Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 12

Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 12
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Irish Folk Song Society
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Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society
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1415If we omit two ballads in praise of particular lodges, those that remain aremore truly ballads. Perry, Aughrim, and The Boyne, though very modern,as is shown by references to Gladstone, Morley, Parnell & Co. contains a fewstirring lines, but it has not the true ballad spirit, and one wishes the printer had givenus the writers name. The Breaking of the Boom refers to the same period ofhistory, and is open to the same criticism. No old balladist would talk of victory ordeath; cannon pealing; heartfelt rapture; each vivid Hash revealing.The three other ballads are the best of the collection. The Murder ofMcBriars was a real event, but I can get no information of it further than that thereis some mention of it in Lilburns Orangeisin, a book published in 1866, whichI have been unable to procure. Our poet is obviously partisan, but is delightfullyevasive as to the victims condition and conduct.The whisky it was in his head, no harm was in his mind;He happened for to tell too loud the way his heart inclined.Such are the annals of many a homicide in Ulster.Annie Moore may likewise be founded on fact. Riotous crowds in Ulsterhave often large numbers of women, and even children, intermingled with the men.So, just the other day, a man, who as a boy escaped from home and saw some of therioting in 1886, told me that he remembers, clearest of all his memories of that time,a girl hurrying along, sobbing, shot through the jaw. So Annie Moore may be a realperson, but in that case our poet has his dates wrong, for the Northern Whig oJuly 15th, 1845, says that there was no disturbance in Belfast on the Twelfth, exceptthat in the evening, after the procession, in Talbot Street, a piper in Highland dress,who had played in the procession, remained at the door [ of a public-house] playingparty tunes, and collected a great crowd who were at length dispersed by the police.It would probably be worth while to examine the files of the period, but I was unableto do this for lack of time, and our heroine must remain undated.The Ould Orange Flute is the only humorous ballad in this sheet, andreally deserves inclusion in some collection of ballads. The indomitable courage ofthe old flute, its outspoken rebuke of its master, its firm endurance of persecution, andthe fiery death that almost failed to silence its tongue, all are strokes of genuinehumour, that redeem any offensive references.So we have a strange medleyan old form of publication in a modern city, andwithin narrow bounds old and new, hate and humour, tragedy and mystery. Anarrow localism jostles an addtess to the Orangemen of Canada, and high traditionsmerge in modern party strife. Truly this sheet echoes faithfully the heart of Ulster.B. J. MCKEAN.r-:I Ir r-. .I.g:I__I.I::AInIi-irrt.r-IH K rrp CaoIne. C. MILLIGAN-FOX.I-;- r ;- r ;- ;- - r r ;; -THIS (Jaoine was sung to me by P. J. OSas A, of the Gaelic League. He says it isstill to be heard in the remoter regions of the Kingdom of Kerry. A lament in Gaelicon the death of the OSullivan of Dereen, a trusty friend of the Pretender, was sungto this, but the air itself was probably composed anterior to that period. 0. M. F.V
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Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, Volume 1, Issue 1

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