Concert Programme
1.	The Dark-Eyed Gypsy (Len Graham and Róisín White, Child No 200)
2.	Sweet Bann Water (Len Graham, Child No 248)
3.	The Creel (Len Graham, Child No 281)
4.	The Green Wedding (Róisín White, Child No 200)
5.	Ca rabhas ar feadh an lae uain? (Róisín White, Child 12)
6.	Tom Targer (Len Graham, Child 279)
7.	Sweet William's Ghost (Len Graham, Child 77)
8.	Dowie Dens of Yarrow (Róisín White, Child 214)
9.	The Rich Ship-Owner's Daughter (Róisín White, Child 100)
10. True Lover John (Len Graham and Róisín White, Child 248)

Information on Len’s Songs

The Dark-Eyed Gypsy (The Gypsy Laddie) - Child #200
Numerous versions of this old Scottish ballad turn up in Ireland, Britain and North America and this version
came from Joe Holmes (1906-78), Killyrammer, Co. Antrim - Joe in turn learned it from his mother. The events recorded in the ballad are said to have happened in the early 17th century. A legend tells about Maybole Castle in Ayrshire, home of John Kennedy, sixth earl of Cassillis. Kennedy's wife, the Lady Jean Hamilton, eloped with Johnny Faa, King of the Gypsies. Faa and his band of gypsies were caught and hung and the Lady Jean is said to have been imprisoned for life in Maybole Castle.

Sweet Bann Water (The Lover's Ghost) - Child #248
Another ballad learned from Joe Holmes and again this fine version came from the singing of his mother.
Versions of this ballad occur widely in Ireland, Britain and North America. It turns up with and without the 'cock crowing' motif. One version collected in the1950s from Cecilia Costello, who was of Irish descent, but living in Birmingham, changes the river Bann in counties Antrim and Derry to the river Thames.

The Creel (The Keach in the Creel) - Child #281
Another popular ballad and versions turn up in Ireland, Britain and North America. This version came to me from the singing of Mary Keane, the mother of Sarah and Rita and grandmother of Dolores from Caherlistrane, Co. Galway. Mary had a glint in her eye in her lilting, humorous voice when singing this story of a young girl's amorous goings-on with her lover and the interfering mother's misfortune.

Tom Targer (The Jolly Beggar) - Child #279
I first heard a version of this sung by Packie Russell from Doolin, Co. Clare. Packie introduced it as a ‘song from the North of Ireland’ as he knew I was a Northern man. I then came across another version sung by Co. Antrim singer Robert Cinnamond and I borrowed some words and verse six from Robert. Another fragment turns up in 'Old Irish Folk Music and Songs' in the 1909 book by P.W. Joyce and I sing one of his verses as verse two.

Sweet William's Ghost - Child #77
This fine version of the ballad came from Sandy McConnell from Bellanaleck, Co. Fermanagh. Sandy told me that he learned it in pre-partitioned Ireland in the early years of the 20th century from a Royal Irish Constabulary man who hailed from Loughguile, Co. Antrim and was stationed in Derrylin, Co. Fermanagh.

True Lover John (The Grey Cock) - Child #248
This is the first song that Joe Holmes sang for me in 1963. Again Joe learned this fine version from his mother. Professor Child could only find one printed version of the ballad  'The Grey Cock' which he took from David Herd's  'Ancient and Modern Scottish Songs' which appeared in Edinburgh in 1769. Meanwhile a fuller version of the ballad was still in the oral tradition in Co. Antrim some two hundred years later.

Information on Róisín’s Songs

The Green Wedding (Katharine Jaffray) - Child #221
This ballad tells how a scots lass, Katherine Jaffray, was wooed by a scots laird. It provided the model for the tale of young Lochinrar, and Scott printed the ballad in his border minstrelsy in 1802. The Irish remodelling, The Green Wedding, I got from the singing of Nora Cleary, near Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. Nora was a regular at the song sessions held during the Willie Clancy week, where I was fortunate to meet her and spend some time with her in her home at the hand. 

Cá Rabhas ar Leadh an Lae Uaim? (Lord Randal) - Child #12
Child has fifteen versions of this ballad, Lord Randal, with references going back to the 1700’s. It is sometimes called Lord Randal, My Son. There is also a boyscout campfire version Green and Yellow. I learned this from Tríona and Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill, from the days of their group Skara Brae.

Dowie Dens of Yarrow (The Braes O Yarrow) Child #214
Also known as the Braes of Yarrow, is a Scottish border ballad, and has many variants. It tells of an unequal conflict between nine noblemen and one man, concerning a lady. I often heard my mother sing snatches of this ballad. I learned this version from the singing of Willie Scott, from the village of Canonbie, in Dumfriesshire.

The Rich Ship owners Daughter (Willie O Winsbury) Child #100
There are alternative titles including The Seven Sailor Boys, John Barbour, Willie O Winsbury and Johnny Barden. I learned this from Robert Cinnamond’s recording. I have great admiration for Robert’s style, his strong clear delivery and his rich repertoire.  He died in 1968. 
Audio Recordings from the Concert 
Recorded and Produced by Michael Fortune.
Video Documentation of Concert
Recorded and Produced by Michael Fortune.

Róisín White and Len Graham

National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin.

Wednesday 3rd of December 2014

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