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Entries Related To: history-politics

Lonely Banna strand

Frankie Nash

Lonely Banna strand / Frankie Nash

Lonely Banna strand, song (Being on a Friday morning all in the month of May ...) This song tells the story of an incident that took place in the lead-up to Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising. Sir Roger David Casement (1864–1916) attempted to gain German support for a rebellion against British rule. Due to a series of mishaps, the Irish rebels never received the arms that the Germans attempted to supply. Casement was arrested, tried for treason, and executed for his part in the plot.  Aidan O’Hara speculates that Frankie Nash probably learned this song from a Newfoundlander who served alongside an Irishman with nationalist sympathies at the end of the First World War. Many Newfoundlanders served in the British forces.

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Mackenzie's dream

John Joe English

Mackenzie's dream / John Joe English

Mackenzie's dream, song (One night of late I chanced to stray, from a shore so far away ...) John Joe English learned this song from his uncle, John English. The protagonist of the song, Mackenzie, dreams of all the heroes of Erin standing together against tyranny.  At the end of John Joe’s performance, Aidan O’Hara speculates that the song’s origins might have been in the Young Ireland movement. The song is more widely known as the 19th-century Irish broadside ballad, “McKenna’s Dream.” John Joe sings the song in triple metre, a slowed-down version of the melody for “Suíl, a ghrá.”

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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 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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Transcript of '[Quigley and Picco]' as sung by Bernard Nash & Tom Murphy / Aidan O'Hara

Quigley and Picco, song (Oh ye sons of Erin, please pay attention to those few lines …) A typed transcript based on Aidan O'Hara's field recording, with annotations and corrections by the collector.

Transcript of 'Lonely Banna strand' as sung by Frankie Nash / Aidan O'Hara

Lonely Banna strand, song (Being on a Friday morning all in the month of May …) A typed transcript based on Aidan O'Hara's field recording, with annotations and corrections by the collector.

Transcript of 'The emigrant from Newfoundland' as sung by Henry Campbell & Gerald Campbell / Aidan O'Hara

The emigrant from Newfoundland, song (Dear Newfoundland have I have leave you …) A typed transcript based on Aidan O'Hara's field recording, with annotations and corrections by the collector.