There seems to be some confusion about this one, played lovely by Brian McNamara on the pipes, on his excellent album "Fort of the Jewels" ~ where it seems it is called a ‘single jig’, there’s nothing ‘single jig’ about this one. While Brian plays it straight, you could also swing it, as it has more comfort under the heading ‘strathspey’ or as a ‘highland fling’.
Here it is again, swung, a few snaps thrown in, and a first and second ending for the B-part ~
"From the Stephen Grier manuscript, South Leitrim, 1883. Brian McNamara (2004) relates that one Hugh Reilly, Clerk of Fore, was hanged in 1814 for the crime of sheep stealing. One or two songs mention Reilly, who is associated in one version with other hangings in the area of Fore, Co. Westmeath, namely that in Glaxtown of three men in 1862 for alleged membership in a secret society, and others involved in a murder in 1882 at Barbaville. ~"
Here is a version of the story I collected during the summer of 2011:
"Fore is a village, about three miles from Castlepollard in North Westmeath. In 1811, Reilly was sentenced to hang for sheep-stealing. His widowed mother walked the seven Irish miles to Clonyn Castle, at Delvin, and prayed that her son, on whom she depended be reprieved. Nugent, Baron of Delvin, would not relent and Reilly was hanged in Fore.
The widowed mother again walked the seven Irish miles, went on her knees, and swore that the Baron of Delvin would never be succeeded by a son."
Does anybody happen to have any information on the songs mentioned above?
Re: Thomas Reilly Clerk Of Fore
There’s an excellent version of this played as a slide in the Seamus Connolly collection, recorded by Martin Hayes.
A fragment of the note from "Brian McNamara: Fort of the Jewels":
Thomas Reilly Clerk of Fore was also taken from the Grier manuscript. It appears to be associated with at least one song or maybe even two. According to research communications belonging to Fr. Quinn, a song was composed to commemorate the hanging of a Hugh Reilly, Clerk of Fore, for alleged sheep stealing in 1814. In 1862 three men, Mumford, Gilligan and Ford were hanged at Glaxtown (County Westmeath), about four miles from Fore for alleged membership of a secret society. Subsequently in 1882 the ‘Barbaville Murder’ (barbaville is a few miles from Fore) appears to have provoked the composition of another song incorporating all three events. One verse is as follows:
"They swore that they were innocent,
Although they suffered sore,
Like Murphy, Ford and Gilligan,
And Reilly, Clerk of Fore"
- Brian McNamara
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