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GUEST,John Moulden Lyr Req: Fields of Greenmore (75* d) Lyr Add: GRANEMORE HARE 20 Jul 12


A small experiment - it consists of substituting the word 'coil' for 'Coyle' where it occurs in the text offered by Robin Morton in Folksongs Sung in Ulster'. It is quite close to the second text offered above except for the addition of a third verse. It's differences mark the authentic speech of the area it comes from:


GRANEMORE HARE

Last Saturday morning, our horns they did blow
To the green hills round Tassagh our huntsmen did go
For to meet the bold sportsmen from round Keady town
None loved the sport better than the boys from Maydown

And when we arrived they were all standing there
So we took to the green fields in search of the hare
We did not go far when someone gave a cheer
Over high hills and valleys this "puss" she did steer

When she got to the heather she tried them to shun,
But our dogs never missed one inch where she run,
They kept well packed when going over the hill,
For they had set themselves this "puss" for to kill.

With our dogs all abreast and that big mountain hare
And the sweet sounding music, it rang through the air
Straight for the Black Bank for to try them once more
And it was her last sight round the Hills of Granemore

And as they trailed on to where "puss", she did lie
She sprang to her feet for to bid them goodbye
Their music, it ceased and her cry we could hear
Saying, "Bad luck to the ones brought you Maydown dogs here"

"Last night as I lay content in the glen
'Twas little I thought of dogs or of men
But when going home at the clear break of day
I could hear the long horn that young Toner doth play"

"It being so early I stopped for a while
It was little I thought they were going to meet Coyle [or, 'coil'?]
If I had knew that I would have lay near the town
And tried to get clear of those dogs from Maydown"

"Now that I'm dying, the sport is all done
No more through the green fields round Keady I'll run
Or feed in the glen on a cold winter's night
Nor go home to my den when it's breaking daylight"

"I blame MacMahon for bringing Coyle [or, 'coil'?] here
He's been at the same caper for many a long year
Every Saturday and Sunday, he never gived o'er
With a pack of strange dogs round the Hills of Granemore"

In my view, if it's 'coil' once, it has to be 'coil' twice: or, if it's 'Coyle' it needs to be 'Coyle' both times.

Do both readings make sense? Certainly, in this version, Coyle is not 'arbitrarily introduced'. Does anyone have evidence on how common the word 'coil', in the sense used by M G-M, would be in the common English usage of the Armagh/Tyrone area?

By the way, I make it a policy to comment only on matters that have to do with the occurrence and circulation of vernacular songs in oral tradition or popular print. I am not interested in defending my reputation; it depends absolutely on how I conduct and report on my research and on how I couch my arguments. If anyone wishes to be unpleasant in my defence or in order to attack me or my views, I will not join in.

Michael, I know your work but in this I think that your position is much more difficult to defend than to assert. Have you a defence?


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