Seven Irishmen, The (Background)

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  • Teideal (Title): Seven Irishmen, The (Background).
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 850402.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 3094.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Jill Linzee.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): between 1982 and 1984.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): unavailable.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Now, these seven fellows were on a boat, immigrants, and they had nobody to meet them. I often think about the people coming to this country with nobody to meet them. How did they manage at all? Nobody wanted them at the time – that was the time when the notice was up, ‘No Irish Need Apply’ – any other nationality but Irish. How did they manage? I mean, people coming off an aeroplane now, somebody to meet them and a job – they’re doing great! They think they’re doing great!

What [about] the people [who have] nobody? But this Yankee was down on the quay, and he offered them a job in a brickyard. And the seven went with him. And he said, ‘First of all,’ he said, ‘we’ll have a drink.’ He took them into an alehouse, and he asked them- When he thought they were drunk, he asked ‘Sign this form.’ And they did.

They thought they was still getting the job, they didn’t read it. ‘Now,’ he said, ‘you’re in the army.’ And that’s when the fight started.


In this recording, Joe tells Jill Linzee about the background to the song The Seven Irishmen.