The Foggy Dew polka

Also known as An T-Óglach, The Foggy Dew March, When I Was Young And In My Prime.

There are 34 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Foggy Dew has been added to 479 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Four settings

X: 1
T: The Foggy Dew
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
B d | e2 d B | e2 d B | A2 B2 | D2 E F |
G B A G | E2 D2 | E4-|E2 B d | e2 d B | e2 d B |
A2 B2 | D2 E F | G B A G | E2 D2 | E4-|E2 F2 |
G2 B2 | d2 c B | A2 A2 | B2 G A | B2 g f|
e d B d | e4-| e2 B d|e2 d B | e2 d B |
A2 B2 | D2 E F | G B A G | E2 D2 | E2 z2|
ABC
X: 2
T: The Foggy Dew
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
Bd | e2 dB | e2 dB | A2 B2 | D2 EF |
GBAG | E3 D | E4-|E2 Bd | e2 dB | e2 dB |
A2 B2 | D2 EF | GBAG | E3 D | E4-|E2 F2 |
G2 B2 | d2 cB | A2 A2 | B2 GA | B2 gf|
edBd | e4-| e2 Bd|e2 dB | e2 dB |
A2 B2 | D2 EF | GBAG | E3 D| E4 z2|
# Added by JNW .
ABC
X: 3
T: The Foggy Dew
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
e2| d2 e2 | B2 AG | A2 B2 | E2 EF |
G2 A2 | E2 E2 | E4 -| E2 :|
E2|| G2 A2 | B2 AG | A2 Bc |d2 A2 |
B2 BA | Bc d2 | e4- | e2 ge |
d2 e2 |B2 AG | A2 B2 | E2 EF |
G2 A2 | E2 E2 | E4 -| E2 ||
ABC
X: 4
T: The Foggy Dew
R: polka
M: 2/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|Bd |"Em"e2 dB e2 dB |"D"A2 B2 D2 EF | "Em"GB AG E2 D2| "Em"E6 Bd |
"Em"e2 dB e2 dB |"D"A2 B2 D2 EF | "Em"GB AG E2 D2 | E6 D/2E/2F/2 |
"G"G3 B d2 c B | "D"A2 GA "Em"B2 GA | "Em"B2 gf ed Bd | "Em" e3 f e2 Bd| "Em"e2 dB e2 dB |
"D"A2 B2 D2 EF | "Em"G B A G E2 D2 | "Em"E6 z2|
# Added by Bryce .
ABC

Twenty-eight comments

The Foggy Dew

Well, this doesn’t look like it did when I submitted it. In fact, I’d call it a march, not a polka. It should be in 4/4 or cut time. I had submitted it as a reel, but I see it got changed by the website. As it is, it sounds too clipped, at least when the Session’s midi player plays it…

Daniel Petrie

Definitely a March!!

This is a very old Irish rebel song going back to the War of Independence. I think the best version was by the late, great Luke Kelly with the Dubliners in the 1960s who would always deliver a song with unbounded passion.

Also sounds great in D major

Great tune, I agree! I first learned this tune in E minor, but I’ve been playing it as part of our set list, and it also sounds spectacular in D major. I usually start on an F sharp and follow the melody from there. (Might be B aeolian in that case….hmmm. We’ll let the purists rule on that) I still like this key when playing it alone, but in D it’s easier to blend with whistle and guitar. Just food for thought :)

Wrong type of classification

Who ever classified the tune as a polka, I wonder why. The Foggy Dew is a slow ballad and not a polka. Have any of you tried to sing "The Foggy Dew" in hornpipe tempo. I am curious who did classify it as a polka and who ever did please comment on it.

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Because there’s no such thing as a "slow ballad" classification on this site, as this is technically a dance music site. Read the first post in the thread!

The Foggy Dew

this is an absolute ‘class song’ of the highest order and i know i think i know but i know i’m right … (at least this time)

_a good point of interest arrises with the other old song of this name in Palmer’s ‘English Country Songbook’ (1979) :

‘A great deal of time and ink has been expended in attempting to explain the meaning of the phrase, ‘the foggy dew’. Perhaps it is best left as mysteriously evocative. One likely idea, however, seems to be that it is a corruption of ‘bugaboo’ or ‘bogle bo’, meaning ghost.’

whatever

Classification of The Foggy Dew

Hi all !
(am a new member)
In regard to The Foggy Dew - tis a air.
A very good rendition can be found on "na Filí 3", where they first play the whistle and fiddle to the air and then blend it with a reel called "Fear a Tí (man of the house)" featuring the uilleann pipes. The two go very well together.

Wrong “Foggy Dew”

Hi, "Red-Haired Lass" - as a new member, welcome to "The Session". I had a listen to the "Na Fili" track you mentioned. The only problem, is that this tune posted - which incidentally, is a march - isn’t the tune "Na Fili" play with the "Man Of The House".
That’s a different tune altogether. "The Fiddler’s Companion" website list 4 tunes with the title "The Foggy Dew". This tune posted is their #1, and "Na Fili" play #2.

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Lyrics?

i heard that there is a lyric for this tune… knows anybody more?

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October Browne

There is a very different version of the lyrics from Newfoundland. It’s a love song, recorded by October Browne on her eponymous CD.

Lyrics

It has always surprised me how much the lyrics of this type of patriotic Irish songs remember me Argentina’s History.
This song, particulary remembers me the War of Malvinas Islands. (I completely refuse to call them "Falklands")
I don’t know if this is just my impression or if this has any explanation!

And I love this song.

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Lyrics

What in the world is a fenian?

Been listening to the great Luke Kelly lately and trying to learn this song for a gatherin that is happenin soon. If anybody can explain the 3rd line to me I would be very grateful

- No Fife did hum, nor battle drum did sound its dread tattoo ?

I take it the Fife is some kind of Scottish drum or instrument but what is the the tattoo sound of a drum, the paint on it? Would be grateful for emails or PM about this line.

Thanks.

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Check your email! And if it makes sense to you you’re welcome to add it here, if maybe in need of a little editing… ;-)

“With Fife and Drum: Music Memories and Customs of an Irish Tradition”

by Gary Hastings (a fine fluatist and fifer)
Blackstaff Press Ltd., 2003
ISBN-10: 0856407097
ISBN-13: 978-0856407093

"I take it the Fife is some kind of Scottish drum or instrument"

~ it is, simply, a short simple system transverse flute, side blown. If you do an ‘Images’ search on the Internet, say through google, you’ll find a slew of pictures. There are some great illustrations online. There are also pipe and drum groups there in the North, and it was not an uncommon instrument in Tyrone, Fermanagh, and the rest of Ireland… The book listed above is also on the subject and worth chasing up, and it includes some lovely tunes…

- No Fife did hum, nor battle drum did sound its dread tattoo ?

Here’s a digest of my email response to ‘amongthelilllies’ earlier emails to me, starting with a link ~

http://www.contemplator.com/ireland/fogydew.html

This set of lyrics to this air tell a tale that is rooted in history, even if the bias is clear. It helps to know that history and have some understanding of it in order to breath life into the song.

Now to that part of the song you queried, this being lovely in all its guises, including just the air on its own, which grabs hold of the heart whatever the lyrics or your inclinations. Look up the word ‘onomatopoeia’. That is basically what ‘tattoo’ is here, in this song it refers to the sound of the drums, no more really, that rhythm, and to use another word of similar nature ~ ‘tapping’ ~ and ~ ‘drumming’… Another example of a word of similar use is ‘rat-a-tat-tat’. ‘Tatoo’ has other meanings too, and has additionally come to be used for a kind of military celebration, like the annual "Edinburgh Tattoo". (Look that up on the Internet if interested to know more.)

Pipes and drums and other instruments were sometimes used in war as a kind of musical ‘in your face’ ~ ‘we’ve arrived!’ ~ and the louder and the more aggressive they could be made to be, the better, and scurling pipes are ideal for this purpose, as are the crisp crack of sticks to tight leather, the drum, and the BOOM of the lower toned ones too. Even the fife has a cutting edge that can make you wince, and then there’s the chosen airs that say who’s who and in volume, the more the better, may suggest size too. It is strange that music can be used as a threat, but in war it serves all emotions, including the regret in loss and retreat…

What is the power of this part of the song, setting the scene at the start, it is ‘silence’, except for the footfall of the soldiers, no music, nothing, and in that an increased heaviness, to my mind a greater dread. If you know, whatever your cause, that there is a guaranteed loss of life, and that it will be great and that you are likely to be in those number, even the idea of raising a threat with music seems mundane, without purpose. So, you move forward with a collective determination, on both sides, but even the slighters triumphal nature of music, that edge of joy to face a fight and the promise of winning ~ cannot be even suggested. So, ‘silence’, omnipresent, oppressive, and the sludging rhythm of feet and the rustle of discompfort is the only proof of life for the moment, moving toward death… When the music starts up is when you’re assured you’re within listening range of the opposition, that’s when the seriousness of your venture goes up a notch, and consequently the ‘dread’ of the tatoo, the rat-a-tat-tat of the drums…

‘Tattoo’ here is merely the lack of that repetitive crack, drum and thrum of the drums… Why ‘dread’ then, well, if not already obvious, it signals clearly the purpose behind this movement of soldiers, it confirms the battle, mayhem, blood and limb and life loss to follow. But, its absence is in a sense even worse, forboding. We move forward unsure of what we’re doing, anticipating the premonition of drum sticks whacking taut skin ~ but we move forward anyway, for a cause, a belief, but one that stills our drums and fifes and pipes for the moment. Remember, much of this was Irish against Irish as well, brother against brother, and even in the greater sense of these islands that holds true. Our blood is well mixed despite the differences in our accents, but in these battles even that was not always at variance…

Sorry, I’m in a reflective mood. I hope that helps you to gain a better appreciation for the song, melody and these particular historic lyrics. Even where lyrics have been established by a known lyricist, they are not sacrosanct, though some would disagree. Singers have made adaptions, and have even made up their own additional verses. It takes a talent to do that well, but that too is in the history of these songs. Sometimes a gentle change of a word or two can make it meet better the present, and this is never a bad thing, though not all would agree. To meet our present, and to touch a nerve, sometimes we need to make minor adjustments, or even a whole verse to address a current related injustice or poiint of reference.

A friend in the digital quagmire ~ ‘c’

The Fife

‘amongthelilies’, I’d forgotten to mention that we have several fife players amongst our numbers. It might even make an interesting ‘discussion’. Amongst those numbers is Harry Bradley. Try a search in ‘recordings’ for Gary Hastings & Harry Bradley… Other members with a shared interest here include Ptarmigan ~ and ~ sorry, misfiring brain cells under the influence of exhaustion… Here are some relevant rambles in the ‘Discussions’ section:

What is a Fife? And how is it in comparison to the Flute/Whistle?
# Posted on June 10th 2004 by fiddlinviolinin
http://www.thesession.org/discussions/3762

The secret of Fife?
# Posted on February 8th 2003 by ketida
http://www.thesession.org/discussions/1391

The Meaning of Fife Part Two
# Posted on February 28th 2003 by ketida
http://www.thesession.org/discussions/1455

Tips for learning the fife
# Posted on June 2nd 2008 by sloth
http://www.thesession.org/discussions/17959

Hello Out There
# Posted on August 15th 2005 by jdfyfer
http://www.thesession.org/discussions/7430

Foogy Dew - Lyrics

‘Twas down the glen one Easter morn
To a city fair rode I.
When armed line of marching men
In squadrons passed me by.
No pipes did hum, no battle drum
Did sound its loud tattoo
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 a 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 Brittania’s huns with their great big guns
Sailed in through the foggy dew.

O’ the night fell black and the rifles’ crack
Made "Perfidious Abion" reel
‘Mid the leaden rail, seven tongues of flame
Did shine o’er the lines of steel.
By each shining blade a prayer was siad
That to Ireland her sons be true,
And when morning broke still the war flag shook
Out its fold in the foggy dew

‘Twas England bade our wild geese go
That small nations might be free.
But their lonely graves are by Suvla’s waves
On the fringe of the gray North Sea.
But had they died by Pearse’s side
Or fought with Cathal Brugha,
Their names we’d keep where the Fenians sleep
‘Neath the shroud of the foggy dew.

The bravest fell, and the solemn bell
Rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Watertide
In the springing of the year.
And the world did gaze with deep amaze
At those fearless men, but few
Who bore the fight that freedom’s light
Might shine through the foggy dew.

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 more.
But to and fro in my dreams I go and
I’d kneel and pray for you,
For slavery fled, O glorious dead, when
You fell in the foggy dew.

Foggy Dew - Lyrics

Sorry - errant finger again!

Actually a gaelic song…like all the good ones

Is an bhfaca tú m’óig-fhear-sa gabhailt amach
Ar maidin le h-éiri an lae?
Is an bhfaca tú m’óig-fhear-sa gabhailt amach
Ar maidin le fáinne an lae?
A dhá ghéag chanta dar ndóigh ba dheas,
Is a leaca ar dhath na gcaor,
Is go deimhin a bhean ba dheas a ghean
Ar maidin le fáinne an lae?

Raghad-sa chun coille agus fanfad ann seal
Go dtiocfaidh chugham grá mo chléibh.
Raghad-sa chun coille agus fanfad ann seal
Go dtiocfaidh chugham bláth mo shaoil.
Mo rún, mo reacht, mo bhuachaill deas,
Mo chuaille ar feadh mo shaoil,
Is go deimhin a bhean beidh a theacht thar n-ais
Ar maidin mar dhrúcht ón speir.

Chím-se mo mhaoin-sa chugham ag teacht
Ar maidin mar dhrucht ón speir.
Chím-se mo mhaoin-sa chugham ag teacht
Ar maidin mar theidhil ó ngréin.
Mo rún, mo reacht, mo rí-fhear ceart,
Mo dhíon-sa ar feadh mo ré
Is go deimhin a bhean is liom-sa an teacht
Ar maidin mar theidhil ó ngréin.

The Foggy Dew

X:1
T:Foggy Dew, The
R:march
M:2/4
L:1/8
K:Emin
Bd | e2 dB | e2 dB | A2 B2 | D2 EF |
GBAG | E3 D | E4-|E2 Bd | e2 dB | e2 dB |
A2 B2 | D2 EF | GBAG | E3 D | E4-|E2 F2 |
G2 B2 | d2 cB | A2 A2 | B2 GA | B2 gf|
edBd | e4-| e2 Bd|e2 dB | e2 dB |
A2 B2 | D2 EF | GBAG | E3 D| E4 z2|

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When I was Young and In My Prime

I’ve added a version of this tune collected in the Isle of Man around 1896 from a man called Tom Kermode, one of the best sources of traditional material at the time. It’s a variation of the Irish tune for the Foggy Dew and was collected in 2/4 time. The pause marks on the manuscript source make it clear it was collected as a ballad tune but it could be (and has been) played as a march.

I’ve found three ballads that could be the source of the title here: My Lovely Ann, The Banks of the Clyde and Erin’s Lovely Home (though this one doesn’t scan very well to the tune), all published in the mid-19th century.

It works well in a session with other marches or as a slow air.

Oh, I forgot to add, this is a dorian version of the tune so has a slightly different flavour to it.

Foggy Dew

I added some chords, and made it "look" like the 4/4 march that we play it as. Here’s the ABC, since we can’t post all of the details using the tune form such as the beats per minute:

T: The Foggy Dew
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
Q:100
K: Emin
|Bd |"Em"e2 dB e2 dB |"D"A2 B2 D2 EF | "Em"GB AG E2 D2| "Em"E6 Bd |
"Em"e2 dB e2 dB |"D"A2 B2 D2 EF | "Em"GB AG E2 D2 | E6 D/2E/2F/2 |
"G"G3 B d2 c B | "D"A2 GA "Em"B2 GA | "Em"B2 gf ed Bd | "Em" e3 f e2 Bd| "Em"e2 dB e2 dB |
"D"A2 B2 D2 EF | "Em"G B A G E2 D2 | "Em"E6 z2|

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