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Fenian Galop, The

Title: Fenian Galop, The
Additional Title:
First Line:
First Line of Chorus:
  • Skedaddle, Charley
Additional Names:
Publication Date: 1880
Instrumentation: Piano
Subject: Fenian Rising
WIMA Collections: Irish Fest Collection
ID: IF SL 01-373
Publisher: London, Sinclair & Company
Publication Place: London
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Historical Notes

We don’t have an actual date but our guess is the middle to late 1880s. It’s classic British music hall. It’s called The Fenian Galop and has great cover art by M. Clancey and written by Charley Skedaddle. A Galop was a lively country dance and considered a forerunner to the polka.

There are no lyrics so that leaves us with the artwork as our only interpretation. Since it’s published in London and from its estimated date we are fairly certain the art is a reference to the Fenian dynamite campaign which took place in London from 1881-1885. The targets were infrastructure, government, military or police. In the artwork you can see the London police chasing the Fenians. The Fenians are depicted in a simian nature, apelike, which was not an uncommon view of the Irish into the early twentieth century. The lead Fenian and others have guns and some have sticks. The artwork is set in a rough drawn shamrock with the lead Fenian also having a shamrock on his shirt. We can only assume that the name Charley Skedaddle is a fictitious name associated with the Fenians on the run.

From A Musical and Artistic Glimpse Inside the Fenians…150 Years Later blog post.

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