Monday, April 09, 2007

MINSTREL BOY (canto de oveja popular del siglo XVIII)

"The Minstrel Boy" is a song written by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) who set it to the melody of The Moreen, an old Irish air. It is widely believed that Moore composed the song in remembrance of a number of his friends, whom he met while studying at Trinity College, Dublin and who had participated in (and were killed during) the 1798 rebellion of the United Irishmen. However, the song gained widespread popularity and became a favorite of many Irishmen who fought during the United States Civil War. The song is notably associated with organisations that historically had a heavy representation of Irish-Americans, in particular the police and fire departments of New York, Boston and Chicago and those of various other major US metropolitan areas, even after those organisations have ceased to have a substantial over-representation of personnel of Irish ancestry. The melody is frequently played at funerals of members and/or officers of such organisations who have died or been killed in service, typically on bagpipes. Unsurprisingly, given its lyrics, it is also associated with the Irish Army and with traditionally Irish regiments and/or Irish Brigades found in other armies. (A song with similar status is the more recent Danny Boy.) The text of the original song follows:

The minstrel boy to the war is gone,

In the ranks of death you'll find him;

His father's sword he hath girded on,

And his wild harp slung behind him;

"Land of Song!" cried the warrior bard,

"Tho' all the world betrays thee,

One sword, at least, thy right shall guard,

One faithful harp shall praise thee!"

The Minstrel fell! But the foeman's chain

Could not bring that proud soul under;

The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again,

For he tore its chords asunder;

And said "No chains shall sully thee,

Thou soul of love and brav'ry!

Thy songs were made for the pure and free

They shall never sound in slavery!

During the American Civil War, a third verse, steeped in Christian eschatology, is added.

The minstrel boy will return one day,

When we hear the news, we will cheer it.

The minstrel boy will return we pray,

Torn in body, perhaps, but not in spirit.

Then may he play his harp in peace,

In a world such as Heaven intended,

For every quarrel of Man must cease,

And every battle shall be ended.


Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Wounded" (air date January 28, 1991). Its tune is heard on several occasions during Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (usually in reference to Miles O'Brien). It plays in the final episode "What You Leave Behind" when O'Brien is looking at his empty quarters and recalls his life aboard Deep Space 9.

Black Hawk Down (attributed to Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros). In this movie it is also heard during the evacuation of PFC Blackburn.

John Huston's 1975 film The Man Who Would Be King but the lyrics are those of Reginald Heber's The Son of God Goes Forth to War from the Lutheran Songbook [1].

G Troop's troop song in the TNT film Rough Riders

The song is performed by the Canadian band Enter the Haggis on their 2004 album, Casualties of Retail.

The song is performed by The Clancy Brothers (sung by Liam CLancy) on their 1959 album, The Rising of the Moon.

The Departed. It is played at an graduation ceremony of police cadets; one of them is irish rooted and going to fight organized crime.

Gettysburg as General Winfield Scott Hancock watches the Irish Brigade receive Fr. Corby's blessing prior to the battle.

An instrumental version of the song was recorded by The Corrs on their album Forgiven Not Forgotten

It was used as background music in the Ken Burns documentaries The Civil War and Baseball.

Gods and Generals

The song, performed Performed by Morning Star with vocals by Rosaleen Linehan forms part of the soundtrack of the 1993 film Untamed Heart

Y cierra esa gran obra de arte que es Global a Go Go

@ Aerfort Átha Cliath, 2007-04-08
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