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Brennan on the moor

Patsy Judge

Brennan on the moor / Patsy Judge

Brennan on the moor, song (It's of a fearless highwayman the truth to you I'll tell …) Probably of Irish origin, this broadside ballad tells the story of folk hero and highwayman Willie Brennan, who was tried and hanged in Clonmel in 1804. Some versions of this song place Brennan in the mountains near Limerick; other versions depict Brennan on the highways of North Cork and South Tipperary.  Patsy Judge’s version references the Comeragh Mountains, perhaps a nod to the ancestry of the people of the Cape Shore, whose origins were mainly in Ireland’s southeast.

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Bungle Rye

 Anthony Power

Bungle Rye / Anthony Power

Bungle Rye, song (As I went a-walking a fair London Street …) This early 19th-century broadside ballad is a warning about the dangers of female wiles. The protagonist is tricked into paying 20 shillings for a basket that he thinks contains a bottle of liquor. Instead it contains a baby, whom he christens John Bungle Rye.  In many versions of this song, the phrase “Bung yer eye” appears instead of “Bungle Rye.” Indeed, Kenneth Peacock includes this song in Songs of the Newfoundland Outports 3, under the title “Young Bung-’er’eye,” noting that “bung-yer-eye” is an old sailing term for strong rum or hard liquor (1965:895–6).

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Cock-a-doodle-doo

Frankie Nash

Cock-a-doodle-doo / Frankie Nash

Cock-a-doodle-doo, song (One morning after breakfast taking a bit of the walk …) This comic song about a rooster is full of sexual innuendo. It tells the story of a man who buys a cock while out for a walk, and the variety of encounters that ensue.

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Colonna's lone shore

Denis McGrath

Colonna's lone shore / Denis McGrath

Colonna's lone shore, song (I will sing the word of young wandering Nellie ...) Written by Andrew Sharpe during the early 19th century, this song describes the death of a soldier at the Battle of Corunna on 16 January 1809. The focus, however, is on the reaction of the soldier’s sweetheart when word of his death arrives back in Scotland. Song collector Robert Ford writes in Vagabond Songs and Ballads of Scotland:  “Andrew Sharpe had observed that, since Herdman’s departure, Ellen Rankine was greatly changed. Her passionate blue eyes had begun to fade, and her luxuriant brown hair, the pride of better days, to get tangled and dry; but when the news of his death came she sank into helpless idiocy, and despite the careful watchings of her distressed parents, she stole from them in a luckless moment, and, taking the back of the hill, went crooning and singing for a whole week away through the Howe of Strathmore” (1904:84).

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Conversation about music for dancing and types of dances

Patsy Judge & Bride Judge

Conversation about music for dancing and types of dances / Patsy Judge & Bride Judge

Patsy Judge performs several examples of “cheek” or “gob” music (i.e., dance music performed with the voice only), simultaneously explaining where these tunes were most likely to appear within the set dance.  The examples appear in the following order: “There was an old woman” (jig), “Tatter Jack Walsh” (jig), “All the way to Connickmore” (single), “Haste to the wedding” (jig), “The girl I left behind me” (single), “Girls in the salthouse” (single), “Mother wouldn’t beat him” (single), “Irishman’s shanty” (single), “Pop goes the weasel” (jig), “Green grow the rushes-o” (reel).

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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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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Georges Banks

Henry Campbell & Gerald Campbell

Georges Banks / Henry Campbell & Gerald Campbell

Georges Banks, song (Ye roving sons of Newfoundland, I hope you will draw near …) Georges Bank is a large plateau-shaped shoal off the coast of Massachusetts. It is part of a series of banks and shoals that extend along the edge of the North American continental shelf—the most northern of which are Newfoundland’s Grand Banks.  This ballad tells the story of a ship, the Morning Star, whose crew was fishing on Georges Banks. The ship was caught in a November gale that resulted in many fisherman freezing or being swept overboard before they could return to Newfoundland.  Other versions of this song are included in Greenleaf and Mansfield’s Ballads and Sea Songs of Newfoundland (1933:260–263); Kenneth Peacock’s Songs of the Newfoundland Outports 3 (1965:916–21); and among the recordings of MacEdward Leach.

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Golden Bay

Anthony Power

Golden Bay / Anthony Power

Golden Bay, song (In nineteen hundred and twelve, my boys for Golden Bay set sail …) Composed by brothers Henry Nash (Sr) and Bernard Nash who fished together in Golden Bay, this song describes a whaling expedition that left Branch in 1912. The crew caught a whale, but it rotted before they could sell it for the thirty pounds in gold that they expected to receive.  Henry Nash (Sr) was the father-in-law of Anthony Power, who performs the song here. 

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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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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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