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Lyr Req: After Aughrim's Great Disaster

02 Dec 98 - 09:09 AM (#47619)
Subject: after aughrim's great disaster

Does anyone know the complete lyric's to the song "After Aughrim's Great Disaster"? I heard it once in a recording I believe by Mick or Nick West. I am told his album was called Fine Flowers and Foolish Glances, but I have not been able to find it or the lyrics to the song

Thanks John Mulqueen

02 Dec 98 - 07:06 PM (#47700)
Subject: Lyr Add: SEÁN Ó DUIBHIR A' GHLEANNA (Sheehan)
From: Barry Finn

This is from an old thread. I believe John probably has a good bit of history for this one. He does a real nice job singing this. Barry

Subject: RE: Lyr Req Wild Geese
From: John Nolan
Date: 03-May-98 - 08:45 PM

After Aughrim's great disaster,
When the foe in sooth was master,
Twas you who first rushed in and swam the Shannon's fearful flood,
And through Slieveloom's dark passes,
You wove your gallowglasses,
Although the hungry Saxon wolves were howling for our blood.
And as you crossed Tip'rary,
You rised the Clan O'Leary,
And drove a crack before them as their horsemen onward came,
With our swords and spears we gored them,
As through flood and light we bored them,
Ah, but Sean o Duibhir an Ghleanna, we were worsted in the game.

Long, long we kept the hillside,
Our couch hard by the rill-side,
The sturdy knotted oaken bough our curtain overhead,
The summer's blaze we laughed at,
The winter snows we scoffed at,
And trusted in our long steel swords to win us daily bread.
'Til the Dutchman's troops came round us,
With fire and sword they bound us,
They fired the woods and mountains 'til the very clouds were flame,
Yet our sharped swords cut through them
In their very hearts we them hewed them,
Ah, but Sean O Duibhir an Ghleanna, we were worsted in the game.

Here's a health to your and my king,
The monarch of our liking,
And to Sarsfield underneath whose flag, we'll cast once more a chance,
For the morning dawn will wing us
Across the sea and bring us,
To take our stand and wield a brand among the sons of France,
And though we part in sorrow,
Still Sean O Duibhir an Ghleanna,
Our prayer is God save Ireland and pour blessings on her name,
May her sons be true and needed,
May they never feel as we did,
Ah, Sean o Duibhir an Ghleanna, we were worsted in the game.

Written by Patrick Augustine Canon Sheehan (d. 1913) and as sung by Kevin Mitchell. (Caution: the odd word may be wrong.)

02 Dec 98 - 07:46 PM (#47709)
Subject: RE: after aughrim's great disaster
From: Annraoi

Originally "Seán Ó Duibhir a' Ghleanna". A typical Victorian rendition despite its 20th. Cent provenance. Some words may be misleading:- "crack" = creach = a martial raid for plunder esp. cattle. "Slieveloom" = Slieve Bloom = range of Mountains in Co. Tipperary. "Clan" = Clann = strictly speaking the children of the family. The Scottish concept of "Clan" sits uncomfortably, I think, on Irish shoulders. "our sharped(sic!) swords" = Shar-ped or sharpen'd to get the metre right. Metrically, this version - though not by any means traditional - follows the original Gaelic very well. Annraoi

02 Dec 98 - 07:48 PM (#47710)
Subject: RE: after aughrim's great disaster
From: Annraoi

Sorry, folks. Don't know how that happened. I don't normally threepete myself. Annraoi

02 Dec 98 - 09:48 PM (#47716)
Subject: RE: after aughrim's great disaster
From: Helen

Hi all,

Is this to the tune of After the Battle of Aughrim or is it a different tune? We play After the Battle.. at our music sessions. Really stirring tune.

If it's a different tune do you know where I can find it?

Thanks, Helen

03 Dec 98 - 08:48 AM (#47776)
Subject: RE: after aughrim's great disaster
From: jtmulqu

Thanks to all of you for this

14 Sep 02 - 10:58 AM (#783804)
Subject: RE: after aughrim's great disaster
From: GUEST,kateypat

Where could one find the score (sheet music, tablature, etc.) to this song? I heard it on the Celtic Christmas II CD, and it has a long piano intro.

14 Sep 02 - 11:40 AM (#783822)
Subject: RE: after aughrim's great disaster
From: Sorcha

I found a sound clip here, and it is NOT the Battle of Aughrim tune I know. I can't transcribe by ear, but perhaps someone can.

14 Sep 02 - 12:54 PM (#783869)
Subject: RE: after aughrim's great disaster
From: Malcolm Douglas

The tune is Seán Ó Duibhir a[n] Ghleanna (John O'Dwyer of the Glen). It has been discussed here a number of times under those names, and you can find notation at J C's Tunefinder by searching for John Dwyer of the Glens; John O'Dwyer of the Glen; Ghleanna; or Duibhir. You won't get the modern piano intro, though!

The Battle of Augrim is a completely different tune.

14 Sep 02 - 04:40 PM (#783992)
Subject: RE: after aughrim's great disaster
From: GUEST,fleadhman

Check out

15 Sep 02 - 01:25 PM (#784465)
Subject: RE: after aughrim's great disaster
From: belfast

I once had an LP with a great version of this ballad. The singer was Kevin Mitchell, a Derry man, now resident, I think, in Scotland. And this also gives me a chance to see if I've really learned to the do the blue clicky thing.

Click this!

15 Sep 02 - 01:38 PM (#784476)
Subject: RE: after aughrim's great disaster
From: belfast

Sorry. I was a little over-excited at been able to do the blue clicky and I neglected to mention that on the site I was directing you to the words of the song are listed. There is also a reference to a songbook by Patrick Galvin. The tune in that book is quite different from the one sung by Kevin Mitchell.

As a small note of interest, Kevin sings the song unaccompanied and with each verse he raises the key by about a semitone. This was, to me, totally imperceptible until I was asked once by a friend to transcribe the tune.

07 Oct 04 - 10:45 PM (#1291895)
Subject: RE: after aughrim's great disaster
From: GUEST,Kathy Dwyer

Please forgive a hopelessly ignorant sort here, but I am trying to sort out which set of lyrics go to which score and why one set of lyrics got attached to a seemingly purely instrumental song.
I started at a website:
And couldn't figure out why the metre of the lyrics refused to match up to the MIDI file on the page. Then I found these lyrics and that part fell into place - appears to be a mistake in the webpage.
I am further confused though - I have a copy of Bunting's Ancient Irish Musics' John Heir of the Glen, and there are no lyrics. At what point were lyrics added to this and which set are they?? The more I look into this, yet another set of lyrics or score pops up and makes everything all the more confusing.
I am painfully ignorant of all things musical, I am researching this song from a genealogical and historical point of view. Any help would be very much appreciated.


12 Oct 04 - 05:00 AM (#1294991)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: After Aughrim's Great Disaster

any answers?

28 Oct 04 - 10:55 PM (#1310163)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: After Aughrim's Great Disaster
From: GUEST,Kathy Dwyer

Nope, none so far.

What I DO have thus far is yet another score from another book, "Folk Songs of Eng., Ir., Sc., & Wales" by William Cole. This one lists as "John O'Dwyer of the Glen". Now, having seen that, I can see where the website I located this originally came from - it's not a mistake, it's just a bad case of mass confusion on my part.

I do have some quotes from my book, "The History of the O'Dwyers" by Sir Michael O'Dwyer:

Index references:
O'Dwyer, John of the Glen: Pages 91, 378 see also O'Duibhir, Sean a' Ghleanna
O'Duibhir, Sean a' Ghleanna Pages 14, 31, 91, 327, 328, 346, 352, 355-7, 363
For anyone wanting the complete set of references for them throughout this book.

Relevant passages:
page 14: "...though some of these would be viewed as somewhat quixotic by those familiar with the Irish language - for example, the use of "Seaghan" in the title of the lament "Sean O'Duibhir a Ghleanna."

Page 91, Some history on one of the two John O'Dwyers (you'll see what I mean in following passages):
"John O'Dwyer rose to high command in the Imperial Service, was ennobled by Charles VI in 1713, and chosen as his Governor to hold Belgrade against the Turks. (footnote: According to one account he was killed there in 1724.) ...The final phases are picturesquely described in the ballad of "John O'Dwyer of the Glen" reproduced in Chapter XVII. Each verse ends with the appropriate refrains "Seaghan O'Duibhir an Gleanna, we're worsted in the game," an echo of Petty's cynical comment (my note: I think he is speaking of Sir William Petty). Another version of the refrain is "We'll try the game again."

Page 327: "There is little on record to show how the confiscation and exile to which they were condemned were regarded by the Irish proprietors of the time. Fortunately, in the well-known Irish lament "Seaghan O'Duibhir" (John O'Dwyer), of which a translation by the Irish poet, Thomas Furlong, early in the last century is given in Hardiman's Irish Minstrelsy, we have a vivid picture of the Cromwelliam Devastation from John O'Dwyer of Kilnamanagh, who, with so many others of the clan, followed Colonel Edmund O'Dwyer to Flanders in 1652-3. He was a younger brother of Anthony of Clonyhorpe and a son of the Chief, Derby O'Dwyer, who died in 1629. He is not to be confused with the "John O'Dwyer of the Glen", who went abroad with Sarsfield after the fall of Limerick in 1691."

(the book extracts relevant passages from the lament, but a complete translation of the lament can be found here:

Page 328: "It is typical of Irish history that forty years later another famous Irish ballad, with the same title, was composed as a eulogy of and a lament for another John O'Dwyer who, after the fall of Limerick in 1691, left his native land to join Sarsfield in France after the Irish had been again "worsted in the game." The latter ballad is correctly styled "John O'Dwyer of the Glen".

Page 355: "We do not find the names of the more famous John O'Dwyer of the Glen (supposed by some to be Glenefy, near Galbally) (footnote: Mr. J.F. McCarthy, the best local authority, informs me that the "Glen" is the "Glenahabline, part of Thory" of the Down Survey in the Parish of Clonouty, then owned by the O'Dwyers. It's modern name is Glenough, and that of Thory is Turraheen.) and his brother William, who undoubtedly took part in the campaign escaped with their followers, as vividly described in the ballad below, across the Shannon after Aughrim, carried a guerilla warfare for months, and after the Treaty of Limerick went abroad with Sarsfield to win renown later in the services of Austria and Russia respectively.
"Translation (footnote: By the late Canon Sheehan of Doneraile) of the Irish ballad, "John O'Dwyer of the Glen" (after the fall of Limerick, 1691)
This is "After Aughrim's Great Disaster", if anyone is interested in this version, I can transcribe that as well, but I think everyone has seen at least one copy of it at some point.

That is what I have up to this point. It looks as if I will be tracking down "Irish Minstrelsy" post haste - I have an appointment with a voice coach to help me figure out how to sing this song on Monday!

29 Oct 04 - 08:03 PM (#1311049)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: After Aughrim's Great Disaster
From: David Ingerson

Shouldn't the next-to-last line read:

"May they never fail as we did."

I'm sure they felt bad, but it was the failure, not the feelings, that was the subject of the song.


11 Apr 11 - 11:59 AM (#3133079)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: After Aughrim's Great Disaster

My earliest memory is of my mother, Fanchea Crilly (nee McAteer) from Faughart, lying on a bed holding my brother one side of her and me on the other singing this song. She was trying to get us to sleep in the afternoon and we asked for the song with the swords in it.
She occasionally tried "The October Winds" but bloodthirsty wee bairns as we were only the "Sword Song" or "Kelly the Boy from Killane" would do.
Good luck to you all

Pat Crilly

11 Apr 11 - 12:57 PM (#3133121)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: After Aughrim's Great Disaster
From: leeneia

thanks for sharing that memory, Pat.

11 Apr 11 - 03:10 PM (#3133217)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: After Aughrim's Great Disaster
From: Noreen

Lovely, Pat!
Thanks for refreshing this, it's a great song.