"The Enniskillen Dragoon" (Roud 2185;also called "Enniskillen Dragoon" or "The Enniskillen Dragoons") is an Irish folk song associated with the Inniskilling Dragoons, a British Army regiment based at Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, in what is now Northern Ireland. The air was used as the regiment's signature quick march. The oldest lyrics tell of the love of a local lady for a soldier serving in the eponymous regiment.
The Roud Folk Song Index is a database of around 250,000 references to nearly 25,000 songs collected from oral tradition in the English language from all over the world. It is compiled by Steve Roud, a former librarian in the London Borough of Croydon. Roud's Index is a combination of the Broadside Index and a "field-recording index" compiled by Roud. It subsumes all the previous printed sources known to Francis James Child and includes recordings from 1900 to 1975. Until early 2006 the index was available by a CD subscription; now it can be found online on the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website, maintained by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). A partial list is also available at List of folk songs by Roud number.
The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.
Enniskillen is a town and civil parish in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is located almost exactly in the centre of the county, between the Upper and Lower sections of Lough Erne. It had a population of 13,823 at the 2011 Census. It was the seat of local government for the former Fermanagh District Council, and is the county town of Fermanagh as well as its largest town.
E. M. Morphy remembered hearing the "familiar old ballad" in Toronto on his arrival from Enniskillen in 1835.William Frederick Wakeman in 1870 called it "an old song once, and to some extent still[,] popular on the banks of the Erne". Patrick Weston Joyce (1827–1914) wrote in 1909:
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. The city is the anchor of the Golden Horseshoe, an urban agglomeration of 9,245,438 people surrounding the western end of Lake Ontario. Toronto is an international centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.
William Frederick Wakeman was an Irish archaeologist, initially producing works as an artist and then as an author.
Lough Erne is the name of two connected lakes in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is the second-biggest lake system in Northern Ireland and Ulster, and the fourth biggest in Ireland. The lakes are widened sections of the River Erne, which flows north and then curves west into the Atlantic. The smaller southern lake is called the Upper Lough as it is higher up the river. The bigger northern lake is called the Lower Lough or Broad Lough. The town of Enniskillen lies on the short stretch of river between the lakes. The lake has 150+ islands along with many coves and inlets. When windy, navigation on Lower Lough Erne, running for 26 miles (42 km) almost to the Atlantic, can be something of a challenge with waves of open-sea dimensions. Shallow Upper Lough Erne, spreading southeast of Enniskillen for about 12 miles, is a maze of islands. The River Erne is 80 miles (129 km) long and drains an area of about 1680 square miles (4,350 km2).
Sigerson's version adapts the chorus and replaces the verses entirely.In the 1960s, Tommy Makem, who characterised the original as having "obscure verses and a very singable chorus", wrote new verses with the regiment's soldiers describing their service in the Peninsular War. Makem renamed it "Fare Thee Well Enniskillen" and performed it with the Clancy Brothers.
Thomas "Tommy" Makem was an internationally celebrated Irish folk musician, artist, poet and storyteller. He was best known as a member of the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. He played the long-necked 5-string banjo, tin whistle, low whistle, guitar, bodhrán and bagpipes, and sang in a distinctive baritone. He was sometimes known as "The Bard of Armagh" and "The Godfather of Irish Music".
The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was a military conflict between Napoleon's empire and Bourbon Spain, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when the French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, and escalated in 1808 when France turned on Spain, previously its ally. The war on the peninsula lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814, and is regarded as one of the first wars of national liberation, significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare.
The following text appears in an 1840 collection of American broadsides:
A beautiful damsel of fame and renown,
A gentleman’s daughter of fame and renown,
As she rode by the barracks this beautiful maid,
She stood in her coach to see the draggoons parade.
They were all dress’d out like gentleman’s sons,
With their bright shining swords and carbine guns,
With their silver mounted pistols, she observed them full soon,
Because that she lov’d her Enniskillen draggoon.
You bright sons of Mars who stand on the right,
Whose armour doth shine like the bright stars of night,
Saying, Willy, dearest Willy, you’ve listed full soon,
For to serve as a royal Enniskillen draggoon.
Oh! Flora, dearest Flora, your pardon I crave,
It’s now and forever I must be a slave,
Your parents they insulted me both morning and noon,
For fear that you’d wed an Enniskillen draggoon.
Oh! mind, dearest Willy, O mind what you say,
For children are bound their parents to obey;
For when we ’re leaving Ireland they will all change their tune,
Saying, the Lord may be with you, Enniskillen draggoon.
Fare-you-well, Enniskillen, fare-you-well for a while,
And all around the borders of Erin’s green Isle;
And when the war is over we'll return in full bloom,
And they'll all welcome home the Enniskillen draggoon.
Joyce's 1909 version is similar; Flora is specified to be from Monaghan town.In 1966, song collector Hugh Shields recorded Eddie Butcher of Inishowen singing a similar version as a slow lament. A 1930 version adds a final verse in which Willy and Flora are married.
Inishowen is a peninsula in the north of County Donegal in Ireland. It is the largest peninsula on the island of Ireland. The Inishowen peninsula includes Ireland's most northerly point, Malin Head. The Grianan of Aileach, a ringfort that served as the royal seat of the over-kingdom of Ailech, stands at the entrance to the peninsula.
County Fermanagh is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland and one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. The county covers an area of 1,691 km² and has a population of 61,805 as of 2011. Enniskillen is the county town and largest in both size and population.
In Ireland, a rebel song is a folk song whose lyrics extol the deeds of actual or fictional participants in any of the various armed rebellions against English, and later British, rule in Ireland. Songs about older rebellions were long popular with most Irish nationalists; more recent songs are associated with supporters of physical force Irish republicanism.
"The Sash" is a ballad from the Irish province of Ulster commemorating the victory of King William III in the Williamite War in Ireland in 1690–1691.
The 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards was a cavalry regiment of the British Army formed in 1922 by the amalgamation of the 5th Dragoon Guards and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. It served in the Second World War and the Korean War. In August 1992, as a consequence of the Options for Change defence cuts, the regiment was amalgamated with the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards to form the Royal Dragoon Guards.
The Battle of Newtownbutler took place near Enniskillen in County Fermanagh, Ireland in 1689 and was part of the Williamite War in Ireland between the forces of William III and Mary II and those of King James II.
The Bonnie Lass o' Fyvie is a Scottish folk song about a thwarted romance between a soldier and a girl. Like many folk songs, the authorship is unattributed, there is no strict version of the lyrics, and it is often referred to by its opening line "There once was a troop o' Irish dragoons". The song is also known by a variety of other names, the most common of them being "Peggy-O", "Fennario", and "The Maid of Fife".
Makem and Spain was an Irish-American folk music band. The band was founded as "The Makem Brothers" in February 1989 by Rory, Shane, and Conor Makem, the three sons of "The Godfather of Irish Music" Tommy Makem, and grandsons of Irish source singer Sarah Makem.
"I'll Tell Me Ma" is a well-known children's song. It was collected in various parts of England in the 19th century and again appears in collections from shortly after the turn of the 20th century. In Ireland the chorus usually refers to Belfast city and is known colloquially as "The Belle of Belfast City", although it is also adapted to other Irish cities, such as Dublin. English versions refer to the "Golden City" or "London City". This song is Roud Folk Song Index number 2649.
The Suffolk Miracle is Child ballad 272 and is listed as #246 in the Roud Folk Song Index. Versions of the ballad have been collected from traditional singers in England, Ireland and North America. The song is also known as "The Holland Handkerchief" and sometimes as "The Lover's Ghost".
The 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first raised in 1689 as Sir Albert Cunningham's Regiment of Dragoons. One of the regiment's most notable battles was the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690. It became the 6th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Dragoons in 1751. The regiment also fought with distinction in the Charge of the Union Brigade at the Battle of Waterloo and again as part of the successful Charge of the Heavy Brigade against superior numbers at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War. The First World War sounded the death knell for mounted cavalry as it became apparent that technology had moved forward with greater destructive power and made horsed cavalry redundant on the modern battlefield. The British Army reorganised and reduced its cavalry corps by disbanding or amalgamating many of its famous cavalry regiments. The Inniskillings was one of those affected. It saw service for two centuries, including the First World War, before being amalgamated with 5th Dragoon Guards to form 5th/6th Dragoons in 1922.
"The Cuckoo" is a traditional English folk song, also sung in the United States, Canada, Scotland and Ireland. It has been covered by many musicians in several different styles. An early notable recorded version was performed by Appalachian folk musician Clarence Ashley with a unique banjo tuning.
The Lowlands of Holland is a Scottish folk song in which a young woman sings about her husband, who was conscripted or "pressed" by the English into an Anglo-Dutch conflict in the West Indies. Versions of the song exist in Ireland, Scotland and at times England, and several variants of the lyrics exist. The song variously describes the young man's conscription, the woman's grief at his death and her refusal to adorn herself or marry again, and sometimes a verse where the woman's mother advises her to find a new partner, or an account of the man's ship sinking.
William "Willy" Brennan was an Irish Highwayman caught and hanged in Cork in either 1804 or perhaps 1809 or 1812, whose story was immortalised in the ballad "Brennan on the Moor".
"The Butcher’s Boy" or "The Butcher Boy" is an American folk song derived from traditional English ballads. Folklorists of the early 20th century considered it to be a conglomeration of several English broadside ballads, tracing its stanzas to "Sheffield Park", "The Squire's Daughter", "A Brisk Young Soldier", "A Brisk Young Sailor" and "Sweet William ".
"Weela Weela Walya", also called "Weila Waile", "Wella Wallia" or "The River Saile", is an Irish schoolyard song that tells the story of an infanticide in a comic way. It was popularised in the 1960s by Irish folk bands The Dubliners and The Clancy Brothers.
"Early, Early in the Spring" is a British folk song that has been collected from traditional singers in England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada and the United States. It tells the story of a sailor gone to sea whose beloved promises to wait for him. When he returns she has married a rich man and he goes back to sea with a broken heart and a bitter attitude. In a few American versions the betrayed lover is a cowboy.
The Rocks of Bawn is an Irish traditional folk song, likely originating in County Galway in the early 18th century. It has been catalogued in the Roud Folk Song Index, as number 3024. It has been recorded and sang publicly by numerous Irish folk singers.