FTX-165 - THE BOYS OF MULLAGHBAWN
SONGS & STORIES OF SOUTH ARMAGH
South Armagh, a border region between the North and South, has long been a
battleground of religion and politics, in which local folklore and music have
played an important part. During an evening of recording, Sean O Boyle interviewed
three outstanding repositories in Cullyhanna: Peter REILLY, Nicholas HUGHES
and "Wings" (Frank) CAMPBELL. 15 songs, 2 stories and 2 lullabies, including
a Football Club song and a "Young Ireland" song about an annual event,
with procession, bonfire, singing and dancing, once held annually on the 29th.
1. DONNELLY AND COOPER (Boxing Match Song) - "Wings" Campbell (talk bef & aft) - 5'52"
2. THE BOYS OF MULLAGHBAWN - Nicholas Hughes (talk bef & aft) - 7'25"
3. THE ALEHOUSE (THE GREEN BEDS) - Nicholas (talk bef) - 4'04"
4. BALOO, BABBIE, LIE STILL (Lullaby) - Nicholas (talk bef) - 0'59"
5. SHULE AGRA - "Wings" (talk bef & aft) - 3'05"
6. FORKHILL FOOTBALL CLUB - "Wings" (talk bef) - 1'53"
7. I MARRIED A JADE - Nicholas (talk bef) - 1'46"
8. JOHN WILLIE'S DREAM (Political: Ulster Volunteers) - Peter Reilly - 3'01"
9. GRANUAILLE'S DAUGHTER'S DREAM - Peter (talk bef) - 3'52"
10. GRADH-GEAL-MO-CHROIDHE (LORD GREGORY Child #76) - Peter - 4'03"
11. CORRIGAN'S OLD GREY MARE - Peter (talk bef) - 5'44"
12. ST. PETER'S DAY WAS A-DAWNING ("Young Ireland" Song) - Peter - 5'56"
13. McCAFFERY (British Army Song) - Peter (talk bef) - 3'46"
14. THE STAR OF DONEGAL - Peter's favourite song - 2'49"
15. BILLY JOHNSON'S BALL - Peter - 2'56"
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cullyhanna, Co. Armagh, 14th July 1952 at the
home of Mr Devlin, the schoolmaster. Edited by Peter Kennedy and first published
on Folktrax Cassettes 1975.
NICHOLAS HUGHES was born at Shean, Forkhill in 1889. Between 1905-12 he was
partly working in Scotland, buying hides of cows and sheep and selling herrings
in Oban, where he also had a hackney licence bailed by Michael McGuill, hardware
merchant, Argyle St., Oban. He returned to Forkhill and worked as a carter until
1927 when he went to America and worked as a ploughman-teamster for a convent
at Lake Ronkonkowa, Long Island, New York, returning home again in 1932 to become
FRANCIS, "The Wings", CAMPBELL, born in 1891, also at Shean, was in New York,
1919-20 as a fireman. He served with the British Army 1914-16 and the Merchant
Navy 1916-18. He worked in England before and during the Second World War and
returned to Forkhill, where, when recorded, he was working as a farm labourer.
PETER REILLY was born at Cullyhanna, 11th April, 1893. After school he worked
in a colliery and copper-works in Lancashire 1910-13 and at Pilkington's glass
works. He was in Scotland until 1921, then in the Irish Free State Army 1922-3
before returning home to work for local farmers. He was cobbling in the winter
until he retired in 1955. He learned his songs from his father, James Reilly,
shoemaker of Newtonhamilton, and his mother, Brigid Langan of Cullyhanna.
#9. GRANUAILLE'S DAUGHTER'S DREAM, probably originating in America, was learned
from a 90-year old Cullyhanna man around 1912.
#11. CORRIGAN'S OLD GREY MARE was supposed to have been composed by a village
policeman called Corrigan.
#12. St PETER'S DAY A-DAWNING was composed by a local poet called "Halfpenny".
Peter learned it from Terry Toner in the house where Halfpenny lived about 1912.
It is about the annual procession, held up to about 1922, to Teer Island, about
3 miles from Cullyhanna, between Lough's Patrick and Peter.
#13. McCAFFERY came from Constable Stitt of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
#15. BILLY JOHNSON'S BALL he learned in 1926 from Sam Rush, a travelling fiddler
who played for local dances. This is probably the matrix of Percy French's "Phil
the Fluter's Ball"