Erin's Green Linnet
DESCRIPTION: Singer asks why a maid weeps. "I once had a Linnet, the pride of this nation, By the fowler he was taken." The Linnet sung throughout Ireland and "upon Tara's old hill" and "famed Mullingar," championed Emancipation in 1829. Now he is lying in Glasnevin.
EARLIEST DATE: 1847 (Zimmermann)
KEYWORDS: death Ireland memorial patriotic political bird
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Zimmermann 56, "Erin's Green Linnet" (1 text)
Healy-OISBv2, pp. 92-94, "Erin's Green Linnet" (1 text)
Bodleian, 2806 b.10(23), "O'Connell's Green Linnet," H. Such (London), 1863-1885; also Harding B 19(40), 2806 c.8(41), Harding B 26(173)[some words illegible with heading "Linnet" as "Linne;"], "Erin's Green Linnet"; Firth c.16(83), "The O'Connell, Erin-go-bragh"; Harding B 19(39), "The Green Linnet"
cf. "Erin's King (Daniel Is No More)" (subject: O'Connell's death)
cf. "Kerry Eagle" (subject: O'Connell's death)
cf. "Daniel O'Connell (I)" (subject: Daniel O'Connell) and references there
NOTES: "1829 saw Catholic 'emancipation,' allowing them every political right open to Protestants of equivalent position" (- RBW). O'Connell led the movement of 1840-1843 to repeal the act that joined Ireland and Great Britain as the United Kingdom with "monster meetings" at Tara and Mullingar and other places (cf. "Glorious Repeal Meeting Held at Tara Hill" and "The Meeting of Tara"). Zimmermann: "O'Connell died at Genoa, on his way to Rome, 15th May, 1847." (p. 233) "In accordance with his wish his heart was brought to Rome and his body to Ireland. His funeral was of enormous dimensions, and since his death a splendid statue has been erected to his memory in Dublin and a round tower placed over his remains in Glasnevin" (source: "Daniel O'Connell" by E.A. D'Alton in The Catholic Encyclopedia on the New Advent site. - BS
The green linnet as a symbol for Irish nationalism occurs in "The Green Linnet" (where it may refer to Napoleon, or perhaps his son) and "Erin's Green Linnet" (where Daniel O'Connell seems to be the subject). The reason for this is not obvious, unless it has something to do with the linnet's reputation as a fine singer. - RBW
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