The tune of a well-known song, posted in response to a request by a member.
The ABC posted was from J-C’s database. The song was written by Phil Fitzpatrick (1892-1947) who was born in Aughvanas, emigrated to the USA in the ’30s, became a policeman and was tragically killed in a robbery.
The lyrics are,
Last night I had a pleasant dream. I woke up with a smile.
I dreamed that I was back again in dear old Erin’s Isle.
I thought I saw Lough Allen’s banks in the valley down below.
It was my lovely Leitrim, where the Shannon waters flow.
I felt enchanted by the scene of grandeur and delight,
So I strolled on to Carrick Town before the dark of night,
I passed Sheemore, that fairy hill, where flowers fine do grow,
And I saw the grave of Finn MacCool where the Shannon waters flow.
I next did visit Fenagh town, with her ancient Abbey walls,
Where the teaching of the holy monks once echoed thro’ her halls.
I stood with reverence on the spot, reluctant for to go,
From the town of Saints and Sages where the Shannon waters flow.
My eyes are dimmed and wet with tears - I must be dreaming still.
I thought I saw those heroes who died on Selton Hill,
But the fog is lifting from the scene, and I am forced to go,
And leave the land so fair and grand where the Shannon waters flow.
In all the lands that I have been, throughout the East and West,
In all the lands that I have seen, I love my own the best.
And if ever I return again the first place I will go,
Will be to lovely Leitrim, where the Shannon waters flow.
[My acknowledgments to Ossian Publications, Cork, for the lyrics and the brief biography]
While not a song you’d normally hear at a trad session, this is indeed a classic (coming from Leitrim, maybe I’m a bit biased!) and takes one back to the sixties when Larry Cunningham launched his singing career with his recording of it - I think it was a follow-up to his Jim Reeves tribute song. Thanks also Trevor for the 2 extra verses which Larry omitted from his recording. Larry may not have been as influential as Planxty, but he nevertheless made a big impact on the Irish community worldwide - it was a different era when most of us had yet to discover the magic trad thing.
Does anyone know the "chords" the traditional way??
Pangusb, don’t know what you mean by the traditional way! I would have always accompanied it with the conventional "D", "G" and "A7th" combinations which seemed to sound OK.
My gandfather’s from Arigna, this is his favorite song, and he’ll be thrilled once I learn this. GRACIAS! THANK YOU! BUIDHEACAS! all to Trevor J :)
This is still one of my dad’s favourite songs _and i use to sing it with our family band (Irish and C&W) on the London club circuit, 1979-1986, during which time we supported Larry Cunningham and i tell you he was the friendliest artist we ever met at the tail-end of those C&W days; he literally glowed with enthuseum for the material he performed and chatting to him before and after the gig, he was full of encouragement and praise all round _a great living tribute to Jim Reeves
i havn’t seen that penultimate verse before, so thanks again Trevor for lashing it on here
A the request of Grego, here is an arrangement of this tune as it could be played on banjo. Please note that I am only an occasional banjo player (I play mostly mandolin), I’ve never played this tune before and it’s late, so this arrangement probably isn’t up to much. But it’s an example of what could be done. This is a difficult tune to play on banjo, since it is all made up of long notes, and it would take a brave player to tackle it as a solo piece.
Anyway, I hope this isn’t too much of a waste of space. It probably contains more ornamentation and variation than would be necessary in a single round of the tune, but some of the ‘ideas’ could be spread out over a few repeats.
F2 |A2 AF AB |F2 FD FA |B2 (3Bcd eB |d2 dD (3BcB |
(3ABA AD FD |(3EEE EA FA |D2 DC DE|D4 A2 ||
|:d2 (3ded c2 |d2 de (3cdc |d2 D2 c2 |B2 D2 A2 |
B2 Bc de |d2 (cdc B2 |1 A2 AE AB |A2 (3ABA FA :|2A6 |A2 D2 F2 ||
A2 (3ABA AB |F2 FE FA |B2 A Be |dD dc (3Bcd|
AD AD FD|EA, EA (3FGF|(3DED DC DE|D4 F2 ||
This was my grandpa’s favorite song - thanks!
He was from Arigna too, now that you mention it
lol, this is what comes of sharing other people’s accts. sorry
I know it’s been years since there was a request for ‘chords in the traditional way’.
I remember the late Josie McDermott singing the lyrics to a completely different tune. This was back in 1966. Perhaps this is the version that your correspondent was looking for. Don’t have a clue what it was the air of. Perhaps it was - and I suspect its true - it was a tune that Josie wrote himself. I played with Josie for a period in the first part of 1966 in a Showband. He maintained that he wrote the melody as he sang it. We had an awful job getting Josie to sing it, but managed to get him to sing his version after a concert in The Henry Hall, Coolaney.
Most of the people who were there are long dead, so I suspect that the tune may have been lost.
I would be inclined to believe Josie’s story as I found him to be one of the most honourable musicians I ever met.
Larry Cunningham maintained that he got the song off his mother. Knowing the skulduggery that was going on in the emerging recording industry in Ireland at the time ……!
Larry’s follow-up, among the Wicklow Hills, will verify what I am saying.