Thursday 27 September 2012

Colm Walsh sings The Bonny Bunch of Roses in 1965

"Clip from 1965. Sung by a young Colm Walsh from County Clare. The earliest known version of the tune is in William Christie's "Tradition Ballad Airs" (1881), but there is another tune, of Irish origin. It is a conversation between Napoleon's son (Napoleon II, 1811-1832, named King of Rome by his father upon birth)and his mother (Marie Louise, Napoleon's second wife, whom he married after divorcing Josephine). The sentiment is pro-Napoleon, which would indicate an Irish origin. The Irish, who were themselves under the British thumb through the 18th & 19th century, were actually big fans of Napoleon Bonaparte. His bravery captivated the national imagination, as did his defiance even in defeat. The Irish also adored the tragic story of the romance between the doomed emperor and his second wife, Marie Louise. So it's no surprise they chose her words to frame the story of Bonaparte's fall." Posted on Youtube on the 3rd of October 2008 by clarebannerman.