Wicklow Rangers, The
DESCRIPTION: A 14 year old boy from Carlow meets a colonel, who enlists him in the Wicklow Rangers. He leaves his girl. Her friends tell her not to worry. He and a comrade are shunned by two milk-maids. If he survives his enlistment he will return to his girl.
EARLIEST DATE: 1840? (Bunting); before 1884 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 17(336a))
KEYWORDS: love soldier separation youth
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (1 citation):
OLochlainn 18, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bodleian, Harding B 17(336a), "The Wicklow Rangers" or "The Girl I Left Behind Me" ("Come all you handsome comely maids"), H. Disley (London), 1860-1883; also Harding B 11(795), "The Wicklow Rangers" or "The Girl I Left Behind Me"; 2806 c.7(25), "The Girl I Left Behind Me"; Harding B 26(217), "The New Girl I Left Behind Me"
LOCSinging, as104470, "The Girl I Left Behind Me," unknown, 19C
NOTES: Broadside Bodleian 2806 c.7(25) is somewhat dated by having the singer enlisted by Colonel Whitty "to serve the queen unto some distant land."
OLochlainn cites an 1840 source: "Bunting, 1840, No. 57." I guess this is The Ancient Music of Ireland, editor Edward Bunting, (Dublin, Hodges and Smith, 1840). However, that may only be a reference for the tune since Bunting appears only to deal with Gaelic music, and that, possibly without words. Confirmation will have to wait until someone sees the book (there is a 2000 Dover unabridged edition). - BS
OLochlainn's tune is the one usually associated with "The Girl I Left Behind Me (II - lyric)."
Carlow town is in County Carlow, Ireland. County Wicklow is adjacent.
The text in every copy I have seen is sung in part from the boy's point of view ["... Colonel Reilly listed me ..."] and, in part, from the girl's point of view ["So now my love is gone from me I own I do not blame him ..."].
Broadside LOCSinging as104470 appears to be the same as Bodleian 2806 c.7(25) printed by P. Brereton (Dublin).
The description is based on broadside Bodleian Harding B 17(336a). - BS
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