plenty of time for it to "go feral" before the National Song Book appeared.


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: MartinRyan
Date: 08 Aug 11 - 11:17 AM

You may well be right... though I can't say I've ever seen it, or mention of it, in 19 C. Irish SONG books, FWIW. The attraction of the National Song Book as a possible source is that it would have been in the hands of teachers, in particular - and at a time when the sense of "Irishness" was being assiduously cultivated. I can quite see an enthusiastic National School teacher of the time setting about the adaptation!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Path across the ocean
From: MartinRyan
Date: 08 Aug 11 - 11:25 AM

p.s. A quick check shows you're right about how much the poem was anthologised, alright!


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Subject: RE: origins: Path Across the Ocean/Why Left I My Hame
From: MartinRyan
Date: 20 Apr 13 - 03:40 PM

refresh for reference...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Path Across the Ocean/Why Left I My Hame
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Apr 13 - 10:49 AM

The original poem can be seen in Songs by Robert Gilfillan (Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons [etc.], 1835), page 214.

The title given there is THE EXILE'S SONG.

Words are identical to those posted by Martin Ryan above from The National Song Book.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Path Across the Ocean/Why Left I My Hame
From: MartinRyan
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 12:11 PM

Came across the "Sweet Tralee" variant (aka The Hills of Kerry) recently:

Chorus:
The Palm trees wave on high along the fertile shore
Adieu the Hills of Kerry I never will see no more
Oh why did I leave my home, oh why did I cross the sea,
And leave the small birds singing around you sweet Tralee.


1. The noble and the brave have departed from our shore
They've gone off to a foreign land where the wild canyons roar
No more they'll see the shamrock, the plant so dear to me
Or hear the small birds singing around sweet Tralee.
Chorus:

2. No more the sun will shine on that blessed harvest morn
Or hear our reaper singing in a golden field of corn
There's a band for every woe and a cure for every pain
But the happiness of my darling girl I will never see again.
Chorus:


Click here for source

Regards


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Subject: RE: Origins: Path Across the Ocean/Why Left I My Hame
From: MartinRyan
Date: 06 Mar 15 - 12:13 PM

Incidentally, I note that I frequently misspelt the poet's name at the start of this thread - which didn't help my searching!

Regards


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