Groves of Blarney
DESCRIPTION: "The groves of Blarney they are so charming." The flowers, "grand walks," "the stone" and statues are described. No commander can compare with Lady Jeffers. If the singer were a poet like Homer "in every feature that I'd make it shine"
AUTHOR: probably Richard Alfred Milliken (1767-1816) (see Notes)
EARLIEST DATE: 1800 (1798-1799 probable date written, printed copies in Cork by 1800, according to Croker-PopularSongs)
KEYWORDS: nonballad lyric
REFERENCES (6 citations):
O'Conor, p. 33, "Groves of Blarney" (1 text)
Croker-PopularSongs, pp. 137-144, "The Groves of Blarney" (1 text)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #830, p. 55, "The Groves of Blarney" (1 reference)
ADDITIONAL: Oliver Yorke, The Reliques of Father Prout (London, 1873 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 53-62, "The Groves of Blarney" (1 text in Gaelic, English, French, Greek and Latin)
Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 362-365, "The Groves of Blarney" (1 text)
Donagh MacDonagh and Lennox Robinson, _The Oxford Book of Irish Verse_ (Oxford, 1958, 1979), pp. 28-30, "The Groves of Blarney" (1 text)
Bodleian, Harding B 11(4035), "Groves of Blarney" ("The groves of Blarney, they are so charming") , J.O. Bebbington (Manchester), 1855-1858; also Harding B 11(2095), 2806 b.11(161), Harding B 18(223), "Groves of Blarney"
LOCSinging, sb10145b, "The Groves of Blarney", H. De Marsan (New York), 1864-1878
cf. "The Last Rose of Summer" (tune, per Hoagland)
cf. "Castle Hyde" (tune and theme, per Hoagland)
cf. "The Plains of Drishane" (theme: extravagant praise of Cork)
cf. "Castle Hyde" (theme: extravagant praise of Cork)
cf. "The Groves of Glanmire" (theme: extravagant praise of Cork)
Our Ulysses ("A new Song of this great Ulysses," by John Ross Dix) (WolfAmericanSongSheets, pp. 121-122)
NOTES [352 words]: H. Halliday Sparling's Irish Minstrelsy (London, 1888), pp. 437-438, 505, "The Groves of Blarney" makes the attribution to Milliken. [Granger's Index to Poetry accepts this identification, but notes at least one version with an additional stanza by Francis Sylvester Mahony, for whom see "Bells of Shandon"; the attribution in Granger's appears to be based on Hoagland. She adds that "Millikin at a party declared he could write a piece of absurdity which would surpass 'Castle Hyde....' The Groves of Blarney was the result...." Other poems by Millikin in this index include "The Groves of Blackpool" and "The River Lee." - RBW].
See Yorke p. 60 for Father Prout's "There is a stone there ..." verse 6.
Croker-PopularSongs, quoting the memoir prefixed to Poetical Fragments of the late Richard Alfred Millikin: "During the Rebellion, several verses were, in the heat of party [Croker: an electioneering dinner], added to this song, particularly those alluding to the mean descent of a certain noble lord [Croker: Lord Domoughmore (then Lord Hutchinson)]; but they were not the production of the original author, who, incapable of scurrility or personal enmity to those with whom he differed in opinion, scorned such puerile malice." Croker makes the added verse "'Tis there's the kitchen hangs many a flitch in ... All blood relations to my Lord Donoughmore"; Croker notes that, in The Reliques of Father Prout [Rev Francis Sylvester Mahony (1804-1866)] that verse is replaced by "There is a stone there, that whoever kisses ...." "may clamber to a lady's chamber, Or become a member of parliament....
The Jeffrey/Jeffers/Jeffares family were Protestants granted lands previously owned by Catholic Irish. In County Cork they took over Blarney Castle (source: The Jeffrey Family site). Kissing the Blarney Stone, on the top story of the castle tower, is supposed to give the gift of eloquence.
Broadside LOCSinging sb10145b: H. De Marsan dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
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