The Holy Ground – Songs, Sailors, and ladies of Simple Virtue
I will be every keen on the sea that is irish “Holy Ground”. The track is mostly about a sailor bound for sea, making their lady love and looking to get back. “And nevertheless we are now living in desire to start to see the Holy Ground yet again..” Additionally it is called the “Cobh shanty”, and even the ground that is“Holy is a community into the Irish slot of Cobh.
This delivered to mind the area that is notorious in colonial nyc, understood for the top quality brothels, also referred to as the “Holy Ground”. It made me wonder whether there clearly was more to your ground that is“Holy than one might first imagine.
The Wikipedia entry for the Irish “Holy Ground” notes: “The title is ironic, the bit of ground referred to as Holy Ground had been after the city’s red-light district within the nineteenth century as soon as the town, then referred to as Queenstown, had been a major stopping point for vessels crossing the Atlantic along with escort service Washington a big throughput of seafarers.”
And about the nyc “Holy Ground”, From City of Eros:
“The many prominent prostitution region after 1770 and in to the very early nineteenth century had been the famed “Holy Ground.” The city’s most expensive “houses of debauchery” prospered on land owned by the Episcopal church and adjacent to King’s College (later Columbia University) in the two blocks along Church, Vesey, and Barclay streets. From the eve associated with Revolution, one observer remarked that over five hundred “ladies of pleasure [kept] lodgings contiguous within the consecrated liberties of Sr. Paul’s [Chapel].”
There's nothing astonishing that prostitutes and sailors might constant the exact same communities. We have long believed that the declare that prostitution could be the profession” that is“oldest is demonstrably incorrect. In the end just exactly just how could the women practice their career without having a pre-existing sailor? Sort a chicken and egg issue involving whom gets set, as they say. (Sorry.)
But exactly what for the “holy ground”? Could it be a coincidence that the Cobh “holy ground” plus the nyc “holy ground” had been both red-light districts? Cassell’s Dictionary of Slang shows that the “holy ground” had been slang for the red light region at the lebecauset as early as the century that is 19th. Brewer’s Britain & Ireland identifies it as eighteenth century slang for the unlawful slum or red-light region.
Moreover it references a tie towards the church. The ground that is“holy may also relate to “an area within church jurisdiction by which villains or persecuted individuals could gain sanctuary. The slums and ghettos that are criminal usually impervious towards the legislation.” The Routledge Dictionary of Historical Slang mentions a pre-1819 chant, us around.“For we have been the males for the ‘holy ground’, and we’ll party upon absolutely nothing, and turn” The “holy ground” or “holy land” is also a slum that is jewish. The ground that is“holy had been evidently a location for outcasts. No surprise sailors felt in the home.
There could additionally be a program double-entendre within the ground” that is“holy. A“holesaler” is a brothel keeper in liverpool slang. Holey ground, possibly?
The primary reference that is biblical the “holy ground” is within the tale of Moses plus the burning bush in Exodus 3-2,5:
“And the angel regarding the LORD showed up unto him in a flame of fire from the midst of the bush: in which he seemed, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and also the bush had not been consumed…. And then he stated, Draw maybe perhaps not nigh hither: put off thy footwear from off thy foot, for the spot whereon thou standest is holy ground.”
Going back to the musical, there are several Christian songs of the identical or comparable names. One “praise song” This is Holy Ground includes the words “These are holy fingers” and “These are holy lips”. Seems remarkably like they could be referring, if inadvertently, into the sailor’s “holy ground.”
The following is a hyperlink towards the Dubliners performing the Holy Ground.
Fare thee well, my lovely Dinah, a thousand times adieu. We have been bound out of the Holy Ground therefore the girls we love therefore true. We’ll sail the sodium seas over and we’ll return once again, whilst still being we are now living in aspire to begin to see the Holy Ground once again.