(Ned of the Hill)
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John Renfro Davis
|This song appears in a book by Sidney Owenson (circa 1805). It was sung earlier (1778) in Gaelic at a concert in Dublin.
According to The Mudcat Cafe, Edmund Ryan was an Irish earl displaced by Cromwell after the Battle of the Boyne who stayed in Ireland to fight the British. In the tune he takes shelter with an old girlfriend. Later a neighbor - while giving him shelter killed him for the reward. However, the reward had been withdrawn after Edmund had done an Englishman a service.
The only problem with this is that William of Orange was the English leader at the Battle of the Boyne. Cromwell was in Ireland earlier.
For another version of the lyrics see Ned of of the Hill (2).
See below for related links to figure out the chronology!
Oh who is without
That with passionate shout
Keeps beating my bolted door?"
"I am Ned of the Hill
Forspent wet and chill
From long trudging
marsh and moor"
"My love, fond and true
What else could I do
But shield you From wind and from weather?
When the shots fall like hail
They us both shall assail
And mayhap we shall die together."
"Through forest and through snow
Tired and hunted I go
In fear both From friend and from neighbor
My horses run wild
My acres untilled
And they all of them
lost to my labor
But it grieves me far more
Than the loss of my store
That there's none
who would shield me from danger
So my fate it must be
To fare eastward o'er sea
And languish amid the stranger"
|Lyrics and information from The Mudcat Cafe
And Bruce Olsen's Roots of Folk: Old English, Scots, and Irish Songs and Tunes.