BRIAN O’LINN

Altri titoli: Brian (Tommy) O ‘(A’) Lin (n) (O’Flynn), Old Tombolin, Tam o ‘the Lynn, Tom Bolyn

Una canzone comica diffusa in Inghilterra, Scozia e Irlanda come pure in America e Australia, risalente forse al 1500 (una canzone dal titolo “Thom of lyn” è citata in The Complaynt of Scotland, 1549). Nei frammenti della commedia di William Wager “The Longer Thou Livest” 1569, è riportato questo verso::
Tom-a-lin and his wife and his wife’s mother, They went over a bridge together; The bridge was broken and they fell in. The devil go with you all, quoth Tom-a-lin.

La canzone è ancora popolare e nel 1933 Sam Henry si è dato la pena di rintracciare il vero protagonista della storia e così scrive nel Northern Constitution (il giornale della contea di Derry in data 11 febbraio 1933)
In the old records of the Manor of Cashel (Portglenone) we find under date 18th April, 1786, the name of Bryan O’Lynn as a Grand Juror, and on that same day he was appointed an “Apprizer.” Under the signature of the Grand Jurors is written: Bryan O’Lynn was a Scotchman born, His head it was bald and his beard it was shorn. This hero of a comic song that has amused five generations was a real perosn. He was not a “Scotchman born,” but of the ancient clan of the O’Lynns, of Hy Tuirtre, who were descended from Colla Ua.s [sic], King of Ireland about the third century.
Bryan was a popular and distinguished character in those days, at whose expense any Tom, Dick or Harry might add a verse to the song that had taken the people’s fancy.He is first recorded in the manorial records as an “apprizer” in 1770. On 17th October, 1775, it was decided that he was a proper person to serve as overseer of the market. On Tuesday, 15th October 1782, he was appointed “pownkeeper for the ensuing year,” and he was keeper of the pound for 14 years. On 10th October, 1786, Bryan was appointed to “view a march ditch.” He was a grand juror from seven consecutive years from 1786 to 1793. The innocent gibes at his expense he must have taken in good part. He seems to have been a happy-go-lucky man, easily contented and with a ready answer for all emergencies.”

GUIDA ALL’ASCOLTO

manTom, Tam o Brian nella versione irlandese è un uomo che trova una soluzione “originale” per ogni evenienza. Peter Kennedy in “Folksongs of Britain and Ireland“, ipotizza che la canzone sia nata in Inghilterra per prendere in giro i più “ruspanti” irlandesi o scozzesi, che a loro volta hanno adottato la canzone rielaborandola in chiave umoristica. Le strofe sono tantissime e vanno dalla versione oscena alle nursery rhyme e talvolta si mescolano alla melodia e al coro di “The Old Grey Mare“.

ASCOLTA Seamus Ennis
ASCOLTA una versione più “barocca”

I
Bryan O’Lynn had no breeches to wear
He got him a sheepskin to make him a pair,
With the fleshy side out and the woolly side in,
“Whoo, they’re pleasant and cool.” says Bryan O’Lynn.
II
Bryan O’Lynn had no hat to put on,
He thought that the pot would do him instead,
Then he murdered a cod for the sake of its fin,
“Whoo, ‘twill pass for a feather.” says Bryan O’Lynn.
III
Bryan O’Lynn had no watch to put on,
He scooped out a turnip to make him a one
Then he planted a cricket in under the skin
“Whoo, they’ll think it’s a-tickin,” says Bryan O’Lynn.
IV
Bryan O’Lynn to his house had no door,
He’d the sky for a roof and the bog for a floor,
He’d a way to jump out and a way to swim in,
“Whoo, it’s very convenient,” says Bryan O’Lynn.
V
Bryan O’Lynn, his wife, and wife’s mother,
They all went home o’er the bridge together,
The bridge it broke down and they all tumbled in,
“Whoo, we’ll go home by water,” says Bryan O’Lynn.
VI
Bryan O’Lynn went a courting one night,
And he set both his mother and sister to fight;
To fight for his hand they both stripped to the skin
“Oh, I’ll marry you both,” says Bryan O’Lynn.

TRADUZIONE ITALIANO DI CATTIA SALTO 
I
Bryan O’Lynn non aveva pantaloni da mettere,
ha preso una pelle di pecora per farsene un paio
con la pelle fuori e il vello dentro
“Sono così confortevoli e freschi” dice Bryan O’Lynn
II
Bryan O’Lynn non aveva cappello da mettere,
ha pensato che una casseruola sarebbe andata bene,
poi ha ucciso un merluzzo per la sua pinna
“Potrebbe passare per una piuma” dice Bryan O’Lynn
III
Bryan O’Lynn non aveva orologio da mettere,
ha scavato una rapa per farsene uno,
poi ci ha messo un grillo sotto
“sembrerà che faccia il ticchettio” dice Bryan O’Lynn
IV
Bryan O’Lynn a casa sua non aveva porta,
aveva il cielo come tetto e lo stagno come pavimento,
poteva saltare fuori e nuotarci dentro
“E’ molto comodo” dice Bryan O’Lynn
V
Bryan O’Lynn sua moglie e la madre della moglie
sono ritornati a casa sul ponte tutt’insieme,
il ponte è crollato e loro sono caduti
“andremo a casa via acqua” dice Bryan O’Lynn
VI
Bryan O’Lynn è andato a una visita di corteggiamento una notte,
e ha aizzato sia la madre che la figlia a combattere,
litigando per la sua mano si sono denudate
“vi sposo entrambe” dice Bryan O’Lynn

brian-courting

VERSIONE STRUMENTALE: Laird o ‘Cockpen

Una variante della melodia (conosciuta in Scozia come Laird o ‘Cockpen) è diventata in Irlanda una jig popolare per violino, da non confondere con il reel Tamlin
ASCOLTA Steeleye Span Bryan O’Lynn/The Hag with the Money
ASCOLTA Patrick Street in Piping Hot A Celtic Bagpipe (+ Woods of Old Linderick)

FONTI
http://www.yorkshirefolksong.net/song_database/Humour/Brian_OLynn.49.aspx
http://chivalry.com/cantaria/lyrics/brian_olynn.html
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=43706
http:[email protected]?SongID=5683 http://mainlynorfolk.info/folk/songs/brianolynn.html
http://thesession.org/tunes/830
http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getfolk.php?id=80 http://www.kstez.de/Bryan_O_Lynn__Ireland_.pdf http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/R471.html http://www.irishmusicdaily.com/brian-olinn

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