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The Singer was Irish

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Source: Peter Shepheard's tape
Performer: Brazil, Lemmie
Place Collected: Sandhurst
Date collected: 26 December 1972
Collector: Shepheard, Peter

Gipsy melodeon player, Lementina “Lemmie” Brazil, was born near Southampton and spent 26 years of her youth in Ireland, before her family returned to England to settle in Gloucester. She described some of her tunes as “Irish” and used to play for step-dance competitions. Peter Shepheard recorded her in the 1960’s and early 70’s and Gwilym Davies recorded her twice, in October 1977 and April 1981, when she was living on a caravan site near Gloucester. She played a one-row melodeon in C. We have transcribed her music in D or G.

The Singer was Irish
Lemmie said the following words after playing the tune:
The singer was Irish and the song was Irish,
The notes seemed to come from the sky.
The dear old refrain I ’ad once again
It brought the tears to my eyes
.

Words and music by C.W. Murphy & Harry Castling (London), Francis, Day & Hunter, 1904. For the sheet music see https://www.itma.ie/digital-library/text/7884-sm
Peter Dawson recorded the song in 1910; it can be heard on http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/search.php?queryType=@attr+1=1020&num=1&start=1&query=cylinder7597. Lemmie’s tune bears only passing resemblance to the published version.

Note by Charles Menteith, with information from Mudcat Cafe