> Martin Carthy > Songs > Matt Hyland

Matt Hyland

[ Roud 2880 ; Ballad Index DTmatthy ; Bodleian Roud 2880 ; trad.]

Martin Carthy sang Matt Hyland on his 1968 album with Dave Swarbrick, But Two Came By. This was also included on their compilation album Selections and on the Mooncrest anthology Rave On. Martin Carthy commented in the original album's sleeve notes:

Matt Hyland is an Irish song which I first heard three or four years ago from a Scots girl singer Christine Stewart who had learned it from an Irish singer Al O'Donnell. Since that time I tried to find the words, but without success, until a singer at the Prestwick club in Scotland gave me the words at a ceilidh. In return I can't even remember his name for which I am sorry, but thank him very much anyway.

Archie Fisher sang Matt Hyland in 1968 on his eponymous Transatlantic album, Archie Fisher.

Cathal McConnell sang Matt Hyland in 1970 on his and Robin Morton's album An Irish Jubilee.

Al O'Donnell recorded Matt Hyland in 1972 for his eponymous Trailer album, Al O'Donnell.

Frank Harte sang Matt Hyland in 1973 on his Topic album Through Dublin City.

Liz Jefferies sang Matt Highland to Barry and Chris Morgan in their own home in Bristol in September 1976. This recording was included in 1998 on the Topic anthology Tonight I'll Make You My Bride (The Voice of the People Series Volume 6).

Peggy MacDonagh of Co. Fermanagh sang Matt Hyland to Keith Summers in between 1977 and 1983. This recording was included in 2014 on the Musical Traditions anthology of songs from around Lough Erne's shore, I Pray You Pay Attention. Rod Stradling noted in the accompanying booklet:

The Roud index has only 10 references for this ballad. It was collected from Sandy McConnell in Bellanaleek, Co Fermanagh by Robin Morton published in Folksongs Sung in Ulster (Cork: Mercier, 1970). It was also collected from Andy Cash (from Wexford) in London by Jim Carroll/Pat Mackenzie in 1973. But it can also be heard, sung by Liz Jefferies on [Tonight I'll Make You My Bride].

Gordon Bok sang Young Mathyland in 2003 on the Folk-Legacy CD of traditional Irish-American songs from the Flanders Ballad Collection, Irish Songs from Old New England.

Kate Rusby sang Matt Hyland in 2001 on her CD Little Lights.

Janet Russell sang Matt Hyland in 2008 on her Harbourtown CD Love Songs and Fighting Talk. She noted:

I heard Al O'Donnell singing this in the early 80's, and it has been a favourite ever since. My version poses the hypothesis that this might have been a song of “sexual mismatch” (as some might have seen it) rather than “social mismatch”.

Lyrics

Martin Carthy sings Matt Hyland

There was a lord lived in this town
Who had a handsome lovely daughter
She was courted by a fair young man
Who was a servant to her father
But when her parents came to know
They swore they'd send him from the island
The maid she knew her heart would break
And she to part with young Matt Hyland

Straightway unto her love she goes
Into his room him to awaken
Saying, Arise my love and go away
This very night you will be taken
I overheard my father say
In spite of me he would transport you
So arise my love and go away
This very night you will be taken

Oh must I go, he says to her
Oh must I go without my wages
Without a penny in my purse
Just like some poor forlorn stranger
Here's fifty guineas in bright gold
And that's far more than father owes you
So take it now and go away
I wish to God I'd gone before you

They both sat down upon the bed
Just for the side of half one hour
And not a word did either speak
But down their cheeks the tears did shower
She laid her head upon his breast
As round his neck her arms entwined
Not a duke nor lord nor earl I'll wed
I'll wait for you my own Matt Hyland

The lord discussed with his daughter fair
One night alone in her bedchamber
Saying, I give you leave to bring him back
Since there's no-one your style above him
She wrote a letter then in haste
For him her heart was still repining
She brought him back to the church they went
And made a lord of young Matt Hyland

Peggy MacDonagh sings Matt Hyland

There was a lord lived in this town
Who had a handsome lovely daughter.
She was courted by an apprentice boy
Who was a servant to her father.
But when her parents came to know
They swore they'd make him leave this island.
This lady knew her heart would break
If parting with her own Matt Hyland.

The lord discoursed his dear wife fair
One night alone in her bedchamber
Saying, “Matt Hyland I will send afar;
I'm afraid our daughter stands in danger.”
This lady gay in ambush lay
In grief oppressed was truly pining
Saying, “My father I will him deceive
I will protect my own Matt Hyland.”

Oh straightway unto her love she went
And ordered him for to awaken
Saying, “Rise my dear and go your way
This very night you will be taken.
Last night I heard my father say
In spite of it he would transport you
So arise my dear and go your way
I wish to God I'd gone before you.”

“How am I to go away?” he said
“How am I to go without my wages.
Without a penny in my purse
Just like some poor unfortunate stranger?”
“Here's fifty shillings in bright gold
And that's far more than my father owes you
So take it now and go your way
I wish to God I was with you.”

The lord discoursed with his dear wife fair
One night alone in her bedchamber
Saying, “I will give her leave to bring him back
Since there is none she’ll crown above him.”
She wrote a letter then in haste
Saying for him her heart was truly pining.
So she brought him back to the church they went
And she made a lord of young Matt Hyland.

Acknowledgements and Links

Transcribed by Garry Gillard.

See also the Mudcat Café thread Origins: Matt Hyland.