WHO WAS CHARLIE OG MCCANN?

by mariocorrigan on September 10, 2008

A query re. a folk Song about Carbury from Eamonn Pitts – can anybody help identify the subject of the song? Was this an actual historical character? The song was either entitled The Hill of Carbury or Charlie Og McCann. If anybody can shed any light on the subject they can either email me at localhistory@kildarecoco.ie or email Eamonn direct [his address is below]

Here is text i received from a member of the Comhaltas branch in Edenderry about two years ago. Like all folk songs there are variations eg I remember from my youth the first line of the fourth verse as "The autumn breeze blew loud and shrill, the rain began to fall". and my memory is that at the end of each verse you go Charley Og McCann, Charley Og McCann followed by a repeat of the last line.
 
1 The brave old hill of Carbury is stately bold and strong
and down the vale of Newberry, the river flows along
strong and ancient is that hill, well known to every man
and gentle as the purling rill went Charlie  Og McCann
 
2 Twas in the merry month of May we met upon the green,
the fairest at the fair that day my Charlie Og was seen,
the brightest at the dance was he, where mirth and music rang
and many a maid invited him, my Charlie Og McCann
 
3 The brave old hill of Carbery, where many a time we met,
when summer birds sang merrily, I never can forget.
Twas there we wandered side by side, twas there our love began,
twas there I said I’d be the bride of Charlie Og McCann
 
4 The evening breeze blew loud and shrill, the leaves began to fall,
I stood alone upon the hill beside the castle wall.
My love was borne away from me, all in a prison van
They banished him far oer the sea, brave Charlie Og McCann (beyond the waves rather than far o’er the sea in my memory)
 
5 the brave old hill of Carbury in grief I wander o’er
My heart is beating wearily for I know he’ll come no more
His loving bride i ne’er shall be, his face i ne’er shall scan
for its in old Ireland’s cause he died, brave Charlie Og McCann
 

 
Eamonn Pitts eamonnpitts@hotmail.com


An interesting ballad/song relating to Carbury which begs the question – Who was Charlie Og McCann?

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