Francis A[rthur] Fahy
[F. A. Fahy; pseud. An Dreolin[the Wren]]; b. 29 Sept. Kinvara,
Co. Galway; ed. national school; London civil service, 1873; contrib.
to Nation, Weekly News, United Ireland, Young Ireland, and Weekly Freeman; author of The Ould Plaid Shawl, first
printed in Shamrock, The Irish Lullaby and Little
Mary Cassidy; fnd. Southwark Junior Literary Club, 1881, for children,
and fnd. member and first President of Southwark Literary Club for adults,
4 Jan. 1883, with support from Charles Gavan Duffy, John OLeary,
John Redmond, R. Barry OBrien, D. P. Moran, Justin McCarthy, Dr.
Mark Ryan, and W. B. Yeats; from it grew the Irish Literary Society in
1892, publishing poems of J. F. ODonnell; collaborated with D. J.
ODonoghue on biographical series on Irish authors in London for
the Daily Telegraph; authored a history of Ireland for children
in verse [q.d.], and a play, The Last of the OLearys [q.d.];
there is a public house called The Old Plaid Shawl in Kinvara and a plaque
on the house where he was born. PI JMC DBIV DIB DIH OCIL
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Poetry, Prose and Dramatic Works, Irish Songs and Poems (Dublin: M.H. Gill and Son; London: Simpkin,
Marshall and Co. 1887), iv, 2-126pp.; The Irish Language Movement
(London: ), 20pp.; The Ould Plaid Shawl, and Other Songs,
preface by P. S. OHegarty (Dublin: At the Sign of the Three
Candles ), xii, 98 pp. port.; The Last of the OLearys
[q.d.]. Miscellaneous, with D. J. ODonoghue, et al., Ireland in London (1889), 172pp.
Translations & Scored
Musical Arrangements, Walter Battison Haynes, The Ould Plaid
Shawl: Song, words by F. A. Fahy, arranged by W. B. Haynes (London:
Novello 1896), 7pp.; Alicia Adelaide Needham,The Coolin: Song From
The Ancient Irish, trans. Francis A. Fahy, [ancient Irish air] arranged
by A. A. Needham (London: Ascherberg, Hopwood & Crew ), 1score,
7pp.; Henry Coleman, The Wild Hills Of Clare: Old Irish Air, words
by F. A. Fahy, arranged [as part song for T.T.B.B.] by H. Coleman [Choral
library B Series, No. 74] (London: Cramer ), 8pp.; Havelock Nelson, Kitty Magee: Irish Folksong, words by F. A. Fahy, arranged [in two-parts]
by H. Nelson (London: Ascherberg ), 8pp.; The Fiddler: S.S.A.
and Piano, words by F. A. Fahy, [Irish air] arranged H. Nelson (London:
J. Curwen & Sons ), 1 score, 4pp.
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W. P. Ryan, The Irish Literary Revival,
Its History, Pioneers and Possibilities [facs. of 1894 first edn.]
(NY: Lemma Publishing Corp. 1970), pp.11, 12, 14, 52, 102, 141; recounts
that Francis A. Fahy, a young civil servant, born in Kinvara, Co. Galway,
was author at an early age of an Irish drama [The Last of the OLearys],
and, with a few enthusiastic friends, began an Irish revival which led
to many such awakenings in Great Britain [p.11] ... Francis Fahy
himself, and his young friends, were, I must admit, as ardent politicians
as any. But they had far-reaching literary and educational projects as
well [p.12]; Founded Southwark Junior Irish Literary Club, c.1880,
Surrey Rooms, Blackfriars Road [p.14]; wrote childs rhyming Irish
history [p.14]; Fahy and Thomas Boyd prevented from attending [at Yeatss
house, 28th Dec. 1891, to initiate the Irish Literary Society] by insufficient
notice [p.52]; Francis Fahy not quite continued upon his Southwark
lines. The sooner he is tempted to leave his poetic Castle of Indolence;
the better for the racy element in our native literature [p.102];
quotes Fahys poetical rendering of Irish hospitality, The
cream of kindly welcome and the core of cordiality. [p.141]
Gerry Adams writes on Francis Fahy - A Serious Funny Man in Irish Voice (22 May 2001): Francis who? says you.
Francis Fahy. He composed Galway Bay, campaigned for Home Rule, was in the
forefront of the Irish Revival Movement and even found time to compose a
History of Ireland in rhyme for children. Today, Francis A. Fahy …
D. J. ODonoghue, Poets
of Ireland (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co. 1912), lists Irish
Songs and Poems (1887); Pres. of London Gaelic League, and other Irish
Lit. Societies in London; collaborated with D. J. ODonoghue on Ireland
in London; author of The Auld Plaid Shawl, The Irish
Lullaby, the former appearing in Shamrock; contributor to Nation, Weekly News, United Ireland and Young Ireland and Weekly Freeman; pseudonym Dreoilin [the Wren]; described
by D. J. ODonoghue as being one of the raciest of Irish poets.
Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish
Literature (Washington: Catholic Univ. of America 1904), selects
prose, How To Become A Poet [ironically contesting born,
not made; defines poetry in terms of rhyme, the chief and
only feature in modern poetry; get your endings to rhyme and
you need trouble about little else]. Also selects, The ODonovans; Irish Molly, O; The Ould Plaid Shawl, and Little
Mary Cassidy; McCarthy notes that he wrote a play, The Last of
the OLearys, which was performed in his native town, and says
that whereas A. P. Graves sings of the pastoral and out-door life of the
people, Fahy deals with their home-life.
John Cooke, Dublin
Book of Irish Verse (Dublin: Hodges & Figgis; London: OUP
1909) selects The Old Plaid Shawl; Little Mary Cassidy.
Irish Book Lover, Vol. VI, p.162 [on Fahy].
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The O Donovans: If you would like
to see the height of hospitality, / The cream of kindly welcome, and the
core of cordiality: / Joyce of the olden time - youre wishing to
recall again? / Come down to Donovans, and there youll meet
them all again. // Cead mile failte theyll give you done
at Donovans, / As cheery as the springtime and Irish as the cannawawn / The wish of my heart is, if ever I had any one- / That every luck
that lightens life may light upon the Donovans.
Molly, O: Oh, fairer than the lily tall, and sweeter than
the rose, / As modest as the violet in dewy dell that blows; / With heart
as warm as summer noon, as pure as winter snow / The pride of Erins
isle is she, dear Irish Molly O!
Plaid Shawl: Not far from Kinvara in the merry month of
May. / When birds were singing cheerily, there came across my way / As
if from out the sky above an angel chanced to fall, / A little Irish cailín
in an ould plaid shawl ... // She tripped along right joyously ... // ...
Ill seek her all through Galway, and Ill seek her all through
Clare, / Ill search for tale or tidings of my traveller everywhere,
/ For peace of mind Ill never find until my own I call / That little
Irish cailín in her ould plaid shawl.
Mary Cassidy: Oh, this little Mary Cassidy, the cause
of all my misery, / The reason that I am not now the boy I used to be:
/ Oh, she bates the beauties all that we read about in history [...//...]
I never would feel lonely with the two of us alone.
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