Studies In Folk-song And Popular Poetry

An Extensive Investigation Into The Sources And Inspiration Of National Folk Song

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FOLK-SONGS OF THE CIVIL WAR.          43
contributors who bear the stamp of originality naturally came from the Irish element in New York, who were familiar with the street ballad at home, and reproduced its form and sentiment for a similar audience. There are dozens of ballads relating to the exploits of the Sixty-Ninth Regiment, an Irish organization in the New York State Guard, of which Michael Corcoran, an ex-member of the Irish con­stabulary, was colonel, and Thomas Francis Mea­gher, the Irish revolutionist, and afterward a brig­adier-general of volunteers, a captain. The regi­ment took part in the battle of Bull Run, during which Colonel Corcoran was taken prisoner and carried South. The bards were instantly inspired to sing the praises of the regiment and its comman­der, and ballads were written exactly reproducing the style and language of the Irish " Come, all yez," as thus : —
Come, all ye Gallant Heroes, along with me combine ; I '11 sing to you a ditty about the Glorious Sixty-Ninth. They are a band of Brothers, from Ireland they came ; They had a bold Commander, Michael Corcoran was his name.
In one or two of them there is an improvement on this very primitive verse, gleams of humor and ebullitions of vigorous spirit. A song entitled The Jolly Sixty-Ninth has a rollicking rhythm and rude humor, of which the following is a specimen: —
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III