DESCRIPTION: The singer recalls the joys of living in (Balinderry) and spending time with "(Phelim), my (diamond/demon)." But now she is sad and lonely, as Phelim died (at sea)
EARLIEST DATE: 1840 (Bunting)
KEYWORDS: love separation death burial
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (6 citations):
SHenry H80, pp. 386-387, "Phelimy Phil" (1 text, 1 tune)
Tunney-SongsThunder, pp. 78-79, "Ballinderry" (1 text)
Hayward-Ulster, pp. l5-16, "Oh! 'Tis Pretty to be in Ballinderry" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Edward Bunting, The Ancient Music of Ireland (Mineola, 2000 (reprint of 1840 Dublin edition)), #56 and p. 88, "Ballinderry"
Alfred Percival Graves, The Irish Poems of Alfred Perceval Graves (Dublin, 1908), Vol II (Songs and Ballads), pp. 78-79, "'Twas Pretty to Be in Ballinderry"
Robert Cinnamond, "Tis Pretty to be in Ballinderry" (on IRRCinnamond03)
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, "Ballinderry" (on IRClancyMakem02)
NOTES: Tunney-SongsThunder: "This form of song or lament is perhaps the best example of keening, or caoineadh, present in the English language. That it is derived from the Irish, there is not the slightest doubt. A most highly developed and sophisticated form of crying after the dead existed in Gaelic-speaking Ireland for centuries and had a degree of professionalism about it."
Also collected and sung by David Hammond, "'Tis Pretty To Be in Ballinderry" (on David Hammond, "I Am the Wee Falorie Man: Folk Songs of Ireland," Tradition TCD1052 CD (1997) reissue of Tradition LP TLP 1028 (1959)). According to Sean O Boyle's notes to that album, "Ballinderry is a beautiful district on the eastern shore of Lough Neagh, in which lies the lovely little Ram's Island." O Boyle quotes Bunting about the song: "it has been a favourite performance with the peasantry of the counties of Down Antrim, the words being sung by one person, while the rest of the party chant the CRONAN (ochone!) in consanance."
O Boyle's note refers to Bunting, p. 88. "CRONAN" refers to the chorus. Bunting notes that "[t]here are numerous other sets of words sung to 'Ballinderry;' they are all of a very rustic character, and uniformly refer to localities along the rivers Bann and Lagan, such as, ''Tis pretty to be in Ballinderry, 'Tis pretty to be at Magheralin,' &c. [and] ''Tis pretty to be in Ballinderry, 'Tis pretty to be at the Cash of Toome,' &c." - BS
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