Garryowen Essay

491 Words2 Pages
The nickname “Garryowen” traces its lineage back to an old Irish ballroom dance tune. It was used as a marching tune for various nation's military formations such as Great Britain, Canada, and the United States of America with the British being the first to adopt it. The song gained its popularity in the 18th century where it was used as a drinking song by wealthy local youths in Ireland however the tune itself originates from 5th Royal Irish Lancers during the 1680s. Captain Myles W. Keogh along with other officers and members of the 5th subsequently served in the 7th Cavalry Regiment thus introducing General George Armstrong Custer to the tune. He would then make the tune the official song of the regiment. The lyrics to “Garryowen” made their first written appearance in the 1923 Cavalry Journal. The term “Garryowen”, actually two words, means “Garden” and “Born of the Yellow Tree” with “Garry” meaning the former and “Owen” meaning the latter. Garryowen is in fact a neighborhood in the city of Limerick, Ireland. The United States first adopted the tune for the 69th Infantry Regiment also known as the “Fighting 69th” located in New York. The 7th Cavalry Regiment began using said tune roughly in the year 1867. It was said to have been the last song played during the Battle of Little Bighorn. The regiment first took place in the year 1866 at Fort Riley Kansas. The regiment consisted of twelve companies without any parent battalion. The terms “troop” and “squadron” would later replace “company” and “battalion” respectively as the year 1883 approached. The 7th Cavalry Regiment band eventually chose “Garryowen” as their favorite tune. Though currently with the 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas the regiment has its roots with the 15th Cavalry Division. The 1st Cavalry Division would later make “Garryowen” their official song in the year 1981. Subsequently after

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