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Entries Related To: emigration

Dear old Newfoundland

Gerald Campbell

Dear old Newfoundland / Gerald Campbell

Dear old Newfoundland, song (Twas just a year ago today I left my Emerald's Isle …) Originally recorded by John Barr (also known as Little John Cameron) in 1967 under the title “Tribute to Newfoundland,” this song is an account of the similarities between Ireland and Newfoundland. The melody is similar to that used by Ewan MacColl for his song, “Come my little son.”

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Donald Monroe

Albert Roche

Donald Monroe / Albert Roche

Donald Monroe, song (Come all ye good men that's inclined for to roam, to seek for employment …) A variant of the 18th-century Scottish broadside, “Donald Munro,” this murder ballad tells the tale of a man who immigrates to America, leaving his sons behind as he cannot afford their fares. They follow in search of their father seven years later. They are attacked by highwaymen and killed. As they lay dying, their murderer realises that he has killed his two sons.  This song was widely sung in Newfoundland and several versions collected there, with the result that it exists with a number of different melodies and configurations of lyrics. Kenneth Peacock published three different versions in his Songs of the Newfoundland Outports 3 (1965:812–16). MacEdward Leach also recorded several versions.

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India's burning shore

Tom Murphy & Minnie Murphy

India's burning shore / Tom Murphy & Minnie Murphy

India's burning shore, song (As I strayed beneath those lofty pines on India’s burning shore …) Also known as the “Irish Patriot,” this song tells the story of a man whose wife and child are killed when he refuses to fight for his landlord’s rebel army. He takes revenge by killing his landlord and thereafter must forever live in exile, though he dreams of returning to Ireland to be buried beside his wife.  The origins of this song are unknown; Robert B Waltz and David G Engle note that it is found predominantly along North America’s eastern seaboard. The song seems to have had some popularity in lumbering camps during the early 20th century.

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Paddy in New York

John Joe English

Paddy in New York / John Joe English

Paddy in New York, song (Of an elderly man I'm going to tell you …) This comic song tells the story of an Irishman who goes to live in New York. Outraged when a barman overcharges for whiskey, he starts a fight, kills the barman, and is supported by other Irishmen in New York.

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The emigrant from Newfoundland

Gerald Campbell

The emigrant from Newfoundland / Gerald Campbell

The emigrant from Newfoundland, song (Dear Newfoundland, have I got to leave you …) This song may have been composed by JT Kinsella when he emigrated from Newfoundland to settle in Boston, Massachusetts. It laments the necessity of leaving Newfoundland to seek work on the mainland, in this case Boston. The song offers commentary on Confederation with Canada and includes reminiscences of favourite events and places in the St John’s area.  The song was published as early as 1904 in St John’s under the title “The Newfoundland exile” in James Murphy’s Old Colony Song Book. Details about the history of this song are available from the GEST song index. Variants have been published by Kenneth Peacock in the Songs of the Newfoundland Outports 2 (1965:360–61) and by MacEdward Leach.

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The girl who slighted me

Gerald Campbell

The girl who slighted me / Gerald Campbell

The girl who slighted me, song (And I'll go down to yonder valley …) This song tells of an unhappy courtship. After being slighted by his sweetheart, the (male) protagonist of the song curses the girl in question and leaves Ireland for America.  One of the more common variants of this song is known as “Courting is a pleasure,” and Kenneth Peacock published another version in Songs of the Newfoundland Outports 2 under the title “In courtship there lies pleasure” (1965:465–466).

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The hills of Glenswilly

Bernard Nash

The hills of Glenswilly / Bernard Nash

The hills of Glenswilly, song (Attention fellow countrymen come here my native news …) Written by Michael McGinley of Donegal, this song laments the necessity of leaving Donegal for a foreign land. Song collector Jim Carroll notes that McGinley may have composed the song while he travelled to New Zealand in 1879 aboard the “Invercardill.” The lyrics seem to indicate a political cause for emigration through the references to exile and raising a green flag over the hills of Glenswilly. 

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The mountains of Mourne

Frankie Nash & Stephanie Nash

The mountains of Mourne / Frankie Nash & Stephanie Nash

The mountains of Mourne, song (Oh Mary this London's a wonderful sight ...) William Percy French (1854–1920) of Co. Roscommon wrote the lyrics to this song around 1896 on a postcard that he then sent to music-hall composer William Houston Collison. The song tells the story of an Irishman working away from home in London, recounting both the strange things he sees and his longing to be home. Newfoundland song scholar Anna Kearney Guigné writes: “The song’s mass appeal may be attributed more to modern media than tradition. The song was popularized by the Australian tenor Peter Dawson (1882–1961)” (2016:274). Dawson’s recordings apparently were in circulation in at least some Newfoundland localities.  To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Frankie Nash’s passing, his granddaughter, Stephanie Nash, used a field recording of Frankie singing “The Mountains of Mourne” in his kitchen as the basis of her version of the song. Her version, recorded in 2016, overdubs the original field recording.

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Transcript of '[Dear old Newfoundland]' as sung by Gerald Campbell / Aidan O'Hara

Dear old Newfoundland, song (Twas just a year ago today I left my Emerald's Isle …) A typed transcript based on Aidan O'Hara's field recording, with annotations and corrections by the collector.

Transcript of '[The girl who slighted me]' as sung by Gerald Campbell / Aidan O'Hara

The girl who slighted me, song (And I'll go down to yonder valley …) A typed transcript based on Aidan O'Hara's field recording, with annotations and corrections by the collector.

Transcript of 'Donald Munroe' [Donald Monroe] as sung by Albert Roche / Aidan O'Hara

Donald Monroe, song (Come all ye good men that's inclined for to roam …) A typed transcript based on Aidan O'Hara's field recording, with annotations and corrections by the collector.

Transcript of 'India's burning shore' as sung by Tom Murphy & Minnie Murphy / Aidan O'Hara

India's burning shore, song (As I strayed beneath those lofty pines on India’s burning shore …) A typed transcript based on Aidan O'Hara's field recording, with annotations and corrections by the collector.