School: Kilmore (roll number 16637)

Kilmore, Co. Roscommon
Máiréad, Bean Mhic Giolla Críost
The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0254, Page 205

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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0254, Page 205

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  1. (continued from previous page)
    She is now well over 80 years. It was made at an American Wake by an man named Pat Owens. He was quitting Ireland and going to America the following morning. He is now dead about 10 years and he was 90 years when he died. He made many poems, but this one seems to have survived owing to the many local references.
    An American Wake.
    It was the old custom to have what they called a great "Spree" on the eve of the departure to America. At this all the friends and relatives were. They eat and drank, sang, danced and played during the night. Some time near morning the parents especially the mother of the boy or girl who was going to America set up a terrible cry. Then the relatives joined and afterwards the friends. Then was set up a terrible chorus of Cries which lasted well over an hour. This usually occurred a couple of hours before day break. Then all the guests went to the station with the person who was leaving. The train was due at 8 oclock. Sometimes when the young girls or young boys would be leaving the station, a terrible cry would be set up by all. This happened in the case of the said Patrick Owens, who was the local favourite
    Transcribed by a member of our volunteer transcription project.
    1. genre
      1. poetry
        1. folk poetry (~9,504)
    Ballagh, Co. Roscommon
    Joseph Rhatigan