I wonder whether the Connaught Rangers survive as a regiment, what
with Irish independence and other changes in the British Army down
through the years. Regiments with longstanding traditions sometimes
have regimental headquarters with museums.......
Ah, forget that; a quick check of Wikipedia, if it is to be believed,
shows that the Connaught Rangers were disbanded in 1922 by the terms
of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.
Anyway, regimental museums (or the British War Museum?) could have
evidence of this music: bandbooks, other accounts, pay records. I
don't know whether ca. 1812 bands were fife-and-drum ensembles, or
brass, or warpipes? But they would be different from the performance
practice of Irish traditional musicians at that time or this.
And intriguing line of investigation though.
At 09:37 AM 6/12/2007, you wrote:
>Michael, One more from me - from "Adventures with the Connaught
>Rangers" - a memoir.
> I came a across a reference to "Sauvourneen Deelish" in the
> memoirs of a Kildare man by the name of William Grattan who served
> as an Anglo-Irish officer in Spain over troops from the West of
> Ireland (The Connaught Rangers - aka The 88th Regiment of Foot).
> The year was 1812.
>I was moved by the following account of the mood of the Irish as
>they were preparing to rush into a brutal breech in the walls of a
>city called Badajoz near the borders of Portugal. Here's Grattan's words:
>"The band of my corps, the 88th, all Irish, played several airs
>which exclusively belong to their country, and it is impossible to
>describe the effect it had upon us all; such an air as "Savourneen
>Deelish" is sufficient, at any time, to inspire a feeling of
>melancholy, but on an occasion like the present it acted powerfully
>on the feelings of the men: they thought of their distant homes, of
>their friends, and of bygone days. It was Easter Sunday, and the
>contrast which their present position presented to what to what it
>would have been in their native land afforded ample food for the
>occupation of their minds..."
>I went and found the air in O'Neill's (Number 309; page 54).
> One further note - there had been a discussion on this list
> regarding the possibility of ensemble playing of (for want of a
> better term) ITM in (for want of a better term) "days gone
> by". The above firsthand account might be a slender straw in
> support of the existence of some form of trad ensemble playing 195 years ago.
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