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To play (MIDI), click here Bold Fenian Men
There is not much thought of regret in the often desperate lifestyle of the Traveller, whom some call "Gypsy." My family do not call themselves that, and we barely tolerate the term, "Tinkers." Desperately poor, in the old days they were called "The Walking People" in Gaelic. The People, and I by choice as well, now are simply called "Travellers" among our own.
Irish "Gypsies" aren't really Romany Gypsies, you know; they just had a similar life-style in the old country.
The English called the Romany people by that name because they thought they came from Egypt; although I've read that the original home of the Romany was the Indian sub-continent. There are even some old legends about Alexander the Great in connection with them; even though that would drastically predate the generally accepted time for their arrival in Europe.
No such old legends explain my mother's people. Of all of those tribes that have peopled Ireland, only mine could call forth no "Seanachie," historian, among themselves. Bards, poets; yes! But none to recall the glories of the past. Perhaps there were no glories, perhaps no past, and they lived only to survive the fleeting present with a modicum of good grace.
To play (MIDI), click here The Foggy Dew
The English and other Irish called them "Tinkers" because of their skill at metal work, and some emigrated to the New World in previous centuries, so that Tinkers became known here as well. A Tinker-made knife was highly prized by our frontier people, according to those who know, and I have made two such knives personally: cutting, forging, grinding and heat-treating in the old ways. I hate to say it but I think that modern technology does a better job even on mass-produced knives than I could ever achieve; so the hand-made knives were given away.
We're not really strong on tradition when it works against us. That's arguably the most characteristic feature in the Traveller lifestyle. But one could make equally strong arguments for it being a down side or up side feature.
To play (MIDI), click here The Irish Rover
-Gory at thasp, keener fortha karabd-
Laugh at death, but weep for those who die before their time.
That's a little bit of Cant, the language of the Travellers. Let me tell you something about us because it's not likely that you will have heard anything at all accurate. We generally have a poor reputation, and some of that is deserved by some of us, but much of it is not deserved by most of us, even if we are outlaws. By the way, the word "outlaw" doesn't primarily mean "criminal," but "a person, group or thing excluded from the benefits and protection of the law." I'll leave it up to you to decide which definition applies.
If any of you were able to keep track of the activities of hundreds
of your cousins, possibly thousands, you'd probably turn up some bad ones too. Still and all, police all
over the nation have the habit of blaming every small time scam or extortion that's reported to them on one or
another of the Traveller clans, if they meet three criteria:
the "perp" drives a pick-up truck;
he does not use overt violence;
and he gets away clean.
That's not much evidence to condemn all of three or four nations within a Nation.
To play (MIDI), click here Clan March
Sometimes I may speak of the Travellers as "us," sometimes as "them"; since I am only half a Traveller by birth, and share merely the softer parts of their existence in my life-style. I don't ask anything of you except that you reserve judgment until you know us a little better, because we make very convenient scapegoats.
To play (MIDI), click here The Jointure
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