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Entries Related To: john-joe-english

A house party in Branch, The Forgotten Irish / Aidan O'Hara

The opening sequence from The Forgotten Irish documentary depicting a “time” in the Roche household. This clip features set dancing and accordion playing. The Forgotten Irish television documentary first broadcast on 17 March 1981 in celebration of the Irish living overseas on St Patrick’s Day. The Radharc documentary film series includes over 400 films dealing with issues of human rights, injustice, faith, religion, persecution, struggles against oppressive regimes, famine, and Christian heritage.  With thanks to RTÉ Archives for granting permission to exhibit this clip from The Forgotten Irish. To view the entire documentary, visit https://www.rte.ie/archives/ex...

Fireman's story of a brave volunteer, recitation

John Joe English

Fireman's story of a brave volunteer, recitation / John Joe English

This recitation tells the story of the heroic deeds of a train engineer who rescues a woman from being run down by a train. He is grossly disfigured in the incident, but she nevertheless falls in love with him and proposes marriage.

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John Joe English on stage at the 1978 Newfoundland Folk Festival / Len Penton, photographer

John Joe English on stage at the 1978 Newfoundland Folk Festival / Len Penton, photographer

John Joe English dances on stage at the Second Annual Newfoundland Folk Festival in Bannerman Park, St John's, Newfoundland.

John Joe English sings for an audience of friends, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

John Joe English sings for an audience of friends, August 1980 / The Radharc Trust Film Archive

John Joe English sings for an audience of friends at the Roche house in Branch, Newfoundland, ca. August 1980. This image appears in Radharc's 1981 documentary The Forgotten Irish.

John Joe English sings for the Roche brothers / Aidan O'Hara

John Joe English sings for the Roche brothers / Aidan O'Hara

Albert Roche (seated with back to the camera) and Dermot Roche (seated, looking left) listen to John Joe English perform (seated at the table).

John Joe English, Anita Best, and Elsie Best on stage at the Newfoundland Folk Festival / Len Penton, photographer

John Joe English, Anita Best, and Elsie Best on stage at the Newfoundland Folk Festival / Len Penton, photographer

Anita Best and her mother Elsie Best sing at the Newfoundland Folk Festival. 

Lobster salad (Paddy Kelly's dream), recitation

John Joe English

Lobster salad (Paddy Kelly's dream), recitation / John Joe English

Lobster salad (Paddy Kelly's dream), recitation (Last Saturday night I was invited …) This comic recitation describes the queue to get into heaven. Each new arrival is assessed by Saint Peter and is rejected from heaven for a variety of reasons. The last person to approach Saint Peter, Paddy from Ireland, plays a trick on St Peter in order to get into heaven.  John Joe English was known throughout the Cape Shore for his skills in drama and in performing dialogues. This performance of “Lobster Salad” demonstrates the flexibility of his voice and his capacity to enact different characters.

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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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My boy Willie

John Joe English

My boy Willie / John Joe English

My boy Willie, song (The sailing trade is a weary life …) This English broadside ballad is also known as “The sailor boy” or “Sweet William.” It is widely anthologised and recorded, with variant versions transforming Willie from a sailor to a lumberjack. It recounts the pain of a woman who is left behind when a loved one goes to sea and dies far from home.  This song was among John Joe English’s favourite songs.

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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 dewy dells of Yarrow

John Joe English

The dewy dells of Yarrow / John Joe English

The dewy dells of Yarrow, song (There was a man lived in this town …) This song is a variant of the border ballad, “The Dowie Dens of Yarrow.” It tells the story of a fight between a poor ploughman and nine brothers.  John Joe English learned it from a man who used to stop by the fish stores where he worked. 

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Transcript of '[My boy Willie]' as sung by John Joe English / Aidan O'Hara

My boy Willie (The sailing trade is a weary life …) A typed transcript based on Aidan O'Hara's field recording, with annotations and corrections by the collector.