Raglan Road

  1. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    I had a search for this song and found only a link back in 2013 to the tune The Dawning of the Day, which is the tune that was used for Patrick Kavanagh's beautiful love poem, Raglan Road.

    Kavanagh dedicated his poem to Hilda Moriarty, a beautiful medical student who lodged in Raglan Road in Dublin and with whom he fell madly in love. Hilda was about 20 years his junior but he seems to have been besotted by her. They became friends, but no more than this.

    The song has been recorded over the years (the poem was written back in 1946) by many of Ireland's finest singers. My humble vocal offering is accompanied on guitar and mandolin and the photos I used are all taken around the bird hide on the shores of The Holy Loch just along from my home.

  2. OldSausage
    What a charming song, and lovely to have you sing it John, well done.
  3. Frankdolin
    Very stirring rendition John,well done! Did you double track your vocals? I hear something in there.
  4. Ginny Aitchison
    Ginny Aitchison
    A lovely Scottish lilt to add that special quality to your vocals - accompanied by your own instruments and the pictures.
  5. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks, folks. Always stepping out of the comfort zone when adding voice to the instrumental output. Frank, no double tracking on any of the tracks, but I do use a freebie effect called EasyVox on the vocal tracks which enhances it a bit.
  6. Bertram Henze
    Bertram Henze
    Amazing - it feels like replacing Ronnie Drew with Iain Mackintosh and thereby changing the whole character of the poem. This made me wonder what Patrick Kavanagh really sounded like, and I now think your version is nearer to his, voice-wise.

    Moriarty - aha! I used to think the name was a mere invention of A.C.Doyle's to create a nemesis for Sherlock Holmes Now I wonder what other fictional characters really roam the earth...
  7. gortnamona
    delightful John, lovely to hear to accent
  8. Simon DS
    Simon DS
    Well done John, heart-warming singing and nice tune.
  9. John W.
    John W.
    Great song, nicely played and well sung…applause all round, John.
  10. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Many thanks, Bertram, Lawrence, Simon and John.
  11. Don Grieser
    Don Grieser
    I've only heard this song done by Peter Rowan. It's great to finally hear it done right.
  12. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Gosh, Don, that is very kind of you indeed.
  13. Christian DP
    Christian DP
    I could listen to this over and over, John, but now it's time to move on. OK, one last time...
  14. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    Well, to us mere mortals who are not Scottish this is sung with a charming accent we cannot even approach if we were to try to sing it for ourselves. I suspect to John it's just singing and the way it is.
  15. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Thanks so much, Christian and Michael. As far as the accent goes, to me it is all you other folks who have interesting accents when you sing, especially Michael and Frank when they perform songs from the USA, or Bertram and Regina when they do their songs in their accents. As you say, Michael, it is just the way I sing, and the lovely irony is that the poet was Irish and most of the best known offerings of the song are by Irish singers such as Luke Kelly (no relation, but the Kelly clan is found universally). But once again, thanks for all the support for this offering.
  16. Michael Pastucha
    Michael Pastucha
    My first exposure to Scottish singing came from Archie Fisher's album, Will Ye Gang. I really liked Mally Lee. Some of us here covered this tune, but it just didn't sound like the way Archie Fisher sang it. And on some of the other songs on the album, I haven't a clue what he was talking about, but they had nice melodies.
  17. John Kelly
    John Kelly
    Interesting point about the language on that Archie Fisher album, Michael. I would venture to say that the majority of modern Scots would also struggle with the language of some of our older songs which were written in various Scots dialects - Lallans, Doric, etc. As a child in school here in Scotland in the 1950s and even into the 1960s I was actively discouraged from using my local Scottish speech, it being looked on as somehow inferior. We would read and recite Robert Burns poems in class around the 25th of January each year but otherwise Scots was not studied. My MA Degree in English, done in Glasgow University (one of Scotland's oldest universities) was done in English, not Scots. When I became a teacher of English I was very aware of the absence of Scottish language and literature in our curriculum. Standard English was still the norm, though more Scottish texts were being introduced into our teaching as groups of teachers got together to work on producing material which let students access Scottish writing. Since my time there has been a huge increase in the study of Scottish Literature and Language in our universities and schools and now it is seen much more as a respectable alternative rather than a social indicator of one's lower status.

    Musically, when Burns (who described himself in one piece of correspondence as "fiddler and poet" - note, fiddler before poet) was collecting the very many Scots tunes (over 300) he preserved for posterity by adding lyrics to existing tunes or composing tunes of his own, he had arguments with his music publishers about how to present and arrange the music. Their preference was to the European music styles of the 18th Century period; Burns died in 1796, so was a contemporary of Bach, Beethoven and Haydn. Burns argued for the retention of the folk style of the tunes he collected.
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