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The Foggy Dew (Easter 1916)

  • (Trad / Rev. Charles O'Neill)

    a) The Foggy Dew

    'Twas down the glen one Easter morn
    To a city fair rode I
    When Ireland's lines of marching men
    In squadrons passed me by
    No pipe did hum and no battle drum
    Was sounded straight and true
    But the Angelus bell o'er the Liffey's swell
    Rang out in the foggy dew

    Right proudly high over Dublin town
    They hung out the flag of war
    'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky
    Than at Suvla or Sud-el-bar
    And from the plains of Royal Meath
    Strong men came hurrying through
    While Britannia's sons with their long-range guns
    Sailed in from the foggy dew

    'Twas England bade our wild geese go
    That small nations might be free
    Their lonely graves are by Suvla's waves
    Or the fringe of the great North Sea
    But had they died by Pearse's side
    Or fought with Valera true
    Their graves we'd would keep where the Fenians sleep
    'Neath the hills of the foggy dew

    The bravest fell, and the solemn bell
    Rang mournfully and clear
    For those who died that Easter tide
    In the springing of the year
    And the world did gaze in deep amaze
    At those fearless men and true
    Who bore the fight that freedom's light
    Might shine through the foggy dew

    (as sung by The Clancy Bros & Tommy Makem)

  • b) The Foggy Dew

    As down the glen one Easter morn to a city fair rode I
    Their armed lines of marching men in squadrons passed me by
    No fife did hum nor battle drum did sound its dread tattoo
    But the Angelus bells o'er the Liffey's swell rang out through the foggy dew

    Right proudly high over Dublin town they hung out the flag of war
    'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky than at Suvla or Sud-el-bar
    And from the plains of Royal Meath strong men came hurrying through
    While Britannia's Huns with their long-range guns sailed in through the foggy dew

    'Twas Britannia bade our wild geese go that small nations might be free
    But their lonely graves are by Suvla's waves or the shore of the great North Sea
    Oh had they died by Pearse's side or fought with Cathal Brugha
    Their names we would keep where the Fenians sleep 'neath the shroud of the foggy dew

    But the bravest fell, and the requiem bell rang mournfully and clear
    For those who died that Easter tide in the springing of the year
    And the world did gaze in deep amaze at those fearless men but few
    Who bore the fight that freedom's light might shine through the foggy dew

    (as sung by The Dubliners)


  • Dictionary

    Suvla - Suvla Bay, Allied enclave north-west of the Gallipoli peninsula

    Sud-el-Bar - Sedd el Bahr, Dardanelles fort (major British positions in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign of 1915-16, see also 'The Band Played Waltzing Matilda')

    Pearse- Padraig Pearse (1879 - 1916), Irish nationalist teacher and poet, one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising and of the signatories of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic; executed for his part in the Rising

    Valera -Eamon de Valera (1882 - 1975), Irish nationalist, jailed for his part in the 1916 Easter Rising, President of Dáil Eireann (the Irish Republican Parliament 1918 -1922) at the time of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, fought against the Irish Free State it brought into being

    Cathal Brugha-(1874 - 1922), Irish nationalist, jailed for his part in the 1916 Easter Rising, Minister for Defence in the first Republican government under de Valera, opposed the Anglo-Irish Treaty and fought against the Irish Free State it brought into being; died in a suicide attack during the civil war

    Sedd-el-Bar - modern: Seddülbahir

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [19??:] The words of this song were composed by Canon Charles O Neill, who was parish priest of Kilcoo and later of Newcastle. In 1919 he went to Dublin and attended a sitting of the first Dail Eireann (Irish Parliament). He was moved by the number of members whose names were answered during roll call by "faoi ghlas ag na Gaill" (locked up by the foreigners) and resolved to write a song in commemoration of the Easter Rebellion. I have seen his song printed many times but have never seen his name mentioned and I think it is about time he was recognised. The music belongs to an old love song, recorded in 1913 by John McCormack and the original manuscript of the words and music, in the posession of Kathleen Dallat of Ballycastle, names Carl Hardebeck as the arranger. (Cathal O'Boyle, 'Songs of the County Down')

  • [1980:] The air [...] obtained by Bunting [the collector] from James McKnight, a native Irish speaker from the Co. Down [...]. (Greaves, Easter 20)

    • Verse 3:
      O the night fell back, and the rifle's crack made "Perfidious Albion" reel
      'Mid the leaden rain seven tongues of flame did shine o'er the lines of steel
      By each shining blade a prayer was said that to Ireland her sons be true
      And when morning broke still the war flag shook out its folds in the foggy dew
    • Verse 6
      Ah! back through the glen I rode again and my heart with grief was sore
      For I parted then with valiant men whom I never shall see no more
      But to and fro in my dreams I go and I kneel and pray for you
      For slavery fled, O glorious dead! when you fell in the foggy dew

    (Greaves, Easter 27f)

  • [1988:] The "Irish Question" has been a perennial headache in British politics. It is more accurately called the "British problem", since the occupation of Catholic Ireland in the 17th century first by Presbyterian settlers from Scotland and then by Oliver Cromwell's armies, never succeeded in merging the political cultures of Britain and Ireland. In the years following the potato famine of 1846, which reduced the population of Ireland by 2 million within five years, separatist and nationalist movements grew. In 1858 the Irish Republican Brotherhood was founded. In 1870 the Home Rule Association was created to work for self-government for Ireland. Irish members of parliament, led by Charles Stewart Parnell, fought for home rule and assistance to the rural poor.

    The Liberal-dominated House of Commons passed a Home Rule bill in 1893, but it was blocked by the House of Lords. In 1900 a new party, Sinn Fein ("Ourselves Alone") [sic!], was founded, and tapped a surge of Irish nationalism among a new generation of militants. When the Liberals once more passed a Home Rule bill in 1912, it could no longer be vetoed by the Lords. Protestants then insisted on the exclusion of the six northern counties with a Protestant majority, and on armed resistance [against Britain!]. German arms were landed at Larne for the Protestant "Ulster volunteers", and a number of British officers stated that they would not enforce Home Rule ['Curragh mutiny']. Catholics formed the "Irish volunteers", and shots were fired [by the army] when troops attempted to block their arms shipments.

    Civil war seemed likely, when in 1914 the world war overtook it. Catholic leaders joined Protestants in rallying to the cause. Over 200,000 Irishmen volunteered, with the full support of the Irish Nationalist Party. Irish nationalism, though, grew as the war went on.

    A small group of nationalists in the Irish Republican Brotherhood decided to seize the moment and fight for independence. Their plan to smuggle in German arms went hopelessly wrong on 21 April 1916, two days before their planned insurrection. The mobilization order was cancelled, but 2,000 men [and one woman!] took over the Central Post Office and other key buildings in Dublin anyway. The rebels had no hope of victory, and after a week of fighting, they surrendered. The leaders were executed, shocking Irish opinion and boosting Sinn Fein support. Their "martyrdom" inspired the Irish Republican Army in its nasty [sic!] guerrilla war against British troops and Irish "collaborators", which was partially resolved in 1921 by the creation of the Irish Free State, without the six counties of Ulster. (J. M. Winter, The Experience of World War I, 57)

  • [2002:] Charles O'Neill, B.A. Ord.[ained] on 21 July 1912. Born in Portglenone, on 20 September 1887. (brother to Fr. P.J.O'Neill, famed scholar of St Malachy's College [Belfast] and uncle of Revs. C. & M. Dallatt) c.c. [curate in charge?] Whitehouse, 1915. c.c. St. Peter's (While c.c. in St. Peter's preached at ceremony at Mass Rock, Cushendun [Antrim] 1933 and for some of text see "Irish Colleges on Continent). P[arish].P[riest]. Kilcoo, 15 July 1941 P.P. Newcastle 1 August 1955 Canon, October 1960 Author of the "Foggy Dew" Died on 8 May 1963 and buried in Newcastle [County Down] cemetery behind old Church in main street. (From [County] Down & Connor Diocesan Archives in Belfast, quoted in The Foggy Dew)

  • more:
    http://www.contemplator.com/folk4/fogydew.html

    See also
    http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=3275 The Foggy Dew
    http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=27029
    http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=33292
    http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=40287 for Suvla Bay
    Help: Suvla and Sud-al-Bar

Quelle: Ireland

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21.12.2000, aktualisiert am 17.10.2003