Rakes -what are they?

Rakes -what are they?

What are rakes? Are there other common words in the irish title world that I should know the meanings of? (The famous Ballymote).

Re: Rakes -what are they?

I don’t know if there is a particular musical meaning, but the definition of a rake in a musical title was a description of an upper class lecherous rascal. I’ll check my dictionary and see if I’m right. Bruce.

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Re: Rakes -what are they?

Fly boys, lachakoes, street-angels-house-devils, keowboys, ceili-ers, hallions, musicianers, roustabouts, soaks, wantons, stop-outs, bedhoppers, carousers, tipplers, drooths, sweet-talkers, midnighters, keep-’er-lit merchants, rollickers,

If anyone’s familiar with Shane MacGowan’s song “Ceili Cowboy”, then the central character is the late-20th Century embodiment of the “”rake", e.g.

"I can play the concertina, banjo, bouzouki and cittern
When I dance the Siege of Ennis, the floor beneath me starts to burn"

and

"I’ll take care of your missis all night long the whole night through
Why doncha jump on that young wan over there who’s got her eyes on you?"

Although perhaps a more down-to-earth example is “The Limerick Rake” as sung by, amongst others, The Dubliners …

"I am a young fellow that’s aisy and bold
In Castletown Connors I’m very well known
In Newcastle West I’ve spent many’s the note
With Kitty and Judy and Mary …"

Re: Rakes -what are they?

The above definition pretty much sums it up.

Still, wouldn’t it be fun to imagine that all those tunes with “rakes” in the titles are actually referring to the gardening implement? It would give a more horticultural twist to tunes like “The Rakes of Kildare”.

Come to think of it, who’s to say that these tunes aren’t about gardening? After all, it’s a popular subject in other musical genres.

Take rap and hip hop, for example. There are numorous songs dedicated to extolling the virtues of having a good hoe.

😉

Re: Humours -what are they?

Many thanks for the explanation of “rake”; it is as I suspected.

While we’re on this subject, what are “humours” as in “Humours of Cork” (a title taken at random from O’Neill)? Clearly not a type of dance because it’s spread across reels, jigs and hornpipes. Ben Lennon, at a recent gig in the Duke of Cambridge pub in Bristol (UK) threatened us with a “Humours of Bristol” tune (laughter from the audience). Why didn’t I ask him afterwards?

trevor

Re: Rakes -what are they?

On the horticultural theme - Michael Marrinan from Clare has a great song in praise of binder twine. And I overheard someone else in Ennis singing a fragment of one in praise of garden hose, which I’d love to hear in its full version. (Apparently devoid of euphemistic intent, too…)
Has anybody heard that one? Or was it still in the process of composition, maybe?

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Re: Rakes -what are they?

Aidan,
I am truely impressed with your vocabulary and thankful for your help. Are rakes generally to be scorned or admired?
Is there a female equivilent? Is she scorned or admired?

Humours!

I’m reliably informed that when originally used as tune titles, humours merely referred to good times which were had in a certain locale (e.g. Ballyloughlin, Bantry) or associated with, for example, a beverage, libation, whatever (e.g. whisky).

I’ve written two tunes with humours in the title - The Humours of Lewisham and The Humours of Buckfast. PLUG PLUG - the former tune (volume two) is the title of a home-produced CD available for a small sum on my website, Pay The Reckoning!

Sl

Rakes!

Scorn rakes at your peril!

Admire them at your peril!

Like the poor, rakes are always with us!

Re: Rakes -what are they?

OK, so what about pitchforks? There’s The Rambling Pitchfork and The Sporting Pitchfork. Last I heard, pitchforks of the three prong variety don’t play basketball or go wandering across the countryside on their own.

Steve

Re: Rakes -what are they?

A pitchfork is a farmer

Re: Rakes -what are they?

Pitchfork = farmer . …. facinating. Does anyone else have gems like this to share? Is there a source for such explanations? What is a Blarney Pilgrim? The “Star of ..”
does this refer to a real celestial star or am I missing something. Is the “Star above the garter” a tatoo or a historical reference I dont understand?

Re: Rakes -what are they?

“The Star of (the County Down)” means the most beautiful woman in (Co.Down), as in the expression, ‘the star in the crown of..’ - as far as I understand it.
Dunno about the star above the garter.

We forgot about Blades, as well… as in Stout Roving Blades…

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In reference to farmers being called ‘Pitchforks’ - in mid-Wales, where I grew up, Young Farmers (i.e. members of the Young Farmers Association) were (and probably still are) known as Fergs, after the Massey Ferguson tractor.

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Re: Rakes -what are they?

I was curious about what a “milliner” was (as in “The Milliner’s Daughter”), I looked it up & found out it means a person who sells hats, primarily women’s hats. Anybody know anything about “The Gudgeon Of Maurice’s Car” Now *that’s* pretty cryptic.

Re: Rakes -what are they?

Here’s another rake synonym for your vocab books -- roue. Except my computer at the moment refuses to put the acute accent on the “e”.

Re: Rakes -what are they?

Here’s one definition of gudgeon copied from the web:

4. (Mach.) The pin of iron fastened in the end of a wooden
shaft or axle, on which it turns; formerly, any journal,
or pivot, or bearing, as the pintle and eye of a hinge,
but esp. the end journal of a horizontal.

Or maybe Maurice’s car had a fish instead of an engine.

Steve

Re: Rakes -what are they?

Carrmuse, a “Blarney Pilgrim” would be a pilgrim from Blarney.
Also, I think you could guess at the female equivalent of a rake. Although, the term IS unisex.

A gudgeon is:

1. A metal pivot or journal at the end of a shaft or an axle, around which a wheel or other device turns.
2. The socket of a hinge into which a pin fits.
3. A metal pin that joins two pieces of stone.
4. Nautical. The socket for the pintle of a rudder.

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Re: Rakes -what are they?

Well, a female rake is presumably a Rackette…

😉

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Re: Rakes -what are they?

what’s a rakish paddy?

Re: Rakes -what are they?

A young free-spirited irishman.

Re: Rakes -what are they?

For the full story on how Rakes get into tune titles, here are the lyric for RAKES OF MALLOW.


THE RAKES OF MALLOW

Beauing, belling, dancing, singing,
Breaking windows, damning, sinking,
Ever raking, never thinking,
Live the Rakes of Mallow.
Spending faster than it comes,
Beating Bawds and Whores and Duns,
Bacchus’ true begotten sons,
Live the Rakes of Mallow.

One time nought but claret drinking,
Then like politicians thinking,
To raise the sinking-fund when sinking,
Live the Rakes of Mallow.
One time flush of money store,
Then as any poet poor,
Kissing Queens, and then a W--re,
Live the Rakes of Mallow.

When at home with dada dying,
Still for Mallow waters crying,
But when there, good claret plying,
Live the Rakes of Mallow.
Living short, but merry lives,
Going where the D---l drives,
Keeping Misses, but no Wives,
Live the Rakes of Mallow.

Racking tenants, stewards teizing,
Swiftly spending, slowly raising,
Wishing to spend all our days, in
Raking thus at Mallow.
Thus to end a raking life,
We grow sober, take a Wife,
Ever after live in strife,
Wish again for Mallow.

"The song with tune was printed
about 1740 as a single sheet issue, copies of which are in the
British Library and the Bodleian Library, Oxford. Other copies of
the song are in, 3rd. ed., p. 277, Edinburgh,
1765, and it is possibly in the two earlier editions, 1749 and
1751" (notes from Bruce Olson)

Here is a link to lyrics in the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads online:
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/ballads/
Click on “I accept the conditions” at the bottom of the page and you can go on to the images of the broadsides that are scanned. Put “rakes” in the seach box and you get lots of broadside ballads.

Rakes are the guys that all self respecting females should avoid.

Alice

Re: Rakes -what are they?

Wow - thanks for the link Alice, that sounds really useful…

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Re: Rakes -what are they?

I submitted the Bodleian link to the Tune Collections links but it doesn’t seem to show up. It is a good database to cross reference variations of tunes/songs that are known under different titles and to find early dates of when they were published.

Alice

Re: Rakes -what are they?

Re what is a gudgeon? In the Case of Maurice’s car perhaps it refers to the gudgeon pins(the metal pins which connects pistons to connecting rods) commonly refered by yanks and canucks as ‘wrist pins.D’ont you colonials know anything!

Re: Rakes -what are they?

Regarding the question above as to the gender of rakes …

I’ve come across a jig recently called “The Female Rake”, which I’m about to post to the tunes section here.