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The Semantic Index of North American, British and Irish traditional instrumental music with annotation, formerly known as
The Fiddler's Companion.

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James Field Stanfield

WEDDING OF BALLYPOREEN (Banais Baile na Poirin). AKA and see "Ballinamona (Oro)," "Wedding of Ballinamona," "Darling kippeen of a stick," "Condy Magann, " "You Know I'm Your Priest." Irish, Scottish; Air (6/8 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Kerr): AB (O'Neill). "The Wedding of Ballyporeen" was a popular comic song (Roud Folksong Index S225098), one of several set to the air "Ballinamona" or "Ballinamona Oro." Ballyporeen is a village near Cahir, County Tipperary. Early appearances in print are in The Songster's Museum (p. 73, 180?), and in Oliver's Choice Selection of Comic Songs (Edinburgh, 1807, p. 46), and it continued to be included in songster throughout the 19th century. The first stanza goes:

Descend, ye chaste Nine, to a true Irish bard;
You're old maids, to be sure, but he sends you a card,
To beg you'll assist a poor musical elf,
With a song ready made--he'll compose it himself--
About maids, boys, a priest, and a wedding,
With a crowd you could scarce thrust your head in,
A supper, good cheer, and a bedding,
Which happened at Ballyporeen.

English sources make a claim of authorship of the song for James Field Stanfield (1749-1824), Dublin-born, who seems to have had a life in the theatre as a jack-of-all-trades, including comedian, actor, scenery painter and playwright. He wrote a comic opera called The Fisherman, performed in 1786 and was for some years manager of a theater in Scarborough, and of a company in the north of York. He was also an ardent abolistionist. In a letter to Stanfield's son, Clarkson (named for Thomas Clarkson, a famous abolitionist), dated May, 1832, Canon Tate, a fried of the elder Stanford, wrote: "Your Father was the author of several comic songs of most extraordinary merit, one of them, by its name, may afford a clue to others, 'The Wedding of Ballyporeen'" [Notes and Querys, April 17, 1897, p. 301]. Stanfield's song was called "The Irish Nuptials, or the Wedding at Ballyporeen" and was first performed at Scarborough in 1797.
His biography reads:

James Field Stanfield was born in 1749 at Dublin. He for the Catholic priesthood France. He was He joined the Eagle (under Captain David Wilson) in Liverpool on a slaving expedition to Benin as a common sailor on 7 September 1774. He was arrived on the Eagle in Benin, and transferred about 40 miles inland to a slave-trading fortress at Gato for eight months in November 1774. He was was hired by Captain Wilson for the Middle Passage to Jamaica on board the True Blue, one of a crew of 15, of whom eight died. 190 slaves were sold in Jamaica, before the True Blue sailed back to Liverpool (arriving 12th April 1776) - one of only four survivng crew members, including the captain in June 1775. He was an actor in 1777 at Manchester. He married Mary Hoad on 25 October 1785 at The Parish Church, Cheltenham; Certificate signed by Hugh Hughes, curate, and parties' signatures witnessed by Sarah Trapp - illiterate - and James Morris. NB Groom spelled name with "ff". James Field Stanfield was "The Fishermen", a two-act comic opera, unpublished in 1786. He was Ho made his debut as part of Tate Wilkinson's York circuit company (his wife also being a performer) on 7 October 1786 at Doncaster. He was "Observations on a Guinea Voyage" was published - a series of letters addressed to The Rev'd Thomas Clarkson in May 1788. He was "The Guinea Voyage", a dramatic poem published in 1789. He was "Life of the late John Howard" (the prison reformer) published anonymously by W Thompson of Newcastle in 1790. He was a brandy merchant between 1793 and 1796 at Sunderland. He was Songs and verse (15 pieces) published in the Freemasons' Magazine between 1793 and 1798. He married Maria Field Kell on 29 October 1801. James Field Stanfield was "Essay on the study & composition of biography" published by subscription in Sunderland - "moralistically erudite" but "confused and ineffective in a very strange degree" in 1813. He was He taught elocution and composition in April 1814 at Edinburgh. He was a prompter between 1819 and 1820 at Glasgow. He died on 9 May 1824 at Wootten Street, Lambeth, London; (his home) "aged 74", having had a total of ten children by his two wives. He was buried on 15 May 1824 at St Mary's, Lambeth.

See also note for "Ballinamona" for more.

THE WEDDING OF BALLYPOREEN full annotations and Past Featured Tunes

T:Wedding of Ballyporeen, The
S:O’Neill – Dance Music of Ireland: 1001 Gems (1907), No. 996
Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion
B/A/|G>AG g>fg|agf g2 g/a/|b>ag efg|dec B2 B/A/|
G>AG g>fg|agf g2 g/a/|b>ag e>fg|dec B2||
c/d/|ecA A>BA|e3 c2c|dBG G>AG|d3 B2 c/d/|
ecA A>BA|a3 f2 f/f/|gdB cAF|G3 G2||

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This demands the gathering of as much information as possible about folk pieces to attempt to trace tune families, determine origins, influences and patterns of aural/oral transmittal, and to study individual and regional styles of performance.
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