Brennan on The Moor, Traditional Irish Folk Song

#Music #IrishMusic

Another song that’s featured in my Donovan family series, this song tells the story of a bold highwayman of the 1700s in County Cork who, like Robin Hood, stole from the rich to give to the poor. You can hear a live version of it by The Clancy Brothers here.


‘Tis of a brave young highwayman this story I will tell,
His name was Willie Brennan and in Ireland he did dwell.
It was on the Kilwood Mountain he commenced his wild career,
And many a wealthy nobleman before him shook with fear.


It was Brennan on the moor, Brennan on the moor,
Bold, brave and undaunted was young Brennan on the moor.


One day upon the highway as Willie he went down,
He met the mayor of Cashiell a mile outside of town.
The mayor he knew his features and he said, “Young man,” said he,
‘Your name is Willie Brennan, you must come along with me.”


Now Brennan’s wife had gone to town provisions for to buy,
And when she saw her Willie, she commenced to weep and cry,
He said, “Hand to me that ten penny.” As soon as Willie spoke,
She handed him a blunderbuss from underneath her cloak.


Now with this loaded blunderbuss – the truth I will unfold –
He made the mayor to tremble and he robbed him of his gold.
One hundred pounds was offered for his apprehension there,
So he, with horse and saddle to the mountains did repair.


Now Brennan being an outlaw upon the mountains high,
With cavalry and infantry to take him they did try.
He laughed at them with scorn until at last, ’twas said,
By a false-hearted woman he was cruelly betrayed.



#Music #Cowboysongs #amwriting #HistoricalFiction
A popular ditty with cowboys, this old tune has borrowed from both Irish and American traditions. If some of it sounds familiar, the line “Her parents don’t like me, they say I’m too poor” was borrowed by Peter, Paul & Mary for “Pretty Mary”; the lines “I’ll eats when I’m hungry” and “them that don’t like me” and the theme in general, all can be found in The Moonshiner by the Irish Rovers. For an American version of this song, you can’t do better than the Willis Brothers here.



Jack o’ diamonds, Jack o’ diamonds, I know you of old,
You’ve robbed my poor pockets of silver and gold.
Oh, whiskey, you villain, you’ve been my downfall,
You’ve kicked me, you’ve cuffed me, but I love you for all.

Oh Mollie, oh Mollie, it’s for your sake alone
That I leave my old parents, my house and my home,
That I leave my old parents, you caused me to roam,
I’m an old rebel soldier and Dixie’s my home.

My foot’s in my stirrup, my bridle’s in my hand,
I’m gonna leave Mollie, the fairest in the land.
Her parents don’t like me, they say I’m too poor,
They say I’m unworthy to enter her door.

They say I drink whiskey, my money is my own,
And them that don’t like me can leave me alone.
I’ll eat when I’m hungry, I’ll drink when I’m dry,
And when I get thirsty I’ll lay down and cry.

I’ll build me a castle on yonder mountain high,
Where my true love can see me when she comes riding by.
Where my true love can see me and help me to mourn.
I’m an old rebel soldier and Dixie’s my home.

I’ll get up in my saddle, my quirt in my hand.
I’ll think of you, Mollie, when in some far distant land.
I’ll think of you, Mollie, you caused me to roam,
I’m an old rebel soldier and Dixie’s my home.

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck,
I’d dive to the bottom to get one sweet sup.
But the ocean ain’t whiskey, and I ain’t a duck!
So I’ll play Jack o’ diamonds and try to change my luck.

Oh baby, oh baby, I’ve told you before,
Do make me a pallet, I’ll lie on the floor.
I’ve rambled and gambled this wide world around,
But it’s with the rebel army, dear Mollie, I’m bound.

It’s with the rebel army, dear Mollie, I roam,
I am a rebel soldier and Dixie’s my home.
I have rambled and gambled all my money away,
But it’s with the rebel army, oh Mollie, I must stay.

Jack o’ diamonds, Jack o’ diamonds, I know you of old,
You’ve robbed my poor pockets of silver and gold.

What’s in a Name? The #PresidentialSuccession

I’ve been curious enough lately to take a look at the current state of Presidential succession. Why? Just call it a feeling I have…

In grade school Civics class, we learned all about this. But that was many, many moons ago, and though I remembered the first four placements, I had no idea who currently holds the office of President Pro Tempore of the Senate. And really, after that, all I remembered was “secretary of something”. So since I was doing the research anyway, I decided to share it.

The following list gives both the position and the name of the person holding that position in the succession (and a wee bit more information I found).

Color coding:

Red for Republicans who are currently caught up at least tangentially in the #TrumpRussia scandal and are under investigation. (Notated as R/U)

Black for other Republicans, along with notations of any scandals I’ve found in which they were directly involved.

Purple for Republicans who seem to have no involvement in political scandals at all.

Blue for the two Democrats still holding positions until Trump nominees are confirmed: I was unable to find any scandals associated with their names.

Green for the Department Heads I was unable to find a party affiliation for. Note that neither of these gentlemen has any scandal I could find attached to his name.

Here we go:

1. Vice President Pence (R/U)

2. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R/U)

3. President pro tempore of the Senate Orrin Hatch (R)

4. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R/U)

5. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (R/U)

6. Defense Secretary James Mattis (R/U)

7. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R/U)

8. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke (R) (previous scandals, multiple; possible involvement in Trump/Russia now coming to light)

9. Acting Agriculture Secretary Michael Scuse (D) (Trump nominee: Sonny Perdue, involved in land deal scandal, but also investigated GA school cheating scandal)

10. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (R/U)

11. Acting Labor Secretary Ed Hugler (D) (Trump nominee: Alexander Acosta, DOJ racism scandal, linked to Jeffrey Epstein pedophile scandal)

12. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price (R/U) (corruption scandals, multiple)

13. HUD Secretary Ben Carson (R)

14. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (McConnell) (R) (Wells Fargo scandal)

15. Energy Secretary Rick Perry (R) (abuse of power scandal)

16. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (R) (Probably plagiarized answers to Congress)

17. Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin (N/R)

18. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly (N/R)

Some further thoughts:

I have no real quibble with Orrin Hatch, though I’m not a big fan of his politics. Hatch is a mature statesman who understands how the government works and that the President is not the “boss” of the country. He could probably do a decent job. BUT…

As of today, Paul Ryan is Speaker of the House. His involvement in the #TrumpRussia election scandal is flimsy right now, though evidence seems to be piling up against him; it’s been reported that he used information closely identified as belonging to the DNC in his own campaign. And there are some questions arising as to whether a SuperPAC he consistently calls “my SuperPAC” was actively involved.

Now, with the ignominious failure of the ACHA bill (aka TrumpCare), many in politics feel his time as SoH is limited. Many are also positing that it will be next to impossible for the Republicans, who are split into so many camps, to come to a consensus on whom the next Speaker will be. I’m not sure what happens if there’s no Speaker of the House.

Incidentally, I read an interesting article that proposed a coalition of Democrats, Independents, and moderate Republicans (who may by now be disenchanted with Trump’s ham-fisted executive orders and irresponsible tweets); it posited that the coalition could conceivably result in the election of a moderate Democrat, like Nancy Pelosi or Adam Schiff, as the new Speaker. Should that occur, and should the current investigations pull down both Trump and Pence, we might yet wind up with a Democratic President, which is what the majority of people voted for in the first place.

Pipe dream? Probably, but without dreams, where would we be?

Note: If you know of any changes that should be made, please let me know and I’ll adjust the list – I want it to be as accurate as possible, whether that means adding something or taking it away.

Note also that there are only two women on the list and one is Mitch McConnell’s wife. Wonder why that is?

#Quote of the Week, FDR

#quotes #Resistance

I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, and ill-nourished. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

– Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945)