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Abby Sale CD: Irish Ballads and Songs of the Sea(Dan Milner) (9) RE: NEW CD 24 Mar 09


Thanks to Dan I just sang "The Harp Without The Crown" within the local two-week St Pats recognition. I was stuck, though to fully understand the flag bit and hope someone may help.

First the obvious - that the gold harp on a green field represents Ireland and 'without the crown' would indicate disconnection from the UK.

It was never an official flag of Ireland (although it is officially the flag of modern Leinster). From http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Flag-of-Northern-Ireland, I see: "A green flag featuring a harp was an older symbol of the nation of Ireland, dating back at least to Confederate Ireland and the pursuits of Owen Roe O'Neill from 1642. It was subsequently widely adopted by the Irish Volunteers and especially the United Irishmen." So basically a rebel flag, popular through the 1798 rebellion.

Was there ever a flag of the Irish harp with a crown (to symbolize Ireland as a province of Britain.)

Anyone have anything further on dating the chantey?
Ballad Index gives first printing as late as 1938 (Colcord). This is a surprise since she writes in 1924 of the Shenandoah's Capt. Murphy flying this flag as his own personal pennant. OK, The Shenandoah's was dismasted, stripped and made over into a barge in 1910. (NY Times online).

Yet the chantey appears to discuss the Shenandoah's in the present tense. That don't mean much historically but it's interesting.

Thank you.


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