"Paddy's Lamentation" is an Irish traditional song. It tells the story about a starving Irish farmer who left the green of Ireland to sail to America for opportunities. Instead, he finds himself in a middle of an American Civil war. The best lines in the song has got to be about his time serving under General Thomas Meagher.
General Meagher was he said, if you get shot or lose your head
Every murdered soul of youse will get a pension
Well meself I lost me leg, they gave me a wooden peg,
And by God this is the truth to you I mention
I believe the song is actually based on a real Paddy or Patrick, can anyone verify this for me? I thought I read about the real origin on the liner notes for Sinead O'Connor's Sean-Nos Nua album, but that's currently out on loan.
The first version of this song that I've heard is O'Connor's version, which is fairly recent. So basically I believe it's also my favorite version. What made this version so good is that she added additional lyrics (perhaps these lyrics were dropped over the years to shorten the song?).
In the liner notes, she did credit hearing this song for the first time by Mary Black (mary-black.net). In my research on her version first appeared on the compilation De Danann - Anthem in 1985, but I have the soundtrack to Long Journey Home which uses the same recording.
Apparently, Black is quite famous in her homeland of Ireland since 1983. In 1989, she released No Frontiers which is one of the best-selling albums of up to that time period. By the time Babes in the Wood in 1991, it went straight to #1 in the Irish charts.
After 25 years in the industry, Black is still producing music and recently release Full Tide in 2005.
Linda Thompson (myspace.com) has a pretty neat version on the Gangs of New York sountrack.
I actually own and love this Martin Scorsese film. Who knew Leonardo DiCaprio could pull off as Irish?
Daniel Day-Lewis is absolutely amazing in this film.
Anyway, Thompson's version doesn't have any music, but she carries the song very well with just her voice.
I don't know much about her, except she was married Richard Thompson, of Fairport Convention fame. Fairport Convention was considered by many as the first electric-folk band.
04/19/08 Bürgerhaus 64678 Lindenfels
04/25/08 Schlosskeller Darmstadt
04/26/08 Spectaculum Mundi
06/13/08 Burg Kronberg 61476
06/27/08 Museumsdorf Cloppenburg
06/29/08 Morsbroicher Sommer
08/09/08 Weingut Merkel
08/22/08 Burg Eppstein 65817 Eppstein
08/23/08 Burg Lemberg, bei Pirmasens
09/14/08 Ladenburger Altstadtfest
10/31/08 Bürgerhaus Taunus
11/29/08 Celtic Circles, Fridtjof Nansen Haus
12/07/08 Halb Neun Theater Darmstadt
Speaking of bands I know nothing about, Dhalia's Lane (dhalia.de) has a live version of "Paddy's Lamentation" available on their website. It was recorded fairly recently, last September 2007 at Sänger Berk Demiray.
Since I'm far too lazy to get the German information translated, I can guess that they're a folk/celtic band from Germany. They seem to be quite busy, with their entire tour dates planned out through the whole year!
Looking at their full discography on de.wikipedia.org, I was able to determine that they were previously known as Wild Silk (1995-1999), but changed their name to Dhalia, then finally Dhalia's Lane.
I don't know why they changed their names, but I'm guessing it's probably due to changing band members or Dhalia might have been too common... Perhaps someone can translate some German for me?
One of my sister's favorite band is Flogging Molly (floggingmolly.com) has a song called "Paddy's Lament" on their latest album, Float.
Listening to the song, it doesn't seem like it shares anything with the traditional song - except for its title. Still the song's not half bad!
If you're not familar with Flogging Molly, they are a seven-piece band from Los Angeles, California - currently on tour according to their myspace.
Their sound is best described as mostly Irish traditional, with a weird mix of punk and even country.
The band's name came from their regular routine of playing every Monday night at Molly Malone's pub.
We used to play there every Monday night and we felt like we were flogging it to death, so we called the band Flogging Molly
Lastly, I have "The Storyteller (Paddy's Song)" by Pentagle (jacquimcshee.co.uk). The song has nothing to do with "Paddy's Lamentation", but I couldn't help but notice the Irish-type song and that "paddy" name.
This original band broke up in 1973, but a new incarnation appeared shortly after 1981.
The new Pentagle was the band responsible for this song, available on their 1991's album Think of Tomorrow .
Interestingly enough, "pent"agle always has five band members, and they have a pentagram symbol from Sir Gawain's shield...
Last year, the original band members were awarded the BBC Radio 2's Lifetime Achievement award. The original Pentagle reunite for a 12 date UK tour.
Well that's pretty it for me for "Paddy's Lamentation". If you know of other covers, please drop me a line!
Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 6:39 PM
I`ve read your news about Dhalia`s Lane. I am Diana Hübner and want to give a short information. The singer in front of the photo isn`t me. It`s Anna Hachulla. But the voice is mine. I`ve leaved the band in summer 2008, now she is the only female singer. :-)