Jackets Green (The)

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JACKETS GREEN, THE. Irish, Air and March (2/4 time). G Major (Mulvihill): D Major (Miller & Perron). Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. Fr. John Quinn finds the air was first printed by Dublin publisher Smollet Holden (c. 1805) as "Renardine." The air was employed by Thomas Moore for his song "From this hour the pledge is given," while collector P.W. Joyce received a song version entitled "Girl of Knocklong (The)" and printed it in his Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (1909). Words to the patriotic song were written by Michael Scanlon (1833-1917), who also wrote "Bold Fenian Men" and "Limerick is beautiful."

Oh Ireland! Sad is thy lonely soul, and loud beats the winter sea,
But sadder and higher the wild waves roll from the hearts that break for thee.
Yet grief shall come to our heartless foes, and their thrones in the dust be seen,
But Irish maids love none but those who wear the jackets green.

The ballad tells the tale of a girl who loves one of Patrick Sarsfield's soldiers in the Williamite wars; he is slain, but she urges womens' fidelity to the cause.

Sources for notated versions: Liverpool Ceili Band & Liam Greenall (Liverpool, England) [Mulvihill]; Mary O'Hara [Miller & Perron].

Printed sources: Miller & Perron (Irish Traditional Fiddle Music), 2nd Edition, 2006; p. 141. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 4, p. 103.

Recorded sources: Tradition TLP-1024, Mary O'Hara - "Songs of Ireland" (1958). Victor V-29017 (78 RPM), John Sheridan (1928).




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