The Valley of Knockanure

The Valley of Knockanure

Hope I’m not infringing the rules, posting in the wrong section here, but I’m not requesting the tune, I have it already. It’s by Liz and Yvonne Kane, from the Raineys. I’m wondering about the origin before that. I spent an hour googling. There’s plenty about the various lyrics and the incident they describe, and the possible authors, but nothing I can find about the origin of the melody. Does anybody know?

Re: The Valley of Knockanure

I know nothing about it, but it’s a lovely little tune.

Re: The Valley of Knockanure

From the liner notes of Alan Burke’s CD "On the Other Hand".

In May 1921, Jeremiah Lyons, Patrick Walsh and Patrick Dalton were captured, tortured and summarily executed in Gortaglanna, County Kerry. I learned this song from the late Pat Scanlon, himself a native of Kerry.

Nobody sings it better.

Re: The Valley of Knockanure

Thanks for the responses.Yes, that’s the song, or a song, with the title. There’s plenty of detailed accounts of that song. But what about the melody ? I can’t find if someone composed the melody, or maybe it’s an older melody that was utilized for the words?
The tune played by Raineys and Kanes is sort of waltz time, and seems a bit different to the song.

Re: The Valley of Knockanure

Sorry wolfbird, but that link is a right pain in the arse ~ stop-start ~ AAAAAA!!! Here’s the direct link:

A good link… Some Americans do think about it… Bush only represents the money not all the people…

I’ve forwarded it to others ~ "We only get to play this game once!"

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Thanks, ceolachan, you’re a gentleman…what about the tune though ? I think it’s a great melody, I’m surprised it doesn’t seem better known and more commonly recorded…but I suppose Ireland has so many…

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When I first heard this song on the Kane Sisters’ Well Tempered Bow, I thought it held echoes of “Bring the Brown Girl Home” (Lord Thomas/Child No. 73). I doubt that there’s a connection – it’s probably just an artefact of how my brain works. Really beautiful melody, truly, especially the way the Kanes play it, I just wish someone would compose a turn for it so it could be a proper tune!

Re: The Valley of Knockanure

Not a bad nod fidkid, I would be similarly inclined, believing that the melody predates the addition of words, but sorry, I haven’t been able to make a connection. Part of the problem is to do with resources and the loss of much of those from this computer when a certain hard disk suffered meltdown… Also, my in-hand library, the books, are not all here for me to pull out and wonder through, something my malfunctioning brain cells needs for a jog, to aid the memory…

I was lurking, returning here to see if anyone else has a result, and will be back whether or not my brain makes useful connections, hoping someone else does… 😉

The ‘air’ has been used for other songs, in Irish and English, but as I’ve said, I haven’t the necessary resources or cooperative brain cells to give you those just now. I’ll see if anything surfaces….

Re: The Valley of Knockanure

I’ll add a transcript tomorrow, that may help to bring out the other associations with this air, and that may even give us some earlier takes on it… I’m pretty sure that Paddy Tunney had this air with other words to it. I don’t have access to his recordings and books here or I’d have checked already… Maybe it was Geordie or Sarah Ann Hannah? Now I’m hitting out randomly, but, still in the North, Ulster… 😉

Re: The Valley of Knockanure

Thanks for the impressive brain connectivity, fidkid and ceolachan.

I have the ABC, as below, but I’m not proficient enough with this stuff to know how closely this corresponds to the Kane sisters version.

T:The Valley of Knockanure
E/2F/2| G2 G F3/2 G/2 F| E2 C F2 E/2C/2| B, G,2 B,CC| C3- C2 C|C-B, C E2 F|\
G-F G B2 G| F F2 E2 F| G3- G2 B,| C2 C EEF| G2 G B2 G| FGF E2 F| G3- G2 E/2F/2|\
G2 G F3/2 G/2 F| E2 C F2 E/2C/2| B, G,2 B,CC| C3- C2||

Re: The Valley of Knockanure

wolfbird, that’s a cut-and-paste and not very good ABCs, one of the problems with quite a lot of the ABCs you’ll find on the Internet… But, basically it is the tune, just not a good transcription…

Re: The Valley of Knockanure

Here’s making a bit more sense out of that 6/8 take, converting it to 3/4. Also, /2 is old school, very old, so E/2C/2 would be, nowadays, just E/C/… But ~ here goes ~

T:The Valley of Knockanure
K: Eb
M: 3/4
EF |\
G4 G2 | F3 G F2 | E4 C2 | F4 EC | B,2 G,4 | B,2 C2 C2 | C6- | C4 C2 |
C2 B,2 C2 | E4 F2 | G2 F2 G2 | B4 G2 | F2 F4 | E4 F2 | G6- | G4 B,2 |
C4 C2 | E2 E2 F2 | G4 G2 | B4 G2 | F2 G2 F2 | E4 F2 | G6- | G4 EF |
G4 G2 | F3 G F2 | E4 C2 | F4 EC | B,2 G,4 | B,2 C2 C2 | C6- | C4 |]

As said, I’ll add a transcription sometime today. I delayed because I was hoping to find other names associated with this air…

K: c minor 😉

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In the late forties there was a man who used to stagger home drunk past our door on a regular basis. He continually sang one line of one song over and over again. "The banshee died when young Dalton died in the valley of Knockanure" I can never hear the song without thinking of ‘The Dia’ (his nick name)

Re: The Valley of Knockanure

It is one of those airs, that whatever your state of mind, once you knew it, it would be hard to shake free of…

Re: The Valley of Knockanure

Coming a bit late to this, I looked at the notation in the tunes section and realised I got the tune from Junior Crehan. One of the regular tunes.

As far as I know they sing ‘Skibbereen to this air here. That would be the old:

Oh father dear, I often hear you speak of Erin’s isle
Her lofty hills, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wild
You say she is a lovely land wherein a saint might dwell
So why did you abandon her, the reason to me tell.

Oh son, I loved my native land with energy and pride
Until a blight came on the land, my sheep, my cattle died
My rent and taxes went unpaid, I could not them redeem
And that’s the cruel reason why I left old Skibbereen.

Oh well do I remember that bleak December day
The landlord and the sheriff came to take us all away
They set my roof on fire with their cursed foreign spleen
I heaved a sigh and bade goodbye to dear old Skibbereen.

Your mother too, God rest her soul, fell on the stony ground
She fainted in her anguish seeing desolation ‘round
She never rose but passed away from life to immortal dream
She found a quiet grave, me boy, in dear old Skibbereen.

It’s well I do remember the year of forty-eight,
When we arose with Erin’s boys to fight against our fate;
I was hunted through the mountains as a traitor to the Queen,
And that’s another reason why I left Old Skibbereen

And you were only two years old and feeble was your frame
I could not leave you with my friends for you bore your father’s name
I wrapped you in my cota mor in the dead of night unseen
I heaved a sigh and bade goodbye to dear old Skibbereen.

Oh father dear, the day will come when in answer to the call
All Irish men of freedom stern will rally one and all
I’ll be the man to lead the band beneath the flag of green
And loud and clear we’ll raise the cheer, Revenge for Skibbereen

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Re: The Valley of Knockanure

And there’s this ofcourse:

(as sung by Joe Heaney, 1964)

You may boast and speak about Easter week or the heroes of ninety eight,
Of the gallant men who roamed the glen to victory or defeat.
The men who died on the scaffold high were outlawed on the moor.
Not a word was spoken of two young lads in the valley of Knockanure.

‘Twas on a summer’s evening those two young lads sat down.
They were waiting on a brief despatch to come from Tralee town.
It wasn’t long till Lyons came on sayin’ "time’s not mine nor yours,
Look out we are surrounded in the valley of Koockanure."

Young Dalton grabbed a rifle and by Welch’s side he stood.
He gazed across the valley and over toward the hill.
In the glen where armed men with rifles fired galore,
There were Dalton, Dan and the Black and Tans in the valley of Knockanure.

One shot from Dalton’s rifle sent a machine gun out of play.
He turned to young Lyons and said "Now try and get away.
Keep wide of rocks, keep close to nooks, and cross by Freeny’s moor
And Danny and I will fight or die on the valley of Knockanure."

The summer sun was sinking fast on Kerry by the sea.
The pale moon it was rising over sweet Tralee.
The twinkling stars they shone so far out on the dreary moor,
And when Dalton died, the banshee cried on the valley of Knockanure.

God bless our bold Sinn Feiners, wherever they may be.
Don’t forget to kneel and pray for that hero brave Con Dee.
He ran among the Kerry hills to the rich man and the poor.
Salt tears he shed for those he left dead in the valley of Knockanure.

Our hero boys were stout and bold, no counsel would they take.
They ran among the lonely glens where the Black and Tans did lay.
The women of the uplands gazed out across the moor,
Watching Dalton and Dan fighting fifty to one on the valley of Knockanure.

And ‘twas God who sent those boys to life, but did not say how long,
For well we knew that England’s crew would shoot them right or wrong.
With our rifles fixed right up to fire and bullets quick and sure,
We’ll have revenge for those young men on the valley of Knockanure.

Young Eamonn Dalton and Danny Welch were known both far and wide,
On every hill and every glen they were always side by side.
A republic bold they did uphold, they were outlawed on the moor,
And side by side they fought and died on the valley of Knockanure.

I met with Dalton’s mother, those words to me did say,
"May the lord have mercy on my son, he was shot in the getaway.
If I only could kiss his cold, cold lips my aching heart would cure,
And I’d lay his body down to rest in the valley of Knockanure."

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