Hat My Father Wore, The
DESCRIPTION: Paddy Miles comes from Ireland to America. On St Patrick's day he wears the hat "wore for more than ninety years ... From my father's great ancestors." He plans to return to Ballymore with "the hat my father wore"
AUTHOR: Daniel Macarthy (source: broadside LOCSheet sm1876 01751)
EARLIEST DATE: 1876 (broadside, LOCSheet sm1876 01751)
KEYWORDS: emigration return clothes America Ireland father
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber)) Ireland US(MW)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
GreigDuncan8 1538, "The Hat My Father Wore" (4 texts, 2 tunes)
Greig #168, p. 2, "The Hat My Father Wore" (1 text)
Dean, p. 64, "The Hat Me Father Wore" (1 text)
OCroinin-Cronin 165, "The Hat My Father Wore" (2 texts)
Bodleian, Harding B 11(1119), "The Hat My Father Wore ("I'm Paddy Miles an Irish boy"), Jones (Sheffield), n.d.
LOCSheet, sm1876 01751, "The Hat My Father Wore!," E. H. Harding (New York), 1876 (tune)
cf. "The Sash My Father Wore (I)" (form)
cf. "The Sash My Father Wore (II)" (many lines)
NOTES: Zimmermann: "It has been noted that 'much of the pugnacity has gone from the music played on the 12th day of July' [S.H. Bell Erin's Orange Lily, p. 14]; there is a tendency to replace the most violent ballads by innocuous songs such as 'The Ould Orange Flute' or 'The Sash my Father Wore'. 'The Ould Orange Flute' appeared on nineteenth century broadsides. The other song ['The Sash my Father Wore'] is more recent; it was probably the paraphrase of a non-political song, 'The Hat my Father Wore'. A nationalist version, quite different in character but singable to the same tune, appeared in The Shan Van Vocht, August 1896." The "Donagh MacDonagh Song Collection" at tripod.lycos site includes a version of "The Hat My Father Wore" that has the singer exiled "For the joining of the Brotherhood in the year of '64"; the tune for MacDonagh's version is "The Sash my Father Wore." It is clear that "The Sash" is an adaptation of "The Hat," or vice versa.
The author is in question. The sheet music, LOCSheet sm1876 01751, states "words by Daniel Macarthy" with no attribution for the tune. GreigDuncan8 says "Cf. Walton's Treasury of Irish Songs and Ballads (Dublin, 1947), p. 105. The song was written by Johnny Paterson."
Weldon Thornton, Allusions in Ulysses: An Anotated List, (Chapel Hill, 1982), p. 92, refers to both claims as songs "which must be substantially the same" and goes no further to resolve the claims. - BS
According to Spaeth, A History of Popular Music in America, p. 331, William ("Billy") Jerome and Jean Schwartz in 1909 published a song"The May My Father Wore on St. Patrick's Day." That can hardly be the original of this, but I don't know how the one influenced the other. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.2
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2014 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.