The Green Fields Of America


Jon wishes all a “Happy St Patricks day!” adding, appropriately enough, “I got this from Planxty. There’s also a nice version available on iTunes sung by Marguerite Hutchinson (Magpie Lane) with yours truly on Uileann pipes. I sold the pipes shortly afterwards so it may be the only surviving evidence of that particular obsession.”

Another from that first Planxty album and lament of the homesick émigré.  One of the great displacements of a population is at the heart of this. It’s a subject I might like to get my teeth into, but confess to being largely ignorant of the facts. As such I’ll leave you to Mudcat away, starting here, where you’ll also note the obvious Canadian variant of this. Perhaps it’s best to put the cork back into the political bottle and gargle a Guinness or three to get on the celebratory side instead. Still, I find this rather moving, especially the sentiment at the end. Stirring stuff.


21 Responses to “The Green Fields Of America”

  1. John Phipps says:

    I listened to this and saw a headline in the local paper. “Lucinda Williams at the 9:30 Club, making misery sound sublime” and went hmm.

  2. Jan says:

    Beautifully sung, Jon. Probably as good as Kevin Conneff of the Chieftains!

    Simon, there was a BBC TV series called Bringing It All Back Home about the spread of Irish music which dealt to some extent with the reasons for emigration, and there is a double CD of the same name still available with some very fine music and well worth a listen if you can get hold of it.

    Happy St Patrick’s Day to one and all – I’m off to the pub for a good old Irish session!

  3. Simon says:

    Jan thanks for the pointer. It’ll have to go into the projects folder, but music is always a good start. I only spotted a handful of Guinness hats abroad tonight and am sure the wearers were not of Irish decent by their conversation. I hope you had more of a crac.

  4. Jan says:

    I did, thanks – it was a St Patrick’s night with a group called Skibbereen who do all Irish music – no Guinness hats, but my friend came home with a green balloon covered in shamrocks that she swiped off the table – some people, you can’t take them anywhere!

    Sounds as if your projects folder is as big and bulging as mine.

  5. Jane Ramsden says:

    Beautifully sung, Jon.

  6. Ann Marie Boyle says:

    An old song of my Dad’s. Good man John!

  7. Muzza (N.W.Surrey-UK) says:

    I see from Jon’s notes that he plays the Uileann pipes (AS WELL!)aaaarrrggghhh.
    Can we have a list of instruments that Jon Plays.
    I would guess that he probably played on the linoleum at a very early age.

  8. Diana says:

    Rather a lament. Many Irish emigrated to other countries after the potato famine of 1848 when about a million people died and a similar number emigrated – mostly to the US of A. A good choice by Jon for St. Patrick’s Day.

    @Muzza judging by his CD’s Jon seems to be able to play any instrument one cares to mention. But appreciate your remark about the linoleum only you would come up with that! 😆

  9. Diana says:

    Muzza where have all your smiley faces gone? Do you realise that a week has gone since we mastered them thanks to our patient tutor. Gosh doesn’t time fly?

  10. Jane Ramsden says:

    Beautifully sung, Jon. Very poignant, since I’ve more or less finished my ‘Idiot’s Guide To Irish History and Culture’ and just been reading about The Great Hunger, emigration to Ameriky etc. So profound was the effect of the famine experience that one of the first financial expenditures of some emigrés was a funeral plot. Whilst some individuals and landlords in Ireland did their best to help ease the suffering of their tenants and keep people alive during the famine, the British Govt was sadly wanting. Another mean old scene…

  11. Jan says:

    Simon,did you ever get round to investigating ‘ Bringing them all back home ‘ that I mentioned this time las year?

  12. Simon says:

    Jan I must confess I didn’t but then when I started to search for it I was subsumed by Bob Dylan’s fifth studio album. It took a while to sort out any kind of reference to it at all, but thanks for the nudge as I’m now on the case. I see there’s a book as well as the record.

  13. Diana says:

    Still such a sad story.

  14. Diana says:

    Not much to add to my previous comments.

  15. Old Muzza (N.W.Surrey UK) says:

    Well it’s here but………nobody else from the old crew is!

  16. Linda says:

    Muzza Now the captains back the crew are reassembling hopefully with some new members……… nice to be back……

  17. Old Muzza(N.W.Surrey.UK) says:

    Hi Lindy Lou…….bally crew still on shore leave it seems
    Gonna go to a song session with the morris men tonight…….they’d celebrate the opening of n envelope but I believe tonight is under the ‘guise of St Patrick’s night …suppose I can bring ’em to tears with ‘The Rose of tralee’ and ‘Fields of Athenry!’
    (thinking about it- they cry whatever I sing!)

  18. Old Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUNG JON BODEN…….cor blimey guvnor…time marches on.
    May you have another happy and healthy year as you start your next 365 day journey round the sun.

  19. Old MUzza (NW Surrey UK) says:

    Happy Birthday to young Jon…..blimey 1977….just out of short trousers no doubt.
    Well the old National Lockdown takes the edge off celebrations but Birthdays is Birthdays…have a good one.

  20. OldMuzza(NW Surrey UK) says:

    Happy birthday to Old Jon B….time keeps marching on….nearly time for your jab young fella!… doubt there will be some wag writing a folk song to commemorate the virus and in the year 2090 some singer will stand up in a folk club on Mars and sing of ‘the great Earth plague’ of 2020!

  21. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Happy Birthday to young Jon B……1977 was a good year….some sort of Jubilee or something happened as well…….
    Cor blimey Guvnor…..I can’t even remember when I was 80 ….let alone 46!

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