So let's take a run at it Saturday.
Two sessions coming up in the next week:
The song is known by two titles -- "Belle of Belfast City" and "I'll Tell Me Ma."
Shelley Stevens has dulcimer tab with chords on her website -- directories at http://shelleystevens.com/ (click on links to "Tab Archives 2005-2010" and "Tab Archives 2010-2016"). "Belle" is in the directory for August 2010 and "Jamaica Farewell" for September 2006. The Internet is acting cranky on me tonight: If you can't open the webpage, I'll have copies available Saturday. .
"I'll Tell Me Ma" is performed by big-name commercial Irish bands like the Dubliners and the Irish Rovers as a rowdy, hard-driving pub song. It is all of that, but it's also an old, old children's song, first collected during the 1800s in various parts of England, with a lovely melody.
Some interpretations --
Na Fianna. Contemporary Irish band of Laois who got their start in the RTÉ All Ireland Talent Show in 2009–10. Website at http://www.nafiannamusic.com/. Hazel Entertainments presents Laois Band 'Na Fianna' performing 'I'll Tell Me Ma' at the Hazel Hotel, Monasterevin, Co. Kildare.
Hounds of Finn. Folk-rock trio of St. Paul, Minn., a live performance in 2015 that elevates it (IMO) from pub music to a real song. http://houndsoffinn.com/ --
It's been recorded frequently by other artists. Two that stand out in my mind are:
Sinéad O'Connor's interpretation on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu5gqwIOQJs. (Sean-Nós Nua)
- Van Morrison and the Chieftans, on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCQDhYzU2Zo
Which brings us to Kirsty MacColl, best known for her association with the Pogues on "Fairytale of New York" but a fine independent artist in her own right:
And the bonus I promised -- while I was looking for interpretations of "I'll Tell Me Ma," I came across a 56-minute BBC documentary:
The Story Of The Pogues & Kirsty McColl Fairytale of new york The full Story 1 of 1
For those who want to learn the song, there's an absolute gold mine at http://www.irish-folk-songs.com/fairytale-of-new-york-song-lyrics-guitar-chords.html, where lyrics, guitar chords and notes for melody instruments are given on Martin Dardis' Irish Folk Songs website.