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Arthur McBride facts for kids

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"Arthur McBride" (also called "Arthur McBride and the Sergeant") an Irish folk song (Roud 2355) found in Ireland & Britain with slight variations. The song can be narrowly categorized as an "anti-recruiting" song, a specific form of anti-war song, and more broadly as a protest song.

Commercial Recordings

"Arthur MacBride" has been recorded by numerous performers, including Planxty (on their 1973 self-titled debut album, Planxty); Andy Irvine; Dave Swarbrick; Martin Carthy; Paul Brady; and by Bob Dylan on his 1992 album Good as I Been to You. Most contemporary performers who have "Arthur McBride" in their repertoires were inspired by and acquired it via Irish and UK sources. While Planxty's 1973 release may be thought of as the vector renewing the song's present-day familiarity, Paul Brady's 1977 rendition is of special interest due to significant lyrical variations from the "usual" versions of the tune, including several additional verses. Brady is from Strabane in County Tyrone but, ironically, he hadn't heard the song while living in Ireland. He came across it while working in America in 1972. He was given a copy of book called, A Heritage of Songs, compiled by collector Carrie Grover. One of the songs listed was Arthur McBride. Brady started to perform it to a virtuoso guitar accompaniment using Open G tuning. Brady's eight verse version of the song contains the Irish word spailpĂ­n meaning "wandering landless labourer" and (occasionally) "layabout, rascal or ruffian".

Film

The story-line of the song has been dramatised into a film, Christmas Morning (1978).

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