Bold Thady Quill
DESCRIPTION: Girls "anxious for courting" should see Thady Quill. He is a champion in field events, a partisan for Ireland, and a star at hurling. At the Cork match a rich and sickly lady remarked that she would be cured by "one squeeze outa bold Thady Quill"
EARLIEST DATE: 1959 (IRClancyMakem01)
KEYWORDS: sports Ireland humorous
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (1 citation):
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, "Bold Thady Quill" (on IRClancyMakem01)
cf. "The Victorious Goalers of Carrigaline and Kilmoney" (subject of hurling)
cf. "Black and Amber Glory" (subject of hurling)
cf. "The Convict of Clonmel" (subject of hurling)
cf. "The Carrigaline Goalers Defeated" (subject of hurling)
The Bould Tadhy Quill
NOTES: The description is from the Digital Tradition text for "Bold Thady Quil"; although its credit is "Recorded by Clancys" its version has more verses than that in IRClancyMakem01.
IRClancyMakem01 cover notes refer to Thady Quill as "a champion hurler from county Cork, whom I understand is still alive" . - BS
Robert Gogan, 130 Great Irish Ballads (third edition, Music Ireland, 2004), p. 14, has a very different story (which he admits is "legend") of Thady: "It is reported that Thady Quill was no athlete at all, but a lazy farm worker employed by a farmer named Johnny Tom Gleeson in Ballinagree, a townland in Muskerry. The local story goes that Johnny Tom Gleeson penned these verses as a satire to Thady's laziness and inactivity."
Chris Brennan (message to the Ballad-L mailing list) has a version which also involves Gleeson, but in this case, Quill had cut a field for Gleeson, and Gleeson was slow to pay, and Quill induced Gleeson to write the song as a substitute for cash.
On the other hand, Soodlum's Irish Ballad Book reports that "Thady Quill is rumoured to have lived in the Mushra Mountains near Macroom, Co. Cork."
James N. Healy, Ballads from the Pubs of Ireland [Volume 1: Popular Songs & Ballads], 1965, 1985; Ossian edition published 1996, p. 5, also attributes it to the area between Macroom and Millstreet, but calls the author Johnny PAT Gleeson.
Hurling is an ancient Irish sport, somewhat similar to hockey (it involves sticks, two teams of 15, and a complicated set of rules for sticking or kicking or carrying the ball), seemingly mentioned in twelfth century records and possibly before that. According to the Oxford Companion to Irish History, the rules were formally codified in 1870 and the Irish Hurley Union formed in 1879.
It was already mentioned in song before that, to be sure; see "The Victorious Goalers of Carrigaline and Kilmoney."
There is an interesting political twist on this, because the sport is Irish: It is seen, in a small way, as a form of anti-Protestant demonstration.
The Irish nationalist Charles Stewart Parnell (1846-1891) doesn't appear to have anything significant to do with hurling, but the Hurley Union dissolved around the time of his death, with other leagues having gradually taken its place.- RBW
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