Posts Tagged “immigration”

The Irish Roots Cafe
curious news and notes by Mike O’Laughlin

Letters from an Irish Immigrant. ( First in a series)
Key words: Castle Gardens, OKeefe, Boston, Jersey City, Brooklyn, Counihan, Lusid, Callaghan, Gortroe, Walsh
(From a series of letters from Jeramiah Moynihan uncovered during a renovation of the Bricin in downtown Killarney. Supplied generously by Johnny Maguire to me in May 1993. I have added the likely punctuation on my own – Mike O’L.)

Boston, July 3, 1867.
My Dear Father, Mother & Brothers,
I hope you will excuse me for not writing home before now. I had so much tossing and turning about from poast to pillar. I was for five weeks in Jersey City at worke and I could stop there for a long time. I wrote to Boston to my uncles and aunt and they were most impatient until I came to Boston. I went to worke to Uncle Michael and I could not stand him or is wife. I came up to Timothy Callaghan and he gave me work cheerfully and gave me more wages than I was wort. I suppose you know him he is Mick Callaghans son, he takes large contracts and employs a lot of men to work. I have nothing at all to say to him , everyting is different in this country from home. Girls can do a great deal better than men. I left Mary after me in Brooklyn, that is in New York, she got a very good place and I am very glad she remeant their. Johanna got a place outside Boston called Briton, it is a country place. There are a great many of the friends their, it was one Mrs. Walsh that got Johanna the place out their, her own name is Mara, from the Rock Road.

You gave me to much to do entirely in sending three of us into a country with doubth (without) manes or money and every person was surprised how bare we were. Every person was very kind to us but Michael Mara that is my Uncle, but I deny him to be my Uncle. My Uncle Gerry was every kind to me and Aunt Hanna is very she don a great deal for Johanna she dressed her out in great stile she is on the look out for a good place for Johanna. Mary is very well she writes very often once a week to one another. I am very thankful to Timothy Moynihan he gave me some tools what I wanted. I am very thankful to Gerry Counihan he is very well and not forgetting Ned Counihan.

Let me know is their much doing any person having any sort of way at home, it would be better for them to stop at home, the old country is much better than this country. I hope ye will hold yere grip, if I could get any thing to do at wheelwrithing I would do a great deal better. I am at floor laying with John Lusid he is very well.
I would not advise any person to come to America I could make up as much as would take me home again if you like. Timothy Callaghan is going home 20th July. Tell Denis Keefe and his friends his health is not good. (CONT….)

Dear Mother you need (not) fret nor be troubled about us it is now used to us. I cried and fretted a great deal when I landed at the Castle Gardens when I knew no(w) one thier and I had no(w) place to go to. Dan and Michael Moynihan of Gortroe behaved very well to us- that is Michael the black smith. I am very sorry that I came to Boston but it cant be healpt. If Johanna was in a good place I would go to some other place. Every person had great blame to you for sending Mary but she is lucky enough. I had a great deal to do on board the ship- they were so sick and knowing no one they were sick all the time nearly, I was very sick for the first week and from that out I got strong thank God.
I suppose you have Eugene to work, Tim and Con are well hope Andrew will mind the work. My best respects to all the friends and well wishers. I would write long ago but for Mary writing so often she did not send that letter down to me she told me their was so much grief in it. You can direct to Mary and she will send it down to me. I remain your affectionate son … Jeramiah Moynihan.
We Might be able to send you a little money in a few months but we were so bare for clothes.

About the author of this blog
Mike O’Laughlin is the most published author in his field. Since 1978 he has authored: 60 books, 40 CD’s and Videos, 300 podcasts, and over 1,000 articles. Having written books on every county in Ireland, he also publishes rare works in both Irish and English, including ‘The Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters’ and the ‘Irish Book of Arms’. His works are found at

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Today at the Irish Roots Cafe:
My Name is Paddy Leary: Off to Philadelphia

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Paddy Leary
I first heard this song, which dates at least back
to 1889, on an old Victrola recording on YouTube.
It was Wilfred Glenn I heard singing it, and it is still
up on YouTube today. It came out well before
the era of Tin Pan Alley in the U.S., and I consider
it a stage song of the 1880s-90’s

Faulty Credits
This is an old song composed by Battison Hayes (b.1859-d.1900).
It is not by John Patterson, of County Clare, Ireland, who is
also of some note. The Clare County Library had the wrong
attribution for a short while, but quickly corrected it after we
sent an email with the updated information. It is usually
given as a traditional tune, also associated with Stephen Temple.

The Victrola Version
The early version I heard was quite distinctive, with orchestra
in the background, and a rather…. exaggerated style, which I
think fits the piece, and how it was performed in the day.
John McCormack himself performed the song, as well as the
‘Irish Tenors’ in more modern times.
Todays video contains my version ‘Paddy Leary’, just because
it stuck with me for a few years.

Here are the Lyrics I normally use for this song:

Oh, Me name is Paddy Leary
from a spot called Tipp-er-ar-y-
The hearts of all the girls I am a thorn in
But before the break of morn-
it is they’ll be all forlorn
For- I’m -off to- Philadelphi in the morning
With- me bundle on me shoulder,
faith, there’s no man could be bolder
I’m lavin dare old Ireland witout warning
For I lately took the notion,
for to cross the briny ocean
And,, I start for,, Philadelphi in the mornin
There’s a girl called Kate Malone
whom I’d hope to call me own
and To see me little cabin floor- adornin
But my heart is – sad and weary -,
how can she be Mrs. Leary-
If, I start for,- Philadelphi in the morning
With- me bundle on me shoulder,
faith, there’s no man could be bolder
I’m lavin dare old Ireland witout warnin
For I lately took the notion,
for to cross the briny ocean
And,,- I start for,- Philadelphi in the morning
When they told me I must lave this place
I tried to keep a, – cheerful – face,….
For To show me hearts deep sorrow I – was scornin,
But the tears will surely blind me –
for the friends I lave behind me –
When- I start for, Philadelphi in the mornin
chorus 2:
But though, me bundles on me shoulder
sure there’s no man can be bolder
I’m leaving now the spot that I was born in
Yet some day I’ll take the notion
to come back across the ocean
To- me- home- in – dear old Ireland-
in the- mornin-
(- end of lyrics -)

You can listen to our version of the song
on our iTunes podcast or on YouTube.
The links are given at the top of this blog.

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