What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

A pint to anybody who can tell me where/what is Walpole’s Marsh. Is there a Walpole’s Marsh? This is from the reel, Sailing into Walpole’s Marsh. Thanks….

Re: What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

The wonders of google.

Sailing into Walpole’s Marsh

This reel is from Co. Kerry. Denis Murphy is credited with telling this story of how the tune got its name: Two lads in a boat were fishing on a lake adjacent to a marsh, the marsh being part of a local landlord’s estate. So engrossed were they with their fishing, they never noticed the gentle breeze that ushered their craft right into the marshy area. When they realized where they were, one of the fellows said, “Well now, just think of the predicament we’ll be in if we’re seen on Walpole’s water.” Without another word, they rowed their way out of the marsh. In those days a heavy fine or even transportation was the price of such carelessness. One of the two fishermen was a fiddler and the other was a lilter. Earlier in the evening they had been lilting this reel but had no name for it. The two lads did avoid detection and later they christened their nameless reel “Sailing into Walpole’s Marsh.”

from http://www.paddyobrien.net/tune-collection/samples/

No idea if it’s true…..

Re: What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

Nice story and even nicer tune to play.

There is of course a wolpole’s marsh (and island) in canada thats quite popular with wild fowlers.

Walpole’s Marsh …?

Minijack— Thanks- great story. I googled it a lot but couldn’t find what you found.

Re: What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

There’s a nice witty intro from Dave Swarbrick on his Live at Jackson’s Lane CD:

"This one’s called ‘Sailing into Walpole’s Marsh’ - with a name that good, you don’t really even need to play it!"

Re: What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

"In those days, a heavy fine or even transportation was the price of such carelessness."

Yes, that was the Fifties all right..!

Re: What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

Walpole’s Marsh is a few miles from Fenit in Co.Kerry. There was once a small harbour at Barrow which is adjacent to that marshy area, A stream known as the Barony Brook flows from near Tubrid in Ardfert and enters the sea there. Although I grew up in the 1950s a few miles inland (on a farm with a field adjoining that same stream!) I know absolutely nothing about the Walpole connection. As for the tune itself, try searching the IRTRAD-L archives. I recall that Paul De Grae mentioned in a posting to IrTrad sometime in the mid-1990s that Patie ‘Paddin’ O’Sullivan (Senior), a fiddle player from near Ardfert, knew the tune and taught it to his son - also Patie/Paddy. In turn, his son taught it to Nicky McAulliffe in the late 1960s, who played it at a Comhaltas competition, after which the tune rapidly ‘went mainstream’…

jfm

Re: What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

Solidmahog: you mean Walpole Island just north of Lake St. Clair? That’s very near my hometown, I’ve been fishing in those waters (or right outside of then) more than once…

Re: What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

Thats the very one sol.

Re: What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

The original title was Sailing Into Walpole Park, referring to a pleasant public park in Ealing, West London. It commemorates a particularly wet and blustery October morning, when a particular Irish flute player, whose name is lost in the mists of time, was making his way to Ealing Broadway station, umbrella in hand. The said flute player was, however, intercepted by a freak gust of wind, which lifted him clean off his feet and carried him over the seven-foot boundary wall into the park.

Re: What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

I thought the name had something to do with Sir Robert Walpole, the English Prime Minister in the 1730s and 40s.

Re: What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

"I thought the name had something to do with Sir Robert Walpole, the English Prime Minister in the 1730s and 40s."

Yes. Walpole Park was formerly owned by Spencer Horatio Walpole, father of Robert.

Re: What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

Hi All,

I said in a post last week that I remembered mention over a dozen years ago by Paul De Grae in the IRTRAD-L mailing list about the tune “Sailing into Walpole’s Marsh”. Well, I finally got around to searching the archives and hey presto, below is a copy of the relevant email from June 1998… Alas, poor old Paddy O’Sullivan, to whom Paul refers in the email (and who was always known as Paatie thereabouts) died that same year.

In passing I should mention that anybody interested in finding out more about the music and musicians of that general area should try to get hold of “Ardfert by the Sea – A Memoir of Traditional Music, Musicians and Dance from Ardfert, Co. Kerry. C.1900-2000” by Ciaran Dalton, published July 2009. ISBN 978-0–9563100-0-2

John Murphy


Subject: Re: Paddy O’Sullivan tunes
From: Deirdre Sullivan & Paul de Grae <sullgrae@IOL.IE>
Reply-To: Irish Traditional Music List <IRTRAD-L@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE>
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 1998 11:23:23 +0100


Another question for yiz now. What does anyone know about the reel "Sailing into Walpole’s Marsh"? The marsh in question is between Chapeltown and Fenit, about three miles from where I’m sitting this minute. I used to think it was a local tune, but in Paddy’s telling, it’s a local name given to a Dingle tune which is called something like "Marie [or perhaps Larry] Finnerty’s Reel"; unfortunately, Paddy’s voice on the tape is not clear at that point. It’s too late to ask him now, and the only other musician of that generation who I could ask is now living in America (that’s Paddy "Bawn" O’Sullivan, no relation - used to play with Jim Coogan in New York in the 60s!). I can’t find a "Finnerty’s Reel" in any of my books, so I wondered if anyone knows any more about the tune. I’m also querying the Archive in Dublin. Anyway, here’s Paddy’s story, with my comments in brackets:

"’Sailing in to Walpole’s Marsh’ was our own tune. Do you know where it came from? From Dingle. I heard it in puss music [lilting] as ‘Marie [or Larry] Finnerty’s Reel’. Do you know the golf links now, on Fenit Island? There’s a harbour coming in there [Barrow Harbour], and old Paddy Shea, Barrow, was one of the old fiddlers - I think he was a Ginnah fiddler [i.e., a pupil of the 19th century fiddle master McKenna, also called Kennaw, pronounced locally "Ginnah", who was born in nearby Kilflynn] - and Tom Kearney picked it up out of the puss music. And they were - they say a fiddle sounds lovely out on the water, like amplification - they were going out anyway, and Walpole’s Marsh is right in front of them, in to Barrow Strand. ‘Jeez’, says Paddy, ‘what’s the name of that reel?’ ‘Sailing into Walpole’s Marsh’, says Tim Kearney, and that’s how it got the name.
Do you know who carried it? Nicky MacAuliffe [Sliabh Luachra fiddle player and teacher, member of Brosna Ceili Band, and married to flute, accordion and concertina player Anne Sheehy]. I gave it to Brian Keane in Lixnaw and they played it in 1972 in the All-Ireland. And they won it. Then it went everywhere."

- Paul

Re: What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

Walpole Marsh on the River Nene? The seaway into the town of Wisbech in Cambridgeshire? It doesn’t sound that East Anglian to me though, unless you play it slowly.

Re: What’s in a name: Walpole’s Marsh …?

At present I owe about four or five pints…. Thanks to everybody. Collect your pint when we meet.