Saturday, February 9, 2008

They Haven't Gone Away, Y'know

"The Blanket" has published my article "Internal Exiles: Welsh Activism from an Irish Netizen's p-o-v." I had posted it on this blog in slightly altered form first this past month. One of the co-editors has his own blog up, "The Pensive Quill," and both the Blanket & PQ can be linked to from my list on Blogtrotter.

I wanted to let readers know that this enduring on-line "journal of protest and dissent" has returned like hodcarrying Tim Finnegan from his whiskey'd wake after a hiatus last autumn and I'm delighted that it's resurrected. As I've had the pleasure of being a contributor to it since it started in 2001, I celebrate its convalescence. If you want craic on Irish republicanism's real-world long-term health, or lack of such, there's diagnoses, prognoses, and an autopsy or two.

P.S. "Finnegan's Wake" is a "pseudo-Irish ballad" circa 1864 Amerikay. The image comes from a band that sings it, although from the parlous LP cover, caveat auditor!

Here's the song's last verse courtesy of":
Then Mickey Maloney ducked his head,
When a noggin of whiskey flew at him,
It missed, and falling on the bed,
The liquor scattered over Tim!
The corpse revives! See how he raises!
Timothy rising from the bed,
Says,"Whirl your whiskey around like blazes,
Thanum an Dhoul! Do you think I'm dead?"

1 comment:

Miss Templeton said...

Dude. Finnegan's Wake psuedo-Irish? Inspiration for the title of one of the most famous/least read novels in the 20th century? (Yeah, I haven't either. But I'm sure it's good.) Hey now.

Extract from email correspondence, circa January 2004:

--- "Gibney, Michael" wrote:
Mr. Templeton,

I am a cataloguer at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Mass., and I'm trying to catalogue a broadside edition of Tim Finigan's wake. As a side note, I should say that I agree strongly with your rant on crappy Irish music. Very funny, also true. But I'm trying to find the author of the words... you mention that John F. Poole wrote the words, to
the tune "The French musician." I am inclined to believe this, but unfortunately I don't think it would go over well to cite your webpage ("Cf. crappymusic,"). I was
wondering if you could point
me to the source you used to attribute authorship to

For all that it's not the greatest song in the world, it is pretty interesting... all the sheet music editions I can find were published in 1864, giving credit to arrangers and performers, but not to composer or lyricist. I'm confident that the song had been written, performed and published in broadside form by 1859 or 1860 at New York City, however.

Also interesting, it seems that the street that Finigan lived on (1st
line) was sometimes changed based on the city where editions of the song were published. Broadside editions published in England (under the title Finnigan's Wake) have him living in "Sackville
Street," and Philadelphia editions have him in "Market Street."

Thanks, and I'd definitely appreciate it if you'd send me your source for linking John F. Poole to the song. (Poole was an interesting guy, from what I can figure out about him).

Michael Gibney

Michael A. Gibney
Cataloguer, Broadside Ballads Project
American Antiquarian Society
185 Salisbury Street
Worcester, MA 01609;

Reply to same, also circa January 2004:

Dear Mr. Gibney:

I keep waiting for someone to blast me on that essay. An Enya fan, perhaps. It was inspired in part by the many misguided CD purchases I made over the years (damn those good looking jacket illustrations!) and for a billboard to a Reno production of "Spirit of the
Dance" I see every time I drive to Sacramento.

You can cite a much worthier source than myself. I did some of the research on that section of the rant at the Library of Congress's sheet music collection:

Incidentally, browsing around that site is quite entertaining.

But, for the authority on Poole, I am relying on the magazine "Irish Music" Vol 8, No 4, November 2002, Dan Milner, page 32, which featured Tin Finigan's Wake in their "Story Behind the Songs" section. They state:

"It was in this setting that John F. Poole composed the words of "Tim Finigan's Wake" in 1861 or 1862 for
Tony Pastor, the originator of American vaudeville, coupling them with the existing melody, 'The French Musician.'"

The article goes on to state "Sheet music exists from the period that does not credit Poole as the lyricist but Jane S. Meehan's 1976 research sets the record
straight. She found this item in the Sun newspaper, "two parties, one a famous Negro minstrel, now dead, stole a song of Poole's, the popular "Finnegan's Wake"
(sic) and published it, dividing the honors of authorship, one taking credit for the words, the other for the music."

On a personal note, I have just spent a week in NYC (during the cold snap) and finished reading Kevin Baker's novel of 1860s New York entitled "Paradise Alley" while walking up and down the very streets in the story.

Kind Regards

Lee Templeton