'Down by the Salley Gardens'


About this Item

The song 'The Rambling Boys of Pleasure', on which W. B. Yeats is likely to have based his poem 'Down by the Salley Gardens', as sung by Robert Cinnamond from Glenavey Co. Antrim and Angelo Dornan from New Brunswick, Newfoundland.  

  • Title
    The Ramblin' Boys of Pleasure
  • 1st Broadcast
  • Contributor
    Proinsias Ó Conluain
    Seán O Boyle
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Clip title
    'Down by the Salley Gardens'
  • Extended description

    "You Rambling' Boys of Pleasure" is likely to be a song recorded in Co. Antrim, only, as far as folk song scholars are concerned. Proinsias was particularly interested in the song and what he felt was the W.B. Yeats connection. His curiosity was further aroused when Angelo Dornan, whose ancestors had left Co Antrim for New Brunswick in 1825, came to Ireland in 1968 to search out possible Dornan relatives. Angelo sang a very full version of 'You Rambling Boys of Pleasure' for Proinsias.

    Yeats himself described 'Down by the Salley Gardens' as an old song-re-sung and it is thought that he heard it performed by an old woman in the village of Ballisodare in county Sligo.

  • Information

    Robert Cinnamond was a singer from Glenavey Co Antrim who was recorded by Proinsias Ó Conluain and the BBC. He had a great store of songs many of them reflecting sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland as seen, unusually, from the point of view of both communities.

    When Proinsias recorded the programme "Ramblin' Boys of Pleasure" with Angelo Dornan he referred to the Robert Cinnamond version of the song which he himself had recorded with Sean O' Boyle in attendance. However, he didn't use this version in the programme. So the Cinnamond version was added here from the field recording. At the beginning of the item you can hear Robert speaking with Seán O'Boyle. Seán O'Boyle was a folk song and Irish language scholar from Co Armagh.

    The first person to suggest a connection between the two songs was Sam Henry in his monumental work 'Songs of the People' in 1939. In some versions of the song the Christian name Sally is substituted and we get 'Down by my Sally's Gardens'. 

    The accompanying photograph shows Irish poet William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939) in 1930.

  • Local keywords
    Proinsias Ó Conluain, Antrim, WB Yeats, Angelo Dornan, You Ramblin Boys of Pleasure
  • Geographical coverage
    Ireland, Antrim
  • Topic
    The Media
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • Production year
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
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  • Item type
  • Item sound
  • Language used
    English (eng)
  • Original language
    English (eng)