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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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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).

Emile Benoit, Bride and Patsy Judge, and Hugh Rowlings at the Judge's in St John's, Newfoundland / [unidentified photographer]

Emile Benoit, Bride and Patsy Judge, and Hugh Rowlings at the Judge's in St John's, Newfoundland / [unidentified photographer]

Bride (sitting) and Patsy Judge (right) with Song collector Hugh ‘Hoodie’ Rowlings (standing) and legendary Port au Port Peninsula fiddler Émile Benoît (left). The group were photographed in folklorist Kenneth Goldstein's house in St John's during the 1977 or '78 Folk Festival in Bannerman Park.

Patsy Judge and friends on stage at the 1978 Newfoundland Folk Festival / Len Penton, photographer

Patsy Judge and friends on stage at the 1978 Newfoundland Folk Festival / Len Penton, photographer

Patsy Judge on stage with two other musicians at the 1978 Newfoundland Folk Festival. Left to right: Andy Samuelson, Patsy Judge, and Bill Bowman.

Patsy Judge on stage at the 1978 Folk Festival / Len Penton, photographer

Patsy Judge on stage at the 1978 Folk Festival / Len Penton, photographer

Patsy Judge playing the whistle on stage at the Second Annual Newfoundland Folk Festival in Bannerman Park, St John's, Newfoundland.

The fair Fanny Moore

Patsy Judge

The fair Fanny Moore / Patsy Judge

The fair Fanny Moore, song (Yonder stands a cottage all deserted and alone...) This murder ballad most likely has its origins in the Irish or English broadside presses, though it is much more commonly heard in North American contexts. Newfoundland song scholar Anna Kearney Guigné speculates that the song gained “new life in the New World through its dissemination by way of oral tradition in such contexts as the lumber camps alongside such media as print and recordings” (2016:122).  In other versions of this song, the wealthy suitor is named Randal and Fanny’s true love (a poor shepherd) is named Henry. In Patsy’s version of the song, the names are used interchangeably; it seems probable that this was simply a memory slip.

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The forest was covered in bushes

Patsy Judge

The forest was covered in bushes / Patsy Judge

The forest was covered in bushes, song (One night as the moon it shone bright and shone clear …) Elsewhere this song is known as “The False-hearted lover,” “A week before Easter,” and “The false bride.” It tells the story of a man whose sweetheart marries someone else. The protagonist witnesses the marriage and consummation before announcing that he will die of a broken heart. The text was published as a broadside as early as 1690; it was recorded widely during the 20th century.

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