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Entries Related To: song

It’s of a row to you I’ll show, song

Eddie Butcher, singing in English

It’s of a row to you I’ll show, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

Jack was a sailor on board a whaler

Caroline Brennan

Jack was a sailor on board a whaler / Caroline Brennan

Jack was a sailor on board a whaler, song (Jack was a sailor on board of a whaler ...) This children’s son features a sailor named Jack. A friend asks him to pay a debt, and Jack responds, “You’ll have to wait till my ship comes in.” When Jack later survives a shipwreck and his friend makes the same demand, Jack gives the same excuse.  Though the song follows a standard verse-and-refrain form, the metric structure of the song is somewhat unusual: verses are sung in triple metre and choruses are in duple metre, matching shifts in the narration from third to first person.

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Jelly on the plate, song

Deborah Crowley, Kitty Shields & Marie Smith, singing in English

Jelly on the plate, song / Deborah Crowley, Kitty Shields & Marie Smith, singing in English

Jenny Jones, song

Eileen Keaney, singing in English

Jenny Jones, song / Eileen Keaney, singing in English

John Barbour, song

Joe McCafferty, singing in English

John Barbour, song / Joe McCafferty, singing in English

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).

Johnny me darling lad, song

Mary Wall, singing in English

Johnny me darling lad, song / Mary Wall, singing in English

Just before the battle, mother

Ellen Emma Power

Just before the battle, mother / Ellen Emma Power

Just before the battle, mother, song (Just before the battle, mother, I am thinking most of you …) Composed by George Frederick Root, the sheet music for this song was originally published in Chicago in 1863. It was quite popular during the American Civil War, particularly among Unionist soldiers. 

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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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Love will you marry me?, song

Paddy Tunney, lilting, singing in English

Love will you marry me?, song / Paddy Tunney, lilting, singing in English

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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Me and me chum Johnny Riley

Frankie Nash

Me and me chum Johnny Riley / Frankie Nash

Me and me chum Johnny Riley, song  (One day as we went out for a walk …) Written by Newfoundland songwriter Johnny Burke (“The Bard of Prescott Street”), this song tells the story of two friends who share everything. While songs about a character named Reilly/Riley are popular in Ireland, England, and throughout North America, this song originates in Newfoundland (Partyka in Narváez 2006:11).

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