Duncan Campbell (Erin-Go-Bragh) [Laws Q20]

DESCRIPTION: Duncan Campbell, although he comes from Argyle in Scotland, is known as Erin-Go-Bragh. A policeman mistakes him for an Irishman and abuses him. Campbell returns the favor, then flees before anyone can stop him
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: before 1850 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(3725))
KEYWORDS: abuse police
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW) Canada(Mar) Britain(Scotland) Ireland
REFERENCES (12 citations):
Laws Q20, "Duncan Campbell (Erin-Go-Bragh)"
Greig #127, p. 1, "Erin-go-Bragh"; Greig #131, pp. 2-3, "Erin-go-Bragh" (1 texts plus 3 fragments)
GreigDuncan2 236, "Erin-go-Bragh" (11 texts, 9 tunes)
Ford-Vagabond, pp. 49-51, "Erin-Go-Bragh" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy 319, "Erin-go-Bragh" (1 text, 1 tune)
Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan 17, "Erin Go Bragh" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Ord, p. 387, "Erin-Go-Bragh" (1 text)
Mackenzie 134, "Duncan Campbell" (1 text)
MacSeegTrav 112, "Erin-Go-Bragh (Ireland Forever)" (1 text, 1 tune)
SharpAp 197, "Clay Morgan" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
Peters, p. 50, "The Wild Irishman" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #1627
John Strachan, "Erin-Go-Bragh" (on FSB7)
Bodleian, Harding B 11(3725), "Duncan Campbell," M. Stephenson (Gateshead), 1838-1850; also Firth b.25(539), 2806 c.14(79), Firth b.26(199), Harding B 11(1026), 2806 b.10(198), Harding B 20(83), "Duncan Campbell"; Firth c.26(15), "Erin Go Bragh" ("My name's Duncan Cambell, from the shire of Argyle")
Murray, Murray, Mu23-y1:068, "Duncan Cambell," James Lindsay (Glasgow), 19C; also Mu23-y1:025, "Duncan Campbell," James Lindsay Jr. (Glasgow), 19C
NLScotland, L.C.1270(003), "My Name Is Duncan Campbell," unknown, c. 1845; also L.C.Fol.70(57b), "Duncan Campbell," unknown, c. 1890

cf. "Villikens and his Dinah" (tune) and references there
cf. "The Blaeberry Courtship" (tune, according to Greig)
cf. "The Wild Irishman in London" (theme of Irishman being abused and fighting back)
The Ballad of Jack Power (Bill Wannan, _The Australians: Yarns, ballads and legends of the Australian tradition_, 1954 (page references are to the 1988 Penguin edition), pp. 18-19. Originally from the August 19, 1950 _Melbourne Argus_)
NOTES: From the commentary to broadside NLScotland, L.C.1270(003): "This song was written in the nineteenth century, and the mention of the police puts it post-1829, when the 'Peelers' were first established." - BS
A clever but not quite certain bit of logic, since the song generally refers to "policemen," not "Peelers," and that word is older. (Also, the first Peelers served in Ireland in 1817; the concept of a unified police force then came to Britain in 1829). - RBW
From the Greig #131 fragment: "I will tell you a guise, and I'm sure ye will smile, That Erin-go-bragh was the Duke of Argyle." Greig #127 quotes Ford's last verse: "I come from Argyle in the Highlands so braw But I ne'er take it ill when called Erin-go-bragh."
Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan 17 differs from the common version in two ways. First, instead of being Duncan Campbell from Scotland, the hero is Paddy from Ireland (Athy), which changes it from a ballad of common cause between the Scotsman and Irishman. Second, the hero is taken by the crowd as a "bold rascal that has killed our police"; usually, he escapes. - BS
The version in Peters also involves a genuine Irishman. Possibly the song family should be split into two parts -- except that there is no evidence that anyone made a deliberate change, and the versions blur together enough that it would be hard to draw a clear line. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.6
File: LQ20

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