On Raglan Road

It is raining today…. It is under the dark cloudy sky  here… and my mind jumped to this old song, I don’t know, but I love so much this song… I listened to this song from Van Morris’ voice and lyrics but I think the most beautiful one is Luke Kelly! Whoes is this song I really don’t know,…. But I know this poem is from one of the greatiest poets in the world, Patrick Kavanagh!

Note about the song: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Raglan_Road)

The poem was put to music when the poet met Luke Kelly of the well-known Irish band The Dubliners in a pub in Dublin called The Bailey. It was set to the music of the traditional song “The Dawning of the Day” (Fáinne Geal an Lae). An Irish-language song with this name (Fáinne Geal an Lae) was published by Edward Walsh (1805-1850) in 1847 in Irish Popular Songs, and later translated into English as The Dawning of the Day, published by Patrick Weston Joyce in 1873. Given the similarity in themes and the use of the phrase “dawning of the day” in both “On Raglan Road” and the traditional tune, it is quite likely that Kavanagh from the beginning imagined the pairing of verse and tune. Indeed, there is a broadcast recording of Kavanagh singing “On Raglan Road” to the tune on Irish television and in 1974 Benedict Kiely recalled in an interview for RTE Kavanagh trying out the paired verse and tune for him soon after its writing. Kelly himself acknowledges that song was gifted to him that evening at The Bailey.

The song, often known simply as “Raglan Road“, has since been sung by The Dubliners, the Young Dubliners, Van Morrison, Sinéad O’Connor, Mark Knopfler, Billy Bragg, Roger Daltrey, Loreena McKennitt, Joan Osborne, Orla Fallon, Ian Tamblyn, Tommy Fleming and Nyle Wolfe among others.A version of the song, recorded in 1991 was published in 2011 by the Swedish band Eldkvarn as a bonus track on USB in the box set “Den goda Skörden”, Eldvarn 1971 – 2011. The Dutch band Rowwen Heze used this song in 2000 as the basis for their song “November” on their album “Vandaag”.

The Luke Kelly version was also featured in a poignant scene in the 2008 film In Bruge

The story of this poem always hits me… here is the story

On Raglan Road on an autumn day I met her first and knew.

That her dark hair would weave a snare that I might one day rue;
I saw the danger, yet I walked along the enchanted way.
And I said, let grief be a fallen leaf at the dawning of the day.”

Luke Kelly singing ‘Raglan Road’:

One thought on “On Raglan Road

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