Music of the Regiment...
The origin of Killaloe..
Quick March of The Royal Irish Rangers
is a popular march in the Irish Regiments of the British army . The
following is some of the background to the tune . Killaloe was written
around 1887 by a 41-year-old Irish composer named Robert Martin, for
the London Musical "Miss Esmeralda" and sung by a Mr E J Lohnen. The
lyrics relate the sorry story of a French teacher attempting to make
himself understood to a difficult Killaloe class who, totally
misunderstand his French, and as a consequence beat him up.
The Killaloe song, with original melody in 2/4 time, was made well
known in military circles by a cousin of Lt. Charles Martin, who served
with the 88th Connaught Rangers (The Devil's Own) from 1888 until his
death in 1893. He composed a new set of lyrics, in 6/8 time,
celebrating his Regiment's fame, and although no mention is made of the
tune in the Regimental history, there is an interesting explanation
which may well account for the shout or yell in the military version of
Killaloe. In the lst. Battalion (Connaught Rangers), formerly
the 88th, a favourite march tune was "Brian Boru" and this was played
generally when the Battalion was marching through a town, or when after
a hot and heavy march, the Battalion was feeling the strain and the
Commanding Officer wished to revive the spirits of the men.
On such occasions, at a time generally given by the Sergeant-Major, all
ranks would give a regular "Connaught Yell". during which the Band
would make a pause, and then continue playing. The march
became popular among the other Irish Regiments and various other sets
of lyrics were devised, some none too complimentary in tone.
The first known recording of Killaloe was made by Richard Dimbleby when
serving as a BBC war correspondent somewhere in North France in
1939/1940, shortly before Dunkirk, during an outside broadcast of
advancing troops. The "Famous Irish Regiment" Dimbleby reports playing
as they march past Is not actually named. but would have been either
the Royal Irish Fusiliers or the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
Again in 1944, the BBC recorded The 1st. Battalion, Royal Inniskilling
Fusiliers Pipes & Drums playing Killaloe, by then adopted
unofficially as the march of the famous 38th (Irish) Brigade, during
the approach to Cassino.
Killaloe was adopted by The Royal Irish Rangers on its formation on
lst. July 1968 and again later by the Royal Irish Regiment on its
amalgamation in 1992 .
4 Bands in One
The Royal Irish
Rangers were unique in the British Army as they were the only regiment
who had 4 seperate bands that played as one.
And of course the Regimental Band
This produced a unique
sound, (as you can hear through out this website ) and that along with their finesse, is what made the band very
popular and famous through out the world.
Pipes & Drums
Massed Band of the 1st Battalion
More info will be added soon