Molly Bawn (Mary Bawn or Boating on Lough Ree)
DESCRIPTION: The singer remembers happier days with beautiful Mary Bawn: "Her smiles she had for everyone, her kisses all for me." "She pledged herself to be my bride" but "an angel" took her. His hair is now silver but "her comely form still haunts my mind"
AUTHOR: John Keegan Casey (1846-1870) (source: Guigne, Roe)
EARLIEST DATE: 1878 (Roe); 1942 (The McNulty Family recording)
KEYWORDS: courting love death beauty nonballad lover
FOUND IN: Canada(Newf)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Guigne, pp. 266-268, "Molly Bawn (Mary Bawn or Boating on Lough Ree)" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Owen Roe, Reliques of John K. Casey ("Leo") (Dublin: Richard Pigot, 1878 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 181, "Boating on Lough Ree" ("I'm sad and I am lonely now in this far-off West") (1 text)
The McNulty Family, "Molly Bawn" (Decca 12257, 1942)
Alphonse O'Driscoll, "Molly Bawn" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
NOTES [163 words]: Guigne: "['Molly Bawn's] popularity in Newfoundland is attributed to the influence of the Irish American vaudeville group the McNulty Family, who popularized it.... McNulty records were readily available... in St. John's...." Guigne's tune is the same as on the McNulty recording. The McNultys made minor changes in every line of Casey's poem; for example, besides changing Mary Bawn's name to Molly Bawn, and the lake's name from Lough Ree to Lough Lee, they changed the first line from "I'm sad and I am lonely now in this far-off West" to "Well I am sad and lonely here in the distant West." The McNultys use Casey's second verse as a chorus. Guigne's text follows the McNultys rather than Casey and mishears some McNulty words (for example, the McNultys have "a-boating on Lough Lee" and Guigne has "alone beyond Lough Lee").
There are a few differences between O'Driscoll and Guigne. O'Driscoll also mishears "a-boating on Lough Lee," but as "of old beyond Lough Lee." - BS
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