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Lyr Req: The Star of Sunday's Well

20 Apr 02 - 06:12 AM (#694218)
Subject: The Star of Sunday's Well
From: Mac Tattie

I recently heard part of this song this song on radio and was reminded of a singer who I heard quite regularly, years ago, arround folk clubs. Any one know the words ? cheers

20 Apr 02 - 07:15 AM (#694236)
From: masato sakurai

[Air: 'Hugh Reynolds', I.S.B. No. 64.]

Ye damsels of Castalia, Melpomene and Thalia,
Extenuate an alien that languishes in woe,
Dan Cupid has surprised me, waylaid and pauperised me,
Why thus he martyrised me, is what I wish to know.
Exiled in this fair city, a paragon of pity,
I lucubrate my ditty and catalogue to tell
Of the beauties of that matron, my connoisseur and patron,
That consort fit for Satan, the Star of Sunday's Well.

Expressly fabricated for to be venerated
Her weight is estimated at fully fifteen stone,
The undulating ocean recalls her vagrant motion,
Magnanimous devotion I render her alone.
She's blooming and she's bonny with real estate and money,
A floweret filled with honey in a soft suburban dell,
And I the bee go soaring around her bower adoring
The beauty and the store of the Star of Sunday's Well.

This matron subsidises both Beamish's and Wise's,
The viands that she prizes provide most comely fare,
I wish I could administer a modicum of Guinness t'her,
For there is nothing sinister or medieval there.
Her heart I would allure it but that a grocer's curate
Is planning to secure it by artifices fell,
I've given hints abundant to that obscure incumbent
To flutter less redundant round the Star of Sunday's Well.

All through the summer weather, two lovers linked together,
Patrolled Marina's heather or strolled along the Dyke;
The blackbirds and the thrushes established in the bushes
Their elegies in gushes propelled to Kerry Pike.
I hear their jocund royster and sighed as for his cloister
The quaint but fulsome oyster, like a hermit in his cell,
I lacked reciprocation in this matron's cognition,
For I got a harsh negation from the Star of Sunday's Well.

W.B. GUINEY in The Cork Examiner, 1870.

(From: Colm O Lochlainn, More Irish Street Ballads, The Three Candles, 1968, pp. 258-259; text only)


20 Apr 02 - 09:32 AM (#694306)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Star of Sundays Well
From: Mac Tattie

Manny thanks masato sakurai. Perhaps you should submit this to the DT lyric list as well. cheers

20 Apr 02 - 01:43 PM (#694425)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Star of Sundays Well
From: Emma B

Jimmy Crowley, who lived in Sunday's Well, gives an almost identical version in his book ISBN 0 85342 773 9 published by The Mercier Press set to a 'tradional' tune. He also attributes the words to W Guiney but gives the date of publication in The Cork Examiner as 1874. I'm afraid I can't do ABC music (can someone out there help) otherwise I'd send you the tune Jiimmy used

20 Apr 02 - 06:50 PM (#694549)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Star of Sundays Well
From: Noreen

Jimmy Crowley used the same tune as that mentioned above, Little Mo, also known as the tune to The Lament of Hugh Reynolds (She's the dear maid to me).

If this tune is not to be found anywhere I could supply it.


20 Apr 02 - 11:40 PM (#694680)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Star of Sundays Well
From: Malcolm Douglas

I.S.B. no.64 in Masato's post refers to O Lochlainn's Irish Street Ballads (first volume), where The Lamentation of Hugh Reynolds is given with its tune. A midi made from the notation in that book will go, in time, to Mudcat Midis; until then, it can be heard via the South Riding Folk Network site:

Hugh Reynolds.mid

21 Apr 02 - 12:30 AM (#694686)
From: masato sakurai

Thanks, Malcolm. The song in my edition is numbered 66, instead of 64.


My name it is Hugh Reynolds I come of honest parents,
Near Caven I was born as you may plainly see
For the loving of a maid One Catherine McCabe
My life has been betrayed She's the dear maid to me.
The country was bewailing my doleful situation,
But still I'd expectation this maid would set me free,
But O, she was ungrateful Her parents prov'd deceitful
An' tho' I'd lov'd her faithful, she's the dear maid to me.

Young men and tender maidens, throughout this Irish nation,
Who hear my lamentation, I hope you'll pray for me;
The truth I will unfold, that my precious blood she sold,
In the grave I must lie cold, she's the dear maid to me.

For now my glass is run, and my last hour is come,
And I must die for love and the height of loyalty!
I thought it was no harm to embrace her in my arms,
Or take her from her parents; but she's the dear maid to me.

Adieu, my loving father, and you, my tender mother,
Farewell, my dearest brother, who has suffered sore for me;
With irons I'm surrounded, in grief I lie confounded,
By perjury unbounded; she's the dear maid to me.

Now, I can say no more; to the Law-board I must go,
There to take my last farewell of my friends and counterie;
May the angels, shining bright, receive my soul this night,
And convey me into heaven to the blessed Trinity.

(From: Colm O Lachlainn, Irish Street Ballads, The Three Candles, [1939], 1967, No. 66, pp. 132-133; with music)

The lyrics are also HERE (Donagh MacDonagh song collection) & HERE, with minor differences. SHE'S A DEAR MAID TO ME is probably sung to the same tune.


21 Apr 02 - 08:34 AM (#694801)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Star of Sundays Well
From: Malcolm Douglas

It's "66" in my edition, too, now that I look again. Presumably, "64" was a typo.

29 Apr 08 - 05:26 PM (#2329054)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Star of Sundays Well
From: The Sandman

I have been told that this song[star of sundays well ]was written as as a reply in the Cork Examiner.
somebody had stated publicly that the irish mangled the english language,the star of sundays well was the Erudite reply.
I believe your singer might have been DonalMaguire

30 Apr 08 - 04:37 AM (#2329482)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Star of Sundays Well
From: Sandra in Sydney

strangely enough, I was only playing this CD yesterday!

Donal Maguire
The Star of Sunday's Well, 1979, remastered 2003 by Rossendale Records

note to track 12 - The Star of Sunday's Well

This song adequately thumbs it's nose at the purveyors of all those stories which portray the Irish as a race of semi-literate inarticulate numbskulls. Undoubtedly written with tongue-in-cheek by W.B. Guiney, it appeared in the Cork Examiner in 1871.It is a masterpiece of rhetoric and abounds with flowery language, a legacy of the post-Penal Law 'Hedge School' classics teaching which often accompanied the ubiquitous 'three R's' I first heard it sung by singer John Gregson a specialist in comic songs, in a Warrington folk club. The action takes place in Cork city, and this must surely be the most eloquent put-down of amorous intent one is likely to hear!


27 Feb 09 - 05:40 AM (#2577070)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Star of Sunday's Well
From: GUEST,Donal O'Danachair

This was sung by Jimmy Crowley and is on his CD "Camphouse Ballads". It's deleted but you may be able to get a secondhand one from Amazon