DESCRIPTION: By Blackwater side the singer admires Castle Hyde's charming meadows, warbling thrushes, sporting lambkins, fine horses; foxes "play and hide," wild animals "skip and play," and trout and salmon rove. Whereever he rides he finds no equal to Castle Hyde.
EARLIEST DATE: 1947 (Hoagland), with lyrics dating to the nineteenth century at least
KEYWORDS: nonballad lyric animal travel
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Tunney-SongsThunder, p. 67, "Castlehyde" (1 fragment)
ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 254-255, "Castlehyde"
Bodleian, Harding B 11(3740), "Castle Hyde" ("As I rode out on a summer's morning"), J. Catnach (London), 1813-1838; also Harding B 11(3739, Johnson Ballads 283[many illegible words], Firth c.26(96), Firth c.21(11), Firth b.25(486)[some illegible words], Harding B 11(323), Harding B 11(552), 2806 c.18(60), "Castle Hyde"
cf. "The Last Rose of Summer" (tune, per Hoagland)
cf. "Groves of Blarney" (tune and theme, per Hoagland)
cf. "The Groves of Blarney" (theme: extravagant praise of Cork) and references there
NOTES: Tunney-SongsThunder is a fragment; broadside Bodleian Harding B 11(3740) is the basis for the description.
The Tunney-SongsThunder fragment is verse 5 of Hoagland [two lines of which are not in the Bodleian broadsides]. Hoagland's comment on "Castlehyde": "This song is commonly regarded as a type of the absurd English songs composed by some of the Irish peasant bards who knew English only imperfectly.... In burlesque imitation of this song, Richard Alfred Milliken of Cork composed the famous 'Groves of Blarney'; this song -- working as a sort of microbe -- gave origin to a number of imitations of the same general character." On p. 362 "Milliken at a party declared he could write a piece of absurdity that would surpass 'Castle Hyde'.... The Groves of Blarney was the result and Millikin became famous for it."
Castle Hyde is near River Blackwater in County Cork.
Croker has the beginning of the story. "An itinerant poet, with the view of being paid for his trouble, composed a song in praise (as he doubtless intended it) of Castle Hyde, the beautiful seat of the Hyde family on the river Blackwater; but, instead of the expected remuneration, the poor poet was driven from the gate by order of the then proprietor, who from the absurdity of the thing, conceived that it could be only meant as mockery; and, in fact, a more nonsensical composition could scarcely escape the pen of a maniac." (source: Thomas Crofton Croker, Popular Songs of Ireland (London, 1886), p. 137).
For other examples of "lambkins ... sporting" paired with birds sweetly singing, see "The Bonny Young Irish Boy" [Laws P26] and "Moorlough Mary." For more "literary" examples see "To the Portrait of Helen" (Works of Peter Pindar, Esq (1818, London ("Digitized by Google")), Vol. V, p. 376), and a poem by "a local [Northumberland] poet, Mr Proudlock," beginning "Flow on, lovely Allen" (William Lee, Historical Notes of Haydon Bridge and District, (1876, Hexham ("Digitized by Google")), p. 12), and Robert Porter's 1749 "A Farewell Hymn to the Country Attempted in the Manner of Spenser's Epithalamion" (The Poetical Register and Repository of Fugitive Poetry for 1804 (London, 1806 ("Digitized by Google")), p. 407). - BS
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