M. J. Barry

Life
1817-1889 [Michael Joseph Barry; pseuds. ‘MJB’, ‘Brutus’, and ‘Bouillon de Garcon’ - viz., ‘Broth of a Boy’]; b. Cork, barrister and Young Irelander imprisoned in 1843, frequent contributor to the Nation, Dublin University Magazine and Punch; winner of ‘First Repeal Prize’ with an essay, ‘Ireland as She Was, as She Is, and as She Shall Be’ (Dublin 1845); contrib. “The Kishogue Papers” to Dublin University Magazine (9 iss.; Jan 1842-Dec. 1847), over pseud. ‘Bouillon de Garçon’, and later issued as a book in 1872; dissociated himself from Young Ireland after 1848, became editor of the Southern Reporter (Cork), and ultimately a police-magistrate in Dublin; poems include “The Green Flag” and “Step Together” and “The Massacre at Drogheda”; works include A Waterloo Commemoration for 1854 (1854); Lays of the War (1855) and Heinrich and Lenora (1886); ed., Songs of Ireland (1845), which he received as a commission from Thomas Davis, and to which a second volume was added by Hercules Ellis [var. Eyless] in 1849; d. 23 Jan.; a notice by Frank MacDonagh in The Nation (16 Feb. 1889) characterises Barry as a ‘brilliant songwriter who helped build up a national literature for Ireland.’ PI JMC DIW DIH RAF MKA FDA OCIL DIL

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Works
Ireland as She Was, As She Is, and As She Shall Be [containing 1st, 2nd and 3rd supplemental Repeal essay (Dublin: James Duffy 1845), [1] 122, [3] 152, [4] 43pp. [infra]; ed., Songs of Ireland (Dublin: James Duffy 1845), xvi, 238pp. [infra]; Do., rev. edn. (1846; 1869), ‘assisted by Eugene O’Curry’ [with Gaelic typography]; ed., Echos from Parnassus: Selected from the Original Poetry of the Southern Reporter (Cork: Southern Reporter 1849); A Waterloo Commemoration for 1854 [ ] (London: W. S. Orr & Co.; Dublin: McGlashan 1854); Lays of the War (Cork: Daily Reporter Office 1855); Lays of the War and Miscellaneous Lyrics (London: Longman & Co. 1856); The Pope and the Romagna (Dublin: Hodges & Smith 1860); Irish Emigration Considered (Cork 1863); Poems Addressed to Minnie (Cork: Nash 1867); [as ‘Bouillon de Garcon’, pseud.], Six Songs of Bèranger (Dublin: priv. printed 1871); [as 'Bouillon de Garcon'] Kishogue Papers (London: Chapman & Hall 1875) [formerly in Dublin University Magazine, 1842-47]; Heinrich and Leonore, an Alpine Story (Dublin: Hodges, Figgis 1886).

Songs of Ireland (Dublin: James Duffy 1845), xvi, 238pp. [incl. 38 anon. songs and pieces by John Banim; J. J. Callanan; J. P. Curran; H. G. Curran; Thomas Davis; Arthur Dawson; William Drennan; CG Duffy; James Furlong; Gerald Griffin; Samuel Lover; Edward Lysaght; DF McCarthy; Richard Milliken; Lady Morgan; Thomas Moore; George Ogle; James Orr; Maurice O’Connell; GN Reynolds; Charles Wolfe; RD Williams [“Adieu to Innisfail”]. The poem An t-sean Bhean bocht appears in Irish fonts [p.49]

There is a bibliography of his writings in Irish Book Lover, 9 (1917-18), 27f.

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Quotations
The Witch of Kilkenny” [viz Dame Kyttler]: ‘Tis fearsome enough, one may fairly presume/To see an old lady/When skies have grown shady/Playing pranks in the air on a mettlesome broom [..]/Gone off with the devil/Eloped with old Nick/Escaped her cell, though stones, mortar, and brick.’ (

The Curse of Kishogue”: ‘[W]hipped and lashed, the unfortunate throng/By a legion of merciless devils along.’

Ireland As She Was, As She Is, and As She Shall Be (Dublin 1845): ‘Indeed, I am disposed to think, paradoxical as the position will appear to some, that an export of food to any great extent, from a long-peopled country, which is not a large exporter of manufactures, is, in itself, prima facie evidence of the poverty of that country’; ‘A country exporting agricultural produce largely, without any corresponding export of manufactured articles, must, if it be fully people, be a poor country; because this excludes export of food shows that manufactures have no existence in it - or that if they have existence, they must … be rapidly tending to extinction. The country must therefore be in, or be quickly advancing towards, a purely agricultural condition.’ (pp.55-57; quoted in Liam Kennedy, Colonialism, Religion and Nationalism in Ireland, IIS/QUB 1996, p.41).

Songs of Ireland (Dublin: James Duffy [23 Anglesea St.] 1845), Editorial remarks: ‘[…] So large a portion of what Mr [Chrles Gavan] Duffy has written in his Introduction to the Ballad Poetry of Ireland, published in the present series [Library of Ireland], is equally applicable to the Songs of the Country, as to limit to a narrow space the observations which, only for its priority of publication, I should be obliged to make.’ Barry further alludes to a paper on subject of Irish Songs in Blackwood’s Magazine, Vol. 17, p.318, by William Maginn in which the latter ‘exposes with his usual wit and ability, the spuriousness of a number of these stupid caricatures’. A sole appendix contains text of letter from Hercules Ellis [pp.229-38] dealing with the Campbell’s pretended authorship of “Exile of Erin”, which he ascribes to George Nugent Reynolds. The title page bears this dedication: ‘to the National Bard of Ireland, Thomas Moore, with feelings of the deepest respect and admiration this volume of the songs of Ireland is inscribed Michael Joseph Barry.’ (238pp.); note, the preface is subscribed 8 Lwr Dominick-Street. Nov. 28, 1845.

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References
Justin McCarthy, gen ed., Irish Literature (1904), gives ‘The Massacre at Drogheda’ et al.

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol 2, selects M. J. Barry’s version of “The Shan Van Vocht” from The Songs of Ireland (Dublin 1845), containing stanzas often incorporated in the most popular version (FDA2, p.109).

Belfast Public Library holds copies of Irish Emigration Considered (1863); A Waterloo Commemoration (1854) and A Treatise on the Practice of the High Court of Chancery of Ireland [n.d.].

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