Flower of Sweet Strabane, The

DESCRIPTION: (The singer recalls meeting "Martha, the Flower of Sweet Strabane.") If he were King of Ireland, he would wish nothing better than her hand; she is the fairest girl he has seen. But she rejects him; he sails to America to start a new life
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1911 (Grieg); the notes in IRMBarry-Fairs says it was published in a Derry newspaper in 1909
KEYWORDS: love courting rejection emigration beauty
FOUND IN: Ireland Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (7 citations):
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #87, pp. 1-2, "Sweet Straeban" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan4 722, "The Flower of Sweet Straeban" (1 text)
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H224a, pp. 390-391, "The Flower of Sweet Strabane" (1 text, 1 tune)
Tunney-WhereSongsDoThunder, pp. 58-59, "Martha, the Flower of Sweet Strabane" (1 text)
McBride-FlowerOfDunaffHillAndMoreTradSongsInnishowen 32, "The Flower of Street Strabane" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Richard Hayward, Ireland Calling (Glasgow,n.d.), p. 9, "The Flower of Sweet Strabane" (text, music and reference to Decca F-3374 recorded Dec 31, 1932)

Roud #2745
Margaret Barry, "The Flower of Sweet Strabane" (on IRMBarry-Fairs)
The McNulty Family, "The Flower of Sweet Strabane" (private tape collection, likely on Copley Records after 1943)
Mrs. Stamp, "Flower of Sweet Stravan" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
Paddy Tunney, "The Flower of Sweet Strabane" (on IRPTunney03)

NOTES [116 words]: According to Sam Henry, this was composed in the 1840s -- it could hardly be much earlier given its current contents. Henry was of the opinion that it fell into two families, the first including the introductory verse about meeting Martha, the second beginning with the stanza about being King of Ireland. - RBW
McBride-FlowerOfDunaffHillAndMoreTradSongsInnishowen: "[John] McGettigan would have been responsible for its popularity as he recorded it on a record and was therefore taken back from America by returned emigrants in the 1930's and 40's."
The date and master id (GB-5416-1/2) for Hayward's record is provided by Bill Dean-Myatt, MPhil. compiler of the Scottish National Discography. - BS
Last updated in version 4.4
File: HHH224a

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