Henry's Songbook

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The Boys of Mullaghbawn

  • Trad

    On a Monday morning early my wandering steps they'd lead me
    Down by a farmer's station, through meadows and green lawn
    I heard great lamentation, the small birds they were warbling
    We'll have no more engagements with the boys of Mullaghbawn

    I beg your pardon, ladies, but grant me this one favour
    I hope it is no treason on you I now must call
    I'm condoling late and early, my heart is near to breaking
    All for a noble lady that lives near to Finnae

    Squire Jackson he's unequalled for honour and for reason
    He never turned traitor nor betrayed the rights of man
    But now we are in danger from a vile deceiving stranger
    Who has ordered transportation for the boys of Mullaghbawn

    As our heroes crossed the ocean I'm told the ship in motion
    Did stand in great commotion as if the seas ran dry
    With the trout and salmon gaping the cuckoo's left her station
    Farewell to old Killeavey and the hills of Mullaghbawn

    To end my lamentation we're all in consternation
    For want of education I here must end my song
    Who cares for recreation without consideration
    We're sent for transportation from the hills of Mullaghbawn

    As sung by Len Graham of Skylark

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1965:] This song records a real happening during the last quarter of the eighteenth century, the transportation of peasant farmers for some agrarian offence at Mullaghbawn near Newry, Co. Armagh. (See F. J. Bigger: The Ulster Land War') Squire Jackson was a humane and popular landowner. (O Lochlainn II, 214)

  • [1984:] This is in Colm O'Loughlin's 'Irish Street Ballads' and it describes the story of some men from up North who were deported to Van Diemen's Land for poaching to feed their families. (CMSB56)

  • [1992:] Mullaghbawn is a mountainy parish in South Armagh and this is one of the few songs in Ireland which praises a landlord! It dates from the latter part of the 18th century, an era of absentee landlordism, but Richard Jackson, a local squire, lived on his estate, tilled his land and encouraged his tenants to do the same. In his will he provided for the poorest and oldest of his tenants and to this day people in the district benefit from his bequests. It is thought that the 'heroes' mentioned in the song were taking part in the Rising of 1798. (Notes Skylark, 'Light and Shade')

  • [1997:] [Mullaghbawn is a] village at the foot of the mystical mountain, Slieve Gullion. (Peter Fairbairn, Living Tradition 19, p 40)

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Quelle: Ireland

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