Orange and Green

DESCRIPTION: "The night was falling dreary in merry Bandon town...." To an Orangeman's door comes a Green, pursued by an angry crowd. The Orangeman shelters him -- then learns he has killed his son. He still does not retaliate Years later, they meet in peace
AUTHOR: Gerald Griffin (1803-1840)
EARLIEST DATE: 1850 (David Charles Bell, _The Modern Reader and Speaker_)
KEYWORDS: Ireland political homicide promise reprieve reunion
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Dean, pp. 41-43, "Orange and Green" (1 text)
O'Conor, pp. 138-139, "Orange and Green" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Edward Hayes, The Ballads of Ireland (Boston, 1859 (reprint of 1855 London edition)), Vol I, pp. 281-284, "Orange and Green" (1 text)

Roud #9556
NOTES [254 words]: Given that Dean's seems to be the only traditional text of this, and that I have found no sign of sheet music, I suspect this is actually a recitation rather than a song. I also suspect Dean took it from a literary source. Finally, I have to suspect its inclusion was inspired by the horrid Irish troubles that were taking place at the time Dean was assembling his book: The conflict of Orange and Green was at its worst, because by this time England would probably have walked away from Ireland -- except that the Orangemen of Ulster wanted no part of an independent Ireland.
Gerald Griffin had an interesting career: Born in Ireland, the ninth son of a brewer, his family moved to America to escape poverty (so it's just possible that he would have heard the story of Duncan Campbell which this so resembles). He spent time as a journalist in London, and finally ended up teaching in Ireland for the Society of Christian Brothers. His posthumous collected works occupied eight volumes, though most of his works have fallen into obscurity. (Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, which is as close to comprehensive as any literary reference I've seen, doesn't even mention him.) He did produce a version of "Eileen Aroon," reportedly taken from the Gaelic (see the Notes to that song); also, his novel The Collegians (1829) was made into a play, Colleen Bawn. Patrick C. Power A Literary History of Ireland, Mercier, 1969, calls it "a very good novel" but says that after that he "never again wrote anything as good." - RBW
Last updated in version 2.6
File: Dean040

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