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The Eely Ally Oh

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:42 am
by Tommy Ralston
My late mother, Bella (Martin) used to sing a wee ditty occasionally. It went:
"There's a big ship sailing down the Eely Ally Oh,
The Eely Ally Oh,The Eely Ally Oh
There's a big ship sailing down the Eely Ally Oh,
On a cold and frosty morning".
If there was any more to it than that, I have forgotten it.
When I was a wee boy, a year or two back, the outlet of a burn ran, through a stone arch, into the sea across the road from the War Memorial - mebbe a wee bit nearer Dalintober. This was known to me as the 'Eely Ally Oh'. I never did get a reply to my question to my mother as to just how a 'big ship' got into this burn!
Years later, I recall that wonderful teacher, 'Big Bob' Graham, trying to cram some French into the brain of one who struggled with English and as I remember it the French phrase, 'il y a l'eau' meant 'there is water' in English.
Do any readers know where this burn originated; when and why the outlet into the Loch disappeared; are there any more verses to the song and is my 'French connection' correct?
TR

Re: The Eely Ally Oh

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:48 pm
by EMDEE
As far as I know, there are three burns that flow into the loch. These are Glenside Burn, Milldam Burn and Witchburn. As they are all culverted in the town, it is not obvious where they exit. I'm not aware of an outlet into the loch disappearing. The Eely Ally Oh must have been a local children's nickname for this burn.

Re: The Eely Ally Oh

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:30 pm
by LANDROVER ROGER
Here you go Tommy.....The Big Ship Sails on The Ally-Ally-Oh

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.


Nursery rhyme believed to have originated in the Manchester Ship canal district.

Re: The Eely Ally Oh

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:28 pm
by Tommy Ralston
Well done, Roger, many thanks. There's aye somebody - - -!

Hello, Emdee. I'm certain that there was a burn that exited into the loch, having flowed below the Green. If I was forced, I'd say it disappeared underground at the junction of Lady Mary Row and Lochend Street and next saw daylight as it exited inot the Loch.
Mebbe it's my imagination!
TR

Re: The Eely Ally Oh

PostPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 7:33 pm
by EMDEE
I would take it that one is probably a combination of the Mill Burn and Glenside Burn (Balegreggan Burn).

As far as I am aware the Witchburn flows below the street in Burnside and Burnbank and exits into the loch between the War Memorial and the Victoria Hall

Re: The Eely Ally Oh

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:28 pm
by petewick
Lets not forget the wee burn that runs from the wee lochan below Barley Bannocks hill.
It flows down the western edge of what is now Kintyre Gardens, the old Plantation.
The burn goes underground just before the bus turning area at Kintyre Park and exits into the
sea on the Green opposite the Cutting.

Re: The Eely Ally Oh

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:50 am
by bill
Tommy Ralston wrote:When I was a wee boy, a year or two back, the outlet of a burn ran, through a stone arch, into the sea across the road from the War Memorial - mebbe a wee bit nearer Dalintober.


Both Catherine and myself have no recollection of stone arch Tommy,but after looking(with a magnifying glass) at a photograph in Carol McNeil's "Old Campbeltown and Machrihanish" there does seem to be what you describe. The photograph is not dated , but the old Dalintober Distillery is still standing, and the "Wee Free" has yet to be built.

Re: The Eely Ally Oh

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:09 pm
by MPR
Yes Tommy there was an arch there and it had some type of gate or fence right in the arch

Re: The Eely Ally Oh

PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:02 pm
by lochend
The big ship sailed on the Ally Ally O.I remember this song being sung by the girls at Merseyside primary schools in the 1940s and 50s possibly as a skipping song. It was explained to me that the ship was the 'Arctic' that sank with the loss of 350 lives including 80 women and children.What was unique, and caused a great furore, was that not one woman or child escaped but many of the crew did! The "Ally Ally O" was said to be the Atlantic Ocean. The ship sank towards the end of September but news reached liverpool on the last day of September! Seems plausible but you pays your money and you takes your choice! http://history1800s.about.com/od/steams ... arctic.htm

Re: The Eely Ally Oh

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:37 pm
by Mack
Hello Tommy,

I'm informed that the Mill Burn and Balegreggan Burn merged to flow down what is now Lady Mary Row. There was a wooden bridge at the junctioon of Lochend Street and Saddell Street, this before the burn made its way across the Mussell Ebb. Some people called it the Town Burn to distinguish it from the Witch Burn, the latter which flowed down Burnbank and was eventually piped underground to exit across from the pumping station on the Esplanade. I remember the storm water door at the burn's end and older people calling it the Eelly Ally O. There must have been another bridge over the 'Town Burn' when the Esplanade was being formed, as the boys from Dalintober were often quoted as making their way across the bridge to support the Hearts Juniors.