Verse 1: 'YOU mourning sons of this afflicted nation, / Attend with pity to my sad appeal, / For loud and long is the lamentations, / That swells the shores of pure Granuale; / A nations tears on the sad occasion, / Proclaims the loss of the last and brave, / On sable garments of desolation, / Poor Granua weeps round O'Connell's grave.'
This is a ballad mourning the death of Daniel O' Connell, the nineteenth century Irish home-rule campaigner who died in 1847 on a pilgrimage to Rome. He had suffered ill-health after being imprisoned by the British government on alleged conspiracy charges. In this ballad he is resurrected as an Irish hero, fit to be in the company of those great heroes of Irish mythology. 'Granua' was the daughter of the Irish mythic hero Finn McCool, but in this context Grauna's voice represents the folk voice of the Irish people as a whole, and 'Granuale' is used as an alternative, ancient name for Ireland.
Early ballads were dramatic or humorous narrative songs derived from folk culture that predated printing. Originally perpetuated by word of mouth, many ballads survive because they were recorded on broadsides. Musical notation was rarely printed, as tunes were usually established favourites. The term 'ballad' eventually applied more broadly to any kind of topical or popular verse.
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Probable date published:
1847- shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(78a)
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