Irish Pirate Ballads and Other Songs of the Sea

By London, Carol | Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore, Fall-Winter 2010 | Go to article overview

Irish Pirate Ballads and Other Songs of the Sea


London, Carol, Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore


Irish Pirate Ballads and Other Songs of the Sea, by Dan Milner. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Folkways, 2009. Thirteen tracks, $16.98 CD.

I came upon this CD of songs to which one might want to dance a jig, by Irish musician and musicologist Dan Milner, in an indirect way: I have been on a search for a pirate shanty for my historical novel about women pirates. This has several, one or two of which I particularly like for my purpose, as well as others that I enjoy for their own sakes.

I immediately zeroed in on one whose subject matter was most familiar: "Granuaile." She's Grace O'Malley, a real sixteenth-century pirate whose life was portrayed in the Broadway musical The Pirate Queen. It wasn't what I wanted for my book, although I liked the song. Milner's notes indicate that "Granuaile, historically, has long been synonymous with the Irish nation."

I decided to consider some other songs for use in my novel. "The Flying Cloud" seems a perfect choice. Sung by Dan Milner, it is a wistful ballad about the life of pirates on a ship, including a graphic description of the shackled slaves held below deck. The lyrics certainly capture the essence of pirate life. The song matches the descriptions I've encountered throughout my years of research about the exciting and sometimes bloodthirsty renegades.

A second song that I love because of its beautiful melody is "The River Lea," about a seaman "willingly" deciding to give up life at sea. During the 1700s, those pirates agreeing to follow the order of King George to give up the life of piracy and settle down on land were granted clemency; those who refused were hanged. "The River Lea" is not about a pirate, but it beautifully captures the conflicts in the heart of a longtime seaman deciding to resettle on the shore.

This CD is a collection of mostly Irish pirate songs, but some songs also touch on other law-defying citizens--not to mention those who were dispossessed by the government, or simply life. Dan Milner has an Irish background and "grew up in a singing family." Milner's autobiography begins with his hardscrabble childhood, which is reminiscent of Frank McCourt's. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Irish Pirate Ballads and Other Songs of the Sea
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.