Garryowen is a cool and very old Irish Tune. I don’t know a lot about it, except that it originally had a Gaelic name (and that it’s Irish and very old.)
This tune goes out to James Kelly. Enjoy!
Garryowen according to Wikipedia
This song emerged in the late 18th century, when it was a drinking song of rich young roisters in Limerick. It obtained immediate popularity in the British Army through the 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers.
The word garryowen is derived from Irish, the proper name Eóghan (“born of the yew tree”) and the word for garden garrai – thus “Eóghan’s Garden”. The term refers to the area of Garryowen in the city of Limerick, Ireland.
Beethoven composed two arrangements of the song in 1809–1810 (published 1814–1816 in W.o.O. 152 and W.o.O. 154) to the title, “From Garyone My Happy Home”, with lyrics by T. Toms, on romantic themes. The arrangements were part of a large project by George Thomson to engage prominent composers of his day to write arrangements of the folk songs of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
A very early reference to the tune appears in The Life of the Duke of Wellington by Jocquim Hayward Stocqueler, published in 1853. He describes the defence of the town of Tarifa in late December 1811, during the Peninsular War. General H. Gough, later Field Marshal Hugh Gough, 1st Viscount Gough, commanding officer of the 87th Regiment (at that time known as the Royal Irish Fusiliers), after repulsing an attack by French Grenadiers “… was not, however, merely satisfied with resistance. When the enemy, scared, ran from the walls, he drew his sword, made the band strike up ‘Garry Owen’, and followed the fugitives for two or three hundred yards.”
Garryowen was also a favourite in the Crimean War. The tune has also been associated with a number of British military units, and is the authorised regimental march of The Irish Regiment of Canada. It was the regimental march of theLiverpool Irish, British Army. It is the regimental march of the London Irish Rifles (now part of The London Regiment (TA)). It was also the regimental march of the 50th (The Queen’s Own) Foot (later The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment) until 1869.
Garryowen became the marching tune for the 69th Infantry Regiment, New York Militia, (the famed “Fighting 69th” ) in the mid-19th century. The “Fighting 69th” adopted Garryowen before the Civil War and recently brought it back to combat in Operation Iraqi Freedom
It later became the marching tune for the American 7th Cavalry Regiment during the late 19th century. The tune was a favorite of General George Armstrong Custer and became the official air of the regiment in 1867. According to legend it was the last tune played before the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
The name of the tune has become a part of the regiment, the words Garry Owen are part of the regimental crest.
There is a Camp Garry Owen, north of Seoul, Korea, which houses part of the 4th Squadron of the regiment. There is also a currently operating Forward Operating Base, FOB Garryowen, within the Maysan province of Iraq. FOB Garryowen was established in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 8–10 in June 2008 by 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment.
The 7th Cavalry became a part of the 1st Cavalry Division in 1921, and “Garryowen” became the official tune of the division in 1981.
The tune became the name for bases established by the Cavalry in current conflicts. The most recent was Combat Operating Base, (COB), Garry Owen in the Maysan Province of Iraq. The base was near the city of Al Amarra and was established by the 2/7 CAV.
Garry Owen most recently was also the Regimental Quick March of The Ulster Defence Regiment CGS (UDR). When the UDR merged with The Royal Irish Rangers in 1992 to become The Royal Irish Regiment, Garry Owen was dropped as the Regimental Quick March and was replaced with Killaloe. Both these tune are worthy of being a Regimental Quick March.