Raking Paudheen Rue

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RAKING PAUDHEEN RUE. AKA and see "Raking Red-Haired Pat," "Bold and Undaunted Fox," "McKenna's Dream." Irish, Air (2/4 time). G Minor ('A' part) & G Major ('B' part). Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. O’Neill felt “Farmer Hayes” was a cognate tune and that it must have had a common origin with the “Raking Paudheen” air. P.W. Joyce (1909) thought the melody of "Greenfields of America" was related to a group of song airs popular in Munster in the mid-18th century, that include "Grand Conversation of Napoleon (The)," "John Doe," and "McKenna's Dream." Francis O'Neill adds several others familiar to him from his time in South Munster (mid-19th century), naming "Farmer Hayes," "Raking Paudheen Rue," "Bold and Undaunted Fox," and "Raking Red-haired Pat."

At least one 19th century performer took as his persona the name of the old ballad. Patrick Joseph McCall wrote of a "County Clare tinker" named James Kearney in his paper "In the Shadow of St. Patrick's" (1893) who lived in Walker's Alley, a district near St. Patrick's cathedral, Dublin:

[Kearney] settled there about fifty years since. Halliday Sparling, in his Irish Minstrelsy, says that he wrote many of the songs sung by Carey and other music-hall favourites, and that he died about twelve years ago. This first statement is not a fact, and though I rob a local celebrity of his laurels, I must in justice state that Kearney never wrote a line in his life, for he was hopelessly illiterate. I have a collection of about fifty songs bearing his name as author, but these were all purchased by him from others--...the usual price for each song being a half-a-sovereign. But at least, as a wit and inimitable mimic, "The Raking Paudheen Rue," as Kearney called himself, is entitled to honourable mention."

Source for notated version: “Big” John Ryan, originally from Tramore, County Waterford, once champion “stone-thrower” and an amateur on several musical instruments [O’Neill].

Printed sources: O’Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 15, p. 3. O'Neill (O’Neill’s Irish Music), 1915; No. 29, p. 23.

Recorded sources:




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