Dublin tenements?

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Dublin tenements?

Postby glauco » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:20 am

Happy Halloween to you all!

I red this: "The children in the tenements of Dublin are very wise. Since there is no place to hide anything from them, they know all the secrets of life before they are four years old. One might hear these children singing this charming song while sitting on the steps of the tenements."

The song is "Weile Weile Waile". Do you know if the tenements quoted above were placed "down by the River Saile" and where exactly?
Another question: were those tenements demolished in the '60s?

Just the last question (I swear :P ): do you know the riddle a choir of children sing at the end of The Dubliners' "Weile Weile Waile"? Might you send me the lyric of it, please?

Thank you so much
have a nice day.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Strum » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:46 pm

What a blast from the past that. We used to sing that as Cub-Scouts.
All I can remember is...

There was an old Woman who lived in the Woods
Weile Weile Waile (Don't know if that's the correct spelling though?)
There was an old Woman who lived in the Woods
Down by the River Saile. (I don't know about that spelling either)



Anybody else remember any more of the words?
Good post. :D
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Strum » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:27 pm

This is the closest to the version I remember now...



There was an old woman and she lived in the woods, weile weile waile
There was an old woman and she lived in the woods, down by the river Saile

She had a baby three months old, weile weile waile
She had a baby three months old, down by the river Saile

She had a pen knife long and sharp, weile weile waile
She had a pen knife long and sharp, down by the river Saile

She stuck the pen knife in the babys heart, weile weile waile
She stuck the pen knife in the babys heart, down by the river Saile

There were three loud knocks come a'knockin on the door, weile weile waile
There were three loud knocks come a'knockin on the door, down by the river Saile

There were two policemen and a special-branchman, weile weile waile
There were two policemen and a special-branchman, down by the river Saile

They put a rope around her neck, weile weile waile
They put a rope around her neck, down by the river Saile

They pulled the rope and she got hang, weile weile waile
They pulled the rope and she got hang, down by the river Saile

And that was the end of the woman in the woods, weile weile waile
And that was the end of the baby too, down by the river Saile
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Strum » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:30 pm

"Some years ago (possibly 40's 50's) there was a disaster in Dublin where some inner city tennament buildings collapsed, leading to several fatalities, The buildings were poorly built, and in severe need of repair, housing mainly the poorer people. This lead to a reaction by the Irish Government to start new housing developments on the outskirts of Dublin places such as Tallaght. This would have been around Dominic Behans time."

Dubliners had, and still have a conception that life "outside the Pale" is backward and full of Bog men. we fetch the coal in tin baths etc, and the idea of moving out into the wilderness is basically what provoked this mythical song about how bad life was outside of Dublin.


"I'm pretty sure that the River Saile flows under Crumlin (it might be an earlier name for The Poddle) and the song is based on a true story but there are (obviously) a lot of songs with similar content knocking around."

The reference above to pople being moved out from tenements to the sticks is a bit off. They were moved to Crumlin which was then well outside the city but the urbanisation of Tallaght didn't happen really until the 70's. It were all fields when I were a lad.
The Behans were moved to Kildare Road where daddy Behan declared "they eat their young". Having a back garden for the first time presented a bit of a problem so the Da rang the Special Branch and gave then a 'tip' that the Behans had guns buried in the garden. The Special Branch came out to Crumlin, dug up the garden and of course found nothing. The Behans had their garden dug up for them by the SB for nothing.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Strum » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:37 pm

So what's the Riddle Glauco? :?: :D






There are forty six rivers in Dublin city. The river flowing through Rathmines is called the River Swan (beside the Swan Centre).
The Poddle was once known as the 'Tiber' and was also known as the River Salach (dirty river), which is the origin of the children's song
"Down by the river Saile". It is also the river whose peaty, mountain water causes the Black Pool "Dubh Linn" Dublin.



Great post Glauco! :D
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Harjoe » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:20 pm

There was a disaster in Fenion street beside Holles St hospital in the mid 1950s where a building collasped and I cant remember how many died but some were children , there was a big argument about the tenaments after that and they started building in outer areas like Finglas, Walkinstown , and Ballyfermot .
Ballymun was developed in the 1960s and Tallaght in the early 70s
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Denis Cromie » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:49 pm

Enjoyed that Strum. Great stuff. :D :D
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby glauco » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:10 pm

I'm sorry but I haven't seen your replies till now! :D :D :D :D

Thak you all for your posts..very interesting!

Might somebody write out the riddle (that is the one I meant in the first post) the children sing at the end of this recording, please?
Does it really exist or it is a text invented by The Dubliners?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6qSuoUPGEA&p=E71BBC314D3479BE&playnext=1&index=38

That sung at the beginning of it is "The big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh, the ally-ally-oh, the ally-ally-oh" (if anybody was interested in): :)

"The big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh, the ally-ally-oh, the ally-ally-oh,
Oh, the big ship sails on the ally-ally-oh, on the last day of September.

The captain said it will never, never do, never, never do, never, never do,
The captain said it will never, never do, on the last day of September.

The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea, the bottom of the sea, the bottom of the sea,
The big ship sank to the bottom of the sea, on the last day of September.

We all dip our heads in the deep blue sea, the deep blue sea, the deep blue sea,
We all dip our heads in the deep blue sea, on the last day of September."

I can't believe I have all these information about Dublin's tenements and rivers! Thanks :D
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Enviro500 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:57 pm

Hi Harjoe.

I remember the Fenian St disaster, two small girls died as I remember, I was a young apprentice at R.W. Archer Ford Tucks in Hogan Place, just down the road, about 1963 actually..from memory

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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Sinead » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:37 pm

Dear All:

Tenements were not confined to Dublin, there were quite a few in Dun Laoghaire.

Slan
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Holla » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:37 pm

Thats true sinead my grandmother told me she lived in a tenement in glasthule where the carpark is at the end
of Devitt villas she said the rats used pull knifes forks and stuff down through the floorboards this was about 1919
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby glauco » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:48 am

Any picture about?

I'm curious. :shock:

So nobody would like to write out the riddle? (in Strum we trust!) :D
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Strum » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:27 pm

I don't get the riddle Glauco??? Come on, out with it! :D
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Sputnik » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:51 am

What do we actually mean by tenements?
I looked up the Dictionary and came up with two related, but different, answers.

1. A room or a set of rooms forming a separate residence within a house or block of apartments
2. A house divided into and rented in such separate residences, esp. one that is run-down and overcrowded

By both of these definitions we had tenements in Dun Laoghaire up to the 80's, and possibly later. All of the big original single-residence houses in the likes of Crosthwaite, Clarinda, Royal Terrace etc. would be classed as tenements when they were divided into flats. Does anyone remember Rembrandt House in Monkstown (Longford Terrace)? It was divided into about 12 flats and was in terrible condition right up to the late 80's.
There were also a row of tenements in Clarence Street in front of Tedcastles coalyard which were only demolished in the '70's to make way for a Burmah garage.
I'm not sure that the 'Courts' that once were so common in Dun Laoghaire would be classified as tenements. I suspect they were very small single residences within a complex.

Somebody close to me was fortunate to be allocated a Corpo house in the late '70's. Prior to that they had lived in a flat in Bray where they shared a bathroom with two other families. Her youngest daughter, then about three, gave me a tour of the new house and proudly and excitedly opened up each room with the words "and this one is ours too".
Waken me for meals.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby glauco » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:38 am

Ah ah ah. Hey Strum, I think i wrong when i asked you about the riddle and it depends on my bad english maybe.
Sorry :D
I will try to be more clear.
For "riddle" I mean the "nursery rhyme" which is at the following address on you tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6qSuoUPGEA&p=E71BBC314D3479BE&playnext=1&index=38

The video is about a recording by The Dubliners. I don't understand what children sing at the end of that song.
Could you or someone else write out/transcribe the words the children sing?

I ask you to be patient with me. :?
But...so, what do you mean for "riddle"?
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Strum » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:20 pm

Glauco. A riddle is a statement or question or phrase having a double or veiled meaning, put forth as a puzzle to be solved. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riddle
I'll have a listen and try to write it out.




Great info there Sputnik. That's true. Most of my friends growing up lived in Royal Tce, Crostwaite, and Clarinda, and mostly all in flats with shared bathrooms etc, and most of them are still in flats. A mate lives in a Flat in Clarinda now and shares a toilet with 4 others.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby glauco » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:34 am

ok strum, thank you so much! :D
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Rocker » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:15 pm

I was chatting to a friend today about the poverty in Blackrock in the early 1900's. They couldn't believe it as they thought the South side of the city was always well off!!
I remember my poor mother telling me about their home. Two rooms at the top of a tenement on Georges Avenue. There were seven children and two adults. There was a gas light in the rooms but no electricity. There was no running water and no toilet/bathroom. Water was fetched from a tap in the yard three flights down and the toilet was a dry affair very communal where there was no privacy. I asked her once where were the wardrobes in the room and she said they had one set of clothes which they wrapped up at night and put under their heads to sleep and on a Saturday they ran around in their pants while someone boiled kettles and washed all the clothes in the yard and then tried to have them dry for Monday. A little shift was put on for Sunday mass but other than that they played around in the knicks! Food was bread and sugar or dip in the dip and leave the kipper for your Da!
We have come a long way in 100years and when I hear the kids moaning today about their tough life - I think of my bright eyed, smiling, always singing mother who laughed her way through.
I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Denis Cromie » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:03 pm

You're so right Rocker,it was humour that helped so many to cope. And here am I wondering should I invest in new heating systems,where's me overcoat,oh it's still across the bed. ;)
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Navanman » Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:39 pm

Yes Rocker we just had one open fireplace downstairs. As children we used to have a weekly bath in a small galvanised bath right in front of the fireplace. Remember thinking the woman on the television can see me with no clothes. I can also remember putting brown paper around my chest when in bed to keep the heat in. Remember getting the gas geser into the house and it was the first time we had hot water on demand. Can actually remember the man that fitted it had a "farmers hat", tweed coat and blue dungarees with shoulder straps and a big leather belt. Years later we converted the coal house to a bathroom and they fitted a "bloody enormous" electric immersion on the wall over the bath. We had to duck to get under it and into the bath. How dangerous was that? Yes things have indeed changed. Incidentally I am still a "young fella" (at heart anyway) so I am not talking about ould Gods time as they say.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Rocker » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:24 am

Navanman,

I'd forgotten about the galvanised baths - that was in our day and the cleanest got in first and I can tell you the water was pretty dirty by the time the last one was finished. Yes, we converted a room into a bathroom with that huge geezer with the flames! ours used to go out every so often and the smell of gas!! health and safety!!! It was all make do and mend- i'm the expert at turning collars, turning coats, reknitting jumpers,stitching torn sheets by putting them edge to edge and a big seam down the middle. The kids tell me to write a book about it and give everyone a laugh! I'm laughing here writing this but it was everyday life in the 60's and we had come a long way from the tenements (back on topic).
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Micheál » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:50 am

Navanman wrote: . . . remember thinking the woman on the television can see me with no clothes. . . .

You had a TV??? Luxury !

As for me, I never had out t' wear and Mother used to give us kids a go of grandfathers cap so I could luke out' window.
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Enviro500 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:30 am

Micheal,
We were only marginally better off ..My Mam could only buy in the Army & Navy stores and bought me a military type uniform to go to school in .
I was so proud 'cos everybody said that I looked like a 'Proper little Count'!!!!!!
Even the Garda were accused of using child labour when folk saw me.....
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby Rocker » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:54 am

You two are so bold. There I was telling the story and yiz are laughing and now you have me laughing too. How do yiz think of them ??????????
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Re: Dublin tenements?

Postby keeper » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:11 pm

The galvanised baths :shock: placed in front of the fire, one side scalding hot, the other side freezing :shock: :shock: it was awful when visitors called and you in the bath :shock: :shock: and the Mother telling you to make suds to keep your dignity :P :P
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