Cruiskeen Lawn

DESCRIPTION: "Let the farmer praise his grounds, as the hunter does his hounds" and so on, but the singer prefers his full jug. He reviews the benefits and when death comes to take him he will have death wait while he has "another crooskeen lawn"
AUTHOR: Dion Boucicault (1820-1890)? (see NOTES)
EARLIEST DATE: 1858 (Lover)
LONG DESCRIPTION: Partly in Gaelic. Singer says farmers may praise their grounds, the huntsman his hounds, but he's happy with his cruiskeen lawn (little full jug). He toasts his companions, proposing not to go home although it's morning, and swears that when Death approaches, he will beg off to "have another cruiskeen lawn" Chorus: "Gramachree ma cruiskeen, slanthe gal mavourneen, Erin mavourneen lawn"
KEYWORDS: drink humorous nonballad death party foreignlanguage
FOUND IN: Canada(Ont) Ireland
REFERENCES (6 citations):
O'Conor, p. 54, "Crooskeen Lawn" (1 text)
Fowke-Ontario 2, "The Cruiskeen Lawn" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, CRUSKEEN*
ADDITIONAL: Samuel Lover, The Lyrics of Ireland (London, 1858 ("Digitized by Google")), pp. 131-132, "Cruiskin Lawn" (1 text)
Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 259-260, "The Cruiskeen Lawn" (1 text)
H. Halliday Sparling, Irish Minstrelsy (London, 1888), pp. 485-486, 511, "An Cruiscin Lan"

Roud #2309
RECORDINGS:
O. J. Abbott, "The Cruiskeen Lawn" (on Abbott1)
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, "Cruiscin Lan" (on IRClancyMakem01)

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 15(73b), "Crooskeen Lawn," Henry Disley (London), 1860-1883
LOCSinging, as102580, "Cruiskeen Lawn," George S. Harris (Philadelphia), 19C

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "John Anderson, My Jo, John" (tune)
cf. "John Anderson, My Jo (I)" (tune)
NOTES: "Cruiskeen lawn" is, in Irish, a "full jug." (source: radiohaha: the online encyclopaedia of contemporary british radio comedy. [Also Hoagland, who renders the title "My full little jug" - RBW]).
Lover: "The meaning of the chorus, in English, is something like the following -- 'My heart's love is my little jug, Bright health to my darling! My heart's love, her fair locks,' &c."
Sparling: "Originated among convivial circles of Dublin, but embodies fragments of a much older Celtic song. The tune is clearly not Irish; said to be of Danish origin, and a variant of that which has reached modern times as 'There was a little man and he had a little gun!'" It appears here that Sparling is referring to the melody of Opie-Oxford2 325, "There was a little man, and he had a little gun." - BS
Although apparently the work of a known author, it has quickly been "anonymized"; the several popular books of poetry which include it (Stevenson's Home Book of Verse v. 2, Hoagland) list no author.
What's more, Jon W. Finson, The Voices That Are Gone: Themes in Nineteenth-Century American Popular Song, Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 275, writes that "Dublin-born immigrant [to America] Peter K. Moran relates the Irish love of whisky in his 'Croskeen Lawn' (ca. 1823) which speaks f the brew as it is distilled in the old country and features a refrain in Gaelic." Finson doesn't give any text of Moran's song, but presumably it played some role in the anestry of this.
According to Samuel Eliot Morison, The Oxford History of the American People, Oxford, 1965, p. 780, "Of the 132 plays written my Dion Boucicault, only Rip Van Winkle (1865) in which Joseph Jefferson starred for over thirty years, and The Colleen Bawn, a romantic comedy of Ireland, are remembered." On the other hand, his daughter Nina Boucicault, when in her late thirties, would create the role of "Peter Pan" in the first theatrical production (see Robert Douglas-Fairhurt, The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland, Belknap/Harvard, 2015, p. 306), so the Boucicault family arguably still managed to leave a mark on the theater. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: OCon054A

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