Farewell to Slieve Gallen

DESCRIPTION: The singer writes to warn Irishmen against emigrating to America. He arrived in the U.S. strong and ready to work, but no work was to be had. Forced into the army, he was disabled and wishes he were back in Ireland
AUTHOR: John Canavan
EARLIEST DATE: 1939 (Sam Henry collection)
KEYWORDS: poverty emigration soldier injury war disability
HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
Feb 15, 1898 - destruction of the U. S. S. Maine
Apr 19, 1898 - Although the Spanish have agreed to all American demands, including peace with the Cuban rebels, the U. S. issues a sort of preliminary declaration of war, listing U. S. goals
Apr 24, 1898 - Spain declares war on the U. S.; the U. S. will next day do the same, backdating it to April 21
May 19, 1898 - The Spanish fleet enters Santiago Bay
July 2, 1898 - The Spanish fleet at Santiago, acting under orders from Madrid, sails out into the teeth of the American fleet and is destroyed
July 10, 1898 - U. S. troops attack Santiago
July 17, 1898 - U. S. troops capture Santiago
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (2 citations):
SHenry H795, p. 198, "Farewell to Slieve Gallen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Morton-Ulster 27, "Wild Slieve Gallion Braes" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #2888
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "By the Hush" (plot)
cf. "The Dying Irish Boy" (plot, themes, setting)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
Wild Slieve Gallon Braes
NOTES: The singer is ashamed "to think I'd backed the Stars and Stripes against the sons of Spain." I assume this is because the Spanish periodically tried to help the Irish against the English (for their own purposes, of course).
The reference to service, and being wounded, on a battleship "when the Spanish fleet was captured and sent to Ego Bay" (so Henry's version; Morton's has more reasonable "When the Spanish fleet was captured near to Santiago Bay") makes little sense; the Spanish fleet was completely destroyed at Santiago, and the Americans suffered one killed and one injured. Nor can this be referred to the Battle of Manila Bay; there were no soldiers along, and, again, the Spanish fleet was destroyed; the Americans suffered eight casualties, all injuries.
Presumably the author conflated an amphibious landing with one of the many land battles, where American losses were much higher, due mostly to the complete ineptitude of the American generals and staff. - RBW
File: HHH795

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