Brennan on the Moor

Saturday, January 7, AD 2017

Something for the weekend.  Brennan on the Moor sung by the Clancy Brothers.  The song dates from the 1840s, and is loosely based on the exploits of Irish bandit Willie Brennan who was hanged in the early part of nineteenth century.  Over time the song became a favorite of Irish troops before they went into battle.  The song was introduced to a wider audience in America when it was recorded by American folk singer and actor Burl Ives in 1949.

(Yeah, I also prefer the version of the Clancy Brothers.)

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6 Responses to Brennan on the Moor

  • Omigosh, this brought back the memories.

    I grew up listening to the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. My dad used to play them on the record player on Sundays … loudly… as we all got ready for Mass. When they would come into town, my parents would go see them.

    I don’t remember all the words to every song, but I know all the melodies and usually the refrains. “It was Brennan on the moor, Brennan on the moor. Bold, brave, and undaunted was young Brennan on the moor.” That one I remember.

    Others: The Old Orange Flute, Tim Finnegan’s Wake, Johnson’s Motor Car, Four Green Fields, et cetera.

    Wow, memories. I’m back in the ’60s.

  • As always, great stuff from the Clancy Bros. My first introduction to the Clancy Brothers was an album, Older, But No Wiser, with Tommy Makem (in 1995). On that album, they covered Bob Dylan’s “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Willie”, which itself was based on “Brennan on the Moor”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBiiuNT7_3s

  • The Clancy Brothers were my introduction to folk music and Irish History… I always stopped at Tommy Makem’s restaurant when I was in NYC. Great memories

  • Wouldn’t you just know it, Lads. My own Father did a tracin’ of the Family Tree. What he found made him so proud !
    It appears that our earliest ancestor, who made it to America, was an IRISHMAN FROM CORK ! He was a
    horsethief and had to flee the bloody Brits ! He was an amazing man, of stealth and charm !
    Timothy R.

  • Hear, hear ! I’M BUYIN the next round !
    Timothy R.

  • My father “inherited” from his grandfather (from County Sligo) a number of 1900’s records with Irish tenor John McCormack singing many of the old songs. I listened to them as a boy. My sister has them.

    I heard/saw a You Tube video on a battalion of the British Army, Irish Guards marching out of barracks to deploy to war in Iraq. The bank played “Whiskey in the Jar.” The IG’s regimental march is “The St. Patrick’s Day March,” which John Ford featured in the movie, “Fort Apache.” Also, Mr. Ford had sung the old Irish rebel song, “The Brave Fenian Men” in his classic movie, “Rio Grande.”

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