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Origins: Weila weila waila

19 Mar 06 - 07:46 AM (#1697616)
Subject: Origins: Weila weila waila
From: GUEST,12 string stan

This Irish folk ballad is known by many, and i was asked last night, was it just a mythical song or was there fact behind it. i see this has come up before, but to no definite conclusion. just said i'd re open the debate a fresh, to see if anyone had any further enlightenment


19 Mar 06 - 08:15 AM (#1697641)
Subject: RE: Origins: Weila weila waila
From: Toenails John

I saw a documentary or RTE a few years ago, which was basically giving an insight into a lot of irish ballads, and this song came up. The answer is indeed interesting, and some of our more distinquished (older!) Irish members might verify the facts.

Some years ago (possibly 40's 50's) there was a disaster in Dublin where some inner city tennament buildings collapsed, leading to several fatalities, The buildings were poorly built, and in severe need of repair, housing mainly the poorer people. This lead to a reaction by the Irish Government to start new housing developments on the outskirts of Dublin places such as Tallaght. This would have been around Domonic Behans time

Dubliners had, and still have a conception that life "outside the Pale" is backward and full of Bog men. we fetch the coal in tin baths etc, and the idea of moving out into the wilderness is basically what provoked this mythical song about how bad life was outside of Dublin,

I am so delighted you asked, for I love knowledege of Origins, and this is one which I have enlghtened many people of, and very interesting too, so i think

It was on RTE so it must be true (mustn't it???)


19 Mar 06 - 10:08 AM (#1697711)
Subject: RE: Origins: Weila weila waila
From: GUEST,John & Olivia

Weila weila waila well

tell me more tell me more

did she put up a fight

uh huh uh huh..


19 Mar 06 - 07:13 PM (#1698163)
Subject: RE: Origins: Weila weila waila
From: Susanne (skw)

So far I don't see what this thread has to do with the origins of The Cruel Mother, in whatever form. Seeing an 'Origins' thread already exists for Weila Waile (= the way the Dubliners spell it), maybe this one could be integrated with it and probably save us a few repetitions.


19 Mar 06 - 10:56 PM (#1698275)
Subject: RE: Origins: Weila weila waila
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Philippa (thread 8831, 26 Jan 99) related this kids rhyme to "The Cruel Mother" (Child 20). I agree with her that is is a kid's version.
Dark Irish Kid Tunes

Lyrics also posted in thread 11001: Weila Waile


20 Mar 06 - 03:43 AM (#1698365)
Subject: RE: Origins: Weila weila waila
From: Paul Burke

It's another song that has been thoroughly appropriated as "Irish" despite being widespread in all its forms, from high tragic ballad to kids' game song, throughout the English speaking world and probably well beyond.

My Mum's version, (Agecroft, just by Dave the Gnome, near Manchester UK, 1920s)

There was a lady dressed in green
Airey airey I-do
There was a lady dressed in green
Down by the river side-o.

Etc. much as the weelia version.


20 Mar 06 - 06:49 AM (#1698459)
Subject: RE: Origins: Weila weila waila
From: fat B****rd

B***ocks, John and Olivia. I was gonna say that. But I can't stand unpleasantness.