Origins in “The Irish Rover” and similar songs

Origins in “The Irish Rover” and similar songs

I see "The Irish Rover" is here listed as a barndance; I suppose this is because of the necessity of putting song tunes into the fit rhythmic category.
At any rate, I would be interested in learning more about the origin of this song. I am writing a PhD thesis on Ciaran Carson, and his Ballad of HMS Belfast seems clearly influenced by the ‘maritime genre’ of Irish folk ballad. I was wondering how old these maritime songs (like "The Holy Ground", "Home Boys Home" and the like) are… Any idea?
Davide

Re: Origins in “The Irish Rover” and similar songs

Well, "The Irish Rover" is one of many *Night Visiting songs". They exist in the Scottish, English as well as Irish traditions. Many of them are related but I don’t trouble myself too much about these things.

As Rob suggests, Mudcat Cafe is a good place to go for this sort of info.

Re: Origins in “The Irish Rover” and similar songs

Night visiting song? You’ve got to have it confused with a different song. This is the humorous song about the cargo ship that goes down on a voyage from Cork to New York after the crew is decimated by measles. Are you thinking of "I’m A Rover?"

Re: Origins in “The Irish Rover” and similar songs

Sheeeeeet. Sorry, I’m thinking of "I’m a rover".

Anyway, the Mudcat advice still applies.

Re: Origins in “The Irish Rover” and similar songs

Ah, the old favorites: I’m a Wild Irish Rover and Four Green Fields of Athen Rye Whiskey in the Jar.

Re: Origins in “The Irish Rover” and similar songs

Not the ‘Wild Rover,’ or ‘I’m A Rover,’ but the ‘Irish Rover’ which is a song about a ship. I have one of those little 5x8 books of Irish songs at home, which collects Irish Sea songs, and has some historical notes. I think it was published by Waltons. I will try to remember to dig it up tonight and send you more info on that song.
What I think you will find about Irish maritime music is that, like all maritime music, it mixed vigorously with maritime music from other countries. Near as I can tell, maritime singers borrow freely from many nations as they please, making it a very international body of music. After all, any given crew of any given ship generally throws together people from many nations and all walks of life.

Re: Origins in “The Irish Rover” and similar songs

Sorry for the delay, the book I was referring to was Irish Songs of the Sea by James Healy, Ossian publications. Unfortunately, while it has notes on the origin of some songs, its imply says that the Irish Rover has traditional words set to a 19th century tune.

Re: Origins in “The Irish Rover” and similar songs

yes, sailing the seas brought more cultural exchanges ‘round the world than anything else…