Lyr Add: Sweet Portaferry
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Lyr Add: Sweet Portaferry

In Mudcat MIDIs:
Sweet Portaferry

GUEST,Phippa 03 Mar 03 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Philippa 03 Mar 03 - 11:03 AM
GUEST,Philippa 03 Mar 03 - 11:08 AM
MMario 04 Mar 03 - 04:07 PM
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Subject: Add: Sweet Portaferry
From: GUEST,Phippa
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 05:17 AM

words - anonymous; Jane and Frank Cassidy set to the Carolan tune of "Fanny Power"
If you prefer a simpler tune, I find it goes well to the air of "The Maid Going to Comber", another Co Down song.


You may gaze from green mountains across the bright seas
Where wonder and pleasement are taking their ease;
You may search the world over from there to Japan,
Transported with nature and the glory of man.
But why should men toil foreign lands to explore
When wonder and pleasement are here at the door,
And who would go roving through country and town
From Sweet Portaferry and the Kingdom of Down.

It lies on a harbour convenient and free
Where the waters of Strangford run swirling to sea
To bear on their bosom the yield of our toil
When farmer and fisherman plough lake and soil.
There bright silver comes in our nets to the strand,
Our gold and our glory are planted by hand,
But who would give beauty for gain or renown,
And leave Portaferry and the Kingdom of Down.

If I were a poor man, I'd work on my land,
Content with the beauty at every hand,
But if I were a rich man, my care to beguile,
I'd fill up my pockets and wander awhile.
And what though I'd wander on strange lands and seas
And think my land middling compared against these,
I know when old age makes a sage of a clown,
I'd seek Portaferry and the Kingdom of Down.

Click to play

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Portaferry
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 11:03 AM

Edward Bunting published a tune called Sweet Portaferry, and it is also given in Cathal O'Boyle, "Songs of County Down" Skerries, Co. Dublin: Gilbert Dalton, 1979
I haven't played the tune yet to see what it's like; I can't read music without an instrument other than voice. Jane Cassidy credits Gilbert Dalton (publishers)on her album so this book seems to be her source for the lyrics.

O'Boyle's notes: "In 1840 Edward Bunting published collection of Irish Music in which a tune called Sweet Portaferry appeared. I spent a day looking through the Bunting Papers in Queen's University Library, but though I found many Gaellic songs from Connacht, written down by Patrick Lynch of Loughin-island, I could find no record of Sweet Portaferry.
"I was beginning to tell this sad story to Thomas Pollard when he interrupted me, saying: 'Oh! I wrote down a song by that name from an old aunt of mine. Would you like to see it?' I don't think I ever finished telling my story, but I here present his words and Bunting's tune, and I think you'll agree they are a good match."

[tune to follow, I hope]

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Portaferry
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 11:08 AM

PS Patrick Lynch of Loughinisland was employed by collectors Bunting and Bryson to write down Gaelic songs

Of Thomas Pollard, O'Boyle says he's "of Newcastle, all-Ireland champion mandolin player of 1968. He has an extensive collection of County Down songs."

That would be Newcastle, co Down; there are several towns called Newcastle around the globe.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Sweet Portaferry
From: MMario
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 04:07 PM

T:Sweet Portaferry
N:tune originally published by Edward Bunting in 1840; source for Cathal O'Boyle 'Songs of County Down'
z4B A|G2 G2 A2|F4G F|F2 G2 A2|
w:You may gaze from green moun-tains a-cross the bright
B4(c d)|e2 c2 (e c)|(B A) G2 F2|E2 E2 E2|E4B A|
w:seas Where_ won-der and_ please_-ment are tak-ing their ease; You may
G2 G2 A2|F4G F|E2 F2 G2|B4(c d)|
w:search the world o-ver from there to Ja-pan, Trans_
e2 c2 (e c)|B2 G2 F F|E2 E2 E2|E4(B A)|G2 A2 B2|
w:port-ed by_ na-ture and the glo-ry of man. But_ why should men
e4e d|c2 B2 c2|E4(E F)|G2 B2 B2|e2 d2 e2|
w: toil for-eign lands to ex-plore When_ won-der and please-ment are
c2 c2 c2|B4(B A)|G2 G2 A2|F4G F|E2 F2 G2|
w:here at the door, And_ who would go rov-ing through count-ry and
B4(c d)|e2 c2 (e c)|B A G2 F2|E2 E2 E2|E4z2
w:town From_ Sweet Port-a_-fer-ry and the King-dom of Down.

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