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Entries Related To: minnie-murphy

Down by the riverside

Minnie Murphy

Down by the riverside / Minnie Murphy

Down by the riverside, song (When I was young and in my prime my age scarce twenty-one …) This song tells the tale of a man whose parents force him to marry a woman of higher social status, forsaking the woman he loves. He later murders his wife because he cannot live with his choice. He is sentenced to hang for his crimes.  After Minnie Murphy finished her performance, one of the men present in the room comments that he sometimes heard this song in the lumber camps of western Newfoundland. Little is known about the origins of the song, though the reference to Wexford Gaol suggests a possible southeast Ireland connection. Variants, including that collected by MacEdward Leach from John James of Trepassey, Newfoundland, have been recorded almost exclusively in Newfoundland.

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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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The bonny bunch of roses

Tom Murphy & Minnie Murphy

The bonny bunch of roses / Tom Murphy & Minnie Murphy

The bonny bunch of roses, song (By the margin of the ocean, one morning in the month of June …) The lyrics of this ballad take the form of a conversation between Napoleon Bonaparte’s widow and his son. She warns her son of the danger of challenging England, Ireland, and Scotland—the bonny bunch of roses—and the folly of attacking Russia.  It is quite similar to another version of this song collected from Anthony Power in the neighbouring town of Branch by Aidan O’Hara. Tom and Minnie Murphy’s version of this song is remarkable as an example of duet singing, a practice that is comparatively rare in traditional Newfoundland singing. 

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Transcript of '[Down by the riverside]' as sung by Minnie Murphy / Aidan O'Hara

Down by the riverside, song (When I was young and in my prime my age scarce twenty-one ...) 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.

Transcript of 'The bonny bunch of roses' as sung by Tom Murphy & Minnie Murphy / Aidan O'Hara

The bonny bunch of roses, song (By the margin of the ocean, one morning in the month of June …) A typed transcript based on Aidan O'Hara's field recording, with annotations and corrections by the collector.