FTX-076 - THE BONNY BUNCH
One of the more prolific singers of British Ballads recorded in Ireland by
Seamus Ennis in 1954. On this record he sings 32 ballads. Although none of these
are included in the Child Collection, they represent the later type of Broadside
Ballads including some from England & Scotland, which were sung in English
in Ireland, during the earlier part of the twentieth century.
1. AS I ROVED OUT - 2'38"
2. THE BILBERRY or BLAEBERRY COURTSHIP - 3'19"
3. A BOY IN LOVE HE FEARS NO COLD - 1'59"
4. THE BLIND BEGGAR'S DAUGHTER - 2'46"
5. THE BONNY BUNCH OF ROSES-O - 3'34"
6. THE BROKEN TOKEN (YOUNG AND SINGLE SAILOR) - 2'47"
7. CAPTAIN THUNDERBOLT (THE SHANNON SIDE) - 4'38"
8. DRUMHULLOGAN'S BOTTOM - 3'09"
9. THE W ONDERFUL GERMAN MUSICIANER - 1'34"
10. GREEN BUSHES - 2'55"
11. HANDSOME POLLY (THE BONNY LASS O' FYVIE) - 2'52"
12. THE INDIAN LASS - 2'57"
13. JACK MULROE (THE CHESTER MERCHANT) - 2'07"
14. THE JOLLY TINKER - 1'56"
15. LOVELY ANNIE (FAREWELL, MY DEAREST NANCY) - 2'26"
16. THE MAID OF MAGHERACLOONE - 2'29"
17. NEXT MONDAY MORNING - 1.59
18. THE OLD COW OF KINLOUGH - 1'48"
19. THE PAISLEY OFFICER - 3'44"
20. THE TAILOR'S COURTSHIP - 3'09"
21. UP TO THE RIGS OF LONDON TOWN - 1'01"
22. THE BLIND MAN HE COULD SEE (MARROWBONES) - 1'36"
Recorded by Seamus Ennis 1954. Edited by Peter Kennedy and first published
on Folktrax Cassettes 1975 by arrangement with BBC Sound Archive.
Thomas MORAN (1876-1960) Lived all his life at Drumrahill, Co Leitrim, a hard-working
farmer, known locally as "Moran the ballad-singer". He learned his ballads,
humorous songs & stories from his mother, a talented musician with 4 brothers
& 3 sisters equally as musical. He was 78 years old when recorded by Seamus
Ennis but unfortunately never had the pleasure of hearing his songs broadcast
by the BBC. Had he been a young man, I do believe he would have been one of
the great ballad singers of his time, but, I am glad to say, tradition lives
on in his grandchildren and is deeply cherished by them at all times. He had
enjoyed life to the full". Introduced to Seamus Ennis by his nephew, Michael
Colreavy, Nov 1947, Seamus said of him:
There were few songs for which he could not supply a full text and an interesting
tune. I suspected from some of the songs he sang that Thomas must have travelled.
No, he said, I learnt that song from a neighbour who hardly ever crossed a cow-track
in his life. Were you ever in England? I was once in England, a couple of weeks
of foolishness. Thomas Moran's songs came to Leitrim in Cromwellian times -
the Plantation period - and exist today purely because of the gifted memory
of those who rarely put pen to paper. Thomas said jokingly: The songs came in
by these by-roads and the condition of the roads would not let them out again.
Michael Moran, who gave permission for the publication of this recording, wrote
to us about his father in 1975:-
My father, who was a farmer at Mohill, Co. Leitrim all his life, learned his
singing from his mother, Brigid Murphy, known locally as a talented musician.
She had four brothers and three sisters, all as good as herself. His father
was regularly invited to all the local functions on account of his humorous
stories and his songs, which he disposed of freely. In his own way, he was
like a tape-recorder, for, whatever he heard, he memorised and could sing immediately.
He enjoyed life to the full. If he had been 30 years younger, he would have
been Ireland's No.1 Prize Ballad-singer. However I am glad to tell you that
my own children are also becoming ballad- singers and have already won prizes
in Connaught, so you can see that it has been well handed down through the years.