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Full text of "The popular songs of Ireland"

UC-NRLF 





*r^ 






POPULAR SONGS 



OF 



IRELAND. 



COLLECTED AND EDITED, WITH INTRODUCTIONS 
AND NOTES, 



BV 



T. CROFTON CHOKER, ESQ. 
I 



LONDON: 

HENRY COLBURN, PUBLISHER, 
GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET. 

M.DCCC. XXXIX. 



LONDON: 
FEINTED BY JAMES MOVES, CASTLE STREET, 

LEICESTER SQUARE. 



TO 



THOMAS BAYLIS, ESQ. F.S.A. 

AND 

W. LECHMERE WHITMORE, ESQ. F.S.A. 

OF THE PRIOR S BANK. FULHAM, 

IN MEMORY OF MANY PLEASANT HOURS PASSED WITH THEM 
AT THEIR ENCHANTING RESIDENCE, 

THIS VOLUME IS INSCRIBED, 

BY 

THE AUTHOR. 



513891 



PREFACE. 



So many collections of what are called Irish 
popular songs are before the public, under 
various fanciful names, such as " The Sham 
rock," " The Harp of Erin/ " The Hibernian 
Minstrel," &c., that some apology appears 
necessary for adding another to the number. 
And here it may be proper to reply to a 
question which has been asked, In what par 
ticulars Irish and English song differ ? Ritson 
states, that " The distinction between Scottish 
and English songs, it is conceived, arises, not 
from the language in which they are written, 
for that may be common to both ; but, from 
the country to which they respectively belong, 
and of which their authors are natives. This 
discrimination," continues Ritson, " does not 
so necessarily or properly apply to Ireland, 
great part of which was colonised from this 
kingdom ; and the descendants of the settlers 
(the only civilised and cultivated inhabitants) 



VI PREFACE. 

have consequently been, ever since, looked 
upon as English ; the native Irish being, to 
this day, a very different people. Every one 
has heard of the English pale." 

Ritson, however, probably after this pas 
sage was written (1783), may have read the 
complaint, that the Anglo-Irish settlers de 
generated and became mere Irish ; in fact, 
that they were " more Irish than the Irish 
themselves;" for, in 1789, he appears to have 
visited Dublin, " chiefly," to use his own words, 
" with a view to pick up songs, either single or 
collected, the native production of the country ; 
but I met," he adds, " with little or nothing 
except disappointment. And yet I have good 
reason to think that some such collections must 
either exist or have existed." 

That Irish songs may be found in abund 
ance, there can be no doubt, although Ritson s 
inquiries after them were unsuccessful ; but the 
question which he has raised is ; In what par 
ticulars they differ from English songs, being 
composed in the same language, and by Eng 
lish settlers or their descendants ? That there 
is, however, a distinct feeling and character, 
that there is a certain humour, a quaint man 
ner of expression, an exquisite simplicity, and 



PREFACE. VJ1 

that there are other peculiarities, which leave 
no difficulty in discriminating between even 
the English imitation and the genuine lyric of 
Ireland, I think, will readily be conceded after 
the perusal of this volume. These traits of 
Anglo-Irish song may be accounted for in 
various ways ; among others, as copies after, 
or translations from, the national language. 

Spenser, " the prince of poets," distinctly 
replies to the inquiry, Whether the Irish bards 
" have any art in their compositions, or be 
they any thing witty or well-savoured as poems 
should be?" 

" Yea, truly, I have caused divers of them 
to be translated unto me, that I might under 
stand them ; and surely they savoured of sweet 
wit and good invention, but skilled not of the 
goodly ornaments of poetry ; yet were they 
sprinkled with some pretty flowers of their 
natural device, which gave good grace and 
comeliness unto them." 

My intention was to submit to the English 
reader a series of songs, which would have 
told the history of Ireland from the battle of 
the Boyne to the present time, in a novel, 
impartial, and, according to my view, interest 
ing and instructive form. From the genuine 



Vlll PREFACE. 

contemporary evidences of popular feeling, I 
am satisfied that many curious and some im 
portant deductions might have been derived. 
For what has been said of French songs, ap 
plies perfectly to those of Ireland. " The 
Frenchman " (and so does the Irishman) " sings 
his conquests, his prosperity, his defeats, even 
his miseries and misfortunes. Conquering or 
conquered, in plenty or want, happy or un 
happy, sorrowful or gay, he always sings ; and 
one would say that the song is his natural ex 
pression. In fine, in all situations in which 
we would speak of the French" (or the Irish), 
" we might always ask, as the late King of Sar 
dinia did, Well! how goes the little song? " 

The chronological series which I had ori 
ginally proposed (notwithstanding the utmost 
compression), would have extended to three 
or four volumes ; a work which, for a mere 
collection of Irish songs, alarmed my pub 
lisher. In compliance, therefore, with his 
wishes, rather than in accordance with my 
own opinion as to the interest likely to attach 
to the undertaking, I now submit to the public 
a selection, not of the historical, but of the 
popular songs of Ireland. 

Several of these songs, although they have 



PREFACE. IX 

been extensively sung, are now printed for 
the first time ; and all the songs in the pre 
sent volume will be found, not mere English 
imitations of Irish peculiarities, as in most 
former collections, but the real productions 
of Ireland : not whimsical caricatures, but 
genuine specimens of national feelings, pre 
judices, poetry, and humour. An attempt has 
also been made to assign to these fugitive 
lyrics their proper parentage ; and slight bio 
graphical notices of Dr. Brenan, Mr. Callanan, 
Mr. W. P. Carey, Mr. Andrew Cherry, Mr. 
Lysaght, Mr. Millikin, the Right Hon. George 
Ogle, Mr. Patrick O Kelly, and other writers 
of popular songs, occur in the introductions 
prefixed. In these introductions, my view is 
to explain distinctly to the English reader 
various circumstances of local and temporary 
interest, evidences of originality that cannot 
be doubted. 

The features I have mentioned, give the 
present collection of Irish popular songs a 
distinct character from any hitherto published. 

With regard to the principles which have 
guided me in the selection, I may state that 
my object was to steer a middle course be 
tween the lower class of vulgar ballad and 



X PREFACE. 

the exquisite compositions of Moore and 
Lover. The former gentleman, indeed, has 
been thus humorously assailed for the want 
of Irish feeling and character which has been 
charged against his national work: " It has 
often struck me with astonishment, that the 
people of Ireland should have so tamely sub 
mitted to Mr. Thomas Moore s audacity in 
prefixing the title of Irish to his Melodies. 
That the tunes are Irish, I admit ; but as for 
the songs, they in general have as much to do 
with Ireland, as with Nova Scotia. What an 
Irish affair, for example, Go where Glory waits 
thee ! &c. Might not it have been sung by a 
cheesemonger s daughter of High Holborn, 
when her master s apprentice was going, in a 
fit of valour, to list himself in the Third Buffs, 
or by any other amatory person, as well as a 
Hibernian Virgin ? And if so, where is the 
Irishism of the thing at all ? Again, 

When in death I shall calm recline, 

O bear my heart to my mistress dear ; 
Tell her it lived upon smiles and wine 

Tell her it lived upon fiddlesticks ! pretty food 
for an Irishman s heart for the ladies. Not 
a man of us, from Carnsore Point to Bloody 
Foreland, would give a penny a pound for 



PREFACE. XI 

smiles ; and as for wine, in the name of De 
cency is thai a Milesian beverage ? Far from 
it, indeed ; it is not to be imagined that I 
should give five or six shillings for a bottle 
of grape-juice, which would not be within five 
quarts of relieving me from the horrors of 
sobriety ; when, for the self-same sum, I could 
stow under my belt a full gallon of Roscrea, 
drink beyond comparison superior. The idea 
is, in fact, absurd ; but there would be no end 
were I to point out all the un-Irish points of 
Moore s poetry. Allusions to our localities, 
it is true, we sometimes meet with, as thinly 
scattered as plums in the holyday puddings 
of a Yorkshire boarding-school, and scattered 
for the same reason just to save appearances, 
and give a title to the assumed name. There s 
The Vale of Avoca/ for instance, a song 
upon a valley in Wicklow, but which would 
suit any other valley in the world, provided 
always it had three syllables, and the middle 
one of due length." 

But, to return to my own collection. I 
have, in the first instance, taken as a fit subject 
for the inspiration of the National Muse, St. 
Patrick, the guardian Saint of Ireland. From 
him I have proceeded to the national emblem, 



Xll PREFACE. 

the Shamrock; then to an Irishman s food, 
the potato ; subsequently to his drink 
whisky ; and, finally, to his favourite plaything 
" a sprig of Shillelah." 

These matters are followed by a collection 
of local songs, in my choice of which various 
considerations have guided me. First, I deemed 
it very desirable to exhibit as rarities, and also 
to prove how much historical matter respecting 
Ireland lies buried in the libraries of England, 
three specimens of ancient local song. I 
have therefore given a very remarkable bal 
lad on the entrenchment of New Ross, which 
was unquestionably composed so early as the 
year 1265, and to the cheerful sound of which 
the walls of that town arose, nearly six hundred 
years ago. The other two ballads are con 
nected with the history of the city of Water- 
ford, and were composed in the reigns of 
Henry VII. and Henry VIII.; the former of 
these examples of" rhyme royall" is now for 
the first time printed. And here I cannot 
refrain from expressing my deep and heart-felt 
regret that the translation of the ballad re 
specting New Ross, which was made by the late 
Mrs. George Maclean the lamented L. E. L. 
should be a posthumous publication. 



PREFACE. Xlll 

My next object was to introduce some 
examples of the convivial songs of the middle 
of the last century; such as " The Kilruddery 
Hunt," " The County of Limerick Buck-hunt/ 
" The Praises of Limerick," " Garryowen," and 
" The Rakes of Mallow." 

Thirdly, to contrast with them the pastoral 
style, which became fashionable about the close 
of the last century, and is fairly represented 
by " Shannon s Flowery Banks," and Ogle s 
" Banna s Banks," and " Hermit of Killarney." 

Fourthly, to treat of the Anglo-Irish bur 
lesque a style which, in a national point of 
view, may be referred to as eminently charac 
teristic, and which the passage copied at page 
143, from Stanihurst, shews to be at least as 
old as the time of Elizabeth. It appears to 
have been revived by Millikin s far-famed 
" Groves of Blarney," the imitation of which, 
in "O Blarney Castle, my Darling!" "The 
Town of Passage," and other songs, is obvious. 
In lyrics of this nature it may be remarked, 
that the sportiveness with which rhymes are 
strung together sometimes accidentally pro 
duces whimsical combinations; such as 

" Tis there is handy 
Both beer and brandy, 
With sugar-candy, &c." 



PREFACE, 



Occasionally poetical images are to be at 
tributed to the same cause. Thus a chim 
ney-sweeper of Nenagh I think, Brian Tier- 
ney by name whose practice it was to make 
songs upon the various houses, the chimneys 
of which he swept, celebrates the bounty of 
a family residing at Uskean in the following 
manner: 

" The thread of hope 
Becomes a rope, 
Within the scope 

Of Uskean s shades." 

Fifthly. It has been my purpose to give, 
in the least offensive manner, a specimen of 
an Irish slang song, which will be found in 
" De Groves of de Pool." The most popular 
song of this class is, perhaps, " De Night before 
Larry was stretched ; " but as there is much 
that is objectionable in it, as well as in " Lord 
Altham s Bull," I have considered that a single 
illustration will be sufficient to satisfy the 
curiosity of the English reader, who, it is pro 
bable would not readily enter into the fun of 
such compositions. 

Sixthly, to exemplify the Irish jocular style, 
I have selected Lysaght s view of " Dub 
lin after the Union ;" also the controversy 



PREFACE. XV 

between the towns of Kinsale and Mallow; 
and the song upon the Court of Conscience 
in Cork. The national fondness for rhyme, 
and for the display of mastery over it, is illus 
trated by the songs entitled "Cork s Good- 
humoured Faces," "The Doneraile Litany," 
and " The Carrigaline Coalers defeated." 

But while I have endeavoured thus to 
place characteristic samples of Irish song be 
fore the English reader, I trust that I have 
not been insensible to the strong feeling and 
fine bursts of poetry occasionally to be found 
in the minstrelsy of my country. Of the bad 
taste with which true poetry is often associated 
with indifferent prose of the manner in which 
gold and lead are sometimes amalgamated, I 
have not avoided giving a specimen in the 
song entitled " The Court of Cahirass." How 
ever, that some unexceptionable lyric poetry 
exists will, I think, be conceded by the readers 
of " Sweet Avondu," " Gougane Barra/ and 
" The River Lee by Moonlight." 

It would scarcely escape the reader s 
notice, even if I had failed to point it out, 
that so many of the songs in the present col 
lection are of southern origin. But Munster, 
it has been remarked, " produces annually a 



XVI PREFACE. 

far greater crop of poets and potatoes than 
the rest of Ireland." And Cork is said to 
afford the Muses " the Parnassian hill, and the 
Tcmpean vale ; while, for founts of Helicon 
and Castaly, there flow streams of mountain 
dew/ rarely adulterated by the cooler waters 
of earth or sky." 

As an Editor of the Songs of Ireland 
which it has been my amusement for many 
years to collect, I trust the reader will not 
consider my observations very trifling, or, 
what is far worse, very tedious ; although I 
cannot help fearing that I have sometimes 
subjected myself to both these grave charges. 
It only remains for me to explain, that it was 
the wish of my publisher that I should make 
not merely a collection of songs which had 
been popular, but of Irish songs which should 
be popular ; and I hope that, in my execution 
of the task, I may not have disappointed him. 

T. C. C. 

ROSAMOND S BOVVER, FULHAM, 
28th February, 1839. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Sr. PATRICK^ Introductory Observations 1 

I. St. Patrick s Arrival (explanatory of the origin of the 

vord Punch) 11 

II. St. Patrick was a Gentleman 19 

III. St. Patrick of Ireland, my dear ! 24 

IV. St. Patrick s Day in Paris 30 

THE SHAMROCK. Introductory Observations 32 

V. The Shamrock Cockade 39 

VI. The green little Shamrock of Ireland 44 

THE POTATO. Introductory Observations 48 

VII. The land of Potatoes, O ! 56 

VIII. The smiling Potatoes 60 

WHISKY. Introductory Observations 65 

IX. An Irishman s Christening 70 

X. Love and Whisky 72 

XI. The Powers of Whisky 74 

XII. Erin s Whisky 76 

XIII. Rock s Poteen 77 

XIV. The Glass of Whisky 79 

XV. A Sup of good Whisky 82 

XVI. " Bounce upon Bess " 86 

XVII. Had I the Tun which Bacchus used 89 

XVIII. TheNightcap 03 

XIX. Bumpers, Bumpers, flowing Bumpers ! 95 

XX. I ll never get Drunk any more 97 

XXI. Barry of Macroom 99 



XV1H 



CONTENTS. 



PA OS 

XXII. The Merry Man 102 

THE IRISH OAK. Introductory Observations 108 

XXIII. The Sprig of Shillelah 112 

XXIV. Hail to the Oak, the Irish Tree 118 

XXV. Oh ! an Irishman s Heart is as stout as Shil 
lelah 120 

LOCAL SONGS. Introductory Observations 122 

XXVI. Provincial Characteristics 128 

XXVII. Sweet Avondu 130 

XXVIII. Banna s Banks 137 

XXIX. The Groves of Blarney 141 

XXX. O Blarney Castle, my Darling ! 149 

XXXI. The Victorious Coalers of Carrigaline and Kil- 

money 154 

XXXII. The Carrigaline Coalers defeated 161 

XXXIII. Cork s own Town 165 

[XXXIII.* Judy MacCarthy of Fiahamble Lane, 166.] 

XXXIV. Cork s good-humoured Faces 172 

XXXV. The Court of Conscience in Cork 174 

XXXVI. The Groves of Blackpool (descriptive of the re 
turn of the city of Cork Militia) 175 

XXXVII. The Court of Cahirass 181 

XXXVIII. The Doneraile Litany 184 

XXXIX. Dublin after tire Union 191 

XL. The Humours of Donnybrook Fair 1 93 

XLI. Glashen-Glora 198 

XLII. Gougane Barra 200 

XLIII. Young Kate of Kilcummer 205 

XLI V. The Boys of Kilkenny 206 

XLV. The Hermit of Killarney 209 

XLVI. The Kilruddery Hunt 214 

XLVII. The Praise of Kinsale 227 

XLVIII. Kinsale versus Mallow 229 

XLIX. The River Lee 232 

L. The Bells of Shandon 234 

LI. The Silvery Lee 239 

LI I. The Praises of Limerick . . 240 



CONTENTS. XIX 

PACK 

LIII. Garryowen 243 

LI V. The County of Limerick Buck-hunt 251 

LV. Dear Mallow, adieu 256 

LVI. The Rakes of Mallow 263 

LVII. Darling Neddeen 264 

LVIII. The Town of Passage 268 

LIX. The Fair Maid of Passage 275 

LX. The Entrenchment of Ross 277 

LXI. Shandrum Boggoon 304 

LXII. Shannon s flowery Banks 307 

LXIII. The Mayor of Waterford s Letter 310 

LXIV. The Praise of Waterford .. .331 



THE WOOD-CUTS INTRODUCED INTO THIS 
VOLUME ARE: 

PAGB 

A St. Patrick s cross, as manufactured of coloured papers 8 

Ditto, as made by school-boys 9 

Ditto, two specimens, as now printed and pub- 

lished 10 

Button of the Irish Volunteers 42 

Specimens of Whisky bottles and glasses 107 

Viz. Deoch an Durrus glass. t^ 

Poteen bottle. 
Modern whisky bottle. 
Poteen glass. 
Modern whisky glass. 
Substitutes for ditto ; viz. a clusheen shell and an egg 

shell. 
A Topographical Sketch of the Kilruddery Hunt, 1744 221 



THE 



POPULAR SONGS 



IRELAND. 



THE 



POPULAR SONGS 



OF 



IRELAND. 



ST. PATRICK. 

OF a personage so celebrated as the National Saint 
of Ireland, it is here only necessary to state that the 
anniversary of his death,* namely, the 17th of 
March, has been long carefully observed by all 
good and pious Irishmen ; not, indeed, with painful 
abstinence or melancholy seclusion, but with glorious 
feasting and uproarious jollification. 

Harris recommends, in consequence, the publi 
cation, of a Life of St. Patrick, as " the means of 

* Quere, that of his birth ! It is very difficult, in the lives of the 
saints, to ascertain one from the other ; as the same word is commonly 
used by their biographers to express both events. " A nativity, or 
natal day," that is, the day on which a saint is released from mortality 
here, and born to eternal life. 



THE POPULAR SOXGS OF IRELAND. 

rectifying our deluded countrymen, who spend the 
festival of this most abstemious and mortified man 
in riot and excess, as if they looked upon him only 
in the light of a jolly companion." 

Justly has this anniversary been characterised in 
the " Irish Hudibras," as rich 

" With rhiines, cronaans,* and many a gay trick, 
. -.!" adoratton of St. Patrick." 

;W{ieii-:the Jibo^le of Ireland, in their venerated 
saint s 

" name, make holiday, 

When all the Monaghans f shall play ; 

Ordain a statute to be drunk, 

And burn tobacco free as spunk.J 

And (what shall never be forgot), 

In usquebah, St. Patrick s pot ; 

To last for ever in the nation, 

On pain of excommunication." 

It is a day on which all true-born sons of Erin 
feel peculiarly happy, and are inclined to view 
every occurrence in a favourable and mellow light. 
This was remarked more than two centuries asjo, 
as a reference to " Stafford s State Letters," vol. ii. 
p. 57, will prove; where Mr. Garrard informs the 
Lord Deputy of Ireland, that, " on Friday morning, 
the 17th of this month (March 1636), St. Patrick s 

* Songs. 

t Clowns ; inhabitants of the county of Monaghan. 

$ Tinder. 



ST. PATRICK. O 

day, was the queen brought to hed of a daughter : 
which," he adds, " will please the Irish well." 

The day, in fact, is nationally regarded as 
auspicious. Major Mitchell, whose recent work on 
Australia is an important addition to our knowledge 
of that interesting country, thus notes the starting 
of his expedition for the Darling and Murray rivers 
precisely two hundred years afterwards (1836). 

" Dr. Johnson s Ohidah was not more free 
from care on the morning of his journey, than I 
then was on this the first morning of mine, which 
was also St. Patrick s day ; and, in riding through 
the bush, I had again leisure to recall past scenes 
and times connected with this anniversary. I re 
membered that, exactly on that morning, twenty- 
four years before, I had marched down the glacis of 
Elvas, to the tune of St. Patrick s day in the 
Morning, as the sun rose over the beleaguered 
towers of Badajoz. Now, without any of the pride, 
pomp, and circumstances of glorious war, I was 
proceeding on a service not very likely to be peace 
ful," &c. 

Merry-making in honour of St. Patrick is, by 
no means, confined to Ireland. Wherever Irish 
men have penetrated and where is the quarter of 
the globe in which they are not to be found? or 
where is the nation in which they are not dis 
tinguished? the fame of St. Patrick cannot be 
unknown. For instance, it is recorded in the 
" Annual Register," that " on the 17th March 



6 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

1766, His Excellency Count Mahony, ambassador 
from Spain to the court of Vienna, gave a grand 
entertainment in honour of St. Patrick, to which 
were invited all persons of condition who were of 
Irish descent; being himself a descendant of an 
illustrious family of that kingdom. Among many 
others present were Count Lacy, president of the 
council of war, the Generals O Donnell, M Guire, 
O Kelly, Browne, Plunket, and M Eligot, four chiefs 
of the grand cross, two governors, several knights 
military, six staff officers, four privy counsellors, 
with the principal officers of state, who, to shew their 
respect to the Irish nation, wore crosses in honour of 
the day, as did the whole court." 

The melancholy feelings of a patriot unable to 
celebrate St. Patrick s day with becoming propriety, 
may be estimated by the following extract, full of 
sober sadness, from the Journal of Theobald Wolfe 
Tone, under date the 16th March, 1796, when in 
Paris negotiating for the invasion of Ireland : 

" I live," he writes, " very soberly at present, 
having retrenched my quantity of wine one half; I 
fear, however, that if I had the pleasure of P. P s 
company to-morrow, being St. Patrick s day^ we 
would indeed take a sprig of water- cresses with 
our bread. Yes! we should make a pretty sober 
meal of it. Oh, Lord ! Oh, Lord ! 

" 17. St. Patrick s day. Dined alone in the 
Champs Elysees. Sad! sad!" 

Holt, the Irish rebel general, thus records, in his 



ST. PATRICK. 

" Autobiography," the commemoration of St. Patrick s 
day at Liverpool in 1814, after his return from 
New South Wales. " The 17th of March, the 
Irishmen all assembled and walked in procession, 
dressed with ornaments that are due to the memory 
of St. Patrick, a band playing St. Patrick s day 
in the Morning, going before them. I brought 
my son with me to shew him his countrymen. I 
drank at Peter Ryan s, near the Packet House, 
and / got a cold; which so much affected me, 
that I was confined to my bed on the 18th of 
March," &c. 

To multiply quotations, however, is trifling work, 
especially upon a point that admits of much less 
discussion than the absolute existence of the Saint 
in memory of whom the orgies in question continue 
to be zealously performed. But a few words may 
be permitted on the subject of the crosses worn in 
honour of St. Patrick, and respecting what Holt 
calls the " ornaments that are due to his memory." 
Lawrence White, a " lover of the Muses and rnathe- 
maticks," as he styles himself on the title-page of 
a volume of poems, which he published nearly a 
hundred years ago (1742) in Dublin, describing the 
progress of a love affair, says, 

" He gained the affections of the maid, 
Who did with curious work emboss 
For him a fine St. Patrick s cross." 

It appears from this, that these crosses were made 



8 



THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



of silk and embroidery; but, as in modern times, 
tapestry became superseded by paper, so the em 
broidered St. Patrick s cross was imitated in coloured 
papers, of which the annexed is a faithful represent 




ation, one fourth of the original size, with the 
colours herald ically tricked. The popular demand 
for decorations of this saintly order being very general 
in Ireland, and especially an object of ambition 
among juvenile patriots, the state of whose finances 
did not warrant the outlay of one penny; an inferior 
kind of decoration, or cross, was devised by rustic 
ingenuity to gratify the humbler votaries of St. 
Patrick. This badge was formed by arcs intersect 
ing each other within a circle, by which something 
like the figure of two shamrock leaves united at the 
stalks was produced ; but any resemblance that 
fancy might have traced in the outline, was de 
stroyed by the colourist, who, according to his 



ST. PATRICK. 



9 



own taste, introduced red, yellow, and green, into 
the various sections : the red colouring matter being 




generally procured from a puncture made in the 
artist s finger for the purpose ; the yellow, from the 
yolk of an egg ; and the green, from the vegetable 
sap of a plant commonly called pennywort. The 
instrument with which the outline was traced, was 
no less primitive than the colours. This substitute 
for the mathematician s compass was called a 
goulloge (5AbAi6s), i.e. fork. It was an angular 
branch of a tree or shrub, in one end of which was 
fixed a pin, and on the other a pen. 

The circular manufacture of national decorations 
has, however, within the last five or six years, com 
pletely disappeared before the work of that mighty 
engine, the press ; by means of which various repre 
sentations of St. Patrick, and of fanciful crosses, are 
now produced. Two examples of these wood-cuts, 
one fourth of the original size, are here given, 

u2 



10 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

which the reader will please to imagine bedaubed 
with pink, green, and yellow, and glittering with 
the tinsel of Dutch metal. It should be observed, 





that the cross of St. Patrick was worn pinned on 
the left arm, or attached to the cap or hat, a prac 
tice now confined to children; while men, those 
" children of a larger growth," substitute for the 



ST. PATRICK. 11 

badge anciently used on the anniversary of Ireland s 
Saint, a bunch of shamrock or trefoil, by the size 
of which an estimate may be formed of the amount 
of the patriotic zeal of the wearer. The shamrock, 
however, appears to have been formerly considered 
only as an apology for any less splendid decoration. 

" Nay, not as much has Bryan oge, 
To put in s head as one shamroge." 

Irish Hudibras, 1689. 

And, as " ornaments in honour of St. Patrick," 
bunches of shamrock covered with tinsel regularly 
make their appearance, as marketable articles, in 
Covent Garden, on the 16th and 17th of March. 

In 1783, the Order of the Knights of St. Patrick 
was instituted by King George III., " of which his 
majesty, his heirs and successors, were ordained 
perpetual sovereigns, and to which several of the 
most eminent characters under the united monarchy 
of Great Britain and Ireland, have been elected 
knights companions." 



ST. PATRICK S ARRIVAL. 

(Explanatory of the Origin of the uord Punch.) 

Dr. Johnson, who explains the word punch accurately 
enough as " a liquor made by mixing spirit with water, 



12 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

sugar, and the juice of lemons," is nevertheless at a loss 
for the derivation of the name, and he therefore slurs the 
matter over by calling it " a cant word." Little > indeed, 
did the learned doctor dream of the light which minute 
researches into Irish antiquities are likely to throw upon 
philology. Witness the wonderful discoveries of Sir 
William Betham, and the ingenious theory so satisfac 
torily developed in the concluding verse of the following 
song. 

Deeply, however, is it to be lamented for the cause of 
truth, that this clever and convincing lyric should com 
mence with an erroneous statement respecting the arrival 
in the Green Island of the inventor of a chemical mixture 
of universal celebrity the P. P. of all Ireland ; that 
is, the Patron of Punch, as St. Patrick may justly be 
styled. 

Mr. Moore has decided (" Hist, of Ireland," i. 214), that 
St. Patrick landed, not in Bantry, but in Dublin Bay. 
However, what possibly has created some confusion about 
this matter, may be the Saint s embarkation ; which, ac 
cording to the same authority, took place from " the 
south-western coast of Ireland," from whence St. Patrick, 
after a voyage of three days, was landed on the coast of 
Gaul. The association also in Irish history between 
Bantry Bay and France, as a point of debarkation, may 
be another reason for the lyrist falling into this slight 
mistake ; but which as little invalidates the general ac 
curacy of the account of St. Patrick s conduct, subsequent 
to his arrival, as the description given of his attitude or 
his mode of transport. In fact, these little traditionary 
embellishments of the narrative are, perhaps, judiciously 



ST. PATRICK S ARRIVAL. 13 

preserved ; the first, as exhibiting a characteristic speci 
men of that amusing national peculiarity called a bull ; 
the second, as presenting a magnificent allegory, to depre 
ciate the grandeur of which has been most unfairly 
attempted in the phrase of " mighty like a whale." 

Sir Charles Coote, in his " Statistical Survey of 
Cavan," thus explains the meaning of the term spalpeen, 
which is applied to the astonished natives: 

" In the Irish language, spal is the sithe or the 
sickle. The native husbandman was thence named the 
spalp, which signified the harvest-cutter ; and this man 
was considered to have acquired the whole art of hus 
bandry, and held a sort of distinction over the other 
labourers. When the press of harvest season arrived, and 
from the uncertainty of the weather they found it neces 
sary to call in assistants, or other spalps, they suffered the 
younger or less experienced farmer to handle the sickle, 
at whose first introduction a particular and pious cere 
mony was performed, and before its celebration he dared 
not to presume to handle the sickle ; and he was termed 
the spalpeen, or the young and unexperienced harvest- 
cutter. Een, in the Irish language, at the final of a word, 
always signifies small, or rather contemptible ; and, to this 
day, the spalpeen has that signification, even with those 
who do not understand the language. The working 
husbandmen of Ireland are universally distinguished as 
the cottier, or the spalpeen : the wages and privileges of 
the former fully double those of the latter ; and it is well 
known that herds of men, called spalpeens, regularly come 
every harvest from the counties of Cork and Kerry, and 
part of Connaught, into the corn counties of Leinster, to 



14 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

reap the harvest, and the farmers entirely depend on 
them." 

It must be admitted, that the mention in this and the 
following songs of wigs, potatoes, steamboats, and other 
matters which are generally supposed to be modern intro 
ductions, may startle the reader in illustrations of the 
history of St. Patrick and his times ; but the words of a 
wise man of yore should be remembered, who said that 
" there is nothing new under the sun." 

This song is given from a manuscript copy. The 
editor has been told that the author is a gentleman named 
Wood, an officer of the army ; and that, some years since, 
the song was printed in the " Cork Southern Reporter" 
newspaper with the signature " Lanner de Waltram" 

Tune " Patrick s day in the Mwnhtg." 

St. Patrick, they say, 

Came up sweet Bantry Bay, 
Riding cross-legged astride on the back of a whale, 

Which gave him a bob 

Into Ballydehob, 
Saying, " Phadrig, you re welcome to green Innisfail."* 

The spalpeens were scared, 

As their saucer-eyes stared 
At the Saint, with his mitre, and crosier, and book ; 

* One of the many names for Ireland. It has been explained as 
the island of fate or destiny, from the Lis-fuil or stone now under the 
coronation chuir in Westminster Abbey. But why not as the generous 
island ? Vide the adjective Fp&ll in " O Reilly s Irish Dictionary," and 
the above passage. 



ST. PATRICK S ARRIVAL. 15 

Says one great bosthoon,* 
" It s the man in the moon ! 
And I ll speak to the creature, 
Just out of good nature, 

And scrape an acquaintance by hook or by crook. 
I hope he can t eat us 
All up like potatoes:" 

It was Patrick s day in the morning ! 

" Your wig, white as flax, 

Makes me bold for to ax 
It s who are you, what are you, and from whence you came?" 

Then the other replied, 

" I came in the last tide ; 
I m a saint come to serve you, and Patrick s my name. 

With the crook in my hand 

I ll roam over this land, 
And I ll draw yees together like mountainy sheep ; 

I ll card off the sins 

That stick close in your skins : 

You ll see what the fun is, 

While I beat the Dunnis,\ 
A beast with long horns, and black as a sweep. 

Go, lie down in clover,^: 

Till the skrimmage is over, 

For it s Patrick s day in the morning ! 

* A shirtless fellow. 

t Here evidently put for the devil. Donas and Doints is translated 
by O Brien as " distress, misery, misfortune, calamity." " Playing the 
dunnis in the country," is an Anglo-Irish phrase, equivalent to " playing 
the devil." 

| That is, among the shamrocks. See subsequent notice of this plant. 



16 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

With a thundering polthogue,* 

And the toe of his brogue, 
Soon the Saint kicked the Dunnis beyond the Black sea. 

Then he spoke to the nation 

" My sweet congregation, 
You ve spirits remaining that s stronger than he ; 

Sure ye knows what I means 

They bewilder your brains 

They re as clear as the streamlet that flows through the 
green. 

But stronger than Sampson, 

Who pulled post and lamps on 

His enemies head, 

Till he kilt them stone-dead ; 
And the name of the spirit I mean is poteen, f 

I exhort ye, don t stick, sirs, 

To those Devil s elixirs, 

Of a Patrick s day in the morning!" 

The Saint fell asleep, 

And the FirbolgsJ all creep 

* Thump. 

t Illicit whisky, called poteen, from being manufactured in small 
(juantities, and, consequently, in a little pot. Een, the Irish diminu 
tive, has something endearing in it, like the Italian ino. 

J The third colony, according to Keating, that came into Ireland 
before the Milesians. " Fir Iwlg," says O Brien, " means viri Bolgce, 
or Bolgi, which seems to be a proof that the Belgians had originally 
their national name from Bclg [a bag, or budget, supposed to be a 
quiver of arrows] ; and the Irish historians remark that they were 
called Fir bolg, from being noted to carry leather bags about them." 
The Firbolgs no doubt invented the bagpipe. 



ST. PATRICK S ARRIVAL. 17 

For some cruiskeens of water* unholy, but tastely. 

With this essence of sins 

Soon they filled up their skins : 
When the Saint he awoke, they were beastly.f 

As fuddled they lay, 

Says the Saint, " there s a way 
To wean them : I ll mawkish stuff put in each bottle ; 

And when they awake, 

If a swig they should take, 

Oh, dear ! twill disgust them. 

I think I may trust them, 

They ll vow that no more shall pass down through their 
trottle. 

Something sweet I ll here pour,J 

And here something sour, 

On Patrick s day in the morning ! " 

He went off they awoke, 

Each " hot copper" did smoke 
Like the flue of a steamer each pounced on his drink ; 

Their shewing grimaces, 

Their making of faces, 
Beat Buck all to nothing: but, what do you think? 



a " small pot, or pitcher." O BRIEN. U|f5, or 
, in English pronounced " whisky," means in Irish, " water." 

t Swift philosophically observes, that " no brute can endure the 
taste of strong liquor, and, consequently, it is against all the rules of 
hieroglyph to assign those animals as patrons of punch." The editor 
has heard an Irishman declare, that he never would " make a beast of 
himself" by drinking water. 

$ Pronounced in Ireland, power. 

A celebrated miniature-painter in Cork, about whose rapidity of 
execution many curious stories are told. 



18 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

With features awry, 

In a hogshead hard by. 
Each emptied his bottle, though dying of thirst ; 

Till one, dry as a spunge, 

At the tub made a plunge, 

Where the sour, and the sweet, 

And the whisky did meet : 
And he swigged off this physic, till ready to burst, 

By the side of this mixture 

Each man grew a fixture, 

On St. Patrick s day in the morning ! 

When St. Patrick came back, 

" Och I" says he, " ye vile pack 
Of the spawn of the Druids ye villanous bunch !" 

But a noise, as from Babel, 

Here made him unable 
To hear his own voice, though he said, " Is the PUNCH" 

EON, he d have added, 

But the Firbolgs were madded, 
Their bowls cut short question, remark or reply. 

" Ay, PUNCH," they roared out, 

With an earth-shaking shout, 

" Is the name of this thing 

That is drink for a king, 
Or the mouth of a Druid, if ever he s dry ; 

It would coax pipe-shank d Death 

For to let one take breath 

On St. Patrick s day in the morning ! 



ST. PATRICK WAS A GENTLEMAN. 19 



ST. PATRICK WAS A GENTLEMAN. 

THE purgation of Ireland from noxious animals has been 
the subject of the old alliteration " Ubi nulla venena 
veniunt, nee serpens serpit in herba;" and this, the most 
famous of the miracles of St. Patrick, is celebrated in the 
following song. The introductory verse assures us that 
St. Patrick was a gentleman. Moore, in the " History of 
Ireland," vol. i. p. 211, speaking of St. Patrick, merely 
says, " His family was, he informs us, respectable." This 
is mere modesty ; and, as every Irish gentleman should 
have a pedigree, that of our Saint has been judiciously in 
troduced by the lyrists to prevent any question about the 
gentility of one who has performed a noble act. 

Jocelyn, indeed though all that the monk of Furness 
asserts must not be received as gospel would have us 
believe that St. Patrick s father, whose name he asserts 
was Calphurnius, married his servant-maid, a French 
damsel, who became the mother of our Saint. And we 
find the various biographers of St. Patrick claiming him 
as an Armoric Gaul, a Welshman, a Cornishman, a Scotch 
Highlander, and a Lowlander. But this is all nonsense. 
St. Patrick was an Irish gentleman. The Gallaghers were 
a family of consideration in Donegal ; the Bradys were 
the same in Cavan ; the O Shaughnessy, ditto in Galway ; 
and the O Gradys " possessed that part of Clare which is 
now called the Barony of Bunratty." Vide " Irish State 
Papers," 1515, vol. ii. p. 3. This " respectable" pedigree 
settles the matter. 

Nor are authorities wanted to support the assertion 
that St. Patrick was an Irishman. Dempster, in his 



20 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

" Ecclesiastical History," states that the Irish contended 
for having St. Patrick as their countryman, and born in 
Ireland. Both Possevinus and Baronius, who, by inter 
ested parties, are represented to have been misled by the 
annals of Matthew of Westminster that "flower-culling 
monk," make our saint an Irishman ; so do Mariana and 
others. But, in short, it is quite clear, from the fifth 
verse, that the story about the French damsel is altogether 
an invention; as Miss Brady St. Patrick s mother, upon 
her marriage with Mr. O Gallagher, was anxious that her 
husband should remove from the * black north " to her 
native county, Cavan. He, unwilling to quit his paternal 
inheritance, Donegal, objected ; and the matter was 
amicably compromised, by both parties agreeing to go 
half way to meet the other, whereupon the town of Ennis- 
killen was selected as the future residence of the happy 
pair. And here, it appears, Mr. O Gallagher (much to his 
credit must the fact be stated), disdaining to eat the bread 
of idleness, opened a spirit store, or whisky shop ; and 
therefore it seems, most probably, that St. Patrick was 
born in Enniskillen. 

Of the elevation of the various hills mentioned in con 
nexion with that on which " St. Patrick preached his 
sarmint," an accurate idea cannot be formed from the 
words of the song. The fact is, that Lugnaquilla, the 
highest of the Wicklow hills, exceeds Croagh Patrick by 
500 feet; whereas, the words of the lyrist would lead us 
to believe that Croagh Patrick was far loftier than any 
of the Wicklow hills, even with the Hill of Howth, which 
measures upwards of 500 feet more, piled upon the sum 
mit, like Pelion and Ossa of old. Poets, however, are 



ST. PATRICK WAS A GENTLEMAN. 21 

privileged persons, and due allowance should be made 
for them when they endeavour to exalt their subject. The 
elevation of Croagh Patrick is stated to be 2530 feet. 

Mr. John Barrow, who ascended it in 1835, describes 
the top as oval in shape, flat, and, perhaps, containing 
" about an acre of level ground, although, when viewed 
from the bottom, it appears to come quite to a peak. The 
cone itself is composed of loose stones, on which little or 
no heath or grass seems to grow. On the summit, heaps 
of stones have been piled up in different places ; to serve, 
probably, the double purpose of altars and sheltering spots 
from the wind : they are of three sides, open at the top, 
and in front. This mountain," continues our lively travel 
ler, " is held in great veneration, perhaps more so than any 
other in all Ireland. I was duly assured that St. Patrick 
gave himself the trouble to ascend the reek, ever since 
which it has taken the name of Croagh Patrick that 
from this elevation, stretching out his hand, he blessed the 
surrounding country ; and, it is added, that it was in this 
spot the Saint bestowed his curses on all venomous reptiles, 
so that from thenceforth they should never more infest the 
Emerald Isle. On noticing this to our guide in a manner 
that implied a doubt on the subject, he replied, And, sure, 
your honour believes that St. Patrick could asibj do all 
this, and a mighty dale more ! To be sure, as is confirmed 
by the song 

Twas on the top of this high hill St. Patrick preach d his 

sarmint, 
That drove the frogs into the bogs, and bother d all the varmint. " 

The editor has only to add, that this song consisted 



22 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

originally of three verses (the 1st, 2d, and 5th), which were 
the impromptu joint production of the late Mr. Henry 
Bennett and Mr. Toleken, of Cork, and were sung by 
them in alternate lines at a masquerade in that city, where 
they appeared as ballad-singers in the winter of 1814 or 
1815. The song becoming a favourite, the 6th verse, 
as now printed, was added by Mr. Toleken, at the request 
of Webbe the comedian, then the popular representative of 
Irish characters on the stage, who usually said that the 
song was written for him. The 3d and 4th verses were 
subsequent additions by other hands, and the consequence 
of the encore with which this admirable national lyric has 
been generally received. 

Oh ! St. Patrick was a gentleman, 

Who came of decent people ; 
He built a church in Dublin town, 

And on it put a steeple. 
His father was a Gallagher, 
His mother was a Brady ; 
His aunt was an O Shaughnessy, 
His uncle an O Grady. 

So, success attend St. Patrick s fist, 

For he s a saint so clever ; 
Oh ! he gave the snakes and toads a twist, 
He bothered them for ever ! 

The Wicklow hills are very high, 

And so s the Hill of Howth, sir; 
But there s a hill, much bigger still, 

Much higher nor them both, sir. 



ST. PATRICK WAS A GENTLEMAN. 23 

Twos on the top of this high hill 

St. Patrick preached his sarmint, 
That drove the frogs into the bogs, 

And banished all the varmint. 

Oh, success, &c. 

There s not a mile in Ireland s isle 

Where dirty varmin musters, 
But there he put his dear fore-foot, 

And murdered them in clusters. 
The toads went pop, the frogs went hop, 

Slap dash into the water, 
And the snakes committed suicide^ 

To save themselves from slaughter. 

Oh, success, &c. 

Nine hundred thousand reptiles blue 

He charmed with sweet discourses, 
And dined on them at Killaloe 

In soups and second courses. 
Where blind worms crawling in the grass 

Disgusted all the nation, 
He gave them a rise, which opened their eyes 

To a sense of their situation. 

Oh, success, &c. 

No wonder that those Irish lads 

Should be so gay and frisky, 
For sure St. Pat, he taught them that, 

As well as making whisky ; 
No wonder that the Saint himself 

Should understand distilling, 



24 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Since his mother kept a sheebeen shop 
In the town of Enniskillen. 

Oh, success, &c. 

Oh ! was I but so fortunate 

As to be back in Munster, 
Tis I d be bound, that from that ground 

I never more would once stir. 
For there St. Patrick planted turf, 

And plenty of the praties ; 
With pigs galore,* ma gra, ma store, f- 
And cabbages and ladies I 

Then my blessing on St. Patrick s fist, 

For he s the darling Saint, O I 
Oh, he gave the snakes and toads a twist, 
He s a beauty without paint, O ! 



ST. PATRICK OF IRELAND, MY DEAR! 

" This song," observes Dr. Maginn, its facetious 
author, " is theological, containing the principal acts of 
our national Saint his coming to Ireland on a stone 
his never-emptying can, commonly called St. Patrick s 
pot his changing a leg of mutton into a salmon in Lent 
time and his banishment of the snakes. Consult Joce- 
lyn, or his translator, E. L. Swift, Esq." 

Although the learned doctor s account of the per- 

In abundance. f My love, my darling. 



ST. PATRICK OF IRELAND, MY DEAR! 25 

formancc of the buoyant " lump of a paving-stone," does 
not exactly accord with Jocelyn s version of the transac 
tion, it is near enough, so far as the miraculo us powers of 
St. Patrick are in question. According to Jocelyn 
(chap, xxvii.), our Saint, speeding on hw journey toward 
Ireland, when about to embark with his disciples, was 
accosted by a leper, who craved to accompany him. The 
sailors objected, upon which St. Patrick " cast into the 
sea an altar of stone, that had been consecrated and given 
to him by the Pope, and on which he had been wont to 
celebrate the holy mysteries, and caused the leper to sit 
thereon. But the pen trembles to relate what, through 
the Divine power, happened. The stone, thus loaded, 
was borne upon the waters, guided by Him, the head-stone 
of the corner, and, diverse from its nature, floating along 
with the ship, held therewith an equal course, and, at the 
same moment, touched at the same shore. All, then, 
happily landed, and the altar being found, with its freight, 
the voice of praise and thanksgiving filled the lips of the 
holy prelate, and he reproved his disciples and the sailors 
for their unbelief and hardness of heart, endeavouring to 
soften their stony hearts into hearts of flesh, even to the 
exercising the works of charity." 

Jocelyn also records (chap. Ixxvii.), how 14,000 
men, who were collected by St. Patrick in his progress 
from Momonia (Munster) to the north of Ireland, were 
comfortably entertained by the Saint at supper on a cow, 
the property of his friend, Bishop Triamus, two stags, and 
two boars; which latter animals "most politely" pre 
sented themselves to be feasted upon. " And all the 
people ate," says Jocelyn, " and were abundantly filled; 

c 



26 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

and the remnants, that nothing might be lost, were 
gathered up ; thus, with the flesh of five animals, did 
Patrick most plenteously feed 14,000 men." The miracle 
of the Saint s " never-emptying can, commonly called 
St. Patrick s pot," appears a suitable accompaniment 
to this feast, which Jocelyn has omitted to chronicle; 
for it can scarcely be credited, that any popular man in 
Ireland would attempt (especially at the house of a 
friend) to entertain a thirsty multitude upon beef, venison, 
and pork, without the addition of something to wash down 
these viands. 

The Lyrist and Father Jocelyn, however, perfectly 
accord in their respective accounts of the transformation 
of flesh into fish by St. Patrick ; the former, indeed, is 
rather more lucid than the monkish biographer, as he 
specifies the kind offish. Jocelyn (chap, xxiii.) merely 
relates how " the flesh-meat changed into fishes." It 
appears that, after Patrick had become a monk, " a desire 
of eating meat came on him, until, being ensnared and 
carried away by his desire, he obtained swine s flesh, and 
concealed it, thinking, rightly, that he might thus satisfy 
his appetite privily, which, should he openly do, he would 
become to his brethren a stone of offence and a stumbling- 
block of reproach." However, the embryo Saint was 
saved from this heinous sin by an apparition, which 
warned him against backsliding. " Then," says Jocelyn, 
" St. Patrick, rising from the earth, utterly renounced and 
abjured the eating of flesh-meat, even through the rest of 
his life ; and he humbly besought the Lord, that he would 
manifest unto him his pardon by some evident sign. 
Then the angel bade Patrick to bring forth the hidden 



ST. PATRICK OF IRELAND, MY DEAR ! 27 

meats, and put them into water ; and he did as the angel 
bade ; and the flesh-meats being plunged into the water, and 
taken thereout, immediately became fishes. This miracle 
did St. Patrick often relate to his disciples, that they 
might restrain the desire of their appetites. But many of 
the Irish, wrongfully understanding this miracle, are wont 
on St. Patrick s day, which always falls in the time of 
Lent, to plunge flesh-meats into water ; when plunged in, 
to take out ; when taken out, to dress ; when dressed, to 
eat, and call them fishes of St. Patrick." 

What has been already said respecting St. Patrick s 
most famous miracle, the banishment of the snakes, is 
probably quite sufficient to satisfy the reader s curiosity 
on this point; and it is, therefore, only necessary to add, 
that the following song, which is adapted to the tune of 
" The night before Larry was stretched," originally ap 
peared in " Blackwood s Magazine" for December 1821. 

A fig for St. Denis of France 

He s a trumpery fellow to brag on ; 
A fig for St. George and his lance, 

Which spitted a heathenish dragon ; 
And the Saints of the Welshman or Scot 

Are a couple of pitiful pipers ; 
Both of whom may just travel to pot, 

Compared with that patron of swipers, 

St. Patrick of Ireland, my dear ! 

He came to the Emerald Isle 

On a lump of a paving-stone mounted ; 

The steam-boat he beat by a mile, 

Which mighty good sailing was counted. 



28 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Says he, " The salt water. I think, 

Has made me most bloodily thirsty ; 
So bring me a flagon of drink 

To keep down the mulligrubs, burst ye 

Of drink that is fit for a saint ! 

He preached, then, with wonderful force, 

The ignorant natives a-teaching ; 
With a pint he washed down his discourse, 

" For," says he, " I detest your dry preaching." 
The people, with wonderment struck, 

At a pastor so pious and civil, 
Exclaimed " We re for you, my old buck ! 

And we pitch our blind gods to the devil, 

Who dwells in hot water below ! 

This ended, our worshipful spoon 

Went to visit an elegant fellow, 
Whose practice, each cool afternoon, 

Was to get most delightfully mellow. 
That day, with a black-jack of beer, 

It chanced he was treating a party ; 
Says the Saint " This good day, do you hear, 

I drank nothing to speak of, my hearty ! 

So give me a pull at the pot ! " 

The pewter he lifted in sport 

(Believe me, I tell you no fable), 
A gallon he drank from the quart, 

And then placed it full on the table. 
" A miracle ! " every one said, 

And they all took a haul at the stingo ; 



ST. PATRICK OF IRELAND, MY DEAR ! 29 

They were capital hands at the trade, 
And drank till they fell : yet, by jingo, 

The pot still frothed over the brim ! 

Next day, quoth his host, " Tis a fast, 

And I ve naught in my larder but mutton ; 
And on Fridays, who d make such repast, 

Except an unchristian-like glutton ? " 
Says Pat, " Cease your nonsense, I beg, 

What you tell me is nothing but gammon ; 
Take my compliments down to the leg, 

And bid it come hither a salmon ! " 

And the leg most politely complied ! 

You ve heard, I suppose, long ago, 

How the snakes, in a manner most antic, 
He marched to the County Mayo, 

And trundled them into th Atlantic. 
Hence, not to use water for drink, 

The people of Ireland determine : 
With mighty good reason, I think, 

Since St. Patrick has filled it with vermin, 

And vipers, and such other stuff! 

Oh I he was an elegant blade 

As you d meet from Fairhead to Kilcrumper;* 
And though under the sod he is laid, 

Yet here goes his health in a bumper ! 

* Fairhead is the north-east cape of Ireland ; Kilcrumper is a 
ruined church, and ancient burial ground, between Fermoy and Kil- 
worth, in the county of Cork, the southern county of Ireland. 



30 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

I wish he was here, that my glass 
He might by art magic replenish ; 

But since he is not why, alas ! 
My ditty must come to a finish, 

Because all the liquor is out ! 



ST. PATRICK S DAY IN PARIS. 

From a manuscript copy in the autograph of Sir Jonah 
Barrington, indorsed, " Sung with great applause at a 
meeting which assembled in the City of Paris, to cele 
brate the anniversary of the Saint of Hibernia." This 
was, probably, the 17th March, 1816. 

Tune " Patrick s day in the morning." 

While peace spreads her wings o er the different nations, 

And a thirst for improvement invites us to roam ; 
Let us seek for those virtues that grace other stations, 
And the good of all countries import to our home. 
Let the bustle of war, and roar of the cannon, 
In the loud song of mirth be never forgot: 
On the banks of the Seine, and the banks of the Shannon, 
Let each Irishman sing 
To his country and king ; 

And let each honest heart, whether Irish or not, 
Religiously think 
Tis his duty to drink 

On St. Patrick s day in the morning ! 



ST. PATRICK S DAY IN PARIS. 31 

In this hour of OUT pride let s do justice to merit, 
And grant to each nation its title to fame ; 

Nor e er let a grov ling, illiberal spirit, 

Obscure our bright laurels or sully our name. 

Let the bustle of war, and the roar of the cannon, 
In the loud song of mirth be for ever forgot : 

On the banks of the Seine, &c. 

When the hardy old Gaul, long accustomed to danger, 
Shall fight o er his fields by the cheerful wood fire ; 
And shall tell to his children the feats of the stranger, 

Our name shall be first in the list of the sire. 
For, have not all heard the dread roar of our cannon ? 

Can Wellington s glory be ever forgot 
On the banks of the Seine, or the banks of the Shannon ? 
Then let us all sing 
To our country and king ; 
And each honest heart, whether Irish or not, 
Religiously think 
Tis his duty to drink 

This good Patrick s day in the morning ! 



32 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



THE SHAMROCK. 

THE popular notion respecting the shamrock, or 
trefoil, is, that St. Patrick, by its means, satis 
factorily explained to the early converts of Christ 
ianity in Ireland, the Trinity in Unity; exhibiting 
the three leaves attached to one stalk as an illustra 
tion. 

Miss Beaufort remarks,* that it is "a curious 
coincidence, the trefoil plant (shamroc and shamrakh 
in Arabic) having been held sacred in Iran, and 
considered emblematical of the Persian Triad." (Col 
lect, v. 118.) 

" The botanical name of the shamrock, like that 
of the Scotch thistle, is a matter of dispute. Mr. 
Bicheno, in an amusing paper read before the 
Linnean Society, has, with great ingenuity, en 
deavoured to shew that the wood-sorrel (oxalis 
acetosella) is the true shamrock ; while Dr. Wither 
ing and Professor Rennie point out the white clover 
(trifolium repens) ; and Mr. London marks the 
black medick (medicago lupulina) as the genuine 
national emblem of Ireland." 

* " Transactions of the Royal Academy," vol. xv. 



THE SHAMROCK. 33 

That the shamrock was formerly eaten in Ire 
land as a salad, there appears no reason to doubt. 
Fynes Moryson, the secretary of Queen Elizabeth s 
lord-deputy, Mountjoy, treating of the diet and 
customs of the " wild Irish," says, " they willingly 
eat the herb shamrock, being of a sharp taste, 
which, as they run and are chased to and fro, they 
snatch like beasts out of the ditches." Spenser, 
also, in his " View of the State of Ireland," de 
scribing the misery consequent upon the Desmond 
rebellion, of which he was an eye-witness, speaking 
of the wretched and famishing Irish, tells us that 
" if they found a plot of watercresses or shamrocks, 
there they flocked as to a feast for the time, yet 
not able long to continue there withal." But these 
passages, as referring to a period of national distress 
and famine consequent upon civil warfare, when, 
according to the authorities quoted, horse-flesh was 
a luxury, and even dead bodies were taken out of 
the graves and eaten, do not prove the use of the 
shamrock as a salad so satisfactorily as the following 
extract from the humorous poem of" Hesperi-neso- 
graphia," descriptive of national manners, where, 
in the account of an Irish banquet, it is mentioned 
that, 

" Besides all this, vast bundles came 
Of sorrel, more than I can name. 
And many sheaves I hear there was 
Of shamrocks, and of water-grass, 
Which there for curious sallads pass." 
c2 



34 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

In that whimsical poem, the " Irish Hudibras," 
printed in 1689, we find 

" Springs, happy springs, adorned with sallets, 
Which nature purpos d for their palats ; 
Shamrogs and watercress he shews, 
Which was both meat, and drink, and clothes." 

Again the Irish are there represented as 

" Without a rag, trouses, or brogues, 
Picking of sorrel and sham-rogues." 

These passages, as well as the preceding quotation 
from " Hesperi-noso-graphia," in which the sorrel 
and the shamrock are distinctly mentioned as dif 
ferent plants, seem to dispose of the question of 
their identity. 

A facetious essayist in the " Dublin Penny 
Journal" observes, that 

" Other countries may boast of their trefoil as well 
as we ; but nowhere on the broad earth, on con 
tinent or in isle, is there such an abundance of this 
succulent material for making fat mutton. In winter as 
well as in summer, it is found to spread its green carpet 
over our limestone hills, drawing its verdure from the 
mists that sweep from the Atlantic. The seed of it is 
every where. Cast lime or limestone gravel on the top 
of a mountain, or on the centre of a bog, and up starts 
the shamrock. St. Patrick, when he drove all living tilings 
that had venom (save man) from the top of Croagh 
Patrick, had his foot planted on a shamrock ; and if the 



THE SHAMROCK. 35 

readers of your journal will go on a pilgrimage to that 
most beautiful of Irish hills, they will see the shamrock 
still flourishing there, and expanding its fragrant honey 
suckles to the western wind. I confess I have no patience 
with that impudent Englishman, who wants to make us 
believe that our darling plant, associated as it is with our 
religiou% and convivial partialities, was not the favourite 
of St. Patrick, and who would substitute in the place of 
that badge of our faith and our nationality, a little, sour, 
puny plant of wood-sorrel ! This is actually attempted 
to be done by that stiff, sturdy Saxon, Mister Bicheno. 
Though Keogh, Threlkeld, and other Irish botanists, 
assert that the Scamar oge, or Shamrog, is indeed the 
trifolium repens ; and Threlkeld expressly says, that the 
trefoil is worn by the people in their hats upon the 17th 
of March, which is called St. Patrick s day, it being the 
current tradition, that by this three-leaved GRASS he em 
blematically set forth the Holy Trinity. However that 
be, when they wet their Scamar oge, they often commit 
excess in liquor, which is not a right keeping a day to 
the Lord ! The proof the Englishman adduces, is the 
testimony of one Spenser, another Saxon, who, in his 
View of Ireland, describes the people, in a great famine, 
ascreeping forth and flocking to a plot of shamrocks, or 
watercresses, to feed on them for the time; and he also 
quotes an English satirist, one Wytthe, who scoffingly 
says of those 

Who, for their clothing, in mantle goe, 
And feed on shamroots as the Irish doe. 

" But we are not so easily led, Mr. Saxon ; we, Irish 
men, are not quite disposed to give up our favourite plant 



36 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

at your bidding. In time of famine, the Irish might have 
attempted to satisfy hunger with trefoil, as well as they 
did two years ago, when such a thing as sea-weed 
was eaten, for hunger will break through a stone wall. 
But do not the Welsh put leeks into their bonnets on St. 
David s day ? and now and then they may eat their leek, 
as Shakspere has it, as a relish either for an affront or 
for other sort of food ; and small blame to an Irishman, 
if, when he feels that queer sensation called hunger, he 
chews a plant of clover I I, for one, when going into 
good company, would rather have my breath redolent of 
the honeysuckle plant, than spiced with the haut gout of 
garlic ! Yet no Welshman would like to live upon leeks, 
no more than a poor Irishman would upon grass or trefoil ; 
for there is, doubtless, as little nourishment for man in the 
one as the other. But, to do Mr. Bicheno justice, he has 
another argument in favour of the wood-sorrel being the 
favourite plant of our country, which is far more to an 
Irishman s mind. He says that wood-sorrel, when steeped 
in punch, makes a better substitute for lemon than trefoil. 
This has something very specious in it: if any thing would 
do, this would ; but let the Saxon do his best. Even on 
his own ground even in London he would find it very 
hard to convince our countrymen, settled in St. Giles s, 
that the oxalis acetosella, the sour, puny, crabbed wood- 
sorrel, is the proper emblem for Ireland. No ; the 
shamrock the green shamrock, for me I " 

Shamrogueshire is a name so commonly applied 
to Ireland, that it does not require illustration ; 
and wearing the plant as a badge, has always been 



THE SHAMROCK. 37 

considered a national compliment. In a satirical 
lament .upon the departure of George IV. from 
Dublin, the king is thus spoken of: 

" It s you, it s you, that s not afraid, 

Oh, wira sthrue ! oh, wira sthrue ! 
To wear the shamrock green cockade, 
Oh, wira sthrue ! oh, wira sthrue ! " &c. 

It is impossible to pass without notice the super 
stition attached to that lusus natures, a four-leaved 
shamrock, which is popularly believed in Ireland, 
and indeed in Lancashire and other parts of Eng 
land also, to be a sure omen of wealth, and to 
endue the lucky finder with supernatural powers. 
Mr. Lover has made this notion the subject of a 
beautiful ballad, but he is in error when he asserts 
that a four-leaved shamrock " does not exist," as 
no less than three were found in the Editor s garden 
during the summer of the present year. From the 
" Irish Hudibras," however, it would seem that the 
performance of some spells were necessary upon 
finding one of those magic leaves, to develope its 
powers. The hero of that poem is represented, when 
about to descend into the infernal regions, as seeking 
advice from a nun, which is thus given to him : 

" Nay, bird, if thou art so hot set 
To throw thyself into the net; 
So mad (said she) to visit hell, 
And cannot see when thou art well ; 



38 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

If thou dst be damn d before thy day, 
Take a fool s counsel first, I say. 
Within this wood, near to this place, 
There grows a bunch of three-leaved grass, 
Called by the boglanders* shamrogues, 
A present for the Queen of Shoges,f 
Which thou must first be after fetching, 
JBut all the cunning s in the catching." 

Soon after, Nees, the hero, 

" seeing such a mighty throng 
Of trees, bethought him of the nun. 
Dear joy I if this shamrogue should prove 
By chance to grow in this same grove ; 
Should Nees so luckily succeed, 
Twould be luck in a bag, indeed. 
And fait, fy mayn t it prove so too ? 
All is not false dat she says true." 

The splendid allegory which Moore has associated 
with the origin of this " triple grass," 

" A type that blends 

Three godlike friends 
Love, Valour, Wit, for ever," 

so completely throws into the shade the numerous 
lyrics upon the shamrock, that the Editor has only 
ventured to select two, which, although possessed 
of little merit, have some interest from the circum- 

* Clowns. t Spirits. 



THE SHAMROCK COCKADE. 39 

stances connected with them, and stated in the in 
troductory remarks. Long may the Shamrock, 

" The plant that blooms for ever, 
With the Rose combined, 
And the Thistle twined, 
Defy the strength of foes to sever. 
Firm be the triple league they form, 

Despite all change of weather ; 
In sunshine, darkness, calm or storm, 
Still may they fondly grow together." 



THE SHAMROCK COCKADE. 

" Bring me a bunch of suggane ropes, 
Of sbamroges and pottado tops, 
To make a lawrel " 

So says the " Irish Hudibras." The Loyal Volunteers 
of Cork appear to have contented themselves by merely 
wearing the shamrock as a national decoration, on the 
occasion of their public appearance in honour of St. 
Patrick. Fitzgerald thus chronicles the matter in his 
" Cork Remembrancer:" " 1780, March 17. The armed 
societies of this city paraded on the Mall with shamrock 
cockades, and fired three volleys in honour of the day. 

A noble train, most gorgeously array d 
To bail St. Patrick, and a new free trade." 

A dinner, with a liberal allowance of whisky-punch and 
patriotic speeches, of course followed upon this occasion, 



40 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

when the song now printed from a manuscript copy, in 
the autograph of Mr. John Shears,* was sung. 

The era of the Volunteers is an important one in Irish 
history. The origin of these armed associations may be 
traced to the declaration of Sir Richard Heron, the 
secretary to Lord Buckinghamshire, who, in answer to 
applications from the inhabitants of Cork and Belfast for 
military protection, candidly stated " that Government 
could afford them none," and " that they must arm and 
defend themselves." In Cork, the first Volunteer Asso 
ciations were formed ; and the local chronicle, before 
quoted from, informs us that on the 4th November, 1777, 
the Boyne Society was first reviewed by Colonel Bagwell 
in White s bowling-green ; and that, in consequence of 
some outrages committed by a mob in Cork on the 12th 
March following, the Boyne Society, for the first time, 
mounted guard at the Market-house, on Friday the 13th, 
" in order to preserve peace and suppress the riots." The 
26th of March, 1778, is recorded by Fitzgerald to have 
been the anniversary of the Cork Union ; and on the 12th 
of April, he tells us, " the True Blues, Boyne, Aughrim, 
Union, and Culloden Societies, walked in procession to 
Christ Church, according to seniority, being the first 
general public appearance made by these Sons of 
Liberty ."f 

On the Sunday fortnight, the following not very pro- 

* Executed in Dublin, for high treason, in 1798. 

t Fitzgerald s volume was published in 1783, and in the slang of 
the day thus concludes : " The first dawn of Irish liberty broke out 
in 1779. Ireland obtained her legislative INDEPENDENCE (with the 
consent of the British Senate) the 16th day of April, 1783. HAIL! 
GLORIOUS VOLUNTEERS !" 



THE SHAMROCK COCKADE. 41 

phetic entry occurs, in the journal of the celebrated John 
Wesley: " At Peter s Church (Cork) I saw a pleasing 
sight, the Independent Companies raised by private persons 
associating together, without any expense to the Govern 
ment. They exercised every day, and if they answer no 
other end, at least keep the Papists in order, who were 
exceedingly alert ever since the army was removed to 
America." 

The ensuing Sunday, Wesley, about whom there then 
was considerable curiosity in Cork, writes " I was a little 
surprised at a message from the gentlemen of the Aughrim 
Society (a company of Volunteers so called), that if I 
had no objection, they would attend at the New Room in 
the evening. They did so, with another independent 
company who were just raised the True Blues. A body 
of so personable men I never saw together before. The 
gentlemen in scarlet filled the side gallery ; those in blue, 
the front gallery ; but both galleries would not contain 
them all ; some were constrained to stand below. All 
behaved admirably well, though I spoke exceeding plain 
on We preach Christ crucified. No laughing, no talk 
ing, all seemed to hear as for life. Surely this is token 
of good." September 7, 1778, was the first general field- 
day of all the armed societies belonging to the city of 
Cork. " They were drawn up in Ballyphehane field, where 
they went through the manual exercise, and performed 
the different evolutions with a facility and precision that," 
according to Fitzgerald, " would do honour to an army 
of veterans. In short, these Volunteers (or Sons of 
Liberty) formed one of the most pleasing and agreeable 
sights that ever presented itself to public view in this city, 
to the great satisfaction of several thousand spectators." 



42 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

It is remarked by Mr. Hardy, in his life of Lord 
Charlemont, that " the year 1778 furnishes not only 
ample, but splendid materials for the historian of Ireland." 
This is an unhappy assertion ; for the ample materials are 
the personal feelings of ambitious and interested individu 
als, and the period derives its splendour from the fearful 
lightning-flash which reveals a host of armed men in the 
darkness of a political storm. In 1780, the Volunteer 
army of Ireland amounted to 42,000 men ; and to their 
proceedings in pursuit of the ignis fatuus, Liberty, may be 
traced the origin of the melancholy Rebellion of 1798. 

A copy of the button worn by the Irish Volunteers is, 
perhaps, worth preserving as a national relic. The motto 
in the Irish character signifies " God save the King." 




Tune " Ally Croker." 

St. Patrick he is Ireland s Saint, 
And we re his Volunteers, sir ; 

The hearts that treason cannot taint 
Their fire with joy he hears, sir. 



THE SHAMROCK COCKADE. 43 

None need be told 

Our Saint so bold 
Will think that dog a damn d rogue, 

Who on his day 

Would keep away, 
And does not mount his shamrock. 
O rally, O rally, O rally round, then : 

Who on this day 

Has kept away, 
Be sure they are not sound men. 

Should French invaders dare to come 

In ruffles full of starch, sir ; 
A ruffle beat upon our drum, 

Like Patrick s month tis March, sir. 
Mong Union* men, 
And Culloden,f 

There s not one man a damn d rogue ; 
True Blue: and Boyne 
With Aughrim || join, 
To mount a verdant shamrock. 
O rally, O rally, &c. 

And then, in memory of this day 

Our Saint has made so glorious, 
Each man will seventeen men slay, 

And Ireland make victorious. 

* Henry Hickman, Esq., captain commandant. 

t Benjamin Bousfield, Esq., colonel. 

J Cavalry and Infantry ; the Earl of Shannon, colonel. 

John Bagnell, Esq., colonel. 

|| Richard Longfield, Esq., colonel. 



44 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

TheEnniskillen* 

Boys are willing, 
There s not one man a daran d rogue ; 

Blackpoolf will join 

True Blue and Boyne, 
And mount the verdant shamrock. 
O rally, O rally, &c. 



THE GREEN LITTLE SHAMROCK OF IRELAND. 

The words by Andrew Cherry, the music by Shield, 
and sung by Mrs. Mountain in her entertainment 
called " Travellers at Spa," at the little Opera House, 
Capel Street, Dublin, 1806. " This entertainment," ob 
serves Mrs. Mountain, in a most obliging communication 
to the Editor, " was entirely recited and sung by me, and 
attracted crowded houses in defiance of the denouncement 
of Mr. Jones, the manager of the Crow Street Theatre, 
who threatened and did in part proceed against me. I 
am," continues Mrs. Mountain, " extremely proud of this 
era in my life, because talent (however humble) triumphed 
over oppression." 

Cherry, the author of this song, was the son of a printer 
and bookseller in Limerick. He was born in 1762, and 

* The original manuscript of the " Rules of the Enniskillen 
Armed Society of Cork," with the signatures of the members, is in 
the possession of Mr. Bennett of that city. It is without dale ; and 
is in the autograph of the Colonel, John Bennett, afterwards Recorder 
of the city of Cork, and Judge. 

t Horse j John Harding, Esq., colonel. 



THE GREEN LITTLE SHAMROCK OF IRELAND. 45 

apprenticed in Dublin to his father s trade ; but, becoming 
" stage-struck," joined a company of strollers at Naas, 
where, at the age of seventeen, Cherry appeared as Colonel 
Feignwell in Mrs. Centlivre s Comedy of " A Bold 
Stroke for a Wife," on which occasion his exertions were 
rewarded by the sum of ten pence half-penny. After 
enduring, for some time, all the wretched vicissitudes of a 
stroller s life, he " returned to reason and the shop," and 
remained as his father s assistant for three or four years, 
when he again determined to follow the stage as a pro 
fession ; and he joined the provincial company of Mr. 
Knipe, whose widow he subsequently married. In 1787, 
Cherry succeeded Mr. Ryder on the Dublin stage, where 
he continued a favourite comic actor till 1793 ; about 
which time he was engaged by Tate Wilkinson for the 
Yorkshire circuit, to fill the parts which had become 
vacant by Fawcett s engagement at Covent Garden. In 
1796, Cherry returned to Dublin ; there he performed for 
two years, and then, through the theatres of Manchester 
and Bath, obtained an engagement in 1802 at Drury 
Lane, where he was received with much applause. He 
afterwards became manager of the Swansea and Mon- 
mouth theatres, and died at the latter place of dropsy on 
the brain, on the 12th February, 1812. 

The titles of ten theatrical pieces, written by Cherry, 
are to be found in the " Biographia Dramatica;" of which 
the most popular was a comedy called " The Soldier s 
Daughter." 

That Andrew Cherry was a humourist, is evident 
from the laconic note which he addressed to the manager 
of the Dublin Theatre, whose breach of faith had occa- 



46 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

sioned Cherry s leaving the Irish stage, in answer to an 
application, after his success at Drury Lane, to enter into 
an engagement. 

" SIR, I am not so great a fool as you take me for. 
I have been bitten once by you, and I will never give you 
an opportunity of making two bites of 

A. CHERRY." 

The meaning of the last verse of the following song, 
which now appears obscure, and indeed the line " our 
selves by ourselves be befriended," which is rather 
nonsensical, probably had considerable point, under the 
circumstances stated by Mrs. Mountain respecting the 
monopolylogue in which this lyric was introduced. 



There s a dear little plant that grows in our isle, 

Twas St. Patrick himself, sure, that set it ; 
And the sun of his labour with pleasure did smile, 

And with dew from his eye often wet it. 
It thrives through the bog, through the brake, through the 

mireland ; 

And he called it the dear little shamrock of Ireland, 
The sweet little shamrock, the dear little shamrock, 
The sweet little, green little, shamrock of Ireland. 

This dear little plant still grows in our land, 

Fresh and fair as the daughters of Erin, 
Whose smiles can bewitch, whose eyes can command, 

In each climate that they may appear in ; 



THE GREEN LITTLE SHAMROCK OF IRELAND. 47 

And shine through the bog, through the brake, through 

the mireland, 

Just like their own dear little shamrock of Ireland. 
The sweet little shamrock, &c. 

This dear little plant that springs from our soil, 

When its three little leaves are extended, 
Denotes from one stalk we together should toil, 

And ourselves by ourselves be befriended : 
And still through the bog, through the brake, through 

the mireland, 

From one root should branch, like the shamrock of Ireland. 
The sweet little shamrock, &c. 



48 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



THE POTATO. 



" Sublime potatoes ! that, from Antrim s shore 
To famous Kerry, form the poor man s store ; 
Agreeing well with every place and state 
The peasant s noggin, or the rich man s plate. 
Much prized when smoking from the teeming pot, 
Or in turf-embers roasted crisp and hot. 
Welcome, although you be our only dish ; 
Welcome, companion to flesh, fowl, or fish ; 
But to the real gourmands, the learned few, 
Most welcome, steaming in an Irish stew." 

THIS extract from " A Grand National Poem," 
which the Editor fears must remain in manuscript, 
as no enterprising publisher will undertake the risk 
of printing it, places clearly before the reader the 
merits of 

" Erin s unrivalled potato, 
Pride of the land of the great O I " 

It is well known that " sublime potatoes" form 
the principal food of the larger portion of the 
inhabitants of " the green island," 

" From Fairhead to Kilcrumper." 



THE POTATO. 49 

The fya%ifoa of Theophrastus, and the TUXVOXW/AOV of 
Dioscorides, are said to be identical with the potato 
of Ireland. Be this as it may, it is quite clear that 
the popular potato of Shakspere and of the Eliza 
bethan age,* is not the same root as that now com 
monly known by the name. Holinshed, Clusius, 
Gerarde, Bauhine, Gomara, Josephus Acosta, and 
a score of authorities, may be quoted from, and 
argued upon, to shew how admirably George Cole- 
man has described the Solanum tuberosum of Lin 
naeus. 

" Crest of the O Shaughnashane ! 

That s a potato-plain. 
Long may your root every Irishman know ! 

Pats long have stuck to it, 

Long bid good luck to it ; 
Whack for O Shaughnashane ! Tooley whagg ho ! 

* " Luxury, with her potato finger." Troilus and Cressida, v. 2. 
" Let the sky rain potatoes." Merry Wives of Windsor, v. 5. " Sur- 
phaling waters aud potato roots." He and She Coney Catchers, 1592. 
" Larks, sparrows, and potato pies." Every Man out of his Humour, 
ii. 3. " Some artichokes and potato roots." Menechmi of Plautus, 
translated 1594. " If any person wishes for more illustration," says 
Nares, who merely quotes of the above passages that from the 
" Merry Wives of Windsor," and does not question the identity of 
the root with the one at present used as food, " they may consult 
Beaumont aud Fletcher s Elder Brother, iv. 4 ; Ben Jonson s 
Cynthia s Revels/ ii. 2. Massinger s New \Vay to Pay Old 
Dehts, ii. 2; Old Plays, iii. 323; iv. 427, &c. The medical 
writers of the times," adds Dr. Nares, " countenanced the fancy" of 
the potato having a stimulating effect upon the constitution. " See, 
also, Harrington s Epigrams, b. iii. 33." 

D 



50 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Ours is an esculent lusty and lasting, 

No turnip or other weak babe of the ground ; 
Waxy or mealy, it hinders from fasting 

Half Erin s inhabitants, all the year round. 

Wants the soil where tis flung, 

Hogs, cows, or horse s dung, 
Still does the crest of O Shaughnessy grow. 

Shout for it, Munster men,* 

Till the bogs quake again, 
Whack for O Shaughnashane ! Tooley whagg ho !" 

It is useless to detain the reader by entering into 
an inquiry about the lost treatise on this inestimable 
vegetable alluded to in the " Irish Hudibras," 

" Who can forget the learned Cato, 
That writ so much on the pottado ?" 

The illustrious author is merely mentioned in a note 
as " Cormack Mac Art, styled the Cato of Ireland. 
He writ a treatise of the virtues of a potado, beyond 
the wisdom of Solomon, the knowledge of Aristotle, 
the rhetoric of Cicero, Con Clerenaugh, and Mure- 
artagh O Collehan." 

The opinion of Sir Joseph Banks, who took con 
siderable pains to investigate the matter, is, that 
the root now called the potato was introduced 
into the British islands in July 1586, by the return 
expedition of Sir Walter Raleigh, for which the 
patent passed the great seal in 1584. Herriott, a 

* The Editor has here corrected the error ofyoung Mr. Colemau s 
printer, according to whom this passage would read " Ulster men." 



THE POTATO. 51 

scientific man who accompanied the expedition, 
describes under the head of roots a plant called in 
Virginia openawk, which perfectly agrees with our 
potato. " These plants," he says, " are round, 
some as large as a walnut, others much larger ; they 
grow in damp soil, many hanging together as if 
fixed on ropes : they are good food, either boiled 
or roasted." Cuvier, notwithstanding, denies that 
Europe has derived the potato from Virginia; but 
when its introduction into the British isles is thus 
circumstantially connected with the return of Ra 
leigh s expedition in 1586, and it is recorded that 
Sir Walter Raleigh was mayor of Youghall in 1588, 
the anecdote related in Smith s " History of Cork," 
speaking of Youghall, appears extremely probable. 
" It was in this town that the first potatoes were 
landed in Ireland by Sir Walter Raleigh. The 
person who planted them, imagining that the apple 
which grows on the stalk was the part to be used, 
gathered them ; but, not liking their taste, neglected 
the roots, till the ground, being dug afterwards to 
sow some other grain, the potatoes were discovered 
therein ; and, to the great surprise of the planter, 
vastly increased. From these few this country was 
furnished with seed." 

According to a popular song upon the potato, 

<; By Raleigh twas planted at Youghall so gay, 
And Munster potatoes are famed to this day, 

Ballinamona ora, 
A laughing red apple for me." 



52 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IREI AND. 

In 1662, a letter was read in the Royal Society 
recommending the culture of potatoes, and roots 
were distributed to the members for this purpose in 
the spring of the following year. Evelyn inculcated 
the project in his " Sylva," and from this period the 
plant became common in England. Sir Robert 
Southwell, the president of the Royal Society, in 
formed the fellows on the 3d December, 1693, that 
his grandfather introduced the potato into Ireland, 
and that he had the root from Sir Walter Raleigh. 
" This evidence proves, not unsatisfactorily," ac 
cording to Sir Joseph Banks, " that the potato was 
first brought into England, either in the year 1586, 
or very soon after ; and sent from thence to Ireland 
without delay by Sir Robert Southwell s ancestor, 
where it was cherished and cultivated for food be 
fore the good people of England knew its^value ; 
for Gerarde, who had the plant in his garden in 
1597, recommends the roots to be eaten as a delicate 
dish, not as common food." That Sir Robert South 
well s ancestor may have received the potato from 
Sir Walter Raleigh, will not be disputed ; but Sir 
Joseph Banks, in arriving at the conclusion that 
Raleigh was not the introducer of the root into 
Ireland, seems to have overlooked his intimate con 
nexion with the south of Ireland, already pointed 
out, at the precise period when the potato of our 
times made its appearance. 

What renders this question an object of more 
than ordinary interest to the Editor is, that in a 



THE POTATO. 53 

manuscript among the " Southwell Papers," un 
fortunately without date, but, from the contents, 
believed to have been written about 1640, potato- 
roots are called " Crokers," from having been first 
planted in Croker s field at Youghall. Possibly 
the spot mentioned by Lord Castlehaven, who, in 
his * Memoirs," states, that when he encamped with 
the Irish army before that town in 1645, he caused 
Major-General Butler to take up a position " to 
wards the sea near Croker s Works." 

Tradition also says, " that the potato-root, be 
sides being planted on Sir Walter Raleigh s ground 
at Youghall, was likewise planted on some land in 
the diocess of Tuam, which Sir Walter afterwards 
let to endow a school." 

About the year 1633 the potato is supposed to 
have been introduced into Lancashire by a vessel 
from Ireland, which was wrecked in the North 
Moels. In Scotland it does not appear to have been 
popularly cultivated until 1728, although it was 
known there many years previously ; as Sutherland 
notices it in 1683, in his " Hortus Medicus Edin- 
burgensis." 

It is observed by Mr. Samuel M Skimin, the 
ingenious author of the " History of Carrickfergus," 
that in Ireland it is likely potatoes had long been 
introduced before they attracted the attention of the 
farmer for the purpose of cultivation. In a manu 
script, of which he is the possessor, written between 
1670 and 1679, which treats largely of the prices of 



54 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

every kind of agricultural produce, potatoes are only 
once mentioned, and that in 1676, when they were 
sold at the high rate of Is. Sd. per bushel. This 
must refer to the north of Ireland ; and Mr. 
M Skimin speaks of the same district, when he 
remarks, " very old people informed me, that few 
potatoes were formerly used after harvest, except a 
small quantity preserved as a treat for their Hal 
loween supper, which were eaten with butter. If, 
however, does appear that they were coming into 
general circulation before their time." 

The south of Ireland, there can he no doubt, was 
the cradle of the potato. In the " Irish Hudibras" 
(1689), numerous passages occur to prove that this 
root was extensively cultivated, and commonly used. 
Thus, we are told of 

" That monstrous giant, Finn MacIIeuyle, 
Whose carcass, buried in the meadows, 
Took up nine acres of pottadoes." 

And, in " Hesperi-neso-graphia," swine are de 
scribed as good as e er 

" turned the earth of garden, where 

Beloved potatoes growing were." 

Again, in the " Irish Hudibras," the hero is 
represented as having 

" No cannons, nor wide-mouth d granadoes ; 
Nees s fire-balls were boiled pottados." 



THE POTATO. 55 

And the arrival of King William III. does not 
allow him 

" To enjoy his land, or any part, 
His banniclabber* and pottadoes, 
Without these French and Dutch granadoes." 

Among the amusements of the Irish at this period, 
it is mentioned that some of a party 

" played at blindman s buff, 
Some roast pottados, some grind snuff." 

That potatoes were ordinary food in the south 
of Ireland before the time of the Commonwealth, 
is shewn by " An Account of an Irish Quarter," 
printed in 1654, in a volume entitled " Songs 
and Poems of Love and Drollery, by T. W." The 
writer and his friend, two cavaliers, visit Coolfin, 
in the county of Waterford, the seat of Mr. Poer, 
or Power, the high-sheriff, where their entertain 
ment is thus described : 

" And now for supper, the round board being spred; 
The van a dish of coddled onions led ; 
I th body was a salted tail of salmon, 
And in the rear some rank potatoes came on." 

Buttermilk. 



55 THE POPULAR SONGS OP IRELAND. 

THE LAND OF POTATOES, O ! 

To the honour of Ireland must it be stated, that the 
potato, that " admirable vegetable," experienced a very 
different reception there as a stranger, than in other 
nations ; of which treatment more hereafter. " The 
Irish," observes Cuvier, " seem to have taken advantage 
of this root first, for, at an early period, we find the plant 
distinguished by the name of Irish potato." However, 
long before this event for so may the introduction of the 
potato be styled the hospitality of Ireland to strangers 
was proverbial. An anecdote, for example, is told as the 
origin of the name of Sullivan, that is, the one-eyed,* 

" Who gave his bright eye as a proverb to shine." 

So great was the reputation of this old gentleman for 
hospitality, that it was asserted he would refuse to his 
guest no request, however unreasonable. This was 
tested by a stranger whom he entertained, asking his host 
to put out his eye, into which he immediately thrust his 
finger; and, from thenceforward, was distinguished as 
O Sullivan, while the fame of the act passed into the 
proverb of 

" Nulla manus, 

Tarn liberalis, 

Atque generalis, 

Atque universalis, 

Quam Sullivanis! " 

The subsequent song, in which the hospitality of the 
land of potatoes has been commended, is ascribed to 

* " Sul means the sun ; hence mil, the eye, because it is the 
light of the body." O BRIEN. 



THE LAND OF POTATOES, O ! 57 

Mr. Owenson, the father of Lady Morgan ; who is also 
said to have been " the author of various lyrical composi 
tions, which were sung on the Dublin stage, and are 
remarkable for broad wit and genuine humour." 

" Mr. Owenson, by an imprudent connexion with a 
once beautiful and celebrated actress, was, early in life, 
infected with the theatrical mania, and, on his marriage 
afterwards with a respectable English woman, he purchased 
a share in one of the Dublin theatres, and became joint- 
proprietor with the celebrated Mr. Ryder. On Mr. Daly 
obtaining an exclusive patent for a metropolitan theatre, 
Mr. Owenson resigned. He afterwards embarked in mer 
cantile concerns, became a wine-merchant, and built some 
provincial theatres ; among others, that beautiful edifice at 
Kilkenny." 

Sir Jonah Harrington, in the " Personal Sketches of his 
own Times," thus describes Mr. Owenson : 

" He was," says Sir Jonah, " highly celebrated in the 
line of Irish characters ; and never did an actor exist so 
perfectly calculated, in my opinion, to personify that 
singular class of people. Considerably above six feet in 
height, remarkably handsome and brave-looking, vigorous, 
and well-shaped, he was not vulgar enough to disgust, 
nor was he genteel enough to be out of character; never 
did I see an actor so entirely identify himself with the 
peculiarities of those parts he assumed. In the higher 
class of Irish characters (old officers, &c.) he looked 
well, but did not exhibit sufficient dignity ; and, in the 
lowest, his humour was scarcely quaint and original 
enough : but in what might be termed the middle class of 
Paddies, no man ever combined the look and the manner 
D 2 



58 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



with such felicity as Owenson. Scientific singing is not 
an Irish quality ; and he sang well enough. I have heard 
Jack Johnstonc warble so very skilfully, and act some 
parts so very like a man of first-rate education, that I 
almost forgot the nation he was mimicking : that was not 
the case with Owenson ; he acted as if he had not received 
too much schooling, and sang like a man whom nobody 
instructed. He was, like most of his profession, careless 
of his concerns, and grew old without growing rich. His 
last friend was old Fontaine, a very celebrated Irish 
dancing - master, many years domiciliated and highly 
esteemed in Dublin. He aided Owenson and his family 
whilst he had the means to do so ; and they both died nearly 
at the same time, instances of talent and improvidence/ 

Tune " Morgan Rattler." 

Had I in the clear 

But five hundred a-year, 

Tis myself would not fear, 

Though not adding one farthing to t. 
Faith, if such was my lot, 
Little Ireland s the spot 
Where I d build a snug cot, 

With a bit of a garden to t. 
As for Italy s dales, 
With their Alps and high vales, 
Where with fine squalling gales, 

Their seignoras so treat us, O ! 
I d ne er unto them come, 
Nor abroad ever roam, 
But enjoy my sweet home 

In the land of potatoes, O ! 



THE LAND OF POTATOES, O ! 59 

Hospitality, 
No formality, 
All reality, 

There you ever see ; 
The free and the easy 
Would so amaze ye, 
You d think us all crazy, 

For dull we never be I 

If my friend, honest Jack, 
Would but take a small hack, 
So just get on his back, 

Arid of joy ride o er full to us ; 
He, throughout the whole year, 
Then should have the best cheer, 
For, faith, none so dear 

As our brother, John Bull, to us ! 
And we d teach him, when there, 
Both to blunder and stare, 
And our brogue with him share, 

Which both genteel and neat is, O ! 
And we d make him so drin.l$, 
By St. Patrick, I think, 
That he d ne er wish to shrink 

From the land of potatoes, O ! 
Hospitality, &c. 

Though I freely agree 
I should more happy be 
If some lovely she 

From Old England would favour me j 



60 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

For no spot on earth 

Can more merit bring forth, 

If with beauty and worth 

You embellished would have her be 
Good breeding, good nature, 
You find in each feature, 
That naught you ve to teach her 

So sweet and complete she s, O I 
Then if Fate would but send 
Unto me such a friend, 
What a life I would spend 

In the land of potatoes, O I 
Hospitality, &c. 



THE SMILING POTATOES. 

Cobbett terms the potato " Ireland s lazy root," and 
"Ireland s accursed root;" but Cobbett, against whom 
this song about the " sweet roots of Erin " is levelled, 
stands by no means alone in his opposition to the culture 
of the potato. 

In France potatoes were at first proscribed. Bauhine 
states, that in his time the use of them had been prohi 
bited in Burgundy, because it was supposed that they 
produced leprosy. 

" It is difficult to believe," says Cuvier, " that a 
plant so innocent, so agreeable, so productive, which re 
quires so little trouble to be rendered fit for food ; that a 
root so well defended against the intemperance of the 



THE SMILING POTATOES. 61 

seasons ; that a plant which, by a singular privilege, unites 
in itself every advantage, without any other inconvenience 
than that of not lasting all the year, but which even owes 
to this circumstance the additional advantage that it can 
not be hoarded up by monopolists; that such a plant 
should have required two centuries in order to overcome 
the most puerile prejudices ! 

" Yet we ourselves," continues the enlightened Cuvier, 
" have been witnesses of the fact. The English brought 
the potato into Flanders during the wars of Louis XIV. 
It was thence spread, but very sparingly, over some parts 
of France. Switzerland had put a higher value on it, and 
had found it very good. Several of our southern pro 
vinces had planted it in imitation of that country, at the 
period of the scarcities, which were several times repeated 
during the last years of Louis XV. Turgot, in particular, 
rendered it common in the Limousin and Angoumois, 
over which he was intendant ; and it was to be expected 
that, in a short time, this new branch of subsistence would 
be spread over the kingdom, when some old physicians 
renewed against it the prejudices of the 16th century. 

" It was no longer accused of producing leprosy, but 
fever. The scarcities had produced in the south certain 
epidemics, which they thought proper to ascribe to the 
sole means which existed to prevent them. The Comp 
troller General was obliged, in 1771, to request the opinion 
of the faculty of medicine, in order to put an end to these 
false notions. 

" Parmentier, who had learned to appreciate the 
potato in the prisons of Germany, where he had been 
often confined to that food, seconded the views of the 



62 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

minister by a chemical examination of this root, in which 
he demonstrated that none of its constituents are hurtful. 
He did better still. To give the people a relish for them, 
he cultivated them in the open fields, in places very much 
frequented. He guarded them carefully during the day 
only, and was happy when he had excited as much curi 
osity as to induce people to .steal some of them during the 
night. He would have wished that the king, as we read 
of the emperors of China, had traced the first furrow of 
his field. His majesty thought proper, at least, to wear a 
bunch of potato flowers at his button-hole in the midst of 
the court on a festival day. Nothing more was wanting 
to induce several great lords to plant this root. 

" Parmentier wished likewise to engage the cooks of 
the great in the service of the poor, by inducing them to 
practise their skill on the potato ; for he was aware that 
the poor could not obtain potatoes in abundance, unless 
they could furnish the rich with an agreeable article of 
food. He informs us that he one day gave a dinner com 
posed entirely of potatoes, with twenty different sauces, 
all of which gratified the palates of his guests. 

" But the enemies of the potato, though refuted in 
their attempts to prove it injurious to the health, did not 
consider themselves vanquished. They pretended that it 
injured the fields, and rendered them barren. It was 
necessary, however, to answer this objection, and to con 
sider the potato in an agricultural point of view. Par 
mentier accordingly published, in different forms, every 
thing regarding its cultivation and uses, even in fertilizing 
the soil. He introduced the subject into philosophical 
works, into popular instructions, into journals, into die- 



THE SMILING POTATOES. 63 

tionaries, into works of all kinds. During forty years, he 
let slip no opportunity of recommending it. Every bad 
year was a kind of auxiliary, of which he profited with 
care to draw the attention of mankind to his favourite 
plant. 

" Hence," continues Cuvier, " the name of this salu 
tary vegetable and the name of Parmentier have become 
inseparable in the memory of the friends of humanity. 
Even the common people united them, and not always 
with gratitude. At a certain period of the Revolution, it 
was proposed to give Parmentier some municipal place. 
One of the voters opposed this proposal with fury. * He 
will make us eat potatoes/ said he. * It was he who 
invented them. " 

In the following song, which is copied from a volume 
of " Poems, chiefly historical, by the Rev. John Graham, 
M.A. Rector of Tamlaghtard in the Diocess of Derry" 
(Belfast, 1829), the merits of the potato are more 
briefly, though not less zealously advocated, than by 
Parmentier. 



Tune " Dear creatures, ice caa t do without them. 1 

While we fatten and feast on the smiling potatoes 
Of Erin s green valleys, so friendly to man, 

Oh 1 there s not in the wide world a race that can beat us, 
From Canada s cold hills to sultry Japan.* 

* The Editor has taken the liberty of transposing the third and 
fourth lines of the author to be the first and second, and vice versa. 



64 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

It is not an abundance that Pat calls a plenty, 

Of plain simple fare the potato supplies ; 
But milk, beef, and butter, and bacon so dainty, 

Hens, ducks, geese, and turkeys, and fat mutton-pies. 
Sweet roots of Erin ! we can t do without them ; 

No tongue can express their importance to man. 

Poor Corporal Cobbett knows nothing about them ; 

We ll boil them and eat them as long as we can. 

In the skirts of our bogs, that are covered with rushes, 

In dales, that^we till with the sweat of our brow, 
On the wild mountain side, cleared of heath, rocks, and 
bushes, 

We plant the kind root with the spade or the plough. 
Then come the south breezes, with soft vernal showers, 

To finish the process that man has begun, 
And orange, and purple, and lily-white flowers, 

Reflect in bright lustre the rays of the sun. 
Sweet roots of Erin, &c. 

The ground, too, thus broke and brought in by potatoes, 

Produces the cream of our northern cheer 
In crops of rich barley, that comfort and treat us 

To Innishone whisky, and Maghera beer. 
Then here s to the brave boys that plant them and raise 
them, 

To fatten their pigs, and their weans, and their wives : 
May none of the corporal s principles seize them, 

To shorten their days, or embitter their lives. 
Sweet roots of Erin, &c. 



WHISKY. 65 



WHISKY. 



" c BLESSINGS on the man, says Sancho Panza, 
< who invented sleep ! it covers one all over as 
with a blanket. Blessings on the man, says Pat, 
who invented poteen ! it brings one s heart into the 
mouth ; it s better than an outside coat ; it makes 
one spake out, and care not a fig for the pope, the 
priest, or the devil." 

Thus does Mr. John Barrow apostrophise the 
national spirit of Ireland, about which a super 
abundance of twaddle has been published of late 
by political economists, and Temperance Society 
speechifiers ; the former being in general men who 
are unable prudently to conduct their own affairs, 
and the latter notorious drunkards. 

In 1835, when John Barrow visited 

" The houseless wilds of Connemara," 

he paid his respects to the chief of the gigantic race 
of Joyce, distinguished as " Big Jack Joyce," by 
whom this adventurous traveller amongst the rude 
Irish was most hospitably received and entertained. 



66 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

" On the poteen," says Barrow, " being produced, 
I hoped he (the aforesaid Big Jack Joyce ) would 
not oblige me to drink alone ; but it was not without 
much entreaty I could prevail upon him to take a 
single glass, which he did only, he said, to welcome 
my arrival. Tempora mutantur, thought I, and 
some of us are changed with them ; for it was scarcely 
a twelvemonth since Inglis visited him, when l room 
was found on the table for a double-sized flagon of 
whisky, and water appeared to be a beverage not 
much in repute. The mystery was soon unriddled 
by his telling me that he Joyce, of all men in the 
world had become a member of a Temperance 
Society ! and had taken a vow (on three months 
trial) not to drink spirits, save and except on such 
an occasion as the present, and when necessary to 
do so medicinally. He, however, gave me to under 
stand that he had taken his fair share of poteen in 
his day, and was nothing the worse of it. 

" It is to be hoped," adds Barrow, " that this 
honest fellow will not endeavour to prevail on his 
poor neighbours to forego entirely this necessary 
beverage ; absolutely necessary, as I am assured by 
a medical gentleman of great eminence, to prevent 
scorbutic habits in those whose chief or sole food is 
the potato, which Cobbett not improperly calls * the 
root of poverty. Rice has not much more nutrition 
in it than potatoes, and yet the millions of India and 
China feed upon little else ; but they never eat it 
alone ; it is either dressed in the shape of curries, 



WHISKY. 67 

or highly seasoned with pepper and other hot spices, 
which answers the purpose of whisky." 

The Editor is inclined to assign the introduction 
of the manufacture of whisky into the Green Island 
to the fourteenth century, although the precise 
period has not been satisfactorily determined by 
antiquaries. Before the progress of whisky, leper- 
houses, which, as Dr. Ledwich observes, " were 
every where to be found" in Ireland, rapidly dis 
appeared ; and hence this healing spirit was termed 
the water of life, or aqua vitae, which words rendered 
into Irish, are UifTje beACA, or usquebagh, emphati 
cally called uisge ; or, to use the expression of Sir 
Walter Scott, " by way of eminence termed the 
water" and from uisge is our common word whisky 
derived. 

By the old physicians this charming cordial was 
recommended as a means of prolonging life, and 
it was, consequently, eagerly and universally sought 
after. Fennel-seeds, saffron, and other pungent 
matters, were mingled with it ; but these were soon 
found to be only whimsical adulterations of the 
sublime purity of an inestimable extract. Fynes 
Moryson, although little inclined to admit the ex 
cellence of any thing Irish, says, " The Irish aqua 
vitae, vulgarly called usquebagh, is held the best in 
the world of that kind ; which is also made in Eng 
land, but nothing so good as that which is brought 
out of Ireland." As something to be proud of, the 
superiority of this manufacture may be traced in the 



68 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

national character. Between both there is a certain 
degree of similitude. In both the same volatile 
properties exist, when fresh, wild, and fiery ; when 
mellowed by time and travel, the delight of all 
circles. It is admitted that there are few better 
things in company than an Irish gentleman and a 
bottle of old whisky ; most welcome are they both 
in society : good humour and cheerfulness are their 
associates. Dr. Madden evidently saw the parallel, 
and what an exquisite relish they produce, when he 
said, " We have got the character of bearing our 
national miseries with the best grace ; nay, of being 
the most boon companions, and the fairest drinkers 
of Europe." 

To understand the merits either of the Irish 
character or of whisky-punch, which does so much 
for it, requires a certain experience of both. With 
respect to the latter, Dr. Campbell, in " A Philo 
sophical Survey of the South of Ireland," made by 
him in 1775, recording his visit to Spring House, 
near Tipperary, says, " After supper I, for the first 
time, drank whisky-punch, the taste of which is 
harsh and austere, and the smell worse than the 
taste. The drinkers of it say it becomes so palatable 
that they can relish no other ; which may very pos 
sibly be the case, for I suppose that claret is not 
relished by any palate at first. 

" The spirit was very fierce and wild, requiring 
not less than seven times its own quantity of water 
to tame and subdue it." He then speaks of usque- 



WHISKY. 69 

| 

bagb, and this, he says, " is the liquor which the 
czar Peter the Great was so fond of, that he used 
to say, Of all wines, Irish wine was the best! 5 

But not the czar alone lauded Erin s whisky ; 
even the King of England is said highly to have 
approved thereof. In February 1821, when an ad 
dress to George IV. was under consideration by the 
Court of D Oyer hundred of Cork, the question of his 
majesty s partiality for whisky-punch was seriously 
entertained. The mover of this grave matter pre 
faced his question to the mayor, who presided, by 
observing that the tendency of the inquiry he was 
about to make would be the more to endear the 
king to his Irish subjects. He then requested of 
Sir Anthony Perrier (the mayor) to state the cor 
rectness of the public rumour, that when his worship 
was enjoying the pleasure of a cool bottle at the 
Pavilion at Brighton, the king was pleased to pro 
nounce a high panegyric upon the merits of whisky- 
punch ? The late Mr. Connell, who was Recorder 
of Kinsale, solemnly protested against the mayor 
answering this question. His majesty s Irish sub 
jects, he observed, were, for the sake of the peace 
of the country, already sufficiently partial to whisky- 
punch ; and, no doubt, they would become more 
so, if a recommendation of the national beverage, 
coming from so high a quarter, were to be thus 
publicly promulgated by the highest civic authority. 
The mayor having good-hurnouredly declined mak 
ing any reply to the question put to him, in con- 



70 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

sequence of the legal opinion expressed by his 
worthy and learned friend, the Recorder of Kinsale, 
the querist closed the debate by observing, that he 
would take his worship s silence as assent to the 
correctness of the report, and would therefore con 
sider " the native" to be especially in royal favour. 



AN IRISHMAN S CHRISTENING 

May be fairly supposed, from the national character for 
blunders, to be like many other serious matters, not free 
from mistakes. Coleman makes an Irishman sing, 

" The day I was christened, my poor mother saw- 
On my face our dog Dennis was putting his paw ; 
4 What s his name? axed the clergy Down, Dennis! 

says she, 
So Dennis Bulgruddery they christened me." 

In the present instance we find an unlucky Irishman 
baptised with whisky instead of water, the melancholy 
effect of which is evident in his having 

" never forgot 
His f rst taste of whisky." 

Indeed the pathetic exclamation of hillaloo is sufficient to 
shew the unhappy state of his existence. Yet such is the 
fascination of whisky, that he declares, if such a thing 
was possible, he would 

" Call out from his grave to be christened again," 

and, no doubt, in the same manner. 

It is no uncommon assertion by an Irishman that, " If 



AN IRISHMAN S CHRISTENING. 71 

his mother had reared him upon whisky, he d have been 
a sucking babe to the day of his death." 

Of myself, my dear joy, if you wish to be told 
The first day I was born, I was not a night old, 

Hillaloo I 

The parson was sent for to christen the child ; 
He looked at the water, he grinned and he smiled, 

Hillaloo ! 

He looked at the water, he grinned and he smiled ; 
Says he, " Tis with whisky I ve christened the child ; 

Oh, what a blunder, dear joy !" 
So the day I was christened, I ve never forgot 
My first taste of whisky, it made me a sot ; 

And could that be a wonder, my boy ? 

So, you see, I loved whisky while yet but a boy, 
And I loved it still better, a hobbledehoy, 

Hillaloo I 

When I went to be married, they asked for the ring ; 
Says I, " Wait a minute, I ll give you that thing," 

Hillaloo ! 

Says I, "Wait a minute, I ll give you that thing," 
But I pulled out the whisky instead of the ring ; 

Oh, what a blunder, dear joy! 

" So," says I, " as it s here, we ll just taste it, I think, 
To the bride s happy wedding we ll all of us drink ; " 

And could that be a wonder, my boy ? 

I drank to her health, and drank on to her death, 
For Katty, sweet soul, soon gave up her breath, 
Hillaloo ! 



72 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

One day I must follow her to the cold ground, 
Where, to moisten the throat, no whisky is found, 

Hillaloo I 

Where, to moisten the throat, no whisky is found, 
Though the nights are so long, and so cold is the ground ; 

Oh, what a blunder, dear joy ! 
Then should a dead man of his christening dream, 
And call out from his grave to be christened again ; 

Oh ! could that be a wonder, my boy ? 



LOVE AND WHISKY. 

The most popular song of the heyday of Irish Volun- 
teerism (see pp. 39-42), and which song continued a 
general favourite until the dissolution of the Irish Yeo 
manry Corps, when, notwithstanding that both Love and 
Whisky, as there is every reason to believe, continued as 
potent as ever in Ireland, this excellent lyric, in which the 
similarity of their influence is explained, fell most unac 
countably into disuse ; arid a copy of it has been, with 
some difficulty, procured by the Editor. 

The allusion to invasion, so skilfully introduced in the 
last verse, probably originally referred to Thurot s cap 
ture of Carrickfergus, in 1760, although from that period, 
until 1805, Ireland was in a constant state of excitement 
respecting a French descent upon her coasts. 

Air Bobbin Joan. 

Love and whisky both, 
Rejoice an honest fellow; 



LOVE AND WHISKY. 73 

Unripe joys of life 

Love and whisky mellow. 
Both the head and heart 

Set in palpitation ; 
From both I ve often found 

A mighty sweet sensation. 
Love and whisky s joys, 

Let us gaily twist em, 
In the thread of life, 

Faith, we can t resist em. 

But love s jealous pang, 

In heart-ache oft we find it ; 
Whisky, in its turn, 

A head-ache leaves behind it. 
Thus, of love or drink, 

We curse th enchanted cup, sir ; 
All its charms forswear, 

Then take another sup, sir. 
Love and whisky s joys, 

Let us gaily twist em, 
In the thread of life, 

Faith, we can t resist em. 

Love and whisky can 

To any thing persuade us ; 
No other power we fear 

That ever can invade us. 
Should others dare intrude, 

They ll find our lads so frisky, 
By none can be subdued, 

Excepting love and whisky. 



74 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

May the smiles of love 
Cheer our lads so clever; 

And, \vith whisky, boys, 

We ll drink King George for ever. 



THE POWERS OF WHISKY. 

Bernard, in his " Retrospections of the Stage," tells us 
that, when in company with some of the Sligo corps 
dramatifjue, he visited a house of entertainment " for man 
and horse," at no great distance from that town, and " asked 
the landlord what he had to eat? He said, Whisky I What 
he had to drink ? Whisky! What they could contrive 
to stay their stomachs on ? His answer was still, * Whisky ! 
There was nothing to be had at this place but the one 
commodity." 

This is no bad illustration of the opinion entertained 
of the powers of whisky, which has been described not 
merely as " meat and drink," but as " food and clothes," to 
an Irishman ; who, as long as he has the price of " a glass" 
in his pocket, is as light-hearted as a feather. Even when 
that is not the case, he is far from feeling despondent, 
trusting that some lucky chance will aid him in his emer 
gency. " Hunger," it has been observed, " sharpens the 
wit;" the same thing may be said of whisky. M. de 
Latocnaye, an amusing French traveller, gives the fol 
lowing instance of this in his " Promenade en Irlande." 
" Le jeune homme qui etait mon compagnon de voyage 
paraissait bon enfant, et m expliquait le pays chemin 



THE POWERS OF WHISKY. 75 

t aisant. Je suis bien fache, monsieur, me dit-il; <je suis 
bien fache. Eh bien I mon garden, lui dis-je, quel est 
le sujet de votre chagrin? * Ah ! monsieur, je suis bien 
fache de n avoir point d argent pour vous offrir un verre 
de whisky. Je trouvai cette maniere de demander assez 
originale ; et je lui repondis que cela ne devait pas 
1 affliger, parce que je serais bien aise de le regaler moi- 
meme." 

Air." The Kinnegad Slashers. 1 

Oh ! merry am I, ever jocund and gay, 

If for whisky in plenty my pocket can pay ; 

If we feel melancholy, and cannot tell why, 

Whisky lightens the heart, though it deadens the eye. 

If sorrow should vex us, 

Or care should perplex us, 
Get tipsy enough, every pang will depart ; 

Oh ! there s nothing like whisky 

Makes Irishmen frisky, 
It bothers their sorrows, and gladdens their heart. 

If in love with a maid, who your flame would deride, 
Drink enough, you ll find charms in a dozen beside ; 
Drink more, and your victory, then, is complete, 
For you ll think you re in love with each girl that you meet. 

If a girl s sick, poor creatur , 

Let no doctor treat her, 
But a plentiful drop of the native impart; 

For there s nothing like whisky 

To make the girls frisky, 
To make them good-natured, and soften their heart. 



76 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Oh ! whisky, dear whisky, it charms and cajoles, 
And it lies at the heart like a friend, and consoles : 
No grief, be it ever so great, can subdue, 
While I have, my dear whisky, a flask full of you. 

Then let it, ye powers, 

Rain whisky in showers ; 
Let each of the other be a full counterpart ; 

For there s nothing like whisky 

Makes Irishmen frisky ; 
It bothers their sorrows, and gladdens their heart. 



ERIN S WHISKY. 

Copied from " Captain Rock in London," No. 42, a 
weekly publication of the year 1825, price twopence. 

Gamble, in his " Views of Society and Manners in 
the North of Ireland," philosophically remarks, that 
" There seems a natural and instinctive fondness in the 
inhabitants of damp and mountainous places for ardent 
spirits; and, perhaps, every where, in vacant and unem 
ployed minds, there is similar fondness ; for a love of 
sensation seems the strongest appetite or passion of our 
nature. For the purpose of speedy intoxication whisky is 
superlative; and when, to physical and other general 
causes, are added the more powerful moral ones of his 
condition, it is little wonderful that the Irish peasant should 
seek, in the Lethean draught, oblivious happiness; and 
regard the inventor of his beloved liquor as a greater 
benefactor than Ceres and Triptolemus put together." 



ROCK S POTEEN. 77 



Whilst others sing the joys of wine, 

Arid high their voices raise ; 
For ever shall the theme be mine 
To chant old whisky s praise. 
Oh ! the charming whisky, 
Erin s famous whisky ; 
Midst all our grief, 
It gives relief, 
To know we have good whisky ! 

What is it makes our hearts so bold ; 

What makes us love so true ? 
Oh ! if in faith, the truth be told, 
Dear whisky, gra , tis you. 

Oh ! the charming whisky, 
Erin s famous whisky ; 
Then bumpers bring, 
And let us sing 
The joys of Erin s whisky ! 



ROCK S POTEEN. 

The word poteen has been already explained as illicit 
whisky. " Whisky from illicit stills," according to Wake- 
field, " is sold as openly (in Ireland) as if it had been 
gauged by the excise officer; it has a peculiar smoky 
taste, different from that which has been regularly and 
carefully distilled, and which the people imagine to have 
acquired its white colour from vitriol. Were one to find 
fault with the whisky in the northern counties, the imme- 



78 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

diate reply would be, * It s as good poteen as any in 
Ulster, for it never paid a happ eth of duty. " From 1802 
to June 1806, a space of four years and a half, no less 
than 13,439 unlicensed whisky -stills, 11,098 heads, and 
9732 worms, were seized in Ireland. Some idea, there 
fore, of the magnitude of the traffic in poteen may be 
formed by this official return. 

This song, in praise of poteen, is copied from " Captain 
Rock in London," No. 2. 

Begone, ye dark obtruding cares, 

And ne er again come near me ; 
My soul for every ill prepares, 
Whilst I ve poteen to cheer me. 

Oh, poteen, 

The nice poteen, 
The mellow, mild, and rich poteen ! 

The chosen toast 

Round Erin s coast, 
The pink of spirits, Rock s poteen. 

Unfathom d by the exciseman s rule, 

Our native shines in bottles green ; 
And where s the drink so mild and cool 

As barley juice? our smoked poteen. 
Oh, &c. 

Let Britons boast their ale and beer, 
For whisky gra ! they ve never seen ; 

Or else another tune we d hear 

In praise of Rock-glen s prime poteen. 
Oh, &c. 



THE GLASS OF WHISKY. 79 

Let stupid sots, while tippling wine, 
The virtues of the grape make known ; 

But those who wit and worth combine 
Must pledge themselves in Innishone.* 
Oh, &c. 

Then fill your glass of sparkling juice 

That never met a ganger s nose ; 
For where s the man who could refuse 

To drink the land where poteen flows? 
Oh, &c. 



THE GLASS OF WHISKY 

Was originally printed in " The Sentimental and 
Masonic Magazine," vol. iii. for December 1793, a Dub 
lin periodical, remarkable from the first productions of 
the Muse of Moore having appeared therein. 

This song bears the signature W. P. C y, and was 
illustrated in that publication by an engraving, executed 
by W. P. Carey, probably the author, which represents an 
old man with clasped hands, uplifting a glass of whisky. 
See the last verse. 

William Paulet Carey is known to have been the 
writer, in 1789, of a political squib against the Marquess 

* " This district (the barony of Innishone, county of Tyrone) 
has long been famous for its whisky, and has even become a name for 
the liquor itself; real Innishone is its highest praise, and nothing 
in the way of panegyric can be added to this." Views of Society and 
Manners in the Xorth of Ireland, by John Gamble, Esq., 1819. 



80 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

of Buckingham, entitled " The Nettle, an Irish Bouquet 
to tickle the Nose of an English Viceroy." Carey was the 
printer and publisher of " The National Evening Star," 
a Dublin newspaper, and acquired considerable and an 
unenviable notoriety in June 1794, as the principal wit 
ness on the trial of Dr. Drennan for the publication of a 
seditious libel. It appeared that Carey had been a zealous 
member of the Society of United Irishmen ; but, conceiv 
ing himself aggrieved by the conduct of that body towards 
him, and being himself under prosecution for a libel 
against Government, he came forward as an evidence for 
the Crown. Carey was closely cross-examined by Curran, 
who commented so severely upon his admissions and 
statements, that the acquittal of Dr. Drennan followed. 

Considering the political apostasy of the author a 
crime seldom forgotten or forgiven in Ireland it is singular 
that any song known to have been of his writing should 
have become popular, which Murrough O Monaghan s 
aspiration respecting a glass of whisky certainly did ; and 
it has continued to be so to the present time, upwards of 
forty years. This, however, has been accounted for to 
the Editor, by the statement that the character of Murrough 
O Monaghan was a sketch from life of a well-known 
cripple and mendicant, who frequented the locality men 
tioned, and retailed whisky from a huge black bottle. He 
is further said to have been a faithful emissary of the 
United Irishmen, and an active agent in procuring infor 
mation for them, and in extending the influence of the 
association by means of " a glass of north country " judi 
ciously administered. 

It is not easy to arrive at the approved standard of a 



THE GLASS OF WHISKY. 81 

glass for whisky. Irishmen are sometimes fastidious about 
the matter. On one occasion a hospitable lady, who had 
rewarded a labourer for his exertions with some admirable 
whisky, administered in a claret glass, was both shocked 
and astonished at the impiety and ingratitude of his ex 
clamation, " May the devil blow the man that blew this 
glass ! " 

" What is that you say?" inquired the lady. What 
do I hear?" 

" I m much obliged to you, honourable madam, and 
tis no harm I mean ; only bad luck to the blackguard 
glass-blower, whoever he was, since, with the least bit of 
breath in life more, he could have made the glass twice 
as big." 

Air V When I was a young man in sweet Tipperary." 

At the side of the road, near the bridge of Drumcondra,* 

Was Murrough O Monaghan stationed to beg : 
He brought from the wars, as his share of the plunder, 

A crack on the crown, and the loss of a leg. 
" Oagh, Murrough!" he d cry " musha nothing may 
harm ye, 

What made you go fight for a soldier on sea ? 
You fool, had you been a marine in the army, 

You d now have a pinchun and live on full pay. 

But now I m a cripple what signifies thinking? 

The past I can never bring round to the fore ; 
The heart that with old age and weakness is sinking, 

Will ever find strength in good whisky galore. 

* A village in the vicinity of Dublin, vulgarly called Drumconder, 

E2 



82 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Oagh, whisky, ma vurneen, my joy, and my jewel, 
What signifies talking of doctors and pills ; 

In sorrow, misfortune, and sickness so cruel, 
A glass of north country can cure all our ills. 

When cold in the winter, it warms you so hearty ; 

When hot in the summer, it cools you like ice ; 
In trouble false friends, without grief I can part ye ; 

Good whisky s my friend, and I take its advice. 
When hungry and thirsty, tis meat and drink to me ; 

It finds me a lodging wherever I lie: 
Neither frost, snow, nor rain, any harm can do me, 

The hedge is my pillow, my blanket the sky. 

Now merry be the Christmas I success to good neighbours ! 

Here s a happy new year, and a great many too I 
With a plenty of whisky to lighten their labours, 

May sweet luck attend every heart that is true ! " 
Poor Murrough, then joining his old hands together, 

High held up the glass, while he vented this prayer: 
u May whisky, by sea or by land in all weather, 

Be never denied to the children of care ! " 



A SUP OF GOOD WHISKY. 



Whisky has been styled "the universal favourite from 
the prince to the peasant;" and this assertion is fully 
supported by the following song, which chronicles its 
influence over various sects and parties. Mr. Gamble, 



A SUP OF GOOD WHISKY. 83 

discussing the origin of the name of some high ground 
called Whisky Hill, in the north of Ireland, conjectures 
that " Perhaps whisky is made in greater quantities here 
than elsewhere ; for on all hills, and I believe I may add 
in all valleys, people drink as much as they can." 

This writer elsewhere adds, describing an acquaintance 
at Strabane : " Though an Englishman and a Methodist, 
he is not averse to the beverage of the country ; for time, 
as he well remarked, does reconcile us to many things : 
and I never met in this country with an Englishman, of 
his condition in life, that it did not reconcile to whisky. 
So universal, indeed, is the perception of misery, and the 
nothingness of this world, that the people of all countries 
are pleased to have a cheap opportunity of drowning 
thought in intoxication, and creating a little happy world 
of their own. Even the nations which the strong motive 
of superstition induces to abandon the use of strong liquor 
here, look to it with longing hereafter : and perpetual 
inebriation is the Mahommedan s heaven." 

A sup of good whisky will make you glad ; 
Too much of the creatur * will make you mad; 
If you take it in reason, twill make you wise ; 
If you drink to excess, it will close up your eyes : f 

Yet father and mother, 

And sister and brother, 
They all take a sup in their turn. 

* " C est le nom aimable que Ton donne au Whisky." M. DE 
LATOCNAYE, Promenade en Irlande. 

t Shakspere observes " One draught above heat makes him a 
fool, the second mads him, and a third drowns him." Tu-elfthXight,i. 5. 



84 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Some preachers will tell you that whisky s bad ; 
I think so too, if there s none to be had : 
The swaddler* will bid you drink none at all; 
But, while I can get it, a fig for them all. 

Both layman and brother, 

In spite of this pother, 
Will all take a sup in their turn. 

Some doctors will tell you, twill hurt your health ; 
The justice will say, twill reduce your wealth ; 
Physicians and lawyers both do agree, 
When your money s all gone, they can get no fee. 

Yet surgeon and doctor, 

And lawyer and proctor, 
Will all take a sup in their turn. 

If a soldier is drunk on his duty found, 
He to the three-legged horse is bound, 
In the face of his regiment obliged to strip ; 
But a noggin will soften the nine-tailed whip. 

* The Irish term for the followers of John Wesley. It arose from 
one of the early Methodists in Dublin, named Cennick, taking, on 
Christmas day, the text of his discourse from St. Luke s Gospel, ii. 12 : 
" And this shall he a sign unto you ; ye shall find the babe wrapped in 
swaddling clothes, lying iu a manger." One of his auditors, who was 
ignorant of the text, " thought this," says Southey, " so ludicrous, 
that he called the preacher a swaddler in derision; and this unmean 
ing word became a nickname of the Methodists, and had all the effect 
of the most opprobrious appellation." ]n John Wesley s journal he 
mentions that, during the riots which occurred in Cork during the 
months of May and June 1749, " The mob paraded the streets, armed 
with swords, staves, and pistols, crying out Five pounds for a 
swaddler shead! " 



A SUP OF GOOD WHISKY. 85 

For serjeant and drummer, 
And likewise his honour, 
Will all take a sup in their turn. 

The Turks who arrived from the Porte sublime, 
All told us that drinking was held a great crime ; 
Yet, after their dinner away they slunk, 
And tippled whisky till they got quite drunk.* 
The Sultan and Crommet, 
And even Mahomet, 
They all take a sup in their turn. 

The Quakers will bid you from drink abstain, 
By yea, and by nay, they will make it plain ; 
But some of the broad-brims will get the stuff, 
And tipple away till they ve tippled enough. 

For Stiff-back and Steady, 

And Solomon s lady, 
Will all take a sup in their turn. 

The Germans do say they can drink the most, 
The French and Italians also do boast : 



* This is no stretch of fancy. The Editor recently met some 
Turks at dinner, who refused wine ; he facetiously assured them that 
the law of the Prophet did not extend to Irish whisky, which word 
he could expound to them in English as literally meaning water. The 
consequence of this translation is faithfully given above. Another 
party of Turks, of whom the Editor has heard, consumed, on their pass 
age in an English man-of-war, no inconsiderable quantity of cham 
pagne, which they called for and drank under the name of soda-water : 
observing, that English soda-water was a most refreshing beverage. 



86 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Hibernia s the country (for all their noise) 
For generous drinking and hearty boys. 
There each jovial fellow 
Will drink till he s mellow, 
And take off his glass in his turn. 



"BOUNCE UPON BESS" 

Seems to have been a cant term for strong whisky, 
which, the Editor has been informed, w r as caused by the 
evidence given in a Court of law respecting one of the 
fair sex, who was delicately and mysteriously represented 
to have been " overtaken." 

" What do you mean by being overtaken ? " inquired 
the examining counsel. " Overtaken by whom?" 

" By no one, yo r honour. Oh ! indeed, no one 
overtook her: it would be well for her if any decent 
Christian had done so." 

" You said she was overtaken ; by whom, or what, 
was she overtaken ?" 

" Oh, then, indeed she was overtaken by the liquor." 

" How overtaken ? did she drink too much ?" 

" Lord love yo r honour s innocent heart, I see ye 
know all about the matter. It overtook the poor girl sure 
enough ; it came, for all the world, bounce upon Bess ; it 
was so very strong it knocked her down so flat, she 
couldn t stand after it." 

" Pray what liquor did she drink?" 



BOUNCE UPON BESS. 87 

" It was Walker s best whisky, yo r honour." 
In the " land of song," so fair an opportunity for 
recommending the potent effects of its national manufac 
ture could scarcely have escaped without notice ; and ac 
cordingly, in the following lyric, the merits of " Bounce 
upon Bess" are set forth. 

The song is given from a manuscript copy, which has 
been in the Editor s possession upwards of twenty years. 
Mr. Walker was an eminent distiller in Cork. 



Air " The Priest and his Boots." 

Come all you good fellows who love to be gay, 
Who spend every night what you earn each day ; 
Drink deep of that liquor which Irishmen bless, 
For you ll find no such cordial as " Bounce upon Bess." 
Compared with this balsam, all drink is small beer; 
What raises the spirits can never be dear : 
The inside it warms, and it cheers up the heart, 
And puts life in a man from a gill to a quart. 
Sing, fall de ral, &c. 

Let Englishmen talk of their porter and ale, 
Which grow very bad as they grow very stale ; 
But give Paddy the liquor to fuddle his nose, 
Which improves still the more as the older it grows. 
In a glass it so clear and transparent appears, 
Tis as bright as the eye of your sweetheart in tears ; 
And, next to a smack of her lips, by my soul, 
There is nothing like Walker s best " Bounce " in a bowl. 
Sing, fall de ral, &c. 



88 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

When in winter, the frost of a morning feels raw, 
Were the ice in your stomach, good Bounce would it thaw; 
And for heat in the summer you ll care not a fig, 
If of " Bounce upon Bess" you but take a full swig. 
Oh ! tis good in all weather, in each time and place, 
To all ranks and professions it shews a bright face ; 
And if you had enough of it, neighbours, in store, 
Oh, the devil a grief would come inside your door! 
With, fall de ral, &c. 

If at fair or at patron * your sweetheart you meet, 
To a tent you invite her to drink and to eat ; 
Let her eat what she will, but you can do no less 
Than to mix for her tipple some " Bounce upon Bess ! " 
Though hard as a flint she looked on you before, 
Her heart will grow soft, oh ! twould melt on the floor ; 
And her eyes will so wink, that I d venture to guess 
She would pledge her best cloak for good " Bounce upon 
Bess ! " 

Sing, fall de ral, &c. 

All join, then, in chorus, may Bounce never fail ; 
And the man who produced it, may naught ever ail, 
Who keeps up our spirits, and raises our land, 
Should the good will of Irishmen always command. 
May his still ever prosper, and prosper it will, 
Whilst the fields supply barley, and he supplies skill ; 
And as for consumption, my hearties I tis said, 
Oh, the devil our fellows lift hands to their head ! 
Sing, fall de ral, &c. 

* A meeting dedicated to the honour of a Patron Saint. 



HAD I THE TUN WHICH BACCHUS USED. 89 



HAD I THE TUN WHICH BACCHUS USED. 

To the lover of Irish song, considerable interest will 
attach to this trifle, now first printed from the author s 
manuscript, when the name of the writer is stated to be 
" honest Dick Millikin," who has rendered " the Groves 
of Blarney " classic ground. 

Richard Alfred Millikin was born, in 1767, at Castle 
Martyr, a small town in the county of Cork ; and was 
placed in the office of a country attorney, where he had 
the reputation of devoting more attention to painting, 
poetry, and music, than to the niceties of law. Having 
completed his apprenticeship, when he claimed to be ad 
mitted as a member of the legal profession, the gentleman 
by whom he was to be examined " thought proper to 
declare his having received information by letter that 
Mr. Millikin, then present in Court, and claiming a right 
to be sworn a member of it, so far from being regularly 
initiated in the profession of an attorney, was bred a 
painter, and consequently was wholly unqualified for 
admission. This statement (so grossly false)," says 
Millikin s biographer, " was promptly corroborated by 
a Cork attorney, who asserted that he could himself point 
out a person in Cork, for whom the young man in question 
had actually painted a sign. Such an attack, in such a 
place, was in itself sufficient to abash an inexperienced 
young man ; but, when a recollection flashed on his mind 
of having really painted a board, at the request of a poor 
widow (she was that attorney s nurse), to place over the 
window of her son s shop, his embarrassment became so 



90 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

great that he was unable to utter a word ; and, had not 
his limbs refused their office, he would have quitted the 
court never to return. But, just at that distressing mo 
ment, an acquaintance of happier times, the good-natured, 
kind-hearted Counsellor Fitzgerald (as remarkable for his 
urbanity of disposition as corpulence of person) happening 
to be present, and taking fire at the malicious falsehood, 
rose, and, in a very eloquent address to the court, fully 
disproved the illiberal and unmanly charge ; asserting, in 
his turn, that Mr. Millikin his school-fellow and early 
friend, who was designed for a higher walk in life than 
that he was now about to enter on had not only received 
the education of a gentleman, but was possessed of those 
accomplishments generally attached to the character ; one 
of which was drawing, in which he excelled, and which, 
till now, he had never heard attributed to any man as a 
fault, or considered as a barrier to professional pursuits. 

" The consequence of this kind and seasonable ex 
planation was his being admitted and sworn an attorney, 
and a member of the King s Inns : after which he returned 
to Cork to commence business. Young and unpatronised, 
however, he had little employment, being mostly applied 
to for the recovery of debts, a branch of the profession 
particularly disagreeable to him, his heart revolting from 
the idea of depriving a fellow-being of liberty, or distress 
ing those who were already distressed ; and a circumstance 
or two which occurred in the course of his short practice, 
effectually confirmed his dislike to the business altogether. 
Being employed by a clergyman to recover some debts, 
due by his parishioners for tithe, he proceeded for the 
purpose to a town where a quarter session was holding, 



HAD I THE TUN WHICH BACCHUS USED. 91 

and where the process-server who had been employed was 
appointed to meet him. This person, however, not ap 
pearing, he waited, but waited in vain, until the conclusion 
of the session : for he never saw him more, the unfortunate 
man s body being found some time after, where he had 
been murdered while on his journey to the appointed 
place." 

As professional employment, for which there are many 
candidates, must be courted rather than shunned as irk 
some, Mr. Millikin was left with ample leisure to indulge 
his taste for literature and the fine arts; and, in 1795, 
several poetical contributions from his pen were printed in 
the " Monthly Miscellany," a Cork magazine. In April 
1797, he published, jointly with his sister a lady who 
had distinguished herself by some historical novels 
" The Casket, or Hesperian Magazine," which appeared 
monthly until February 1798, when the political circum 
stances of Ireland terminated its existence. 

On the breaking out of the rebellion, Mr. Millikin 
zealously joined the Royal Cork Volunteers, and soon 
became a conspicuous member of that corps. He was 
subsequently, by the exertions of his pen and pencil, an 
active promoter of various benevolent objects in Cork. 
In 1807, he published " The Riverside," a poem, in blank 
verse; and, in 1810, a little tale called " The Slave of 
Surinam." During the spring of 1815, the foundation 
was laid by him of a Society for the Promotion of the Fine 
Arts in Cork, which followed an exhibition of his drawings, 
combined with the works of a few amateur friends and 
artists of that city. Mr. Millikin s death was. caused by 
water on the chest, and occurred, after a short illness, on 



92 THE POPULAR SO1S 7 GS OF IRELAND. 

the 16th December, 1815. He was buried with a public 
funeral at Douglas, near Cork, and his loss deplored as a 
general calamity. 

A little volume, entitled " Poetical Fragments of the 
late Richard Alfred Millikin, with an authentic Memoir of 
his Life," was printed by subscription in 1823 ; and pre 
fixed to it is a portrait, which was a good likeness of what 
the author must have been in the prime of life. Previous 
to this publication, all Mr. Millikin s papers were given by 
his widow, now no more, to the Editor, with the request 
that nothing unworthy of the memory of her husband 
should be published. 

The Editor has only to add to this sacred trust, that, 
to the best of his judgment, if every line of the manu 
scripts thus placed in his hands were printed, nothing 
would appear injurious to the reputation of the witty head 
and warm heart of " honest Dick Millikin." 

Had I the tun which Bacchus used, 

I d sit on it all day ; 
For, while a can it ne er refused, 

He nothing had to pay. 

I d turn the cock from morn to eve, 

Nor think it toil or trouble ; 
But I d contrive, you may believe, 

To make it carry double. 

My friend should sit as well as I, 

And take a jovial pot; 
For he who drinks although he s dry 

Alone, is sure a sot. 



THE NIGHTCAP. 93 

But since the tun which Bacchus used 

We have not here what then? 
Since god-like toping is refused, 

Let s drink like honest men. 

And let that churl, old Bacchus, sit, 

Who envies him his wine ? 
While mortal fellowship and wit 

Makes whisky more divine. 



THE NIGHTCAP. 

A true Irishman says of his whisky as Boniface does 
of his " Anno Domini," " I have ate my ale, drank my 
ale, and I always sleep upon ale." So an Irishman, 
after the eating and drinking of his whisky is over, always 
sleeps upon it, which " parting glass," as it has been af 
fectionately termed, is distinguished as " the nightcap." 

With a nightcap of this manufacture, it has been 
already asserted (p. 82), that 

" Neither frost, snow, nor rain, any barm can do me ; 
The hedge is my pillow, my blanket the sky." 

The burlesque, classical, little jeu d esprit here given, 
appeared in a Dublin newspaper or magazine, about the 
year 1820, and was recited to the Editor by a friend, 
who informed him that the author was Mr. Thomas Ham- 
blin Porter, elected a Scholar of Trinity College, Dublin, 
in 1817. 

The Bog of Allen, from whence the nectar, patronised 



94 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

by Apollo, was derived, is a tract famous formerly for 
Tories and Rapparies, and of more recent times for the 
manufacture of poteen. It extended for a considerable 
distance through part of the counties of Dublin, Carlow, 
Kildare, Kilkenny, and Meath. " The Bog of Allen" 
was, in short, a vague term for any matter about which 
an awkward question was likely to be asked. The 
Editor remembers that a gentleman was once robbed near 
Cork of a valuable watch, which, a day or two afterwards, 
was bought by a silversmith in Cork from a man who 
asserted, with the utmost simplicity, that he had found it 
in the Bog of Allen ! 

Jolly Phoebus his car to the coach-house had driven, 
And unharnessed his high-mettled horses of light; 

He gave them a feed from the manger of heaven, 

And rubbed them, and littered them up for the night. 

Then down to the kitchen he leisurely strode, 

Where Thetis, the housemaid, was sipping her tea ; 

He swore he was tired with that damn d up-hill road, 
He d have none of her slops nor hot water, not he. 

So she took from the corner a little cruiskeen 

Well filled with nectar Apollo loves best ; 
(From the neat Bog of Allen, some pretty poteen), 

And he tippled his quantum and staggered to rest. 

His many-caped box-coat around him he threw, 

For his bed, faith twas dampish, and none of the best ; 

All above him the clouds their bright fringed curtains drew, 
And the tuft of his nightcap lay red in the west. 



BUMPERS, BUMPERS, FLOWING BUMPERS. 95 



BUMPERS, BUMPERS, FLOWING BUMPERS. 

This convivial lyric, in which the inspiration of whisky 
is set forth, appeared in " Blackwood s Magazine" for 
December 1821, associated with the song of" St. Patrick 
of Ireland, my Dear." The author has entitled it " A real 
Irish * Fly not yetj" and informs us that it was an im 
promptu, chanted " on the spur of the occasion," at the 
time noted, viz. " Four o clock in the morning, or there 
abouts." 

Tune" Lillibullero." 

Hark ! hark ! from below, 

The rascally row 
Of watchmen, in chorus, bawling " Four!" 

But spite of this noise, 

My rollocking boys, 
We ll stay till we ve emptied one bottle more.* 

CHORUS.f 

Bumpers bumpers flowing bumpers ! 
Bumper your glasses high up to the brim ! 

And he who is talking 

A word about walking, 
Out of the window at once with him ! 

* Of whisky, viz., about thirteen tumblers. Author s Note. 
t We pronounce the word generally in Ireland as we sound the 
ch in church tchorus. I think it is the prettier way. Author s Note. 



96 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Our whisky is good 

As ever yet stood 
Steaming on table, in glass or pot : 

It came from a still, 

Snug under a hill, 

Where the eye of the ganger saw it not. 
Bumpers, &c. 

Then why should we run 

Away from the Sun ? 
Here s to his health, my own elegant men ! 

We drank to his rest 

Last night in the west, 

And we ll welcome him, now that he wakes again. 
Bumpers, &c. 

And here we shall stop, 

Until every drop 
That charges our bottles is gone, clean gone ; 

And then, sallying out, 

We ll leather the rout* 

Who ve dared to remind us how time has run. 
Bumpers, &c. 

* Beating the watch is a pleasant and usual finale to a social party 
in the metropolis (Dublin). I am compelled myself, now and then, to 
castigate them, merely for the impertinent clamour they make at night 
about the hours. Our ancestors must have been in the depths of 
barbarity when they established this ungentlemanlike custom. 
Authw s Note. 



I LL NEVER GET DRUNK ANY MORE! 97 



I LL NEVER GET DRUNK ANY MORE! 

In contrast to the preceding song, so full of action, 
may be placed one in which the re-action of " Bumpers, 
bumpers, flowing bumpers," is exhibited. The Editor has 
been informed that it was sung with much effect by a man 
named Eagan at the early meetings of a Temperance 
Society in the south of Ireland, upon which occasions the 
lines referring to the suicidal proceeding of hard drinking 

" For your own brains out you re dashing : 
Don t you feel your bead quite sore?" 

were always received with marked approbation. 

Tune " Mall Brook." 

One night when I got frisky 

Over some poteen whisky, 

Like waves in the Bay of Biscay, 

I began to tumble and roar. 
My face was red as a lobster, 
I fell and I broke my nob, sir, 
My watch was picked from my fob, sir 

Oh, I ll never get drunk any more ! 

Now I m resolved to try it, 
I ll live upon moderate diet ; 
I ll not drink, but will deny it, 

And shun each alehouse-door ; 
For that s the place, they tell us, 
We meet with all jovial good fellows ; 
But I swear by the poker and bellows 

I ll never get drunk any more. 
F 



98 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

The landlady is unwilling 

To credit you for a shilling ; 

She straightways sends her bill in, 

And asks you to pay your score. 
And if with money you re stocked, 
She ll not stop till she s emptied your pocket ; 
Then the cellar-door is locked, 

And you cannot get drunk any more. 

So by me now take caution, 
Put drinking out of fashion, 
For your own brains out you re dashing : 

Don t you feel your head quite sore ? 
For when all night you ve tarried 
Drinking of punch and claret, 
In the morning home you re carried, 

(Saying) " I ll never get drunk any more. 

A man that s fond of boozing, 
His cash goes daily oozing ; 
His character he s loosing, 

And it s loss he will deplore. 
His wife is unprotected, 
His business is neglected, 
Himself is efts-respected, 

So, do not get drunk any more. 



BARRY OF MACROOM. 99 



BARRY OF MACROOM. 

Who the hero of the following song may be, the Editor 
is unable satisfactorily to determine ; although Mr. Daniel 
MacCarthy, whom he is represented to have excelled in 
toping, is recorded in Dr. Smith s " History of Kerry " to 
have died in 1751, as is asserted, at the age of 112 years. 
" He drank," says Smith, " for many of the last years of 
his life, great quantities of rum and brandy, which he 
called naked truth; and if, in compliance to other 
gentlemen, he drank claret or punch, he always took an 
equal quantity of spirits to qualify these liquors : this he 
called < a wedge. " Old Jem Nash was, no doubt, an 
equally distinguished individual belonging to that " perse 
cuted and hard-drinking country," Ireland. 

It is difficult to form a correct estimate of the quantity 
of whisky-punch which may be comfortably discussed at a 
sitting. In the case of a gentleman whose life had been 
insured for a large sum of money, the payment at his 
death was resisted by the Insurance Company, upon the 
plea that he had caused his death by excessive drinking. 
The matter came to a legal trial, and among other wit 
nesses examined was one who swore that, for the last 
eighteen years of his life, he had been in the habit of 
taking every night four and twenty tumblers of whisky- 
punch. " Recollect yourself, sir," said the examining 
counsel. " Four and twenty 1 you swear to that ; did you 
ever drink five and twenty?" " I am on my oath," 
replied the witness ; " and I will swear no further, for I 
never keep count beyond the two dozen, though there s 



100 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

no saying how many beyond it I might drink to make 
myself comfortable : but that s my stint." 

The Editor believes that he is not wrong in assigning 
this lyric to the pen of Mr. Richard Ryan, the author of 
a national biographical dictionary, entitled " The Worthies 
of Ireland," 2 vols. 8vo. 1819 and 1821, and of other 
works. The town of Macroom, upon which the fame of 
"bold Barry" has bestowed celebrity, is about eighteen 
miles west of the city of Cork. Upwards of eighty years 
ago, Smith, in his " History of Cork," observes that, " in 
this town are some whisky distillers ; a liquor and manu 
facture so pernicious to the poor, that it renders every 
other employment useless to them." But it is to be 
hoped that Mr. Barry s example may have had its in 
fluence in diffusing a civilized taste for whisky-punch 
among them, and thus, by inducing the drinkers of " naked 
truth" to dilute their liquor, effect an important moral 
improvement. 

Oh! what is Dan MacCarty, or what is old Jem Nash? 
Or all who e er in punch-drinking, by luck, have cut a dash, 
Compared to that choice hero, whose praise my rhymes 

perfume 
I mean the boast of Erin s Isle, bold Barry of Macroom ? 

Twas on a summer s morning bright that Barry shone 

most gay, 

He had of friends a chosen few, to dine with him that day; 
And to himself he coolly said (joy did his eyes illume) 
" I ll shew my guests there s few can match bold Barry 

of Macroom ! " 



BARRY OF MACROOM. 101 

The dinner was despatched, and they brought six gallon- 
jugs* 

Of whisky-punch ; and after them, eight huge big-bellied 
mugs ; 

And soon all neath the table lay, swept clean as with a 
broom 

Except the boast of Erin s Isle, bold Barry of Macroom ! 

Now Barry rose, and proudly cried " ByMudy, Fll go 

down, 

And call into each whisky-shop that d.ecorates 6irr lo\vo ; 
For lots of whisky-punch is here for master and for groom, 
If they ll come up and drink it with bold Barry of Macroom I 

Thus Barry soon he brought with him a choice hard- 
drinking set, 

As ever at a punch-table, on Patrick s day, had met ; 

Yet soon upon the floor they lay a low, disgraceful 
doom ; 

While, like a giant fresh and strong,rose Barry of Macroom ! 

Then Barry went unto his wife, and to his turtle said 
" My dear, I now have had enough, therefore I ll go to 
bed; 

* " The custom of making punch in jugs seems a better one than 
that of each person making for himself. Jt mingles the spirits and 
water more intimately, and gives more mellowness to the liquor, from 
the practice of pouring it several times out of one jug into another. It 
is long since punch has been drunk out of bowls, but the large china 
bowl still holds its place in closets, in memory of past times, and as an 
article of show." Views of Society and Manners in the North of Ireland, 
6v John Gamble, Esq., 1819. 



102 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

But, as I may be thirsty soon, just mix it in the room, 
A gallon-jug of punch, quite weak, for Barry of Macroom! 

Brave Barry, he got very ill, his malady was such, 

It sprung from drinking whisky-punch, too little or too 

much; 
And sickness, night and morning did, like canker in the 

bloom, 
Attack and M astn the carcass of bold Barry of Macroom ! 

The, doetors \he.y declared all, that punch he must give o er, 
And less two gallons drink each day, or soon he d drink 

no more ; 
Then would the wild flowers, fair and gay, spring up 

around his tomb, 
Above the turf that sepulchred bold Barry of Macroom ! 

Now Barry thought such talk as this was mighty hard to 

bear, 
And grumbled as each day he quaff d his hermit-kind of 

fare; 

But Barry lived for many years, old whisky to consume, 
And, proved the prince of punch-drinkers, died Barry of 

Macroom I 



THE MERRY MAN. 



There is something extremely melancholy in the pic 
ture of reckless conviviality here exhibited ; but it is, 
nevertheless, eminently characteristic of Irish good fellow 
ship. The hero of this song, to use an American phrase, 



THE MERRY MAN. 103 

* { goes the whole hog;" for, not content with expressing 
an utter contempt for the ordinary decencies of the table, 
such as filling his glass from the decanter, bottle, jug, or 
pitcher, which may be at hand, he absolutely inculcates 
the adoption of gymnastic exercise while drinking, by 
" fugling the can." And subsequently, when he is no 
longer able to be the fugle-man, a match at single-stick 
with blackthorn cudgels is recommended, as a convenient 
interlude between the disappearance of a cruiskeen of 
whisky and the introduction of a 

" full flowing bowl." 

This is evidently here done in the spirit of kindness, 
and without any malicious motive ; unlike the directions 
given in the will of one of Cromwell s followers in Ireland. 
" My body shall be put upon the oak-table in my coffin 
in the brown room, and fifty Irishmen shall be invited to 
my wake, and every one shall have two quarts of the best 
aqua vitse, and each a skein, dirk, or knife, laid before 
him ; and, when their liquor is out, nail up my coffin, and 
commit me to earth, from whence I came. This is my 
will. Witness my hand, this 3d of March, 1674. 

" JOHN LANGLEY." 

" Some of his friends asked him why he would be at 
such charge to treat the Irish at his funeral, a people 
whom he never loved ? Why for that reason, replied 
Langley ; * for they will get so drunk at my wake that they 
will kill one another, and so we shall get rid of some of the 
breed ; and if every one would follow my example in their 
wills, in time we should get rid of them all ! " 

The fifth verse of the song is levelled against an 
ancient practice, now rapidly falling into disuse, of hiring 



104 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

professional mourners, called keeners (from CAojne, a 
funeral elegy), to lament over the dead. The chorus by 
which the effusions of Erin s elegiac muse are supported is 
termed, by Mr. Twiss, " the Irish howl." 

I am a young fellow 

Who loves to be mellow, 
To drink and be merry is all my delight ; 

I often get frisky, 

By tippling good whisky, 
With jovial companions from morning to night. 

I never took pleasure 

In hoarding up treasure ; 
The sight of a miser I cannot endure, 

Who always is griping, 

And sharping, and biting, 

And laying out schemes for to plunder the poor. 
Ri fal-da-riddle lah, &c. 

Of the beggarly misor 

I am a despiser ; 
The fruit of his labour he never enjoys ; 

His heirs for his money, 

Impatient of honey, 
Are waiting and hate him, while with it he toys. 

His frame is complaining, 

For want of sustaining ; 
His limbs are decrepit, from hunger and cold ; 

Instead of good liquor 

To make his pulse quicker, 

He s gloating and doating on that idol called gold. 

Ri fal, &c. 



THE MERRY MAN. 105 

As for me, while I m able, 

At the head of a table, 
Set me down of good whisky a full water stand, 

Where each clever toper 

May drink like the pope, or 
May toast to his friends with a bumper in hand. 

By the side of that jorum, 

Like a Justice of Quorum, 
I ll preside full of state in my holyday clothes ; 

In winter or summer, 

With a rollocking rummer, 
A pipe for to smoke, and a jug at my nose. 

Ri fal, &c. 

" Come, drawer, this spirit 

Of yours has some merit. 
Sweet piper, come squeeze up your leather and play ; 

And hand him the pitcher, 

It makes music richer," 
Thus we ll drink and carouse to the dawning of day. 

I hold them but asses 

Who wait to fill glasses, 
Such muddling and fuddling g unworthy of man ; 

It only is wasting 

The time that is hasting, 
Commend me to those that will fugle the can. 

Ri fal, &c. 

When stopped in my toddy 
By death seizing my body, 
F2 



106 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

No crocodile tears shall be shed at my wake ; 

While there I am lying 

No counterfeit crying, 
No moans, I desire, shall be made for my sake. 

I ve no taste for squalling, 

Or old women s bawling, 
Who string nonsense together and call it a keen ; 

Who only are selling 

Their yelping and yelling 
For some one, perhaps, that they never have seen. 

But of whisky a cruiskeen 

To fill up each loose skin, 
Let all have to toast to my journey up hill ; 

And three jolly pipers 

To tune up for the swipers, 
While each boy honestly swallows his fill. 

Then a blackthorn cudgel 

For each, should they grudge ill, 
To anoint one another, and none to control. 

Nor let them be down-hearted 

For him that s departed, 
But end their disputes in a full flowing bowl. 

The next morning early, 

When daylight tis fairly, 
My trunk shall be nailed quite close to my back ; 

Four stout lads so civil 

Will bear it up level, 
Whilst I ride on their shoulders instead of a sack. 



THE MERRY MAN. 



107 



Now let them all sing, 

And the valleys will ring, 
Raising up a fine chorus, both gallant and brave ; 

Then lay me down flat, 

Like a sieve-woman s hat, 
And away goes the merry man into his grave. 




1. Deoch an Durrus glass. 

2. Poteen bottle. 

3. Modern whisky bottle. 

4. Poteen glass. 

5. Modern whisky glass. 

6 and 7. Substitutes for ditto ; viz. a clusheen shell and an egg shell. 



" We ll teach you to drink deep ere you depart." 

Hamlet, i. 2. 



108 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



THE IRISH OAK, 

FIGURATIVELY termed " a sprig of Shillelah," is so 
called from Shillelah, a district in the county of 
Wicklow, formerly celebrated for its oak woods. 
" And who has not heard of Irish oak?" vehemently 
inquires the amusing essayist upon national em 
blems, in " The Dublin Penny Journal." 

" And who has not heard of Irish oak ? For, though 
our hills and plains are now so bare of trees that they 
excite the admiration of all timber-hating Yankees as they 
sail along our improved shores, yet formerly it was not 
so. No ! It is said that Westminster Hall is roofed with 
oak, brought from the wood of Shillelah ; and a great 
many of our common names are significant of oak woods. 
As Kildare, the wood of oak ; Londonderry, the oak- 
wood planted by Londoners ; Ballinderry, the town in 
the oak-wood. At the bottom of all our bogs, and on 
the tops of our highest hills, roots of oak of immense size 
are found ; and we may fairly conclude, that though Ire 
land is now a denuded country, it was once the most 
umbrageous of the British isles. The customs of our 
country shew that our people once dwelt under the green 
wood tree ; for an Irishman cannot walk or wander, sport 
or fight, buy or sell, comfortably, without an oak stick in 



THE IRISH OAK. 109 

his fist. If he travels, he will beg, borrow, or steal a 
shillelah ; if he goes to play, he hurls with a crooked oak- 
stick ; if he goes to a fair, it is delightful to hear the 
sound of his cloghel-peen on the cattle horns ; if he fights, 
as fight he must, at market or at fair, the cudgel is bran 
dished on high ; and, as Fin Ma Coul of old smiled grimly 
in the joy of battle, so his descendants shout lustily in the 
joy of the cudgels Bello gaudentes prcelio ridentes / 

In ruxion delighting, 
Laughing while fighting ! 

" * Leather away with your oak sticks ! is still the 
privilege, the glory, and the practice of Irishmen. Nay, 
more, while living, their meal, their meat, and their 
valuables (if they have any, of course), are kept in oak 
chests ; and when dying, Paddy dies quietly, if assured 
that he shall have a decent berrin, be buried in an oaken 
coffin, and attended to the grave by a powerful faction, 
well provided with oak saplings ! " 

It has been observed to the Editor by an in 
genious friend, that when Shakspere made Hamlet 
swear by St. Patrick, it was with the view of shew 
ing the ancient connexion which existed between 
Denmark and Ireland. But that Hamlet had no 
Milesian blood in his veins, is clear from his not 
carrying a shillelah, which he might then have used 
with so much effect to illustrate his doctrine of suit 
ing " the word to the action." 

" Horatio. There s no offence, my lord. 

Hamlet. Yes, by St. Patrick, but there is, Horatio ; 
And much offence, too." 



110 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

The superiority of the Shillelah oak will be hereafter 
spoken of. From " A practical Treatise on Plant 
ing," published in Dublin in 1794, by Mr. Hayes 
of Avondale, the following particulars have been 
collected respecting the disappearance of trees " of 
ancient birth," from this renowned wood. " It is 
generally understood, that a sale was made of some 
of the finest timber of Shillelah, which remained in 
Charles the Second s time, into Holland for the 
use of the Stadthouse, and other buildings con 
structed on piles driven close together, to the 
number of several thousand. In 1669, William, 
earl of Strafford, furnished Lawrence Wood of Lon 
don with such pipe-staves, to a great amount, at 
10/. per thousand, as are now sold for 50/., and 
are only to be had from America. The year 1692 
introduced into Shillelah that bane of all our tim 
ber, iron forges and furnaces; and, as the parties 
were allowed to fell for themselves several thousand 
cord of wood yearly, and were only confined to a 
particular district, they cut whatever was most 
convenient to them for the purpose, and it is in 
conceivable what destruction they must have made 
in the course of twenty years, which was the term 
of their contract." 

From a paper in the handwriting of Thomas, 
marquess of Rockingham, it appears that, in 1731, 
there were standing in that part of Shillelah called 
the Deer Park, 2150 oak trees; of these, in 1737, 
there remained 1540 trees. In 1780, thirty-eight 



THE IRISH OAK. Ill 

only of the old reserves were in existence. " The 
evident symptoms of decay which from that time 
they began to exhibit, owing to windshakes and 
other disorders incidental to all old trees which have 
lost a mass of shelter on every side, made it 
expedient to cut them nearly all down from time 
to time. The last I remember to have been felled," 
adds Mr. Hayes, " produced, at three shillings per 
foot, 27Z. Is. Sd. ; another, about the same time, was 
purchased for the arm of a fire-engine at Donane 
Colliery, and with the rough end sawed off after 
the axe, for which two guineas was given, produced 
26/. 4s. 3d. There still remains one entire tree, 
about ten feet round at five feet from the ground, 
straight as a pine for sixty feet, and about six feet 
round at that height ; there is also in a little island 
in the Forge Pool, a short trunk, which measures 
twenty-one feet round." 

Mr. Hayes also mentions an oak in the domain 
of Ballybeg, " which measures round the forked 
trunk upwards of twenty-seven feet ; round one of 
the stems, twenty feet, and round the other twelve, 
and is gross timber for more than forty feet in 
height. This last," he continues, " has the honour 
of being one of the few remaining trees of those 
woods which rendered the barony of Shillelah, in 
the county of VVicklow, proverbially famous for its 
timber, and gave the denomination of Fairwood 
Park, to that district in which the great, but un 
fortunate Earl of Strafford, built his hunting-lodge. 



112 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

His descendant, Earl Fitzwilliam, now possesses this 
estate, from whose liberal attention to whatever may 
in any way promote the benefit of the country, and 
from the excellent system adopted by the gentlemen 
who have the present management of his lordship s 
woods, I flatter myself that posterity may see Shil- 
lelah as remarkable for timber in the next century 
as in the last, when its oak (if we may judge from 
the specimens which still remain) was as superior 
to most others in the firmness of its texture, as in 
its stately height and great dimensions." 



THE SPRIG OF SHILLELAH. 

" The fair of Donnybrook, near Dublin," observes 
Sir Jonah Barrington, * has been long identified with the 
name and character of the lower classes of Irish people ; 
and, so far as the population of its metropolis may fairly 
stand for that of a whole country, the identification is 
just. This remark applies, it is true, to several years 
back ; as that entire revolution in the natural Irish cha 
racter, which has taken place within my time, must have 
extended to all their sports and places of amusement ; and 
Donnybrook fair, of course, has had its full share in the 
metamorphosis. 

" The old Donnybrook fair, however, is on record ; 
and so long as the name exists, will be duly appreciated. 
Mr. Lysaght s popular song of * The Sprig of Shillelah 
and Shamrock so green, gives a most lively sketch of 



THE SPRIG OF SHILLELAU. 113 

that celebrated meeting, some of the varieties and pecu 
liarities of which may be amusing, and will certainly 
give a tolerable idea of the Dublin commonalty in the 
eighteenth century." Sir Jonah s description of the 
humours of Donuybrook fair, although very laughably 
told in the third volume of " Personal Sketches of his 
own Times," is too lengthy for transcript beyond the 
following passage, which completely illustrates the song. 
There " Love reigned in all his glory, and Cupid ex 
pended every arrow his mother could make for him ; but 
with this difference, that Love is in general represented 
as discharging his shafts into people s hearts, whereas at 
Donnybrook, he always aimed at their heads ; and, before 
it became very dusk, he never failed to be very successful 
in his archery. It was after sunset, indeed, that sweet 
hearts made up their matches ; and a priest (Father 
Kearny of Liffy Street, a good clargy) told me that more 
marriages were celebrated in Dublin the week after Donny 
brook fair, than in any two months during the rest of 
the year ; the month of June being warm and sung (as 
he termed it) smiled on every thing that was good, and 
helped the liquor in making the arrangements ; and with 
great animation he added, that it was a gratifying sight 
to see his young parishioners, who had made up their 
matches at Donnybrook, coming there in a couple of years 
again to buy whistles for their children." 

Edward Lysaght, the author of this humorous and 
descriptive song, generally known as " pleasant Ned Ly 
saght," was the son of John Lysaght, Esq. of Brickhill, in 
the county of Clare. He was born on the 21st December, 
1763, and educated at the school of the Reverend Patrick 



114 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Hare, of Cashel. In 1779,* young Lysaght entered 
Trinity College, Dublin, through which he passed with 
much credit, and was particularly distinguished as a 
member of the Historical Society. "In 1784, lie became 
a student of the Inner Temple, and took his degree of 
Master of Arts at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. He was 
called to the English bar at the term of 1788, and to that 
of Ireland in the following term. His professional duties 
commenced with his being counsel for Lord Hood in the 
long-contested election for Westminster, between that 
nobleman and Mr. Fox." 

Sir Jonah Barrington says, " Lysaght, a gentleman by 
birth, was left, as to fortune, little else than his brains and 
pedigree. The latter, however, was of no sort of use to 
him, and he seldom employed the former to any lucrative 
purpose. He considered law as his trade, and conviviality 
(to the cultivation whereof no man could apply more 
sedulously) his profession. Full of point and repartee, 
every humorist and bon vivant was his patron. He had a 
full proportion of animal courage ; and even the fire-eaters 
of Tipperary never courted his animosity. Songs, epi 
grams, and lampoons, which, from other pens, would have 
terminated in mortal combat, being considered inherent in 
his nature, were universally tolerated. 

" Some of Lysaght s sonnets," adds Sir Jonah, " had 
great merit, and many of his national stanzas were 

* The editor of a volume of " Poems, by the late Edward Lysaght, 
Esq.," 8vo., Dublin, 1811, from whose preface the above particulars are 
copied, adds to the date 1779, Mr. Lysaght " being then about eighteen 
years of age." If this statement of age be correct, the date of 
Mr. Lysaght s entrance into Trinity College should be 1781. 



THE SPRIG OF SUILLELAH. 115 

singularly characteristic. His Sprig of Shillelah and 
Shamrock so green, is admirably and truly descriptive of 
the low Irish character, and never was that class so well 
depicted in so few words. 

"Lysaght was, perhaps, not a poet, in the strict 
acceptation of the term ; but he wrote a great number of 
miscellaneous verses ; some of them, in general estimation, 
excellent, some delicate, some gross. I scarce ever saw 
two of these productions of the same metre, and very few 
were of the same character. Several of the best poetical 
trifles in MacNally s Sherwood Forest, were penned by 
Lysaght. Having no fixed politics, or, in truth, decided 
principles respecting any thing, he was one day a patriot, 
the next a courtier, and wrote squibs both for govern 
ment and against it. The stanzas relatively commencing 

Green were the fields that our forefathers dwelt on/ &c., 

Where the loud cannons rattle, to battle we ll go, &c., 
and, 

Some few years ago, though now she says no, &c., 

were three of the best of his patriotic effusions; they 
were certainly very exciting, and he sang them with great 
effect." 

Sir Jonah Barrington gives a whimsical account of 
Lysaght s marriage. Shortly after his death, a few of his 
poems were hastily collected, and published in a volume, 
by subscription ; to which a portrait, from recollection, of 
his " mild, pale, and penetrating" countenance, is prefixed. 
The brilliant wit, the rich vein of humour, and irresistible 
mimicry, the extraordinary readiness of reply, and high 
social qualities of Mr. Lysaght, gave a certain reputation 



116 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

to every trifle which came from his pen. However, it is 
unfair critically to estimate by the contents of the volume 
just mentioned, Mr. Lysaght s powers of mind, or the effect 
which his lyrics on elections, or other occasions of popular 
excitement, produced. It cannot be doubted, from their 
fugitive nature, that many of his happiest effusions have 
perished; indeed the volume of his poems contains neither 
the following song, nor any of those mentioned by Sir 
Jonah Harrington ; and all the verses there to be found 
are evidently written to answer some temporary purpose, 
and bear obvious marks of that haste which did not permit 
a second perusal. Some literary interest attaches to 
Mr. Lysaght s memory, as the godfather of Miss Owenson 
(the present Lady Morgan), whom he subsequently ad 
dressed in some sportive lines, of which only a fragment 
is preserved. 

" The Muses met me once, not very sober. 

But full of frolic, at your merry christening ; 
And now, this twenty-third day of October, 
As they foretold, to your sweet lays I m listening," &c. 

It only remains for the Editor to state, that Donny- 
brook fair no longer exists. Mr. D Alton, in his " History 
of the County of Dublin" (1838), speaking of Donny- 
brook, says, " This place was long celebrated for its 
annual August fair the Bartholomew of Dublin ; but 
which, in consequence of several riotous and disgraceful 
res ults, ithas been found necessary to suppress." 

Oh ! love is the soul of a neat Irishman, 

He loves all that is lovely, loves all that he can, 

With his sprig of Shillelah and shamrock so green ! 



THE SPRIG OF SHILLELAH. 117 

His heart is good-humoured, tis honest and sound, 
No envy or malice is there to be found ; 
He courts and he marries, he drinks and he fights ; 
For love, all for love, for in that he delights, 

With his sprig of Shillelah and shamrock so green ! 

Who has e er had the luck to see Donnybrook Fair ? 
An Irishman, all in his glory, is there, 

With his sprig of Shillelah and shamrock so green ! 
His clothes spick and span new, without e er a speck, 
A neat Barcelona tied round his neat neck ; 
He goes to a tent, and he spends half-a-crown, 
He meets with a friend, and for love knocks him down 

With his sprig of Shillelah, and shamrock so green ! 

At evening returning, as homeward he goes, 

His heart soft with whisky, his head soft with blows 

From a sprig of Shillelah, and shamrock so green ! 
He meets with his Sheelah, who, blushing a smile, 
Cries, " Get ye gone, Pat," yet consents all the while. 
To the priest soon they go ; and nine months after that, 
A fine baby cries, " How d ye do, father Pat, 

With your sprig of Shillelah and shamrock so green?" 

Bless the country, say I, that gave Patrick his birth, 
Bless the land of the oak, and its neighbouring earth, 

Where grow the Shillelah and shamrock so green ! 
May the sons of the Thames, the Tweed, and the Shannon, 
Drub the French, who dare plant at our confines a cannon ; 
United and happy, at Loyalty s shrine, 
May the Rose and the Thistle long flourish and twine 

Round a sprig of Shillelah and shamrock so green ! 



118 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



HAIL TO THE OAK, THE IRISH TREE ! 

Speaking of the magnitude and value of trees in Ire 
land, Mr. Hayes observes, " In the small survey which 
my time permitted me to make, the district of Shillelah, in 
the county of Wicklow, first claimed my attention. Though 
the name, with little variation in the spelling, may be 
literally translated fair wood, there are few now remaining 
of those celebrated oaks which authorised that denomina 
tion ; but those few are sufficient to support what has been 
handed down to us concerning them. Tradition gives the 
Shillelah oak the honour of roofing Westminster Hall, and 
other buildings of that age ; the timbers which support the 
leads of the magnificent chapel of King s College, Cam 
bridge, which was built in 1444 ; as also the roof of Henry 
the Seventh s Chapel, in Westminster Abbey, are said to 
be of oak, brought from these woods;* and I think it by 
no means improbable," continues Mr. Hayes, " that the 
superior density and closeness of grain, which is the 
character of the Irish oak, particularly in high situations 
and a dry soil, as may appear by comparing its specific 
gravity with that of other oak, added to the inattention of 
the Irish at that time to the article of bark, which permitted 
their oak to be felled in winter when free from sap, might 
have induced the English architects to give it the preference 
in such national works ; and, it must be allowed, that the 
present unimpaired state of these roofs, after so many 
centuries, seems very well to warrant this conjecture." 



* Charles V. of France founded the Royal Library at Paris in 1365, 
and, it is said, Lad the chambers wainscoted with Irish oak. ED. 



HAIL TO THE OAK, THE IRISH TREE ! 119 

So late as the close of the seventeenth century, com 
missioners were sent over to Waterford and Wexford by 
the English government. " Nigh which places, in the 
county of Wickloe," Dean Story tells us, " there is good 
store of suitable timber, and other advantages for building 
ships, at easier rates than in England." 

This lyric is to be found in several recent collections 
of songs, with the signature, "W. Kertland," attached 
to it. 

When, from the new-formed pregnant earth, 

Sprang vegetation s progeny, 
The Irish oak, of ancient birth, 

Arose the kingly forest tree. 
Hail to the oak, the Irish tree, 
And Irish hearts, with three times three ! 

Its verdure sickens where the slave, 

To power despotic, homage gives ; 
But real Shillelah, with the brave, 

True to the soil, luxuriant lives. 
Hail to the oak, the Irish tree, 
And hearts of oak, with three times three ! 

Our Druid rites have spread its fame ; 

Our bards have sung the noble tree ; 
Our sailors gain a deathless name, 

Borne, on its planks, to victory. 
Hail to the oak, the Irish tree, 
And British tars, with three times three ! 



120 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Still may its circling arms extend, 
To guard our isles from foreign foes ; 

Its branching green head long defend 
The Shamrock, Thistle, and the Rose. 

Hail to the oak, the Irish tree, 

And British hearts, with three times three I 



OH! AN IRISHMAN S HEART. 

The comparison of an Irishman s heart to a sprig of 
Shillelah is an exceedingly happy one. When Pat s heart 
goes " thump" within his breast, a " whack" from the 
twig, which he can so skilfully handle, is sure to follow. 
There is a mysterious sympathy between his hand while 
it poises a Shillelah, and his heart while it swells for 

" Old Ireland, his king, and his friend." 

And then so sensitive is that heart of his, like a well- 
greased and seasoned " bit of stick," it lights up, as 
touchwood, beneath that burning glass the dark eye of 
a pretty girl. 

To pursue the simile further is unnecessary. The 
fearless way in which Jack Johnstone used to sing the 
following song, and the dexterous manner in which he 
accompanied it by flourishes of his Shillelah, will long be 
remembered by those who have witnessed his personifica 
tion of the Irish character: 



on! AN IRISHMAN S HEART. 121 



Air " The Kinnegad Slashers." 

Oh ! an Irishman s heart is as stout as Shillelah, 

It beats with delight to chase sorrow and wo ; 
When the piper plays up, then it dances so gaily, 

And thumps with a whack for to leather a foe. 
But by beauty lit up, faith, in less than a jiffey, 

So warm is the stuff, it soon blazes and burns ; 
Then so wild is each heart of us, lads of the Liffey, 

It dances and beats altogether by turns. 
Then away with dull care, let s be merry and frisky, 

Our motto is this, may it widely extend 
Give poor Pat but fair freedom, his sweetheart and whisky, 

And he ll die for old Ireland, his king, and his friend. 

Should ruffian invaders e er menace our shore, 

Though the foes of dear Erin may strut and look big ; 
Yet, na bogh-a-lish,* my lad, they shall have it galore, 

Fc*r Patrick s the boy that can handle a twig. 
But the battle once over, no rage fills his breast, 

Mild mercy still softens the heart of the brave ; 
For of valour, of love, and of friendship possessed, 

The soldier of Erin still conquers to save. 
Then away with dull care, whilst swigging so frisky, 

Our toast shall be this, may it widely extend 
Thus blest with fair freedom, our sweethearts and whisky, 

Here s success to dear Ireland, our king, and our friend. 

* Equivalent to Never mind it." 



122 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



LOCAL SONGS. 



THERE is scarcely a city, town, village, seat, grove, 
river, lake, or glen in Ireland, the charms of which, 
or of some fair damsel thereunto appertaining or 
belonging, do not, as Pope says of the groves of 
Eden, 

Live in description, and look green in song." 

That Irish local songs should be so abundant is 
readily accounted for, not merely by the general 
fondness for such compositions, but by a curious 
custom, in compliance with which every traveller 
in Ireland made verses in praise of certain places 
through or by which he passed. Dr. Smith, in his 
" History of Kerry," thus notices this whimsical 
practice: " The road from the other parts of Kerry 
into this barony (Iveragh) runs over very high and 
steep hills, that stand in this parish (Glanbehy), 
called Drung and Cahircanawy ; which road hangs 
in a tremendous manner over that part of the sea 
that forms the Bay of Castlemain, and is not unlike 
the mountain of Penmenmaure in North Wales, ex- 



LOCAL SONGS. 123 

cept that the road here is more stony and less secure 
for the traveller. There is a custom among the 
country people to enjoin every one that passes this 
mountain to make some verses to its honour, other 
wise, they affirm, that whoever attempts to pass it 
without versifying, must meet with some mischance ; 
the origin of which notion seems to be, that it will 
require a person s whole circumspection to preserve 
himself from falling off his horse. They repeated 
to me," adds Smith, " several performances, both in 
Irish and English, made on this occasion ; but this 
mountain is not like that of Helicon, consecrated 
to the Muses, for all the verses that I heard were 
almost as rugged and uncouth as the road on which 
they were made, for which reason I shall not trouble 
the reader with them, although I had several copies 
given me for that purpose." 

This remarkable custom is also mentioned in 
" A Pastoral, in imitation of the First Eclogue of 
Virgil," published at Dublin in 1719. 

" Curag Can a Wee, 



Full often have I made a song for thee ; 
Lest some disaster should attend my life, 
My tender children, or my loving wife." 

A writer, under the nom de guerre of Dr. Mac 
Slatt, presumed to be Mr. Windle of Cork, says, 
l( The sound or strait between Clear and Sherkin 
(in the county of Cork), is called Gascanan, and is 



124 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

singular for a usage which requires that all who 
cross it for the first time should improvise, at least, 
a couplet, otherwise some mischance may be the 
consequence. A similar exercise of the little of 
poetry within us, is required on passing the rugged 
pathway of Cahircanawy, overhanging the dizzy 
cliffs of Castlemain ; and, I doubt not but a collec 
tion of these effusions would afford a rare picture of 
the mind of the gentry who frequent these passages 
of song." 

There are few things that sink more deeply into 
the memory than local songs. A lover at once 
immortalizes the memory of his mistress by asso 
ciating her name, even under the mask of Chloe, 
Phillida, or Pastora, with a romantic scene. From 
thenceforward the ground is consecrated to her; she 
becomes the presiding goddess of the place, and 
her praise is echoed by every admirer of the loveli 
ness of nature. In the songs of England, the same 
fondness for local association is of parasitical growth. 
"The pretty Maid of Derby, O!" "The Lass of 
Richmond Hill," and similar songs, are known to 
be the productions of Irishmen ; all the particulars 
respecting the composition of the latter, by Mr. 
MacNally, may be found recorded by Sir Jonah 
Barriiigton . 

As to the influence of local songs, an old proverb 
of " Give a dog a bad name," &c., is not inappli 
cable. We find, for instance, after upwards of three 



LOCAL SONGS. 125 

hundred years, " these bald verses," as Sir Richard 
Cox calls them, respecting the miserable state of 
Armagh, quoted against that city. 

" Civitas Ardmachana, 
Civitas vana, 

Absque bonis moribus : 
Mulieres nudae, 
Games crudae, 

Paupertas in cedibus." 

Which have been rendered 

Armagh tis a pity 

Is now a vain city, 
Deprived of all common morality ; 

The women go nude, 

The meat s taken crude, 
And poverty there has locality. 

Who, if " the beautiful city" is mentioned, does 
not immediately appropriate the phrase to Cork ? 
And why? because Cork was introduced as a rhyme 
in a ridiculous song called, " I was the Boy for 
bewitching them/ which was a favourite some thirty 
years ago. 

" My father he married a Quaker, 

My aunt, she made hay with a fork ; 
And my uncle s a great grand brogue-maker 
In the beautiful city called Cork." 



126 



THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



Among the remarkable particulars connected 
with local song, may be mentioned the practice 
which exists in Cork of publishing, on Shrove 
Tuesday, a certain species of song or ballad, called 
" Skellig Lists;" of which, in the course of a few 
days, no less than 30,000 copies are printed and 
sold.* These lists contain a rhyming catalogue of 
unmarried women and bachelors, whom the poetaster 
has undertaken to pair together, as suitable com 
panions for what is termed a pilgrimage to the Skel- 
ligs, which are dangerous rocks in the Atlantic, 
distant about twelve miles from the south - west 



* A ballad-publisher in Cork told the Editor, that, in 1836, he 
printed thirteen different Skellig lists. His average press-work was 
300 impressions a-day, and his press was fully occupied for twelve 
days; this gives 3600 impressions. But as, in ballad printing, 
four or five copies are worked off together, the produce of this press 
was about 15,000 Skellig lists : and, as no less than twenty -nine 
varieties were collected by the Editor in that year, he believes that 
the above estimate of the number circulated is not an unfair one. 
The following are the titles : 



The Aristocratic List. 

The Blackpool and Skellig List. 

The City Skellig List. 

The Comet Skellig List. 

The Corkscrew Skellig List. 

The Flash and Blue Bell Skellig List. 

Grand Route of the Northerns to Skel- 

Ii 8 . 

The Hours of Idleness* Skellig List. 
Jack Robinson s Skellig List. 
The Lads of the Whip List. 
The Looker-on Skellig List. 
The Morning Herald Skellig List. 
The Morning Star Skellig List. 
The Pic Nic Skellig List. 
The Paul Pry Skellig List. 



The real Cheese List. 

No. 2. Repeal Skellig List. 

The Revenge. 

The Royal Hottentot Skellig List for 

1836. 
The Sentimental Grand Match to Skel- 

ligs. 
Shrove Tuesday and Spiflicator List, or 

cut and come again. 
The Simple Paddy Skellig List. 
The Spyglass Skellig List. 
No. 3. Skellig List. 
The Tatlers List. 
Thwacker s Skellig List. 
The Try Again. 
The Virgins of the Sun. 



And a Skellig list without title, a woodcut being substituted. 



LOCAL SONGS. 127 

point of the coast of Ireland, and which were for 
merly much frequented as places suitable for prayer 
and penance. On pilgrimages of this kind many 
matrimonial matches were made up. The fun, if 
it may be so called, of the Skellig lists, consists 
in associating the most probable and improbable 
persons. 

11 The pilgrims," observes a learned critic upon 
the Munster Melodies, " are paired as whim or 
fancy dictates, making as motley an assortment, to 
use the simile of the melancholy Jacques, as went 
with Noah into the ark. Some of these are very 
amusing, but the humour is too local to be generally 
understood, and we must add, that the personalities 
too frequently border on ill-nature." 

In 1832, the Editor received the following note 
from a friend at Cork, inclosing one of these lists : 

" Do you remember the local custom of sending all 
our maids, young and old, accompanied by bachelors of 
all ages, upon a pilgrimage to Skellig ? I have been told 
that the custom of these lists arose when some Kerry 
regiment was here. The tumult in the streets, last 
Tuesday night, was extreme. Bodies of five hundred 
men and boys paraded the town, blowing horns, firing, 
ringing the bells of houses, breaking lamps, &c., ; and all 
on the occasion of the Skellig lists." 

Appended to one of these lists, published in 1834, 
which lists are invariably without the printer s 
name, this notice occurs : 



128 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

TO SKELLIG LIST WRITERS. 

" The following very polite letter has been sent to the 
printer, of which it is hoped the Skellig List writers will 
please to notice, and comply with its contents : 

1 SIR, You are requested to take notice, that I will 
hold you responsible for any liberties taken with the names 
of Mary Ellen Harris, Sarah Harris, and Eliza Driscoll, 
they being members of my family, and having received 
intelligence of some person or persons wishing to expose 
them in the Skellig Lists which are to come to and 
through your press. I am, therefore, fully determined to 
indict all persons concerned, if there is any thing preju 
dicial to their person, interest, or character, in any manner. 
* Most respectfully, &c. 

*HUGH DRISCOLL. 
" Jan. 28, 1834." 

In making a selection from the popular local 
songs of Ireland, the Editor has considerable diffi 
culty, in consequence of the quantity before him. 
He is, therefore, necessarily guided by space ; and 
his object is, as far as possible, to obtain an agree 
able variety in a subject apparently circumscribed 
by amatory or descriptive effusions. 



PROVINCIAL CHARACTERISTICS. 

From " The Milesian Magazine, or Irish Monthly 
Gleaner," edited, and, it is believed, entirely written by 
Dr. John Brenan of Dublin, who has been termed "The 
Hudibras of Medicine." Nine numbers of this periodical 



PROVINCIAL CHARACTERISTICS. 129 

were published between 1812 and 1825. " Its very ap 
pearance was as eccentric as the articles it contained. It 
had a lofty contempt for all periodical punctuality ; and, 
although it styled itself < Monthly, not only monthly in 
tervals elapsed between its publications, but sometimes 
even years themselves were disregarded as trifles light as 
air* in its kalendar." The members of his own pro 
fession were the chief subject of Dr. Brenan s satire ; and 
several of his allusions to the Dublin practitioners are 
remembered, to the present day, for their bitterness and 
brilliancy. 

A Connaught man 

Gets all that he can, 
His impudence never has mist-all ; 

He ll seldom flatter, 

But bully and batter ; 
And his talk s of his kin and his pistol. 

A Munster man 

Is civil by plan, 
Again and again he ll entreat you ; 

Though you ten times refuse, 

He Ins object pursues, 
Which is, nine out often times, to cheat you. 

An Ulster man 

Ever means to trepan, 
He watches your eye and opinion ; 

He ll ne er disagree 

Till his interest it be, 
And insolence marks his dominion. 

G2 



130 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

A Leinster man 

Is with all cup and can ; 

He calls t other provinces knaves ; 
Yet each of them see, 
When he starts with the three, 

That his distance he frequently saves. 



SWEET AVONDU. 

This song is copied from a volume entitled " The Re 
cluse of Inchidony, and other Poems," by J. J. Callanan, 
published in 1830. 

James Joseph Callanan, the author, was of humble 
parentage. His father was the confidential servant of an 
eminent physician in Cork of the same name, and, pos 
sibly, some relative. By his father young Callanan was 
destined for the Catholic priesthood, and entered at May- 
nooth, where he remained two years; but, feeling little 
sympathy for the clerical vocation, he wilfully quitted that 
establishment about the year 1816, and, consequently, 
incurred the displeasure of parents and friends anxious to 
provide creditably for him. He, however, had made, 
sufficient progress in the classics to enable him to accept a 
situation as tutor, which was offered to him in 1818. 
Callanan subsequently entered Trinity College, Dublin, 
and gained some credit by two clever poems, which were 
written for college prizes. 

After a residence of two years in Dublin, his slender 
pecuniary resources failed him, and, in a fit of despair, he 
enlisted as a private soldier in the 18th Regiment of Foot, 



SWEET AVONDU. 131 

then on the point of embarkation for Malta. " Its name, 
of the { Royal Irish, had, for his enthusiastic and patriotic 
mind, an attraction which, he declared, he was unable to 
resist." He proceeded to the depot of this regiment in 
the Isle of Wight, and, with some difficulty, was traced 
there from Dublin. When the imprudent step which he 
had taken was discovered, his friends, by exertion, suc 
ceeded in purchasing his discharge, and he returned to 
Cork after an inglorious fortnight of military service. 

He soon obtained a tutorship in the family of a gen 
tleman named MacCarthy, who resided in the neighbour 
hood of Millstreet, in the west of the county of Cork, and, 
during his stay there, his poetical temperament was 
nourished by the wild scenery which surrounded him, 
and the vicinity of the Killarney and Muskerry mountains, 
which were visible from the windows of the house. 

In 1822, Mr. Callanan went back to reside in Cork, 
chiefly with the view of printing, by subscription, a col 
lection of his poems, and translations from the Irish. But 
not receiving sufficient encouragement, he forwarded se 
veral of the translations to " Blackwood s Magazine," and 
in the number of that publication for February 1823, 
they were inserted. 

Dr. Maginn was then an active contributor to Black- 
wood, and, by him, Callanan was patronised and engaged 
as an assistant in his school. Here, however, he did not 
long remain, for Callanan s mind was haunted by a visionary 
spirit of poetical fame, and he took up his residence at 
Bantry, that he might be at liberty to rove and muse 
among the mountains, from whence seemed to flow for 
him the springs of inspiration. The failure of his finance*. 



132 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

and the hopelessness of aid from friends, who had al 
ready done much for him, and were unable to understand 
his romantic views and feelings, obliged Mr. Callanan 
again* to undertake the task of tuition, and he availed 
himself of an opportunity to do so in the family of 
Mr. Alexander O Driscoll, of Clover Hill ; but no sooner 
had he become the possessor of a few pounds, than he 
revisited Cork, and made another effort to print, by sub 
scription, his poems. 

" This intention, which might have been accom 
plished," says Callanan s biographer, " was soon aban 
doned, from the absurd idea that his publishing by 
subscription would have the effect of rendering his pro 
ductions less respectable in the eyes of the public, and 
he determined to make an effort to dispose of the copy 
right to a London publisher. Procrastination, that source 
of many evils, was a favourite and cherished weakness of 
Callanan s, and it did not fail him here, as a year elapsed 
before he made an effort even to do this. 

" From this period forward, his life was one of much 
disappointment ; and every day, every hour, brought 
privation and embarrassment. The kindness of friends, 
and they were numerous and sincere, perhaps fostered 
that tendency to a habitual indolence which was his bane ; 
was he less certain of their assistance, he might have made 
those exertions which, with his powerful talents, would 
have assured to him a respectable independence, and 
placed his name beside the proudest and the brightest. 
He felt the necessity for the effort, but he possessed not 
the power to make it ; whatever were his aspirations 
and they were not those of the mean or grovelling, or 



SWEET AVONDU. 133 

the sordid his resolution or power of doing never re 
ceived the impulse. His social habits, too, his local and 
personal attachments, kept him in fetters which he seldom 
sought to break ; and as his society was sought after with 
eagerness, he was too unresisting to tear himself from the 
pleasures or enjoyments into which he suffered himself to 
be plunged." 

In 1825, Mr. Callanan accepted a situation at Everton 
School, near Carlow ; but in 1826 he returned to Bantry 
and his beloved haunts in the mountainous west of the 
county of Cork, as will be more particularly noticed 
hereafter. Here he continued dreaming away existence, 
and dependent upon the hospitality, to use his own words, 
of " priests and doctors, police-officers and bourgeois," 
until the summer of the following year, when the 
urgent representations of his friends stimulated him to 
accept the offer of Mr. Hickey, an Irish gentleman en 
gaged in commercial pursuits at Lisbon, to go out there as 
tutor to his children. Callanan left Ireland in September 
1827, in a bad state of health, which his residence in 
Portugal did not improve ; and, as his case became hope 
less, he determined on returning to draw his last breath 
in his native land. After he had embarked in a vessel 
about to sail for Cork, symptoms of speedy dissolution 
being observed, Mr. Callanan was put on shore at Lisbon, 
where he died on the 19th September, 1829, in the thirty- 
fourth year of his age. 

" the pealing roar 

Of the deep thunder, and the tempest s sweep 

That call d his spirit up so oft before, 
May shout to him in vain ! the minstrel wakes no more !" 



134 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Immediately after his death, the volume of poems, in 
which the following song appeared, was published by Mr. 
Bolster in Cork, to whom Callanan had disposed of the 
copyright upon his departure for Lisbon. 

" In person, Mr. Callanan was not remarkable. A 
finely formed head, a forehead high, ample, and beauti 
fully fair, and an intellectual cast of countenance, gave 
him an air of dignity that was peculiarly impressive. His 
voice was gentle and bland ; and though its tones were 
low and soft, he recited poetry with great effect. His 
acquirements were considerable ; his reading having ex 
tended, not only through the Greek and Roman classics, 
but also over the wide and ample field of French, Spanish, 
Portuguese, and Irish literature. His patriotism was 
sincere, and his disposition and manners kind and con 
ciliating." 

" Avondu," says the author, means " the Blackwater 
( Avunduff of Spenser). There are several rivers of this 
name in the counties of Cork and Kerry, but the one here 
mentioned is by far the most considerable. It rises in a 
boggy mountain called Meenganine in the latter county, 
and discharges itself into the sea at Youghall. For the 
length of its course and the beauty and variety of scenery 
through which it flows, it is superior, I believe, to any 
river in Munster. It is subject to very high floods ; and 
from its great rapidity, and the havoc which it commits 
on those occasions, sweeping before it corn, cattle, and 
sometimes even cottages, one may, not inaptly, apply to it 
what Virgil says of a more celebrated river, 

Proluit insano contorquens vortice silvas 
Rex fluviorum Eridanus. 



SWEET AVONDU. 135 

" Spenser thus beautifully characterises some of our prin 
cipal Irish rivers, though he has made a mistake with 
regard to the Allo; it is the Blackwater that passes 
through Sliav-logher : 

( There was the Liffie rolling down the lea, 

The sandy Slane, the stony Au-briau, 
The spacious Shenan, spreading like a sea ; 
The pleasant Boyne, the fishy, fruitful Ban ; 
Sicift Awnidujf, which of the Englishman 

Is called Blackwater, and the Liffar deep. 
Sad Trowis, that once his people over ran ; 

Strong Allo tumbling from Slew-logher steep, 
And Mulla mine whose waves I whilom taught to weep." 

Edmund Burke wrote some " Lines on the River 
Blackwater," in 1745. See Prior s " Life of Burke." 
Mr. Prior informs the Editor that he was never able to 
procure a copy of these lines, or to ascertain any thing 
more than the fact that Burke wrote such verses. 

On Cicada s* hill the moon is bright, 
Dark Avondu still rolls in light ; 
All changeless is that mountain s head, 
That river still seeks ocean s bed. 
The calm blue waters of Loch Lenef 
Still kiss their own sweet isles of green ; 
But where s the heart, as firm and true, 
As hill, or lake, or Avondu ? 

* " Cleada and Cahir-bearna (the hill of the four gaps) form part 
of the chain of mountains which stretches westward from Millstreet 
to Killarney." Author s Note. 

t Killarney. 



136 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



It may not be, the firmest heart 
From all it loves must often part ; 
A look, a word, will quench the flame 
That time or fate could never tame ; 
And there are feelings, proud and high 
That through all changes cannot die ; 
That strive with love, and conquer too 
I knew them all by Avondu. 



How cross and wayward still is fate ; 
I ve learn d at last, but learn d too late ; 
I never spoke of love twere vain ; 
I knew it, still I dragged my chain. 
I had not, never had a hope : 
But who with passion s tide can cope ? 
Headlong it swept this bosom through, 
And left it waste by Avondu. 

Oh, Avondu, I wish I were 

As once upon that mountain bare, 

Where thy young waters laugh and shine 

On the wild breast of Meenganine. 

I wish I were on Cicada s hill, 

Or by Glenluachra s rushy rill ; 

But, no ! I never more shall view 

Those scenes I loved by Avondu. 

Farewell, ye soft and purple streaks 
Of evening on the beauteous Reeks ;* 

* " Macgillacuddy s Reeks, in the neighbourhood of Killarney, 
are the highest mountains in Munster ; for a description of these, and 
of the celebrated lakes of that place, see Weld s Killarney, by far 
the best and most correct work on the subject." Author s Note. 



BANNA S BANKS. 137 

Farewell the mists that love to ride 
On Cahir-bearna s stormy side ; 
Farewell November s moaning breeze, 
Wild minstrel of the dying trees. 
Clara I a fond farewell to you, 
No more we meet by Avondu. 

No more but thou, O glorious hill, 
Lift to the moon thy forehead still ; 
Flow on, flow on, thou dark swift river. 
Upon thy free wild course for ever ; 
Exult, young hearts, in lifetime s spring, 
And taste the joys pure love can bring : 
But, wanderer, go they re not for you ; 
Farewell, farewell, sweet Avondu I 



BANNA S BANKS. 

" Near Camolin (in the county of Wexford) is the 
village of Rosmenogue. Here," says Mr. Brewer, in 
1 The Beauties of Ireland, " the late Right Honourable 
George Ogle, of Bellevue, distinguished for brilliancy of 
wit, and exuberance of social qualities, passed some of his 
early years, under the tuition of the Rev. Mr. Miller, 
rector of the parish. It was at this place, and whilst 
he was very young, that Mr. Ogle wrote his admired 
song, beginning 

Shepherds, I have lost my love, 

Have you seen my Anna? 

Pride of every shady grove, 

On the banks of Banna ! 



138 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Here, likewise, at a less youthful age, he composed his 
still more celebrated song of Molly Asthore, in which 
the banks of his favourite Banna are still the scene of 
his poetical wanderings." A note adds " The first of 
these juvenile effusions is said to have been inspired by 
the charms of Miss Stepney, of Durrow House, Queen s 
County, afterwards Mrs. Burton Doyne of Wells, one of 
the most admired beauties of her day. It is believed that 
the lovely Molly Asthore was Miss Moore, the lady 
whom Mr. Ogle afterwards married. 

" The Banna is a beautiful stream that waters the 
chief part of the Barony of Gorey." 

Mr. Hay, in his " History of the Insurrection of the 
County of Wexford," evidently sneers at the popularity of 
Mr. Ogle s songs when he says, " Duncannon fort is a 
military station on the shore, commanding the entrance 
of the Barrow, of which and the Slaney there is sufficient 
mention and observation made already ; and, surely, of 
Banna s Banks we have heard enough" 

In a work entitled " Sketches of Irish Political Cha 
racters," published in 1799, Mr. Ogle, the author of 
" Banna s Banks," who then represented the city of 
Dublin, is thus noticed : " This gentleman was for many 
years one of the most popular characters of the kingdom. 
Despising the allurements of a court, every public 
measure of acknowledged utility had his decided sup 
port ; and his spirit was as conspicuous as his resolution 
was inflexible. He has lately accepted a place, and has 
since aided administration with his vote, though seldom 
with his oratory. 

" His sources of information are not very copious, but 



BANNA S BANKS. 139 

he has a lively imagination, a good understanding, and a 
fine person ; his arguments are more shewy than solid, 
and have more surface than depth. 

" His voice is clear, distinct, and well toned, and his 
action graceful ; his language abounds with figurative 
diction, while the spirit and energy of his manner cor 
respond with the warmth of his expressions. He is always 
heard with deference and attention, and even pleases when 
he fails to convince. He is distinguished for all the elegant 
accomplishments which form the finished gentleman." 

Mr. Ogle voted against the union of the two countries. 
He was born in 1739, and died in 1814. 

As down by Banna s banks I stray d, one evening in May, 
The little birds with blithest notes made vocal every spray ; 
They sung their little notes of love, they sung them o er 

and o er. 
Ah, gra-ma-chree, ma colleen oge, ma Molly Asthore !* 

The daisies py d, and all the sweets the dawn of nature 

yields, 
The primrose pale, and vi let blue, lay scatter d o er the 

fields: 

Such fragrance in the bosom lies of her whom I adore. 
Ah, gra-ma-chree, &c. 

I laid me down upon a bank, bewailing my sad fate, 
That doom d me thus the slave of love and cruel Molly s 
hate ; 

* This line, which is a compound of several Irish phrases, literally 
translated means " O love of my heart, my dear young girl, my 
darling Molly ! " 



140 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

How can she break the honest heart that wears her in its 
core? 

Ah, gra-ma-chree, &c. 

You said you loved me, Molly dear ; ah, why did I be 
lieve ? 

Yet who could think such tender words were meant but 
to deceive ? 

That love was all I asked on earth nay, Heaven could 
give no more. 

Ah, gra-ma-chree, &c. 

Oh I had I all the flocks that graze on yonder yellow hill, 
Or low d for me the numerous herds that yon green 

pasture fill ; 

With her I love I d gladly share my kine and fleecy store. 
Ah, gra-ma-chree, &c. 

Two turtle doves above my head sat courting on a bough, 
I envied them their happiness, to see them bill and coo : 
Such fondness once for me she shew d ; but now, alas ! 
tis o er. 

Ah, gra-ma-chree, &c. 

Then fare thee well, my Molly dear ! thy loss I e er shall 

mourn ; 
While life remains in Strephon s heart, twill beat for thee 

alone : 
Though thou art false, may Heaven on thee its choicest 

blessings pour. 

Ah, gra-ma-chree, &c. 



THE GROVES OF BLARNEY. 141 



THE GROVES OF BLARNEY. 

The memoir prefixed to the little volume entitled 
" Poetical Fragments of the late Richard Alfred Millikin " 
(see p. 92), contains the following passage : 

" Amongst his poetical effusions were innumerable 
songs, tender, classical, and comic. Of the latter, that 
entitled The Groves of Blarney is frequently adverted 
to of late (with a degree of consequence* attached to 
it, quite astonishing to those who know the foolish thing), 
requires to be particularised, and had its origin as 
follows : An itinerant poet, with the view of being paid 
for his trouble, composed a song in praise (as he doubtless 
intended it) of Castle Hyde, the beautiful seat of the 
Hyde family on the river Blackwater ; but, instead of the 
expected remuneration, the poor poet was driven from 
the gate by order of the then proprietor, who, from the 
absurdity of the thing, conceived that it could be only 
meant as mockery : and, in fact, a more nonsensical com 
position could scarcely escape the pen of a maniac. The 
author, however, well satisfied of its merits, and stung with 
indignation and disappointment, vented his rage in an 
additional verse against the owner, and sung it wherever 
he had an opportunity of raising his angry voice. As 
satire, however gross, is but too generally well received, 
the song first became a favourite with the lower orders ; 

* " Called, in a London print, The National Irish Poem. " 
Note in the Memoir on this passage. Attributed by Mr. Lockhart, in 
his " Life of Sir Walter Scott," vi. 75, to " the poetical Dean of 
Cork." Quoted by Lord Brougham in one of his speeches, &c. 



142 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

then found its way into ballads, and at length into the 
convivial meetings of gentlemen. It was in one of those 
that Mr. Millikin undertook, in the gaiety of the moment, 
to produce a song that, if not superior, should be at least 
equal in absurdity to Castle Hyde; and accordingly 
adopting the tune, and taking Blarney* for his subject, he 
soon made good his promise. 

" < The Groves of Blarney/ which was received by the 
company with a burst of applause, soon rivalled its pre 
decessor Castle Hyde, and continued long the favourite 
of every laughter-loving party. Of late it has been intro 
duced on the stage by Mathews, the comedian, and is very 
well received by the London audience. During the 
rebellion, several verses were, in the heat of party, added 
to this song, particularly those alluding to the mean 
descent of a certain noble lord ; but they were not the 
production of the original author, who, incapable of 
scurrility or personal enmity to those with whom he dif 
fered in opinion, scorned such puerile malice." 

Millikin s intention was to ridicule the songs which 
ignorant Irish village bards with a vast fondness for 
rhyme, an imperfect knowledge of the English language, 
and a pedantic ambition to display the full extent of their 
classical knowledge were, and still are, in the habit of 
composing : and in Ireland, rhyme, or even the approach 
to it, is often far more effective than reason. f 

* " A fine old domain and castle, within tLree miles of Cork." 
t The village schoolmaster having remonstrated with a worthy of 

this class respecting the grammatical construction of a sentence, was 

answered with, and silenced by 

" Who is Grammar? 
I say, damn her." 



THE GROVES OF BLARNEY. 143 

Upwards of two hundred years before Millikin s 
satirical effusion, Stanihurst published an imitation of the 
Anglo-Irish style, attached to his translation of " The 
First Foure Bookes of Virgil s v^neis," 1583 ; which 
burlesque he called " An Epitaph, entitled Commune 
Defunctorum, such as our unlearned Rithmours accustom- 
ably make upon the death of everie Tom Tyler, as if it 
were a last for every one his foote, in which the quantities 
of sillables are not to be heeded." 

" Come to me, you Muses, and thou most chiefly Minerva, 
And ye that are dwellers in dens of darckened Averna ! 
Help my pen in writing a death most soarie reciting, 
Of the good old Topas ; soon too thee, mightie syr Atlas. 
For gravitee, the Cato; for wit, Mars, Bacchus, Apollo ; 
Scipio, for warfare ; for gentil curtesie, Caesar; 
A great Alexander, with a long white neck like a gaunder." 
&c. &c. 

Little did Millikin foresee the extended celebrity of 
his " Groves of Blarney;" and it would seem that he 
even felt some regret at having written this song, from the 
following lines which were found, after his death, among 
his papers, and were probably composed by him with the 
idea of introducing them as an apology into his poem of 
" The River-side :"- 

" O ! Blarney, in my rude unseemly rhymes, 

Albeit abused, lo ! to thy bowers I come 

I come a pilgrim to your shades again, 
And woo thy solemn scenes with votive pipe. 
Shut not your glades, nymphs of the hollow rock, 
Gainst one who, conscious of the ill he did, 
Comes back repentant ! Lead me to your dens, 
Ye fays and svlvan beings lead me still 



144 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Through all your wildly tangled grots and groves, 

With nature and her genuine beauties full; 

And on another stop, a stop thine own, 

I ll sound thy praise, if praise of mine can please, 

A truant long to Nature, and to thee ! " 

The Editor is in possession of several various readings 
of " The Groves of Blarney," which he declines noticing, 
as the following, with the exception of the fifth verse, is 
copied from the author s manuscript (in pencil, upon the 
back of a letter addressed to him) ; although, in many 
instances, especially in the version of Father Prout, it 
must be admitted that there are some improvements. 

The fifth verse, which has been already particularly 
noticed as " alluding to the mean descent of a certain 
noble lord," was an impromptu addition at an electioneer 
ing dinner in the south of Ireland, and is attributed, but 
probably incorrectly, to Mr. John Lander. It is said to 
have been intended as an insult to Lord Donoughmore, 
who happened to be present. His lordship s readiness, 
however, completely turned the tables : he applauded the 
verse, and when the song was ended arose, and, in a very 
humorous speech, acknowledged the relationship, thanked 
the author for his mention of it, and requested leave to 
toast the Murphys, Clearys, and Healys, with all others 
who in the recent political contest had ventured life and 
limb in support of the Hutchinson cause, and had thus 
made their blood relationship with him unquestionable. 

The late Lord Donoughmore (then Lord Hutchinson) 
always laughed heartily at this verse, which has become 
so completely identified with Millikin s song, that it would 
be scarcely recognized as perfect without it. 



THE GROVES OF BLARNEY. 145 

In that remarkable combination of humour and erudi 
tion, " The Reliques of Father Prout," translations of 
" The Groves of Blarney " into Latin, Greek, and French, 
may be found : " a polyglot edition " of this far-famed 
song (vol. i. pp. 90-95); in which, however, the verse 
commencing " Tis there s the kitchen " is omitted, and 
the following verse appended : 

" There is the stone there, that whoever kisses, 
Oh ! he never misses to grow eloquent ; 
Tis he may clamber to a lady s chamber, 
Or become a member of parliament ; 
A clever spouter he ll sure turn out, or 
An out-and outer to be let alone. 
Don t hope to hinder him, or to bewilder him, 
Sure he s a pilgrim from the Blarney stone." 

Among the pilgrims to the Blarney stone was Sir 
Walter Scott. The Editor remembers observing to Sir 
Walter, that the good people of Cork were not half pleased 
with him for going to see an old and neglected ruin such 
as Blarney, in preference to their noble harbour; of which 
the citizens are so justly proud, that they have adopted 
" Statio benefida carinis " as the motto to the civic arms. 
Sir Walter Scott s reply was highly characteiistic of his 
temper. " If I had known," said he, " what you tell me 
that any one had a wish on the subject of my proceedings, 
I would have gone any where, or have done any thing, in 
my power to please the good citizens of Cork ; although 
it would have cost me a pang not to have visited (here 
Sir Walter hummed) 

The Groves of Blarney, that are so charming, 
All by the purling of sweet silent streams. " 
H 



146 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Millikin probably wrote " The Groves of Blarney " 
in the year 1798 or 1799. Mr. Richard Jones (the ac 
complished comedian) told the Editor, that he obtained 
a copy of this song at Cork in the summer of 1800, which 
city he visited in company with the late Mr. Mathews ; 
by both of whom it was sung in private parties, with the 
alteration of the lines 

" Besides the leeches, and the groves of beeches, 

All standing in order for to guard the flood," 
into 

" The trout and salmon play at backgammon, 
And groves of beeches guard the sportive flood." 

The supposed pummelling of Blarney by Oliver Crom 
well will be particularly noticed hereafter. The castle, 
however, continued in the possession of the MacCarthy 
family until forfeited, in 1689, by Lord Clancarty, when 
it was purchased by an ancestor of Mr. Jeffreys, the 
present possessor of this celebrated but now dilapidated 
and neglected place. 

" Oh ! the Muse shed a tear 
When the cruel auctioneer, 
With a hammer in his hand, to sweet Blarney came ! " 

So sings the venerable Father Prout; at a carousal given 
by whom, it was observed, that, that day was " a day to 
be blotted out of the annals of Innisfail a day of calamity 
and downfall. The nightingale never sang so plaintively 
in the groves; the dove or the gentle plover were 
not heard in the afternoon ; the fishes wept in the 
deepest recesses of the lake ; and strange sounds were said 
to issue from the cave where no daylight enters. Let 



THE GROVES OF BLARNEY. 147 

me have a squeeze of lemon " is the conclusion of this 
pathetic picture. 

The groves of Blarney they are so charming, 

All by the purling of sweet silent streams ; 
Being banked with posies that spontaneous grow there, 

Planted in order by the sweet rock close. 
Tis there s the daisy, and the sweet carnation, 

The blooming pink, and the rose so fair ; 
The daffodowndilly, besides the lily, 

Flowers that scent the sweet fragrant air. 

Oh, ullagoane, &c. 

Tis Lady Jeffreys that owns this station, 

Like Alexander, or Queen Helen fair ; 
There s no commander throughout the nation 

For emulation can with her compare. 
She has castles round her, that no nine-pounder 

Could dare to plunder her place of strength ; 
But Oliver Cromwell he did her pummel, 

And made a breach in her battlement. 

Oh, ullagoane, &c. 

There s gravel walks there for speculation, 

And conversation in sweet solitude ; 
Tis there the lover may hear the dove, or 

The gentle plover, in the afternoon. 
And if a young lady should be so engaging 

As to walk alone in those shady bowers, 
Tis there her courtier he may transport her 

In some dark fort, or under ground. 

Oh, ullagoane, &c. 



148 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELA1S 7 D. 

For tis there s the cave where no daylight enters, 

But bats and badgers are for ever bred; 
Being moss d by natur , that makes it sweeter 

Than a coach and six, or a feather bed. 
Tis there s the lake that is stored with perches, 

And comely eels in the verdant mud ; 
Besides the leeches, and the groves of beeches, 

All standing in order for to guard the flood. 
Oh, ullagoane, &c. 

Tis there s the kitchen hangs many a flitch in, 

With the maids a stitching upon the stair ; 
The bread and biske , the beer and whisky, 

Would make you frisky if you were there. 
Tis there you d see Peg Murphy s daughter 

A washing praties forenent the door, 
With Roger Cleary, and Father Healy, 

All blood relations to my Lord Donoughmore. 
Oh, ullagoane, &c. 

There s statues gracing this noble place in, 

All heathen goddesses so fair, 
Bold Neptune, Plutarch, and Nicodemus, 

All standing naked in the open air.* 



* Alas! these statues were knocked down, by the magical touch of 
the auctioneer s hammer, to Sir Thomas Deane, 

" Who bought the castle, furniture, and fixtures, O ! 
And took off in a cart 
( Twas enough to break one s heart) 
All the statues made of lead, and the pictures, O !" 

Vide " Reliques of Father Prout," i. 140. 



Q! BLARNEY CASTLE, MY DARLING. 149 

So now to finish this brave narration, 

Which my poor geni could not entwine ; 
But were I Homer, or Nebuchadnezzar, 

Tis in every feature I would make it shine. 

Oh, ullagoane, &c. 



O ! BLARNEY CASTLE, MY DARLING, 

Originally appeared in the "Cork Southern Reporter" 
newspaper, about April 1827, where it is entitled, " An 
Old Ballad, giving a full and true Account of the Storming 
and Taking of Blarney Castle by Oliver Cromwell ; to 
gether with some Particulars not generally known." 

The Editor has no doubt that this song, and that on 
St. Patrick s arrival, explanatory of the origin of the word 
Punch, come from the same pen. " O ! Blarney Castle, 
my Darling," has been as unceremoniously appropriated 
by Father Prout (vide " Reliques," i. 158), as, according 
to that reverend gentleman, Moore has availed himself of 
sundry obscure Greek, Latin, and French lyrics. 

Upon the allusion made to Oliver Cromwell in the 
second and sixth verses, it is necessary to remark that, 
according to the popular belief of the Irish peasant, 
Cromwell was endowed with supernatural powers ; and 
that the fraternity of Freemasons, which was said to be 
founded by him, were supposed, from the secrecy and 
ceremonies observed by them, to be dabblers in the black 
art. Among the pieces of magical skill that Cromwell is 
asserted to have acquired, was the knowledge of a powder 



150 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

for throwing balls from cannon without making any re 
port ; and hence termed " dumb-powder," in distinction 
to gunpowder. 

It is also traditionally asserted, that a spell, of which 
Cromwell was master, could make his opponents become 
powerless as statues; or, in the words of the song 

" Though the eyes of the people stood open, they found themselves all 
fast asleep." 

In a curious French work, entitled " L Ordre des 
Francs-Ma9ons Trahi," printed at Amsterdam in 1745, it 
is stated that " Cromwell was the first who gave the name 
of the order of Freemasons. Willing to reform man 
kind, and exterminate princes and kings, he proposed to 
his party the re-establishment of the Temple of Solomon." 
Whether this account be true or false, the coincidence 
between it and the tradition current in Ireland is re 
markable. 

The name of Cromwell, although associated both in song 
and story with the taking of Blarney Castle, is obviously 
used for that of his partisan, Lord Broghill (afterwards the 
Earl of Orrery). Cromwell, if indeed he ever was at Blar 
ney, could only have paid it a short and peaceable visit. In 
the early part of the year 1646, Lord Broghill became master 
of this castle, and it was held by the Parliamentary party 
from that period to the termination of the Commonwealth 
war. The published letter from Lord Broghill to Lenthall, 
the Speaker, giving an account of his lordship s victory over 
Lord Muskerry and the Irish forces, at Knocknaclashy, 
on the 26th July, 1651, which was followed by the sur 
render of Limerick to Ireton, is prefaced by a communica- 



Q! BLARNEY CASTLE, MY DARLING. 151 

tion, dated " Blairney, 1st August," which states, that 
" Tomorrow the Lord Broghill goeth hence into the field 
to hinder the Irish from gathering in a body again." 

Tune " 0, hold your Tongue, dear Sally!" 

O ! Blarney Castle, my darling, you re nothing at all but 

cold stone ! 
With a small little taste of old ivy, that up your side ha* 

grown. 
Och, it s you that was once strong and ancient, and you 

kept all the Sassenachs down : 
And you sheltered the Lord of Clancarty, who then lived 

in Dublin town.* 

Bad cessf to that robber, old Cromwell, and to all his 

long battering train, 
Who rolled over here like a porpoise, in two or three 

hookers4 from Spain I 

Specimen of Father Promt s version : 

" ! Blarney Castle, my darling, 

Sure you re nothing at all but a stone, 
Wrapt in ivy, a nest for all varmint, 

Since the mild Lord Clancarty is gone. 
Och ! tis you that was once strong and ancient, 

And ye kept all the Sassenachs down, 
While tighting them battles, that aint yet 

Forgotten by martial renown." 

t A common malediction in Ireland, originally importing " heavy 
taxation." 

$ A description of fishing or pilot boat peculiar to the south-west 
coast of Ireland. 



152 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

And because that he was a Freemason, he mounted a 

battering-ram, 
And he loaded it up of dumb-powder, which in at its 

mouth he did cram. 

It was now the poor boys of the Castle looked over the 

battlement wall, 
And they there saw that ruffian, old Cromwell, a-feeding 

on powder and ball ; 
And the fellow that married his daughter, with a great big 

grape-shot in his jaw, 
Twas bold I-ER-TON they called him, and he was his 

brother-in-law. 

So they fired the bullet like thunder, and it flew through 

the air like a snake ; 
And they hit the high walls of the Castle, which, like a 

young curlew, did shake ; 
While the Irish had nothing to fire, but their bows and 

their arrows " the sowlsf" 
Poor tools for shooting the Sassenachs,* though mighty 

good for wild fowls. 

Now one of the boys in the Castle, he took up a Sasse 
nach s shot, 

And he covered it up in turf ashes, and he watched it till 
it was red-hot. 

Then he carried it up in his fingers, and he threw it right 
over the wall ; 

He d have burned their tents all to tinder, if on them it 
happened to fall. 

* Saxons. 



G! BLARNEY CASTLE, MY DARLING. 153 

The old castle, it trembled all over, as you d see a horse do 

in July, 
When just near the tail in his crupper, he s teased by a 

pestering fly. 
Black Cromwell, he made a dark signal, for in the black 

art he was deep ; 
So, though the eyes in the people stood open, they found 

themselves all fast asleep. 

With his jack-boots he stepped on the water, and he 

marched right over the lake ; 
And his soldiers they all followed after, as dry as a duck 

or a drake ; 
And he gave Squire Jeffreys the castle, and the loch and 

the rock close, they say ; 
Who both died there, and lived there in quiet, as his 

ancestors do to this day.* 

* Father Prout s version runs thus : 

" Then the gates he burned down to a cinder, 

And the roof he demolished likewise ; 
O ! the rafters, they flamed out like tinder, 

And the building flared up to the skies. 
And he gave the estate to the Jeffers, 

With the dairy, the cows, and the hay; 
And they lived there in clover, like heifers, 
As their ancestors do to this day." 



B 2 



154 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



THE VICTORIOUS COALERS OF CARRIGALINE AND 
KILMONEY. 

Hurling, or goal, a favourite Irish game, which has 
been called by Mr. Arthur Young " the cricket of savages," 
resembles the Scotch game of golf; but the ball is much 
larger, being in general four inches in diameter ; the in 
struments used are larger also, and not turned angularly 
at the bottom, but curved. 

" The number of goalers may be twenty, or even a 
hundred, or more. It is usually played in a large level 
field, by two parties of nearly balanced powers, either as 
to number or dexterity; and the object of each is to strike 
the ball over one of two opposite hedges, assigned respec 
tively before the game begins. JBdire comartais, signifies, 
according to an expression quite Irish, * two sides of a 
country (that is, a certain number of the youth of each), 
who meet to goal against one another, generally on a 
Sunday, or holiday, after prayers. On these occasions, 
instead of the hedges of a field, two conspicuous land 
marks (a road, and a wood, for instance) are assigned, 
and the game is contested in the space between them, with 
a heat and vigour which often lead to a serious and bloody 
conflict, especially if one of those clannish feuds, so preva 
lent among the peasantry of Ireland, should exist between 
the opposing parties : the hurley, or hurlet, being an 
effective and desperate weapon. The game derives one 
of its names from the instrument employed; the other, 
goal, is evidently taken from the boundary, or winning- 



THE VICTORIOUS GOALEES, &C. 155 

mark, which must be passed by the ball before the game 
can be won." 

Goal is played in Ireland " with intense zeal, by 
parish against parish, barony against barony, county 
against county, and even province against province." 
Mr. Wakefield states it as his opinion, " that the vigour 
and activity of the peasantry in the South are, in a great 
measure, to be ascribed to their attachment to this play, 
which, by the exercise it affords, strengthens the whole 
frame, and contributes to health. Children," he says, 
" as soon as they are able to follow each other, run about, 
in bands of a dozen, or more, with balls and hurls, eagerly 
contending for victory." General Vallancey has illustrated 
an essay on the language, manners, and customs of an 
Anglo-Norman colony, settled in the baronies of Forth and 
Bargy, in the county of Wexford, in the twelfth century, 
by " an old song, in the language of these baronies, which 
has been handed down, by tradition, from the arrival of 
the colony in Ireland." The subject of this song is " the 
game at ball, called camdnn^ or hurley ; the scene, the 
commons in the barony of Forth; the time, a church 
holiday. In this curious lyric, Walter relates how his 
son Thomas lost the game, by aiming a strong blow at 
the ball, and missing it, broke his bat against an 
emmet-hill." 

The following song commemorates a goal ing-match-, 
which, it appears, was played in Cope s Field, on the 
bank of the River Onnabuoy, by a party of nineteen or 
twenty, whose names are given, belonging to a small dis 
trict of the barony of Kirricurihy, of which Carrigaline is 
the principal village, against (it is presumed) an equal 



156 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

number from the neighbouring baronies of Barrymore 
and Muskerry, in the county of Cork. 

The name of Mr. Conner, in the seventh verse, and 
the mention of 

" Ballybricken s rover, the leader of them all," 

in the last verse, induced the Editor to apply to Mr. Craw 
ford of Cork for information respecting this goaling-match, 
as he remembered to have had the pleasure of meeting at his 
house Miss Conner of Ballybricken. Mr. Crawford, in his 
very kind reply to so trivial an inquiry, says, " I have been 
by no means idle in the investigation of the matter, and only 
regret that my information is confined, after all, to the 
following paragraph of a note from Miss Conner, sister to 
the hero of the ballad. * Goaling-matches have been always 
frequent in this country, and William has been umpire, 
and sometimes goaler, in many. The famed contests of 
Onnabuoy occurred in December 1828, and the second 
in April 1829. Mr. William Conner, whom you probably 
know," adds Mr. Crawford, " is a lieutenant in the navy, 
and was on board the Bellerophon when Bonaparte sur 
rendered to Captain Maitland. He is brother to Daniel 
Conner of Ballybricken ; which era in his history was the 
most glorious, it is for you to decide." 

The song is given from a manuscript copy. An inferior 
version is in the Editor s possession, printed on a broad 
side. The phrase of " pucked the well-sewed leather," 
which occurs in the sixth verse, may be explained as 
" struck forcibly the well-sewed leather ball." " Puck 
the ball," and " now for the goat s puck," are common 
goaling expressions, the former meaning strike, the latter, 



THE VICTORIOUS COALERS, &C. 157 

butt the ball. The Irish word boc, or poc, pronounced 
puck, signifies a forcible blow, and also a goat, from 
that animal butting, or striking forcibly with the head. 
After this explanation, it will not be difficult to under 
stand the compound word puck-fist, used by old English 
writers, as a heavy-handed, coarse, fighting fellow ; and 
which Dr. Nares labours so unsatisfactorily to explain, in 
his glossary, as a fungus, or upstart. " Ariosto a puck-fist 
to me." Ford s Loves Sacrifice, ii. 1 ; see, also, Beau 
mont and Fletcher s Oust of Country, i. 2. 

Notwithstanding all that commentators have written on 
the subject, it would not be difficult to identify with the 
Puck of Shakspere, the Irish goblin, Phook, or Phuca. 
Thus, in the " Sad Shepherd" of Ben Jonson, this spirit 
appears, under the title of " Puck-hairy;" and, in the 
ninth book of Golding s translation of " Ovid s Metamor 
phoses," edit. 1587, we find 

" And the countrie where Chyma?ra, that same Pooke, 
Hath goatish bodie," &c. 

Air " Mourneen gal ma chree." 

There s joy throughout the nation, and great congra 
tulation, 
With wond rous acclamation, from the Liffey to the 

Lee. 
Without exaggeration, our goalers take their station, 

For the highest approbation they have won the victory ; 
Twas in no combination, or field association, 

But in rural relaxation, on the plains of Onnabuoy.* 

* Pronounced Onnabouie ; and sometimes called Annabuoy, and 
Avonbuee. It signifies the yellow water, and its mouth forms a creek 
on the west side of Cork harbour, named Cross Haven. 



158 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

There was Fionn,* the chief of heroes, who high the ball in 

play rose, 
Though long he s gone to repose, and will never play 

again. 
There s Don and Conf the peerless, and Barry Oge J the 

fearless, 
Since whom we are left cheerless, could they have seen 

our men ; 

They d join the acclamation, and add their approbation, 
With my congratulation to the boys of Onnabuoy. 

Were Homer the narrator, and Virgil a spectator, 

No praises could be greater, than were due this gallant 

corps ; 

For never did the Grecians, nor the Romans called Pa 
tricians, 

Exceed the stout Milesians that defeated Barrymore. 
Twas in no combination, or field association, 

But in rural relaxation, on the plains of Onnabuoy. 

All men will long remember the seventeenth of December, 
For good and bad each member, came from far and 
near to see ; 

* Fionn MacCumhal, the Fingal of Macpherson s Ossian. 

t Don, in Irish, as in Spanish, means a lord or chief, and was a 
general complimentary name for any leader who was pre-eminently 
Btyled Don, or the lord. Who the above Don or Con may have been, 
the Editor cannot determine. 

$ The tract called Kinalea, which lies between Kerricurihy and 
the Bandon River, nearly due soutli of the city of Cork, " was," says 
Smith, " named Insovenagh, and was formerly granted to Robert 
Fitzmartin, but it belonged to Barry Oge until the Rebellion of 1641." 



THE VICTORIOUS COALERS, &C. 159 

Not a cabin had a soul in, all flocked to view the goaling, 
And unremitted bowling of Kilmouey s chivalry ; 

Undaunted sons of Beaver,* no hearts were ever braver 
Upon your bounding wave, or the plains of Onnabuoy. 

Five times our men were turned, by rivals whom they 

spurned, 
With shame their cheeks they burned, but the ball was 

in the field ; 
Then, with redoubled spirit, they shewed the strength and 

merit 

That they did all inherit, and made their foes to yield ; 
While Barrymore they doubted, and Muskerry they 

shouted, 

When both of them were routed on the plains of 
Onnabuoy. 

The south by mearingsf bounded, at first our boys 

confounded, 

Upon the wind they rounded, then tried their utmost 
speed ; 

* An old name for Carrigaline, and still appended to it as an alias 
in law writings. 

t Certain boundaries within which the game is to be decided are 
laid down at goal ; these depend, of course, upon the number of 
players, and the character of the country. A stream, a road, a wall, 
or any other obvious line of demarkation, is sufficient ; but when such 
is not readily found, sticks called " mearings," or " mearing twigs," 
are placed in the ground. It is the Saxon word QDaerie, which is used 
by Spenser 

" And Hygate made the meare thereof by west" Fairy Queen, III. ix. 46. 

a proof, among many others which may be adduced, that several obsolete 
English words are still current in Ireland. 



160 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Against both hill arid weather, they all bore on together, 
And pucked the well-sewed leather ; twas wonderful, 

indeed : 
The north was then contested, on that their last hope 

rested, 

But soon they were down -crested on the plains of 
Onnabuoy. 

Two baronies of boasters, one district of our coasters,* 
Have made look foolish toasters, and their former fame 

undone ; 
For lost is now the honour of their leader, Mister Conner, 

Whose mother has upon her all my pity for her son. 
In Cope s field ends the story of their goaling and his 

glory, 

And he ll travel far before he will play by the Onna 
buoy. 

Success to young O Daly, who led us on so gaily, 
He is our hero really shout for Kilmoney s pride ! 

And here is for his brothers, and three times for all others, 
True sons of worthy mothers, who were upon our side ; 

Their names are here recorded, may they be all rewarded, 
For never king nor lord did so much for the Onnabuoy. 

First I ll extol stout Saunders, and after him brave Landers, 
They behaved like great commanders ; and next I ll 
aggrandise 

O Toomey and Mulcahy ; two Carties, and Bat Fahey ; 
O Callaghan of llahey, and also Thomas Wise ; 

* That is, dwellers on the coast. A large portion of the barony of 
Kerricurihy is bounded by the sea. 



THE CARRIGALINE COALERS DEFEATED. 161 

O Flinn, with head like carrot, De Cogans, Jack and 

Garret ; 

And Jordan, Welsh, and Barrett, on the plains of 
Onnabuoy. 

Now Shanbally give over Coolmore lie up in clover, 
And Ballybricken s rover, the leader of them all ; 

Loughbeg and Barnahaley, Ring and Seamount by O Daly 
Were beaten till quite mealy, and to tatters like the ball ; 

Here s to our boys so clever, their equals they saw never, 
Success to them for ever on the plains of Onnabuoy. 



THE CARRIGALINE COALERS DEFEATED. 

A reply to the preceding song, on the defeat of the 
aforesaid " Victorious goalers of Carrigaline and Kil- 
money," by a party belonging to Tracton, a neighbouring 
district ; which match appears to have been played in the 
ensuing spring. The rival poets, although they have 
carefully noticed the month and even the precise day 
when these memorable struggles took place, are alike 
silent as to the year, no doubt presuming that the date of 
such important occurrences could not be forgotten. 

The single rhyme used throughout the entire song 
cannot escape the reader s notice. It is evident from the 
last line, which in itself contains four rhymes similar to 
the one used throughout the song, that this monotonous 
jingle, which, to the Editor s ear, does not sound offensively, 
has been an object of considerable ambition to the author, 



162 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

and was apparently done with no other view than to .exhibit 
a command over the rhyme. 

The song is copied from a broadside without the name 
of the printer, procured by the Editor at Cork in 1829. 
A much inferior version is also in his possession on a 
broadside " printed by Haly, Hanover Street, Cork," 
embellished with a rude woodcut of a horseman leaping a 
three-barred gate, and entitled " The New Joy of Tracton, 
by a Mountain Poet." 

Air " The Roving Journeyman." 

For ages hold on record Kinalea with ecstasy 

The triumph of our goalers at the top of Boherbuoy ; 

By utterly defeating with the greatest bravery 

The goalers that were famed upon the banks of Onnabuoy. 

On the second day of April, to will conformably, 
The supple Tracton goalers put an end to all their spree ; 
With pucking round the ball did bound, and such activity 
Was never seen upon the green fields of the Onnabuoy. 

As heroes gay, were they each day, sung through the 

whole country ; 
And on* the public papers named, out of curosity.\ 

* " In the papers," is the common expression in England ; " on 
the papers," in Ireland. " Any news on the paper?" is obviously 
more correct phraseology than " in the paper." 

t That is, as a remarkable matter ; anglict, curiosity. " How that 
fellow murders the king s English !" remarked a brother barrister to 
Curran upon bearing an illiterate witness pronounce this word as 
above written, and as it is vulgarly pronounced in Ireland. " I cannot 
agree with you," said Curran, " knocking an J out is neither murder 
nor manslaughter." 



THE CARRIGALINE GOALEES DEFEATED. 163 

Say, will Kilmoney, my boys, now own ye, since ended is 

your glee ; 
For you were beaten,* early and late on the plains of 

Oniiabuoy ? 

Wherever self-persuasion is of gaining the victory, 
Then fortune never favours it, in high or low degree ; 
Ballygarven, Douglas, Ring, and Seamount, had to see 
How Kinalea could clear the way on the plains of 
Onnabuoy. 

A fortune-teller came by chance and said repeatedly 
That Tracton s skill, on plain or hill, was as eight to 

thirty -three ; 

But in spite of all his fairy call and his necromancery, 
He- was too bold in what he told on the plains of 

Onnabuoy. 

And of a leader boasting, they gave publicity 
To a gentleman of high renown, living independently 
A star of honour, the great O Connor, shining in dignity 
At Ballybricken, no glory seeking from goaling by the 
Onnabuoy. 

A gentleman descended from kings of high degree, 
A honey-scented blosom, and a sprig of purity ; 
A stately tree that day was he, the pride of his country ; 
Long may he flourish, and Erin nourish such saplings by 
the Onnabuoy. 

* Pronounced in Ireland, baiten. 



164 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

He cleared the field, and justice shewed to all impartially ; 
And there he stood, eye-witness good, to decide the victory. 
Long may his line resplendent shine to all conspicuously ; 
And long a creek in, stand Ballybricken, by the plains of 
Onnabuoy. 

I could not name the half who came that day the game 

to see, 
From far and near, when they did hear that such a sight 

would be ; 

And never gave spectators brave their shouts more lustily, 
Than when the pride, that did deride, was vanquished by 

the Onnabuoy. 

The poet small, who challenged all, from the Liffey to the 

Lee, 

His honest trade I ll not upbraid, but tis not prophecy ; 
The empty praise, w r hich he did raise, is now bitter irony ; 
And his vain song, is sorrow strong to the boys of 

Onnabuoy. 

The boasting ass, I let him pass, nor strive in rivalry ; 
Dull and unsonorous his verse, and small his poetry. 
I want no fame from whence I came, nor claim (deservedly) 
The title rare, of poet fair, for the Muse of Carberry. 

Your ear now lend, to make an end, without vaunt or 

vanity ; 

As Autumn gives the quivering leaves to earth devotedly, 
So Kinalea hath won the day, all men of decency 
With me will see, and will agree on the plains of Onnabuoy. 



CORK S OWN TOWN. 165 



CORK S OWN TOWN. 

This song originally appeared in the " Cork Southern 
Reporter" newspaper, in March 1825, where it is " dated 
from the vane of St. Finbarr s steeple, this day of the 
vernal equinox, xxi. Mar." 

The Editor has no doubt that the authorship may be 
correctly assigned to the writer of " O ! Blarney Castle, 
my darling," (see p. 149), and the subsequent song entitled 
" Darling Neddeen." Speaking of " The Groves of 
Blarney," and other rural lyrics, a learned critic on the 
" Munster Melodies" observes, when introducing the fol 
lowing song to notice, " But while the country is thus 
celebrated, the beauties of the city do not remain unsung. 
Cork has had many laureates, but the last describer of 
its localities best deserves to wear the bays." 

These localities, however, require some explanatory 
remarks. Daunt s Square, from whence the lyrist takes, 
as sailors say, his departure, will be presently noticed. 
He next arrives at " the region of frolic and spree," 
Fishamble Lane, which, says Mr. Windle, " no longer 
possesses a shambles ; and has lost its once high-sounding 
name of Ireland s Rising Liberty Street, conferred on 
it in the days of the Volunteers ; but the stone with that 
name, full of recollections, still retains its place on the 
front wall of one of the houses." 

The presiding goddess of this interesting spot, 

" Where salmon, drisheens, and beefsteaks, are cooked best," 
has been thus addressed by the Muse of Toleken : 



166 THE POPULAR SONGS OP IRELAND. 

" The sun had gone down, and the lofty dark mountains 

Were hid from the view by a smart shower of rain, 
When 1. wandered in search of a few of those round things 

Called sausages, made up in Fishamhle Lane. 
There as I walked on amidst broiling and frying, 

I spied out a fair one my heart felt a pain ; 
I sat myself down, for I thought I was dying 

For Judy MacCarthy of Fishamble Lane. 

I gazed on the fair one one eye was a swivel, 

Her nose it was smutty, her hands not too clean ; 
She told me that she was then broiling a devil, 

For which they are famous in Fishamble Lane. 
You re broiling a devil, says I, Judy Carty 1 

The devil may broil you and boil you again ; 
For broils 1 detest, and this moment I part ye, 

Miss Judy MacCarthy of Fishamble Lane ! " 

Of Blackpool, mentioned in the third verse, a par 
ticular account will be found in the introductory remarks 
to a subsequent song. Mallow Lane " is at once the 
principal passage and main trunk" of the northern part of 
Cork. " At the west side of Mallow Lane, and on still 
higher ground, is an extremely populous suburb, divided 
into numerous alleys and lanes. Its southern boundary is 
Blarney Lane" (to the description of which the second 
verse of the following song is devoted), " a long, old 
street, formerly the principal western entrance to the city." 
Returning, in the fourth verse, to the " one-sided 
Buckingham Square," and to Daunt s Bridge or Square, 
which is neither a bridge nor a square, the Editor 
again ventures to quote Mr. Windle in illustration : 
" Of squares, Cork possesses none, although the word, 
strangely enough, occurs as a name to several places; 



CORK S OWN TOWN. 167 

thus we have Buckingham Square, Knapp s Square, 
Jones s Square, and Daunt s Square, to which a stranger 
would find it rather difficult to apply the term." In the 
latter square is the domicile of that ingenious citizen, 
renowned in lathering metres; 

" One Robert Olden, 
Inventor sole of Eukeirogeneion, 
Soother of beards." 

Of the " narrow broad lane that leads up to the dyke," 
the Editor can speak from actual measurement. It varies 
in breadth from eight to ten and eleven feet, and was, 
until recently, the popular thoroughfare between the east 
and west parts of the city of Cork. 

The Dyke, mentioned in the fifth verse, is, according 
to Mr. Windle, " a delightful walk about a mile in length, 
and shaded with ranges of noble elm at either side, form 
ing a long vista in one straight line from beginning to end." 
It was made in 1720, and about thirty years ago protected 
by an iron gate, the erection of which was celebrated, 
and the inscription recorded in an ode attributed to Mr. 
John Lander: 

" Here future shoemakers shall read on Sunday, 

When our good mayor shall be in heaven, 
As bird-catching they re going. IOHN DAY, 
ESQUIRE, MAYOR, 1807. " 

* Blair s Castle that trembles above in the breeze," 

Mr. Windle calls " a modern absurdity, consisting of a 
centre tower and side wings, finished in the Dutch fashion ; 
but it possesses the advantage of a beautiful situation, 



168 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

and indeed, like the rest of Sunday s well, of a fine pro 
spect," which locality is alluded to as " sweet Sunday s 
well" in the seventh verse. 

" Dr. Blair was a man of skill, 
He built his castle on a hill ; 
He set four statues in the front, 
And every morning went to hunt. 
From his castle you may see 
Up and down along the Lee." 

So says an old song. This Dr. Blair was a Scotch phy 
sician, who settled in Cork about the middle of the last 
century ; and, in 1775, published a freethinking volume, 
entitled, " Thoughts on Nature and Religion ;" the able 
answer to which first brought the famous Father O Leary 
into public notice. 

Glanmire and Blackrock, the roads leading to which 
are referred to in the sixth verse, are both agreeable 
outlets of Cork ; The Boreen Manah is a minor road of 
the latter environ, which, literally translated, means " the 
little road to the fields." The steeple, termed " pepper 
box," in the seventh and last verse, will be particularly 
noticed hereafter as the edifice from whence 

" The bells of Shandon 

Sound so grand on 
The lovely waters of the river Lee." 

" Regarding it in a general point of view," Mr. Windle, 
with great truth, asserts that " Cork may be justly called 
a fine city. Strangers have, without exception, described 
it as such ; but the natives, with a very pardonable vanity, 



CORK S OWN TOWN. 169 

borrowing the words of an old song, speak of it as the 
beautiful city; and looking at it in conjunction with its 
unrivalled outlets, the claim may, we think, be safely con 
ceded." 

Air " They may rail at this life" 

They may rail at the city where first I was born, 

But it s there they ve the whisky, and butter, and pork ; 
And a neat little spot for to walk in each morn 

They call it Daunt s Square, and the City is Cork. 
The square has two sides why, one east and one west, 

And convenient s the region of frolic and spree, 
Where salmon, drisheens,* and beefsteaks are cooked best : 

Och ! Fishamble s the Eden for you, love, and me ! 

If you want to behold the sublime and the beauteous, 

Put your toes in your brogues, and see sweet Blarney 

Lane, 
Where the parents and childer are comely and duteous, 

And dry lodging both rider and beast entertain ; 
In the cellars below dine the slashing young fellows 

That come with the butter from distant Tralee ; 
While the landlady, chalking the score on the bellows, 

Sings, Cork is an Eden for you, love, and me I 

Blackpool is another sweet place in that city, 

Where pigs, twigs, and weavers, they all grow together, 

With its smart little tan-yards och, more is the pity 
To strip the poor beasts to convert them to leather ! 

* Sheep s puddings. 
I 



170 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Further up to the east is a place great and famous, 
It is called Mallow Lane antiquaries agree 

That it holds the Sheebeen, which once held King Shamus:* 
Och ! Cork is an Eden for you, love, and me ! 

Then go back to Daunt s Bridge, though you ll think it is 
quare 

That you can t see the bridge f faix you ne er saw the 

like 
Of that bridge, nor of one-sided Buckingham Square ; 

Nor the narrow Broad Lane that leads up to the Dyke, 
Where, turning his wheel, sits that saint, " Holy Joe," J 

And umbrellas are made of the best quality, 
And young virgins sing " Colleen das croothin a TWO;" 

And Cork is an Eden for you, love, and me ! 

When you get to the Dyke, there s a beautiful prospect 

Of a long gravel walk between two rows of trees ; 
On one side, with a beautiful southern aspect, 

Is Blair s castle, that trembles above in the breeze. 
Far off in the west lie the Lakes of Killarney, 

Which some hills intervening prevent you to see ; 
But you smell the sweet wind from the wild groves of 

Blarney 
Och ! Cork is the Eden for you, love, and me I 

Take the road to Glanmire, the road to Blackrock, or 
The sweet Boreen Manah, to charm your fair eyes ; 

* James IT. 

t " There is no bridge, but an archway under the street." 
\ " A noted knife and oath grinder, now deceased." 
" The pretty girl milking her cow." 



CORK S OWN TOWN. 171 

If you do what is wise, take a dram of Tom Walker, 
Or if you re a Walker, toss off Billy Wise.* 

I give you my word that they re both lads of spirit ; 
But if a " raw chaw"f with your gums don t agree, 

Beamish, Crawford, and Lane, brew some porter of merit, 
Though poteen is the nectar for you, love, and me ! 

Oh ! long life to you, Cork, with your pepper-box steeple, 

Your girls, your whisky, your curds and sweet whey ; 
Your hill of Glanmire, and the shops where the people 

Get decent new clothes down beyont the Coal Quay. 
Long life to sweet Fair Lane, its pipers and jigs, 

And to sweet Sunday s well, and the banks of the Lee ; 
Likewise our court-houses,;); where judges in wigs 

Sing, Cork is the Eden for you, love, and me ! 

* Mr. Walker, whose " Bounce upon Bess" has been already 
noticed at p. 86, and Mr. Wise, were two famous distillers in Cork ; 
their memories are enshrined in the following epigram : 

" You people of Cork that are talkers, 

I beg you will shew me the rules, 
Why Walker won t let you be walkers, 
And Wise strives to make you all fools." 

t What Mr. Daniel MacCarthy would have termed " naked truth." 
Vide p. 99. 

| The rapid improvement in Cork is in nothing more evident than 
its architecture. So recently as 1806, when the old County Court 
House was built, an English architect was imported to design and 
execute it. " They have managed these things differently in our 
days," observes Mr. Windle; " the names of Deane, Pain, Hill, 
Cottrell, &c. are now connected with some of our public edifices, to 
which the citizen may point without shame." 



172 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



CORK S GOOD-HUMOURED FACES. 

A specimen of the ingenious manner in which a witty 
manufacturer in Cork of an excellent liquid shaving-soap, 
and other articles, that really require no puffing, con 
trives to attract attention to his inventions. Mr. Olden, 
who has been already noticed in the introductory ob 
servations to the preceding song, p. 167, modestly remarks 
in one of his poetical effusions, when commending the 
superiority of his goods, 

" I hope that you not such an ass are 

To send for shaving-soap as far as Naples, 
Or to imagine oil brought from Macassar, 

From aged pates each hair that s turning gray pulls." 

And in another he thus eulogises the merits of his Essence 
de Savon, which bears what country gentlemen call " a 
confounded hard Greek name," and which may be classed 
with those words that Moore has recommended 

" Should only be said on holydays, 
When one has nothing else to do." 

" EYKEIPOFENEION, 
Whene er 1 lay eye on, 
I firmly rely on 

A capital shave ; 
And as for the water, 
Tis not a pin matter 
From where derivatur 
The well or the wave." 

Cork has sometimes been styled " the Irish Athens," 



CORK S GOOD-HUMOURED FACES. 173 

possibly from the fame of Olden s verses, and his and 
Father Prout s partiality for Greek. 

It is stated that Mr. Olden s very amusing and most 
learned poems have been collected and printed for private 
circulation, with the title of " Soap Bubbles." All his 
verses which have come under the Editor s observation, 
display an extraordinary command of rhyme, which is 
sported with in actual wantonness. As Messrs. Day and 
Martin, and Mr. Warren, of blacking notoriety, are believed 
respectively to have retained a poet on their establish 
ment, so it has been shrewdly conjectured that Mr. Olden 
cannot make good his claim to the authorship of all the 
songs put forth by him, and that he has even secured the 
services of more poets than one ; among whom the Rev. 
Mr. Chester and Mr. John Lander are suspected to be 
the most industrious. 



Tune " Ballinafad." 

For good-humoured faces, Cork once beat all places 

How altered the case is, more a thrue mavrone ! * 
By politics now are contracted each brow, or 

Every nose turned up sour, like a dog with a bone. 

Then Olden, beholding 

Young and old in a scolding- 
Match joining, the whole din resolved to assuage : 

In he pops, the state props 

With soap drops, fast as hops 
Lathering chops, ill-blood stops, and all dire party rage. 

* An Irish phrase, expressive of deep regret. 



174 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Thus Peter of Russia, with a razor and brush, he 

Once made a great fuss a his subjects to shave ; 
He smoothed their manners, like hides scraped by tanners, 
Wherever his banners triumphant did wave. 
Then at home let us try, on 
Each phiz, low and high on, 
The Eukeirogeneion of Olden so rare ; 
Catholic or Brunswicker, 
By this liquor will quicker 
Cease to bicker, though thicker than pigs in a fair. 

An old witch seized Asmodeus, a devil most odious, 

And did for his abode use a bottle so frail ; 
But Olympus sweet vapours, condensed for chin-scrapers, 
Olden bottles, like capers, or smart Burton ale. 

Let this drug aid your rugged 

Old mug, it so smug it 
Will look, the maids hug it, and tug it both ways ; 

Then you sooty muzzled brute, ay, 

In truth, I will mute eye 
With wonder your beauty, when you shave but three days. 



THE COURT OF CONSCIENCE IN CORK 

Is copied from a newspaper-cutting in Miss Elliot s 
Scrap-book, entitled " Reflections occasioned by the 
Court of Conscience of Cork being held over the Meat- 
Market." 



THE GROVES OF BLACKPOOL. 175 

How various are the roads we mortals take 
To happiness, this building a strong test is : 

Some dive below, to purchase a beefsteak ; 
Others ascend, to stake their all for justice. 

In either region, with an equal hand 

The scales are held, and like material put on ; 

For when the blood is drained, you understand 
The conscience of a suitor s dead as mutton. 

Thus, twixt the market-scales and those of law, 

A strong similitude exists, quite pat in 
Point ; for whoe er did informations draw, 

But he for make-weight slipt a bit of fat in ? 

Above, below, the inmates live by broils ; 

Their wares are equally plunged in hot water, 
Or in sad pickle, after all their toils, 

And destined finally to go to pot are. 

Below hangs many a slaughtered fatted calf; 

Above, their skins are pressed by lips of sinners ; 
By which the flesh (esteemed the better half) 

Becomes mock-turtle for their worships dinners. 



THE GROVES OF BLACKPOOL. 
(Descriptive of the return of the City of Cork Militia.) 

Blackpool is an extensive suburb on the northern side 
of Cork, which has been particularly noticed in the song 



176 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

at p. 169. John Wesley, in his " Journal," describes it in 
1765 as a place " famous, from time immemorial, for all 
manner of wickedness for riot in particular." Blackpool 
was, in short, as its name denotes, a sink of iniquity, which 
the Muse of Dr. De la Cour has thus depicted : 

" Oh, the very first day that I came to Blackpool, 
I stared, and I gaped, and I gazed like a fool ; 
For the butchers and bull-dogs were beating a bull, 
On the very first day that I came to Blackpool. 
There were tanners, and skinners, and dressers of leather, 
And curriers, and combers, and dyers together : 
Oh, the devil himself never saw such a school 
As I did, the first day that I came to Blackpool." 

" Cork, like London, Paris, and other great cities," 
says Mr. Windle, " possesses a patois nearly peculiar to 
itself; it will be found most prevalent, and least adul 
terated, in Ballythomas (a locality in the immediate 
vicinity of Blackpool). The vernacular of this region 
may be regarded as the ancient cockneyism of the mixed 
race who held the old city Danes, English, and Irish. 
It is a jargon, whose principal characteristic appears in the 
pronunciation of th, as exemplified in dis t dat, den, de 
this, that, then, they : and in the dovetailing of words, as 
* hum our ish, for * come out of this. There is a 
general attenuation or contraction in the articulation of 
words, accompanied by a hissing and jarring wherever 
s and r occur, which it would be difficult to convey any 
sufficient idea of. * De Groves of de Pool, is a very 
popular exemplar of the poetry of this dialect; and Mr. 
Daniel Casey may be regarded as its living laureat. 

" As to the population, they are a hardy, hard work* 
ing, improvident, and vivacious race; attached to old 



THE GROVES OF BLACKPOOL, 177 

usages and habits of thinking and acting. Here have ever 
been found the readiest and gayest actors in the mum 
meries of the < May-day mummers. None ever equalled 
them in the hearty ceremony of whipping out the herring 
on Easter Saturday, or throwing bran on the new mayor. 
What other part of the city has ever furnished so jolly 
or uproarious a train of males or females, to sustain the 
humours of the Irish carnival the * going to Skellig? 
The groups of * Wren Boys here muster strongest on 
St. Stephen s morning ; and the mimic warfare of a 
* batter between the clans of rival streets, is nowhere else 
waged with more spirit or earnestness. But the march of 
intellect is even here visible ; the mummeries, and batter 
ings, and bran throwing are, of recent years, become more 
infrequent ; and the day may not be far distant when the 
memory of these things shall pass away." 

The watercourse mentioned in the sixth verse, adds 
Mr. Windle, in his interesting notices of Cork, is " the 
busiest outlet of the city ; the principal seat of its tanneries 
and distilleries. At the end of this well-frequented way 
the water is open ; a police station adjoins, and an antique 
narrow bridge, impassable for horse or carriage, bearing 
the odd name of Tanto Bridge, leads over into the once 
umbrageous haunt of the Muses the birth-place of many 
a militia legioneer the classical Groves ofde Pool! 
But the Blackpool is now treeless ; its long rows of elms 
and poplars have been cut down ; its manufactures have 
ceased ; its looms are silent ; and its once numerous and 
respectable inhabitants have given place to a poor and 
ill-employed population. The glory of the pool is no 
more." 

i2 



178 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

" De groves of de Pool," which was written by " honest 
Dick Millikin " (see p. 89), was intended to depict the 
return, or, as he humorously calls it, the " advance back 
again," of the " gallant Cork city militia," after the 
rebellion of 1798, and their reception in " de groves," 
which had sheltered the infancy of " dose Irish heroes." 
It is given from the recitation of Mr. John Lander, by 
whom the last verse is said to have been added. 

Now de war, dearest Nancy, is ended, 

And de peace is come over from France ; 
So our gallant Cork city militia 

Back again to head-quarters advance. 
No longer a beating dose rebels, 

We ll now be a beating de bull, 
And taste dose genteel recreations 

Dat are found in de groves of de Pool. 

Ri fol didder rol didder rol, &c. 

Den out came our loving relations, 

To see whether we d be living or no ; 
Besides all de jolly ould neighbours, 

Around us who flocked in a row. 
De noggins of sweet Tommy Walker * 

We lifted according to^rule, 
And wetted our necks wid de native 

Dat is brewed in de groves of de Pool. 

Ri fol, &c. 

* Alias, " Bounce upon Bess." Vide pp. 86, 171. A noggin 
is the fourth of a pint. Coc/on ce, a " quartern." 



THE GROVES OF BLACKPOOL. 179 

When de regiment marched into de Commons, 

Twould do your heart good for to see ; 
You d tink not a man nor a woman 

Was left in Cork s famous city. 
De boys dey came flocking around us, 

Not a hat nor wig* stuck to a skull, 
To compliment dose Irish heroes 

Returned to de groves of de Pool. 

Ri fol, &c. 

\Vid our band out before us in order, 

We played coming into de town ; 
We up d wid de ould " Boyne water," 

Not forgetting, too, " Croppies lie down."f 
Bekase you might read in the newses 

Twas we made dose rebels so cool, 
Who all tought, like Turks or like Jewses, 

To murther de boys of de Pool. 

Ri fol, &c. 



* In " Castle Rackrent," a note upon the Irish practice of using ihe 
wig instead of a sweeping brush states, " that these men (labourers 
of the old school) are not in any danger of catching cold by taking off 
their wigs occasionally ; because they usually have fine crops growing 
under their wigs. The wigs are often yellow, and the hair which 
appears from beneath them black ; the wigs are usually too small, and 
are raised up by the hair beneath, or by the ears of the wearers." 

t Two loyal tunes. The Cork militia were especially Orange. 
They suffered severely in the rebellion of 1798, particularly at Oulart, 
where they lost 115 men. The officers killed in this unfortunate affair 
were Major Lombard, the Honourable Captain De Courcy, Lieu 
tenants Williams, Ware, Barry, and Ensign Keogh. 



180 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Oh, sure dere s no nation in Munster 

Wid de groves of Blackpool can compare, 
Where dose heroes were all edicated, 

And de nymphs are so comely and fair. 
Wid de gardens around entertaining, 

Wid sweet purty posies so full, 
Dat is worn by dose comely young creaturs 

Dat walks in de groves of de Pool. 

Ri fol, &c. 

Oh ! many s de time, late and early, 

Dat I wished I was landed again, 
Where I d see de sweet watercourse flowing, 

Where de skinners dere glory maintain : 
Likewise dat divine habitation,* 

Wliere dose babbies are all sent to school 
Dat never had fader nor moder, 

But were found in de groves of de Pool. 

Ri fol, &c. 

Come all you young youths of dis nation, 

Come fill up a bumper all round ; 
Drink success to Blackpool navigation, 

And may it wid plenty be crowned. 
Here s success to the jolly hoop-coilers ; 

Likewise to de shuttle and de spool ; 
To de tanners, and worthy glue-boilers, 

Dat lives in de groves of de Pool. 

Ri fol, &c. 

* Alias, the Foundling Hospital. Established under act of parlia 
ment in 1735. 



THE COURT OF CAHIRASS. 181 



THE COURT OF CAHIRASS. 

"About a mile from Groom," says the " History of 
Limerick," by Fitzgerald and MacGregor (vol. i. p. 332), 
" situated on the Maig, is Cahirass House, with its finely 
wooded park and plantations, belonging to David Roche, 
Esq.* a descendant of the house of Fermoy ;" and a note 
adds, " There was once a chapel of ease here belonging 
to the Carbery family, whose property it was. The 
chaplain falling desperately in love with the daughter of 
Lord Carbery, and being disappointed, hanged himself in 
the chapel, which soon afterwards went to decay. This 
unfortunate lover had composed a song beginning with 
* At the Court of Cahirass there lives a fair maiden/ 
which is still recollected by the country people." 

Another version of the tradition, which the Editor 
obtained from his sister, Mrs. Eyre Coote, in 1827, agrees 
with the above, except in the manner of the imprudent 
chaplain s death, who is stated to have shot himself on a 
tomb in the churchyard of Cahirass, when this song was 
found in his pocket ; and it is said that the marks of his 
blood are still visible on the tombstone. 

Unluckily, however, for the romance of this story, 
the name of Katey occurs as a rhyme in the first and 
seventh verses, and is twice repeated in the last ; and five 
manuscript copies of the song, procured through various 
channels, though differing materially in many lines, all 
retain that name. It is, therefore, impossible to reconcile 
this with the facts, that the only daughter of the first Lord 

* Now Sir David Roche, Bart. M.P. 



182 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Carbery was named Anne; the only daughter of the 
second lord, Frances Anne ; and the only daughter of the 
third lord, Juliana. So stands the case in Archdale s 
edition of " Lodge s Irish Peerage," vol. vii., versus 
Tradition. 

In the Court of Cahirass there dwells a fair lady, 
Of beauty the paragon, and she is called Katey ; 
Her lofty descent, and her stately deportment, 
Prove this lovely damsel was for a king s court meant. 

There s many a great lord from Dublin has sought her ; 
But that is not strange for a nobleman s daughter : 
Yet if she was poor as the poorest of creatures, 
There s no one her rival in figure or features. 

On a fine summer s morning, if you saw but this maiden, 
By the murmuring Maig, or the green fields she stray d in ; 
Or through groves full of song, near that bright flowing 

river, 
You d think how imperfect the praise that I give her. 

In order arranged are her bright flowing tresses, 
The thread of the spider their fineness expresses;* 
And softer her cheek, that is mantled with blushes, 
Than the drift of the snow, or the pulp of the rushes. 

* The verse of an Irish song, in which the poet describes the first 
meeting with his mistress, was thus translated to the Editor by Mr. 
Edward Penrose : 

" Her hair was of the finest gold, 

Like to a spider s spinning; 
In her, methinks, I do behold 
My joys and woes beginning." 



THE COURT OF CAHIRASS. 183 

But her bosom of beauty, that the heart which lies under, 
Should have nothing of womanlike pride, is my wonder ; 
That the charms which all eyes daily dwell on delighted, 
Should seem in her own of no worth, and be slighted. 

When Charity calls her she never is weary, 

Though in secret she comes with the step of a fairy ; 

To the sick and the needy profuse is her bounty, 

And her goodness extends through the whole of the county.* 

I felt on my spirit a load that was weighty, 
In the stillness of midnight, and called upon Katey ; 
And a dull voice replied, on the ear of the sleeper, 
" Death ! death I " in a tone that was deep, and grew 
deeper. 

Twas an omen to me twas an omen of sadness, 
That told me of folly, of love, and of madness; 
That my fate was as dark as the sky that was o er me, 
And bade me despair, for no hope was before me. 

O, Katey, dear Katey, disdain not your lover ; 

From your frowns and your coldness he cannot recover : 

For if you but bid him his passion to smother, 

How fatal the day when we first met each other. 



* The prosaic close of this verse is strangely contrasted with the 
strain of poetry which pervades those immediately following ; but 
inequality of sentiment appears to be the chief characteristic of Irish 
song in the English as well as the Irish language j in fact, the Irish 
style. 



184 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



THE DONERAILE LITANY. 

The popularity of this jingle in the south of Ireland 
is remarkable; and is, among many other instances, 
a proof of the national fondness for rhyme, and the ad 
miration of any production which displays a command 
over it, however rude or grotesque the exhibition 
may be. 

The Doneraile Litany consists of a series of anathemas 
upon that town, strung together, it appears, in consequence 
of the author having there lost his watch, of Dublin manu 
facture ; in what manner is not stated, and, possibly, it has 
escaped the author s recollection, who, from the bardic 
propensity exhibited in Ireland towards intoxicating 
draughts, subjects himself to the suspicion that the loss he 
so vigorously deplores may have occurred while he was 
under the influence of that spirit, or Irish goddess, ad 
dressed as 

" Divine Malthaea." 

The occurrence, however, took place upwards of thirty 
years ago; since when, it is trusted, the morality of 
Doneraile has very much improved. 

In 1808, Mr. Patrick O Kelly published at Dublin, 
" Poems on the Giant s Causeway and Killarney, with other 
Miscellanies," among which was introduced "the Litany for 
Doneraile." This volume was followed in 1812 by another, 
named " The Eudoxologist, or an Ethicographical Survey 
of the West Parts of Ireland," and which contains several 
attacks upon an unfortunate poet, who had ventured to 
put forth " a Defence of Doneraile," in reply to O Kelly s 



THE DONERAILE LITANY. 185 

malediction. Ultimately, a recantation, entitled " The 
Palinode," most humbly dedicated to Lady Doneraile, ap 
peared in a volume of poems, entitled " The Aonian 
Kaleidoscope," printed by O Kelly at Cork, in 1824. 

Prefixed to this are " Verses addressed to the Author," 
by J. J. C. (Callanan, see p. 130), and P. S. (Dr. Sharky, 
of Cork); of course, ironically intended, but which 
Mr. O Kelly seriously entertains. In the latter, the lines 
alluded to, but not correctly quoted, by Mr. Lockhart in 
his " Life of Sir Walter Scott," occur. Speaking of the 
galaxy of genius which adorned the reign of George IV., 
after noticing Moore, P. S. says, 

" Scott, Morgan, Edgeworth, Byron, prop of Greece, 
Fate, in thy death, shall blast the hopes of peace; 
O Kelly, too, of proud Iberian blood, 
Shall, from Castalian fountain, pour the flood 
Of bardic song " 

* * 

The ancient glories of our native song, 
In him shall live, to him those bays belong." 

O Kelly s introduction to George IV. is thus related 
in the " Roscommon Gazette." " When his majesty 
was in Dublin, our countryman, the poet, Patrick 
O Kelly, Esq., of the county of Galway, waited on him 
at the Phoenix Park. His majesty, when Prince of 
Wales, having subscribed his name for fifty copies, the 
poet took that opportunity to deliver his work. He 
was announced to the king by Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, 
who ordered the baronet to hand the poet fifty pounds, 
which Sir Benjamin accordingly did. Mr. O Kelly de 
clined accepting it, declaring that he would rather see 



186 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

his majesty than receive the money, and requested Sir 
Benjamin to say so, which was complied with. The king 
ordered him to be introduced. When admitted into the 
royal presence, his majesty received him most graciously, 
hoped he was well, and then observed that Mr. O Kelly 
was lame as well as Lord Byron. And Sir Walter Scott, 
too, said Mr. O Kelly ; and why should not the Irish 
bard be similarly honoured ? for 

If God one member has oppressed, 
He made more perfect all the rest. 

At which the king smiled. 

" The Marquess of Conyngham, who was present, re 
quested Mr. O Kelly to express himself, extempore, on 
Lord Byron, Sir Walter Scott, and himself; to which the 
poet replied, in the following impromptu : 

Three poets for three sister kingdoms born, 
One for the Rose, another for the Thorn ; 
One for the Shamrock, which will ne er decay, 
While Rose and Thorn must yearly fade away. 

At which the king and his court laughed heartily." 

O Kelly seems to have been fond of associating his 
fame as a poet with that of Byron and Scott. Mr. Lock- 
hart, in his Life of the latter, says, "I find recorded in 
one letter (August 1825), a very merry morning at 
Limerick, where, amidst the ringing of all the bells in 
honour of the advent, there was ushered in a brother poet, 
who must needs pay his personal respects to the author of 
* Marmion. He was a scarecrow figure, attired much in 
the fashion of the strugglers by name O Kelly; and he 



THE DONERAILE LITANY. 187 

had produced, on the spur of the occasion, this modest 
parody of Dryden s famous epigram: 

Three poets, of three different nations born, 
The United Kingdom in this age adorn : 
Byron, of England ; Scott, of Scotia s blood ; 
And Erin s pride, O Kelly, great and good. 

" Sir Walter s five shillings," adds Mr. Lockhart, 
u were at once forthcoming ; and the bard, in order that 
Miss Edgeworth might display equal generosity, pointed 
out, in a little volume of his works (for which, moreover, 
we had all to subscribe), this pregnant couplet: 

Scott, Morgan, Edgeworth, Byron, prop of Greece, 
Are characters whose fame not soon will cease. " 

The worthy inhabitants of Doneraile do not seem to 
have taken the slightest offence at O Kelly s Litany ; on 
the contrary, it has been a subject of much amusement to 
them. The Editor recollects to have heard it sung, in 
1821, by a ballad-singer through the streets of that town, 
much to the amusement of his auditors, and the profit of 
the vocalist. 

Alas ! how dismal is my tale 1 
I lost my watch in Doneraile ; 
My Dublin watch, my chain and seal, 
Pilfered at once in Doneraile. 

May fire and brimstone never fail 
To fall in showers on Doneraile ; 
May all the leading fiends assail 
The thieving town of Doneraile. 



188 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

As lightnings flash across the vale, 
So down to hell with Doneraile ; 
The fate of Pompey at Pharsale, 
Be that the curse of Doneraile. 

May beef or mutton, lamb or veal, 
Be never found in Doneraile ; 
But garlic soup, and scurvy kail, 
Be still the food for Doneraile. 

And forward as the creeping snail, 
Th industry be of Doneraile ; 
May Heaven a chosen curse entail 
On rigid, rotten Doneraile. 

May sun and moon for ever fail 

To beam their lights in Doneraile ; 

May every pestilential gale 

Blast that cursed spot called Doneraile. 

May no sweet cuckoo, thrush, or quail, 
Be ever heard in Doneraile ; 
May patriots, kings, and commonweal, 
Despise and harass Doneraile. 

May every Post, Gazette, and Mail, 
Sad tidings bring of Doneraile ; 
May loudest thunders ring a peal, 
To blind and deafen Doneraile. 

May vengeance fall at head and tail, 
From north to south, at Doneraile ; 



THE DONERAILE LITANY. 189 

May profit light, and tardy sale, 
Still damp the trade of Doneraile. 

May Fame resound a dismal tale, 
Whene er she lights on Doneraile ; 
May Egypt s plagues at once prevail, 
To thin the knaves of Doneraile. 

May frost and snow, and sleet and hail, 
Benumb each joint in Doneraile ; 
May wolves and bloodhounds trace and trail 
The cursed crew of Doneraile. 

May Oscar, with his fiery flail, 
To atoms thresh all Doneraile ; 
May every mischief, fresh and stale, 
Abide, henceforth, in Doneraile. 

May all, from Belfast to Kinsale, 
Scoff, curse, and damn you, Doneraile ; 
May neither flour nor oatenmeal 
Be found or known in Doneraile. 

May want and wo each joy curtail 
That e er was known in Doneraile ; 
May no one coffin want a nail 
That wraps a rogue in Doneraile. 

May all the thieves that rob and steal, 
The gallows meet in Doneraile ; 
May all the sons of Granaweal 
Blush at the thieves of Doneraile. 



190 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

May mischief, big as Norway whale, 
O erwhelm the knaves of Doneraile ; 
May curses, wholesale and retail, 
Pour with full force on Doneraile. 

May every transport wont to sail 
A convict bring from Doneraile ; 
May every churn and milking pail 
Fall dry to staves in Doneraile. 

May cold and hunger still congeal 
The stagnant blood of Doneraile ; 
May every hour new woes reveal, 
That hell reserves for Doneraile. 

May every chosen ill prevail 
O er all the imps of Doneraile ; 
May no one wish or prayer avail 
To soothe the woes of Doneraile. 

May th Inquisition straight impale 
The rapparees of Doneraile ; 
May Charon s boat triumphant sail, 
Completely manned, from Doneraile. 

Oh ! may my couplets never fail 
To find a curse for Doneraile ; 
And may grim Pluto s inner gaol 
For ever groan with Doneraile. 



DUBLIN AFTER THE UNION. 191 

DUBLIN AFTER THE UNIOX. 

A jeu d esprit, printed in the posthumous collection of 
Mr. Lysaght s poems (see p. 115), with the following 
introductory observations, copied from Sir John Carr s 
" Stranger in Ireland." 

" As I have given a little specimen of the prose which 
the measure of the Union lyr^TtrtVu, iujT^ers will, per 
haps, h*v-pieased with the following excellent song, which, 
Amongst the many good ones written at that time, I think 
she most witty and playful, and has much of the spirit 
of Swift in it. It was a great favourite with the Anti- 
Vabts, and I give Af^nfcft tne-msorft jjfwjjflfe, because 
its piA?cai predictions have not been verified ; and, I feel 
confident, never will be. It is from the sprightly pen of 
Mr. Lysaght." 

Capel Street, which, it is prophesied in the song, would 
become a rural walk, leads from the Castle, the residence 
of the Lord Lieutenant, to College Green, where stood the 
Parliament House, now converted into the Bank of Ireland. 
Dame Street, in which it is foretold that cabbages were 
to be cultivated, was the principal street leading from 
Essex Bridge through the northern portion of Dublin. 

The jocular allusions to the anticipated produce of the 
College, in "wild oats;" the Courts of Law, in "hemp;" 
the Parliament House becoming the resort of " vermin," 
as placemen were called; and Daly s Club House, the 
haunt of "rooks" and "pigeons," terms applied to 
gamblers and their dupes, are so obvious, as not to require 
further comment. 




192 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

How justly alarmed is each Dublin cit, 

That he ll soon be transformed to a clown, sir ! 
By a magical move of that conjuror, Pitt, 
The country is coming to town, sir ! 

Give Pitt, and Dundas, and Jenky, a glass, 
Who d ride on John Bull, and make Paddy an ass. 

Through Capel Street, soon, as you ll rurally range, 
You ll scarce recognise it the same street ; 

Choice turnips shall grow in your Royal Exchange, 
Fine cabbages down along Dame Street. 

Give Pitt, &c. 

Wild oats in the College won t want to be tilled. 

And hemp in the Four Courts may thrive, sir J^ 
Your markets, again, shall with muttons be filled 

By St. Patrick, they ll graze there alive, sir ! 

Give Pitt, &c. 

In the Parliament House, quite alive shall there be 

All the vermin the island e er gathers ; 
Full of rooks, as before, Daly s Club House you ll see, 

But the pigeons won t have any feathers. 

Give Pitt, &c. 

Our Custom House quay, full of weeds, oh, rare sport ! 

But the minister s minions, kind elves, sir, 
Will give us free leave all our goods to export, 

When we ve got none at home for ourselves, sir I 

Give Pitt, &c. 




THE HUMOURS OF DONNYBROOK FAIR. 193 

Says an alderman, " Corn will grow in your shops ; 

This Union must work our enslavement." 
" That s true," says the sheriff, " for plenty of Crops,* 

Already I ve seen on the pavement ! " 

Give Pitt, &c. 

Ye brave loyal yeomen, dress d gaily in red, 

This minister s plan must elate us ; 

And well may John Bull, when he s robbed us of bread, 
poor Ireland, " The land of potatoes ! " 

Give Pitt, &c. 




THE HUMOURS OF DONNYBROOK FAIR 



Have been already introduced to the reader, in Mr. Ly- 
saght s song of " The Sprig of Shillelah and Shamrock 
so green," p. 112. 

Prince Piickler Muskau, who was a spectator of this 
scene on the 29th August, 1828, says, " I rode out again 
to-day, for the first time, to see the fair at Donnybrook, 
near Dublin, which is a kind of popular festival. Nothing, 
indeed, can be more national ! The poverty, the dirt, and 
the wild tumult, were as great as the glee and merriment 
with which the cheapest pleasures were enjoyed. I saw 
things eaten and drunk with delight, which forced me 
to turn my head quickly away, to remain master of my 

* " A proverbial term for the rebels in 1798, who wore their hair 
close cut." 



194 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

disgust. Heat and dust, crowd and stench (ilfaut le dire), 
made it impossible to stay long ; but these do not annoy 
the natives. There were many hundred tents, all ragged, 
like the people, and adorned with tawdry rags instead of 
flags ; many contented themselves with a cross on a hoop ; 
one had hoisted a dead and half-putrid cat as a sign ! 
The lowest sort of rope-dancers and posture-masters exer 
cised their toilsome vocation on stages of planks, and 
dressed in shabby finery, dancing and grimacing in the 
dreadful heat till they were completely exhausted. A third 
part of the public lay, or rather rolled, about drunk ; 
others ate, screamed, shouted, and fought. The women 
rode about, sitting two or three upon an ass, pushing their 
way through the crowd, smoked with great delight, and 
coquetted with their sweethearts. The most ridiculous 
group was one which I should have thought indigenous 
only to Rio de la Plata: two beggars were seated on a 
horse, who, by his wretched plight, seemed to supplicate 
for them ; they had no saddle, and a piece of twine served 
as reins. 

" As I left the fair, a pair of lovers, excessively drunk, 
took the same road. It was a rich treat to watch their 
behaviour. Both were horridly ugly, but treated each 
other with the greatest tenderness and the most delicate 
attention. The lover especially displayed a sort of chival 
rous politeness. Nothing could be more gallant, and, at 
the same time, more respectful, than his repeated efforts to 
preserve his fair one from falling, although he had no little 
difficulty in keeping his own balance. From his ingra 
tiating demeanour, and her delighted smiles, I could also 
perceive that he was using every endeavour to entertain 



THE HUMOURS OF DONNYBROOK FAIR. 195 

her agreeably, and that her answers, notwithstanding her 
exalte state, were given with a coquetry, and an air of 
affectionate intimacy, which would have been exquisitely 
becoming and attractive in a pretty woman. 

" My reverence for truth compels me to add, that not 
the slightest trace of English brutality was to be per 
ceived ; they were more like French people, though their 
gaiety was mingled with more humour, and more genuine 
good nature ; both of which are national traits of the Irish, 
and are always doubled by poteen (the best sort of whisky, 
illicitly distilled)." 

In the " Anthologia Hibernica," for April 1793, " An 
Ode on Donnybrook" appeared, of rather a sentimental 
cast, which was followed, in the June number of that 
periodical, by "An irregular Ode" on the same locality, 
after a passage in which the song now given seems to have 
been copied. 

" Ah ! muse debonnair, 

Let us haste to the fair.; 
Tis Donnybrook tapsters invite. 
Men, horses, and pigs, 
Are running such rigs, 
As the cockles of your heart will delight. 
Such crowding and jumbling, 
And leaping and tumbling, 
And kissing and stumbling, 
And drinking and swearing, 
And carving and tearing, 
And coaxing and snaring, 
And scrambling and winning, 
And fighting and flinging, 
And fiddling and singing; 
Old Dodder, enchanted, refuses to flow, 
But hit mouth waters fast at each kiss and each blow." 



196 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

" Donnybrook is situated on a mountain stream, called 
the Dodder, over which there is a handsome bridge with 
lofty arches. In dry weather the quantity of water is so 
inconsiderable, that a stranger would be very apt to use 
the sarcastic observation of the Spaniard, who, on viewing 
the magnificent bridge that spanned the contemptible 
Manzanares, near Madrid, exclaimed, * Es menester, ven 
der la puente, para comprar agua; (They ought to sell the 
bridge to buy water;) but in a few hours after a heavy 
fall of rain in the mountains, the Dodder becomes a river 
indeed, and swells up to the very summit of the arches. 
This has been mentioned for the sake of noticing a pecu 
liarity in the name Donnybrook, * little brook. It is 
curious that the word * brook hardly ever occurs in English 
speech or writing, except in the sense defined by Johnson, 
a running water, less than a river; and is always asso 
ciated with the idea of flowery meads, &c. ; but in Ireland 
it appears to be employed in its true and original sense. 
The streams, which, in the county of Wicklow, during 
rain, burst or break from the hills, are always, by the com 
mon people, called brooks. Now, the Anglo-Saxon, bjioc, 
from whence it evidently comes, signifies a torrent, 
torrens, xupa^ovs ; and it is clear that it is derived from 
bpocan, the participle of bjiecan, * to break. " 

Air" Ballynafad." 

To Donnybrook steer, all you sons of Parnassus 
Poor painters, poor poets, poor newsmen, and knaves, 

To see what the fun is, that all fun surpasses 
The sorrow and sadness of green Erin s slaves. 



THE HUMOURS OF DONNYBROOK FAIR. 197 

O, Donnybrook, jewel ! full of mirth is your quiver, 
Where all flock from Dublin to gape and to stare 

At two elegant bridges, without e er a river: 

So, success to the humours of Donnybrook fair I 

O you lads that are witty, from famed Dublin city, 

And you that in pastime take any delight, 
To Donnybrook fly, for the time s drawing nigh 

When fat pigs are hunted, and lean cobblers fight ; 
When maidens, so swift, run for a new shift ; 

Men, muffled in sacks, for a shirt they race there ; 
There jockeys well booted, and horses sure footed, 

All keep up the humours of Donnybrook fair. 

The mason does come, with his line and his plumb ; 

The sawyer and carpenter, brothers in chips ; 
There are carvers and gilders, and all sort of builders, 

With soldiers from barracks and sailors from ships. 
There confectioners, cooks, and printers of books, 

There stampers of linen, and weavers, repair ; 
There widows, and maids, and all sort of trades, 

Go join in the humours of Donnybrook fair. 

There tinkers and nailers, and beggars and tailors, 

And singers of ballads, and girls of the sieve ; 
With Barrack-street rangers, the known ones and strangers, 

And many that no one can tell how they live : 
There horsemen and walkers, and likewise fruit-hawkers, 

And swindlers, the devil himself that would dare, 
With pipers and fiddlers, and dandies and diddlers, 

All meet in the humours of Donnybrook fair. 



198 THE POPULAR SONGS OP IRELAND. 

Tis there are dogs dancing, and wild beasts a prancing, 

With neat bits of painting in red, yellow, and gold ; 
Toss-players and scramblers, and showmen and gamblers, 

Pickpockets in plenty, both of young and of old. 
There are brewers, and bakers, and jolly shoemakers, 

With butchers, and porters, and men that cut hair; 
There are mountebanks grinning, while others are sinning, 

To keep up the humours of Donnybrook fair. 

Brisk lads and young lasses can there fill their glasses 

With whisky, and send a full bumper around; 
Jigg it off in a tent till their money s all spent, 

And spin like a top till they rest on the ground. 
Oh, Donnybrook capers, to sweet catgut-scrapers, 

They bother the vapours, and drive away care ; 
And what is more glorious there s naught more up 
roarious 

Huzza for the humours of Donnybrook fair ! 



GLASHEN-GLORA. 

This lyric- originally appeared, with the signature 

W. , in the " Cork Constitution " newspaper of 4th 

June, 1824; and was introduced by the following note to 
the editor of that paper : 

" Mr. EDITOR, Your politeness in inserting a few 
lines which I wrote on the death of Lord Byron (dated 
18th May), induces me to request a place for the trifle I 
now send you in your poet s corner. 

" A RAMBLER." 



GLASHEN-GLORA. 199 

" Glaslien-glora," adds the author, " is a mountain 
torrent, which finds its way into the Atlantic Ocean through 
Glengariff, in the west of this county (Cork). Glashen- 
glora, I have been informed, signifies the roaring torrent. 
Whether this is a literal or liberal translation, I will not 
venture to assert." 

The Editor may add that the name, literally translated, 
signifies " the noisy green water : " 5lAf, green ; ei), water ; 
noisy. 



Tis sweet, in midnight solitude, 

When the voice of man lies hush d, subdued, 

To hear thy mountain-voice so rude 

Break silence, Glashen-glora ! 

I love to see thy foaming stream 

Dash d sparkling in the bright moonbeam ; 

For then of happier days I dream, 

Spent near thee, Glashen-glora ! 

I see the holly and the yew 

Still shading thee, as then they grew ; 

But there s a form meets not my view, 

As once, near Glashen-glora ! 

Thou gaily, brightly, sparkl st on, 
Wreathing thy dimples round each stone ; 
But the bright eye that on thee shone 

Lies quench d, wild Glashen-glora I 



200 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Still rush thee on, thou brawling brook ; 
Though on broad rivers I may look 
In other lands, thy lonesome nook 

I ll think on, Glashen-glora ! 

When I am low, laid in the grave, 
Thou still wilt sparkle, dash and rave 
Seaward, till thou becom st a wave 

Of ocean, Glashen-glora ! 

Thy course and mine alike have been 
Both restless, rocky, seldom green ; 
There rolls for me, beyond this scene, 
An ocean, Glashen-glora ! 

And when my span of life s gone by, 
Oh ! if past spirits back can fly, 
I ll often ride the night-wind s sigh 

That s breathed o er Glashen-glora ! 



GOUGANE BARRA. 

The river Lee, the Luvius of Ptolemy, has its origin 
in the romantic lake of Gougane Barra, which is about 
two miles in circumference, and is formed by numerous 
streams descending from the mountains that divide the 
counties of Cork and Kerry. 

One small island, with some luxuriant ash-trees upon 
it, growing amid the ruined walls of a rude building, is 
strikingly contrasted with the bare precipices and the wild 
and uncultivated hills which surround this beautiful lake 



GOUGANE BARRA. 201 

of dark clear water. The approach to Gougane Barra 
was formerly over rocky moors, intersected by numerous 
mountain defiles ; and this difficulty of access, together 
with the remote situation of the place from " tower or 
town," made it a secure retreat for the vanquished and 
persecuted of various periods. 

The verdure of a solitary island reflected from the 
gentle bosom of a lake, encircled by the stately cliffs of 
majestic mountains, would have been sufficient to conse 
crate the spot in the minds of those who, in times of 
trouble, sought as an asylum the rugged scenery amid 
which it reposed. They fled from clamour, strife, and 
danger; and here they found stillness, peace, and safety. 
The island which rested on the waters of " lone Gougane 
Barra," seemed to those who had retreated there, " when 
all but hope was lost," as an ark sanctified by a tradition 
of the early ages of Christianity, from whence they might 
securely look abroad for the olive-branch of peace. But 
alas ! no dove was ever sent forth by the defeated, yet 
unconquered Irish, as the spirit of the verses to which 
these remarks are prefixed will testify. In this " green 
island " it is believed that the venerable St. Fin bar, so 
named from his gray locks,* led for many years a life of 
holy seclusion about the close of the sixth century, pre 
vious to his founding the cathedral church of Cork ; and 
from this circumstance Dr. Smith says, that Gougane 
Barra signifies the hermitage of St. Finbar. The doctor, 
however, is mistaken in this assertion, as the Irish word 
gougane,f like the French glouglou, is descriptive of a 

* Fin, or pipe, whiteness; bAft, a bead. 

~t" 55-<M}, cackling, prating. O REILLY. 

K2 



202 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

bubbling or gurgling sound ; and Gougane Barra means, 
literally, the " gurgling head " of the river Lee : than 
which name nothing can accord more closely with the 
words of a writer in Bolster s " Magazine," a Cork peri 
odical, who, in an account of this lake, speaks of " the 
murmur of the young Lee, as complainingly its waters 
quitted for ever their wild home in the mountains." 

Mr. Callanan, of whom a short memoir will be found 
at p. 130, is the author of the following spirit-stirring song 
on Gougane Barra. It was composed by him in 1826. 
" During Mr. Callanan s residence in Bantry," says his 
biographer, " he made many excursions to visit the sur 
rounding scenery, which is of the most romantic and 
interesting character. The beautiful lines on Gougane 
Barra were written in that secluded hermitage during a 
thunder storm, which had overtaken him there." A copy 
of these verses was transmitted by Mr. Callanan to Dr. 
Maginn, in a letter (now in the Editor s possession) dated 
September 27, with a request to endeavour to get them 
inserted in the " New Monthly Magazine," then edited 
by Mr. Thomas Campbell ; but they do not appear to 
have been printed in that periodical. An inferior version 
to that now given is included in the posthumous collec 
tion of Mr. Callanan s poems, entitled " The Recluse of 
Inchidony," &c. 

There is a green island in lone Gougane Barra, 
Whence Allu of songs rushes forth like an arrow ; 
In deep-valley d Desmond* a thousand wild fountains 
Come down to that lake, from their home in the mountains. 

* South Munster, in distinction to Thomond or North Munster, 
the ancient division of the kingdom of Momonia. Like the Hebrews. 



GOUGANE BARRA. 

There grows the wild ash ; and a time-stricken willow 
Looks chidingly down on the mirth of the billow, 
As, like some gay child that sad monitor scorning, 
It lightly laughs back to the laugh of the morning. 

And its zone of dark hills oh ! to see them all brightening, 
When the tempest flings out his red banner of lightning, 
And the waters come down, mid the thunder s deep 

rattle, 

Like clans from their hills at the voice of the battle ; 
And brightly the fire-crested billows are gleaming, 
And wildly from Malloc* the eagles are screaming: 
Oh, where is the dwelling, in valley or highland, 
So meet for a bard as that lone little island ? 

How oft when the summer sun rested on Clara,+ 

And lit the blue headland of sullen Ivara,^; 

Have I sought thee, sweet spot, from my home by th j 

ocean, 

And trod all thy wilds with a minstrel s devotion, 
And thought on the bards who, oft gathering together, 
In the cleft of thy rocks, and the depth of thy heather, 
Dwelt far from the Saxon s dark bondage and slaughter, 
As they raised their last song by the rush of thy water. 

the Irish expressed the south and north by the right and left hand. 
Thus, be-Ar, the right hand, is the only word in the Irish language 
which signifies south ; as CUAC, the left, is the north. The compound 
mond probably means a mountain chain. 

* A mountain over the lake. 

t The Irish name for Cape Clear. 

$ Beer Havn. 



204 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

High sons of the lyre 1 oh, how proud was the feeling 
To dream while alone through that solitude stealing ; 
Though loftier minstrels green Erin can number, 
I alone waked the strain of her harp from its slumber, 
And gleaned the gray legend that long had been sleeping, 
Where oblivion s dull mist o er its beauty was creeping, 
From the love which I felt for my country s sad story, 
When to love her was shame, to revile her was glory ! 

Last bard of the free ! were it mine to inherit 

The fire of thy harp and the wing of thy spirit, 

With the wrongs which like thee to my own land have 

bound me, 

Did your mantle of song throw its radiance around me ; 
Yet, yet on those bold cliffs might Liberty rally, 
And abroad send her cry o er the sleep of each valley. 
But, rouse thee, vain dreamer ! no fond fancy cherish, 
Thy vision of Freedom in bloodshed must perish. 

I soon shall be gone though my name may be spoken 
When Erin awakes, and her fetters are broken 
Some minstrel will come in the summer eve s gleaming, 
When Freedom s young light on his spirit is beaming, 
To bend o er my grave with a tear of emotion, 
Where calm Avonbuee* seeks the kisses of ocean, 
And a wild wreath to plant from the banks of that river 
O er the heart and the harp that are silent for ever.f 

* The Carrigaline River, see p. 157. 

t Alas ! the melancholy wish expressed by poor Callanan was not 
realised. He lies buried in a foreign land. See p. 133. 



YOUNG KATE OF KILCUMMER. 205 



YOUNG KATE OF KILCUMMER 

Is copied from a tale entitled " The Rapparee," printed in 
Bolster s " Quarterly Magazine, No. IX.," a Cork periodical 
publication, August 1828, where this ballad is said to be 
" a favourite Irish song, which we have endeavoured to 
translate, preserving as much as possible the simplicity of 
the original." The Editor, however, does not recognise 
any thing to induce him to credit this statement. He 
believes it to be an original composition. Kilcummer is 
a seat of the Bowen family, in the county of Cork, on the 
east side of the river Awbeg, not far distant from the 
town of Doneraile. 

There are flowers in the valley, 

And fruit on the hill, 
Sweet-scented and smiling, 

Resort where you will. 
But the sweetest and brightest 

In spring time or summer, 
Is the girl of my heart, 

The young Kate of Kilcummer. 

Oh ! I d wander from daybreak 

Till night s gloomy fall, 
Full sure such another 

I d ne er meet at all. 
As the rose to the bee, 

As the sunshine to summer, 
So welcome to me 

Is young Kate of Kilcummer. 



206 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



THE BOYS OF KILKENNY. 

The Editor believes that this song, although unclaimed, 
is not incorrectly attributed to Mr. Thomas Moore, and 
the reasons for his belief are these : 

1. Moore was a prominent member of the Kilkenny 
private theatricals about the years 1802, 3, and 4. 

2. The melody called " The old head of Denis," was 
an especial favourite with Moore ; to it he wrote his well- 
known song in the first Number of the " Irish Melodies," 
on the Meeting of the Waters in the county of Wicklow, 
commencing, " There is not in this wide world," &c. ; a 
line, by the by, which the fastidiousness of Moore s 
matured judgment has changed into " the wide world." 

3. The internal evidence of the song itself. The 
luscious picture conveyed to the fancy in the concluding 
lines of the second, and the beautiful local imagery of the 
third verses, as well as the humour which pervades the 
entire song, partake more of the tone of Moore s mind 
than of the national character. 

It was no doubt originally written for, and sung on 
the Kilkenny stage, and the last verse was probably an 
adjunct by the author when he sung " The Bo3 r s of Kil 
kenny" in England, where he became a permanent resident 
about 1807.* 

The Kilkenny theatre has been already noticed (p. 57), 
as a speculation of Owenson s. Mr. Banim, in some 
gossiping letters on Ireland, published in a London peri 
odical (" The Literary Register, 1822,"), says, Until 

* Since the above was written the Editor has been informed, " by 
good authority," that he is wrong- in ascribing this song to Mr. Moore. 



THE BOYS OF KILKENNY. 207 

within the last few years, a private theatre was annually 
opened in Kilkenny under the management of Mr. Richard 
Power,* an accomplished and amiable gentleman, at which, 
with other characters of consideration, Mr. Corry (Se 
cretary to the Linen Hall) exhibited his very rare talents. 
The cause of charity was joined with elegant recreation, 
and extensive advantages resulted to the local charitable 
institutions. Other benefits also accrued to the inland 
city, which was the scene of those periodical amusements. 
It became the rendezvous of the wealthy and fashionable 
from all parts of Ireland during the short theatrical 
seasons, and business of every kind thereby received a 
sprightly stimulous. My friend went on, adding some 
information and detached anecdote which interested me 
not a little. It was at these Kilkenny theatricals that 
Miss O Neil lost her heart to Mr. Becher;f while the 
world consequently lost its first-rate actress. Mr. B. was 
the Coriolanus of the amateur company, and became cap 
tivated with his present celebrated lady during the very 
last Kilkenny season, while Miss O Neil was gratuitously 
lending her mighty talents in behalf of the widow and 
the orphan. It is said, too, that here, at a very early 
period of her life, and when retained as an accessory, 
Miss O Neil met with a cordial and decisive encourage 
ment, which materially influenced her after-success in the 
metropolis. I have more to say to you about Kilkenny 
pic-nics. Tom Moore was for some years the Spado, 

* Of Clashraore House, in the county of Waterford, which county 
lie represented in many successive parliaments. He was born in 
1780, and died at his Louse, in Baker Street, London, on the 12th 
March, 1834. 

t Now Sir William Wrixon Beclier, Bart. 



208 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Mungo, and Peeping Tom of the boards ; and, by all 
accounts, a glorious little actor he made. I am informed 
that his Spado was a treat. Indeed, the character seems 
made for him. How I should like to have seen the Irish 
ladies eying him as he sung 

Oh, lasses ! of love can you fail, 

With such a compact little lovey ? 
Though no one can taste the big whale, 

Sure all love the little anchovy ! 
And again, 

Though wanting two feet in my body, 
lu soul I am thirty feet high. 

Here he recited his own melalogue ; and, as a final bit 
of tattle be it added, here Tommy also met, wooed, and 
won his present good lady." 

Air " The old Head of Denis." 

Oh ! the boys of Kilkenny are stout roving blades, 

And if ever they meet with the nice little maids, 

They kiss them and coax them, they spend their money free. 

Oh ! of all towns in Ireland, Kilkenny for me. 

Oh I of all towns in Ireland, Kilkenny for me ! 

Through the town of Kilkenny there runs a clear stream, 
In the town of Kilkenny there lives a pretty dame, 
Her cheeks are like roses, her lips much the same, 
Like a dish of ripe strawberries smothered in cream. 
Like a dish of ripe strawberries smothered in cream. 

Her eyes are as black as Kilkenny s famed coal, 
And tis they through my bosom that have burned a big 
hole; 



THE HERMIT OF KILLARNEY. 209 

Her mind, like its waters, is as deep, clear, and pure, 
But her heart is more hard than its marble, I m sure. 
But her heart is more hard than its marble, I m sure. 

Oh ! Kilkenny s a famous town, that shines where it stands, 
And the more I think on it, the more my heart warms ; 
For if I was in Kilkenny, I d think myself at home, 
For it s there I d get sweethearts, but here I get none. 
For it s there I d get sweethearts, but here I get none. 



THE HERMIT OF KILLARNEY. 

The authorship of this ballad is attributed to the Right 
Hon. George Ogle (see p. 138). It is probably not a mere 
poetic invention, but suggested by an actual occurrence. 
Mr. Weld, in his account of Killarney, says, " It is 
scarcely possible, indeed, to enter the confines of this 
sequestered and enchanting region without feeling the 
influence of a spell, which abstracts the mind from the 
noise and folly of the world, and banishes for the moment 
the desire of returning to the gay and busy scenes of 
human life. So powerful are its effects, that instances 
are not wanting of persons who, on first coming hither, 
have fondly resolved to retire to these distant shades ; 
and who, with the permission of the proprietors of the 
shores, have actually determined on the precise position 
of their intended retreats. But as if the spell was liable 
to be dissolved when the mountains of Killarney faded 
from view, or as if a temporary absence from the habitual 
enjoyments of the pleasures of social life served but to 



210 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

render a return to them the more agreeable, these visionary 
schemes have been generally abandoned on withdrawing 
from the scenes which gave them birth. 

" One man, however, there was, upon whose romantic 
mind a deeper impression was made ; he was an English 
man, of the name of Ronayn. The spot which he selected 
for his retreat was this small island, which yet retains his 
name ; and when first I visited Killarney (1800), the ruins 
of his little habitation, planted in the midst of rocks very 
near the water, were still visible. They inspired one with 
a respect for the place ; nor was it possible to contemplate 
them without falling into a train of reflection upon the 
variety of sentiments entertained by men about happiness, 
that invariable object of eager and hourly pursuit. The 
mind was also led to consider how little was actually 
wanting to supply the real necessities even of a man who 
had, from infancy, perhaps, been habituated to the com 
forts and conveniencies of civilised life. Surely the spot 
should have been held sacred as long as a fragment of 
the habitation remained visible ; but the spirit of improve 
ment, as it is often so falsely styled, has swept away every 
vestige of Ronayn s cottage, and the mossy rocks where 
he was wont to seat himself before it, have given place 
to the trim surface of a smooth-shorn grass-plot. 

" Of the motives which induced this gentleman to 
withdraw from the world, whether they arose from an 
innate love of retirement, from disappointment in his 
pursuits, or from 

Strokes of adversity no time can cure, 
No lenient hand can soften or assuage ; 

or whether they arose from his experience of the insuf- 



THE HERMIT OF KILLARNEY. 211 

ficiency of the ordinary pleasures and luxuries of life to 
afford permanent satisfaction, it has never fallen within 
my power to learn. He avoided all society, and seldom 
left the island, except to partake of his favourite amuse 
ments of shooting or fishing, by which he procured his 
chief sustenance. Thus singular in his habits, he became 
exposed to the eye of curiosity ; and, offended at frequent 
and impertinent intrusion, his jealousy of the approach 
of strangers sometimes betrayed itself in acts of savage 
moroseness; nevertheless, his name is still mentioned at 
Killarncy with respect nay, even with admiration." 

The enthusiastic and unfortunate John Bernard Trot 
ter, the private secretary of Fox, speaking, in his " Walks 
through Ireland," of this " celebrated song," the locality 
of which he confounds with " Banna s Banks," says, <; It 
begins some way thus : 

On Banna s lonely banks I strayed ; 
and every couplet ends with 

Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, 
Thou ne er wert made for me ! 

So powerful," continues Trotter, " are some early impres 
sions, that I recollect learning the words of this song many 
years ago when a schoolboy. It then seemed to me the 
perfection of poetry. Its melancholy strains, so often 
repeated, of 

Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, 
Thou ne er wert made for me ! 

filled me with mournful pleasure. Careless of the plays 
and sports usual with boys, I have often pored over these 



212 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

verses, unknowing their full import, but devouring and 
dwelling on them with secret and indescribable satisfac 
tion ! I knew not then what a faithless world meant; 
I had never seen or heard of Banna s Banks, and com 
prehended not what was misfortune or disappointment. 
These were the topics which had inspired the author of 
this pleasing song. By what mysterious sympathy did I 
conceive feelings which I never imparted I or by what 
presentiments did I anticipate the afterwards too well 
understanding this song!" 

As on Killarney s bank I stood, near to her crystal wave, 
I saw a holy hermit retired within his cave ; 
His eyes he often turn d to heaven, and thus exclaimed he : 
" Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, thou wert not made 
for me ! " 

His bed was strewed with rushes, which grew along the 

shore, 

And o er his limbs emaciate a sackcloth-shirt he wore; 
His hoary beard and matted hair hung listless to his knee : 
" Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, thou wert not made 

for me ! " 

I thought his heart had broken, so heavy were his sighs, 
I thought his tears would dry up the fountains of his eyes ; 
Oh ! twas a grievous thing to hear, a piteous sight to see : 
" Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, thou wert not made 
for me ! " 

His sorrows pierced my bosom, in all I took my share ; 
My sighs, his sighs re-echoed, I gave him tear for tear; 



THE HERMIT OF KILLARNEY. 213 

I had no comfort left to give it might intrusion be: 
" Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, thou wert not made 
for me ! " 

He ceased awhile his mourning, and seemed in thought 

profound, 

But anguish soon returning, he started from the ground ; 
In agony he smote his heart, and thus exclaimed he : 
" Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, thou wert not made 

for me ! 

" How vain and foolish mortals are, who sigh for pomp 

and state; 

They little know the dangers that on high stations wait ; 
They little know the woes and ills that follow high degree : 
Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, thou wert not made 

for me I 

" Ambition s but a bubble, a circle in the sea, 
Extending o er the surface, and ne er can ended be, 
Till in itself, itself is lost, the breath of vanity: 
Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, thou wert not made 
for me ! 

" Why did I trust to honour I reckoned by my own ? 
Why did I trust to virtue, when she to heaven was flown ? 
Alas I too late, I now lament my fond credulity : 
Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, thou wert not made 
for me ! 

" I thought that there was friendship, but that s a gem 

most rare ; 
I thought that love was sacred, and beauty was sincere ; 



214 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

But these are visions all like dreams, which with the 

morning flee : 
Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, thou wert not made 

for me ! 

" Oh, had I been a shepherd upon the mountain s brow, 
I ne er had known those feelings that I experience now ; 
My flocks had been my only care, from every other free : 
Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, thou wert not made 
for me ! 

" These toils will soon be over, my pilgrimage is past ; 
The gates of heaven are open, redemption smiles at last ; 
May all my enemies be blest, my wrongs forgiven be : 
Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, thou wert not made 
for me ! " 

He laid him down upon his bed, the threads of life were 

broke ; 
His eyes seemed closed in death s dim shade, I thought he 

ne er had spoke : 

Again, with faltering voice he said, twas life s last agony 
" Adieu, adieu, thou faithless world, thou wert not made 

for me ! " 



THE KILRUDDERY HUNT. 

Called, by Ritson, " the Irish Hunt," and printed by 
him in the second volume of his collection of English 
Songs (ed. Park. 1813, p. 184), is remarkable, if for no 



THE K1LRUDDERY HUNT. 215 

other reason, as eliciting Ritson s opinion of Irish songs. 
" With respect to the lyric productions of our now sister- 
kingdom, Ireland, the best of them have been generally 
esteemed and ranked as English songs ; being few in 
number, and possessing no national, or other peculiar or 
distinguishing marks. Of these, however, the number is 
very few ; and that which might be deemed the most 
exceptionable (the hunting song) may be well pardoned, 
on account of the superior excellence of its composition 
to most others on the same subject: this description of 
songs being, in general, as utterly void of poetry, sense, 
wit, or humour, as the practice they are intended to cele 
brate whether it be the diversion of the prince or the 
peasant is irrational, savage, barbarous, and inhuman." 

The Editor is indebted to Mr. J. C. Walker, of Dublin, 
for the annexed map, which illustrates the topography of 
" the Kilruddery Hunt," the original of which was sketched 
by the Rev. James Whitelaw * for the late Mr. Joseph 
Cooper Walker, in 1796, and was, most probably, intended 
for Ritson ; although it would seem that Mr. Walker had, 
some years previously, made inquiries of Ritson respecting 
this song. Ritson, in a letter addressed to that gentleman 
on the 25th June, 1790, says, " The author of the Irish 
Hunt, whose name you tell me you have been in pursuit 
of, was Mr. St. Leger, son of Sir John St. Leger, formerly 
one of the barons of the Exchequer ; at least it is so said, 
in the Gentleman s Magazine for April." 

Mr. Walker, in reply, informed Ritson f- that " the 

* A memoir of this able and excellent man is prefixed to Whitelaw 
and Walsh s " History of Dublin," 2 vols. 4to, 1818. 

f Note in " Ritson s Letters," i. 179. Edited by Sir Harris 
Nicolas. 1833. 



216 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Irish Hunt was written by T. Mozeen. It appeared in 
a collection of * Miscellaneous Essays, which he published 
by subscription in 1762. Chetwood gives an account of 
Mozeen." 

On the 14th December, 1790, Ritson writes to 
Mr. Walker " There is a collection of I know not what 
sort of poetry, in two small duodecimo volumes, by one 
Mozeen : can this be the author of the Irish Hunt ? 
If so, I must have been egregiously blind to their merit, 
and shall make it a point to give them a more attentive 
perusal. His name, I find (from the * Biographia Dra- 
matica ), was William, and he died after 1762. The song 
is indisputably excellent ; and were my book likely to 
attain a second edition, I would be most thankful for any 
notes you might be pleased to communicate." 

This request, no doubt, led Mr. Walker to make fur 
ther inquiries on the subject ; and from letters addressed 
to him by Mr. Whitelaw, at the period that he sketched 
the map, the following particulars have been collected: 

" He (Mr. Whitelaw) was of opinion that * the Kil- 
ruddery Hunt was the production of a Mr. T. Mozeen, 
and was published in London, 1762, 8vo. in a * Collection 
of Miscellaneous Essays, which contained, besides, a song 
in praise of John Adair, Esq. of Kilternan ; also an invi 
tation to Owen Bray s, at Loughlinstown.* 

" Mr. Whitelaw writes In 1744, the Inn at Lough 
linstown was kept by Owen Bray, one of the heroes of the 

* The Editor finds all these songs in a little volume entitled " The 
Lyrick Pacquet, containing most of the favourite songs, serious and 
comic, that have been performed for three seasons past at Sadler s 
Wells," &c. By T. Mozeen. London, printed and sold by J. Dix- 
well, in St. Martin s Lane, near Charing Cross. 1764. Pp. 118. 



THE KILRUDDERY HUNT. 217 

song, and was at that period one of the best houses of 
accommodation in the kingdom, in consequence of the 
singular attention of the host, who was a man of some 
education, of much plain, solid, good sense, and so remark 
ably obliging, that the neighbouring gentlemen frequently 
made parties to dine at Laughlinstown. Here particularly, 
from a similar motive to promote his interests were 
held the cock-fights, which, though now happily forgotten, 
were then a favourite amusement of this country. 

" * Mr. Mozeen, a comedian skilled in music, lodged 
several summers at the inn, and particularly that of 1744 ; 
and the song in question came forth as the joint produc 
tion of this gentleman and Owen Bray. But as Mozeen 
was not in the field that day not being a sportsman, and 
as stout Owen Bray was a keen one, it was the general 
opinion that the song was the composition of the latter, 
and that the sole claim of the former consisted in having 
set it to music. The soul of the sportsman, indeed, seems 
transferred into the song. The topography of the scene is 
minutely accurate, and the language so perfectly sports 
manlike, that the major is confident it could not be the 
production of Mozeen. 

" The major," adds the Editor s friend, Mr. Walker, 
" I find to be Major Sirr, who is described by Mr. White- 
law as his * worthy old friend, intimate with the parties 
mentioned in the song, and particularly with the Earl of 
Meath. * Mr. Whitelaw (1796) continues to write of the 

* Major Sirr went to Ireland, in 1757, with the Duke of Bedford. 
He was then a captain in Sebright s, the 83d regiment. Mnjor Sirr 
was subsequently appointed town-major of the city of Dublin, and 
pratique-master of the port. He was high-sheriff of the county of 

L 



218 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

parties not one, I believe, survives. Death, that 
mighty hunter, has earthed them all. " 

Songs commemorative of a good day s sport are com 
mon in Ireland, and resemble " The Kilruddery Hunt" in 
enumerating the sportsmen, the ground run over, and the 
finale a jovial dinner, with sometimes the description of 
a will made by the dying animal. A specimen of one 
composed about the close of the seventeenth century, 
although sadly messed by an ignorant transcriber, has 
been preserved in the British Museum among the Sloane 
MSS., No. 900, entitled " The Fingallian Hunting of the 
Hare," where the hospitality of St. Lawrence s Hall 
(Lord Howth s) is commended, and the sportsmanlike 
qualifications of Michael St. Lawrence and his companions 
are duly set forth.* The description of a " County of 
Limerick Buck-Hunt," in 1735, may be found at page 
251 of this volume; and in singing the fame of an Irish 
fox-hunt, which occurred on the 1st March, 1833, the 

Dublin, and deputy judge-advocate-general of Ireland ; and governor 
of most of the institutions of the Irish metropolis. He was the fath 
of the present well-known Major Sirr of Dublin. 

* In this song, the dying hare is thus made to settle her worldly 
affairs : 

" But in a fine mead, she being almost spent, 
She made her last will, ay, and testament. 
Cropt cur, with thee, says she, I will not stay ; 
Nor with true running Cutty, that shewed such fair play; 
But to thee, brave Hector, I yield up my life. 
And so Hector bore her, and ended the strife." 

According to another hunting song, 

" When Reynard was taken, his last task to fulfil, 
He asked for paper, pen, and ink, to draw out his will," &c. 



THE KILRUDDERY HUNT. 219 

lyrist becomes so delighted with the performance of some 
young men, that he concludes by stating his determination 
to make his will in their favour, as follows : 

" Here s to you, Mr. Casey, my Curraghmore estate ; 
And to you, young O Brien, my money and my plate ; 
And to you, Thomas Denehy, my whip, spurs, and cap ; 
For you crossed the walls and ditches, never looking for a gap." 

In the manuscript Journal of a recent visit to Ireland 
by Lady Chatterton, which her ladyship has been so kind 
as to allow the Editor to peruse, he finds among numerous 
faithful and clever sketches from nature, the following 
account of an Irish peasant, who accompanied Lady Chat 
terton on an excursion in the neighbourhood of Limerick: 
" Our companion sung us several songs ; one was a 
humorous ballad, half in English and half in Irish, de 
tailing the adventures of a fox, as related by himself. 
How he swam across the Shannon, from Tervoe to 
Cratloe, closely pursued by the hounds, Blossom, and 
Sweet-lips, and Silver-tongue, and Ponto ; and in how 
disagreeable a situation he found himself afterwards, 
stuffed head-foremost into the huntsman s bag. Some of 
his songs," adds Lady Chatterton, " were in a wild and 
mournful strain, pathetic and tender enough almost to 
bring tears into one s eyes ; and all the time he was sing 
ing, he accompanied his voice with the most expressive 
gesticulations of his hands and feet." 

Mozeen s verses upon Squire Adair, of Kilternan, 
before mentioned, are entitled " Time took by the fore 
lock at Kilternan, the seat of John Adair, Esq., in the 
County of Dublin." The author, after a short introduc- 



220 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

tion levelled against the fashionable taste for foreign music, 
relates, to the tune of " Derry Down," 

" how old daddy Time took a frolic, 

By the help of good claret to dissipate cares : 
The spot was Kilternan, the house was Adair s. 

Not used to the sight of the soberer race, 
With the door in her hand, the maid laughed in his face ; 
For she thought, by his figure, he might be at best 
Some plodding mechanic, or prig of a priest. 

But soon as he said that he came for a glass, 
Without further reserve she replied he might pass ; 
Yet mocked his bald pate, as he tottered along, 
And despised him, as moderns despise an old song. 

Jack Adair was at table with six of his friends, 
Who, for making him drunk, he was making amends ; 
Time hoped at his presence none there were affronted : 
Sit down, boy, says Jack, and prepare to be hunted. 

They drank, hand to fist, for six bottles and more, 
Till down tumbled Time, and began for to snore ; 
Five gallons of claret they poured on his head, 
And were going to take the old soaker to bed. 

But Jack, who s possess d of a pretty estate, 
And would to the Lord it was ten times as great ! 
Thought, aptly enough, that if Time did not wake, 
He might lose all he had by the world s turning back. 

So, twitching his forelock, Time opened his eyes, 
And, staggering, stared with a deal of surprise; 
Quoth he, 1 must mow down ten millions of men, 
But e er you drink thrice I ll be with thee again. " 



THE KILRUDDERY HUNT. 2*21 

Time at length departs, after giving his worthy host a 
most friendly shake by the hand, and declaring 

" Go on with TOUT bumpers, jour beef, and good cheer, 
And the darling of Time shall be Johnny Adair." 

Mozeen entitles the song, to which this long, but, it is 
hoped, not uninteresting introduction is prefixed, " A De 
scription of a Fox Chase that happened in the County of 
Dublin with the Earl of Meath s Hounds." 




222 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



Tune " Shelah na Guiragh." 

Hark, hark ! jolly sportsmen, awhile to a tale, 
Which, to pay your attention, I hope will not fail ; 
Tis of lads, and of horses, and dogs, that ne er tire, 
O er stone walls, and hedges, through dale, bog, and briar. 
A pack of such hounds, and a set of such men, 
Tis a shrewd chance if ever you meet with again. 
Had Nimrod, the mightiest of hunters, been there, 
Fore, gad, he had shook like an aspen for fear. 
La, la, la, &c. 

In seventeen hundred and forty and four, 

The fifth of December I think twas no more ; 

At five in the morning, by most of the clocks,* 

We rode from Kilruddery,-]- to try for a fox ; 

The Laughlinstown landlord, the bold Owen Bray,J 

With Squire Adair, sure, were with us that day ; 

* Theobald Wolfe Tone, whose practice it was to quote snatches of 
song, notes in his " Journal," 20th April, 1797, " Set out from 
Cologne, at Jive in the morning, by most of the clocks on my 
way," &c. 

t About a mile and a half beyond Bray, and near the lesser Sugar- 
loaf, or Gold-spur Mountain a noble seat of the Brabazons, created 
Earls of Meath in 1627. 

$ Mozeen advises all travellers landed from England, " sick of the 
seas," to proceed to Laughlinstown 

" without any delays, 

For you ll never be right till you see Owen Bray s. 
With his Ballen a Mono, Ora, Ballen a Mono, Ora, Ballon a Mono, Ota, 
A glass of his claret for me ! 

Were you full of complaints from the crown to the toe, 
A visit to Owen s will cure you of wo; 



THE KILRUDDERY HUNT. 223 

Joe Debill, Hall Preston, that huntsman so stout, 
Dick Holmes,* (a few others), and so we went out. 
La, la, la, &c. 

We had cast off the hounds for an hour or more, 
When Wanton set up a most tuneable roar. 
" Hark, to Wanton ! " cried Joe; and the rest were not slack, 
For Wanton s f no trifler esteemed by the pack ; 
Old Bonny f and Collier f came readily in, 
And every dog joined in the musical din. 
Had Diana been there, she d been pleased to the life, ^ 
And some of the lads got a goddess to wife. 

La, la, la, &c. 

Ten minutes past nine was the time o the day, 
When Reynard unkennelled, and this was his play; 
As strong from Killeager,J as though he could fear none, 
Away he brushed round by the house of Kilternan ; 

A buck of such spirits ye never did know, 

For, let what will happen, they re always in flow, 

When he touches up Ballen, &c. 

The joy of that fellow for me ! 

Fling leg over garron, ye lovers of sport, 

Much joy is at Owen s, though little at Court; 

Tis thither the lads of brisk mettle resort, 

For there they are sure that they 11 never fall short 

Of good claret, and Ballen, &c. 

The eighty-fourth bumper for me ! " &c. 

* Married, in 1756, Elizabeth, daughter of the Honourable Captain 
Molesworth. 

t " Favourite hounds of Lord Meath s." Note by MOZEEN. 

| Now a deserted farm-house on the Enniskerry side of the Scalp. 
See Map. 

On the Dublin side of the Scalp, once the residence of the famous 
Squire Adair of the song. 

Quere : May not this have been the Adair, and this the identical 



224 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

To Carrick Mines* thence, and to Cherry wood,f then 
Steep Shank Hillf he climbed, and to Ballyman Glen, 
Bray Common || he passed, leaped Lord Anglesea s wall,J 
And seemed to say, " Little I value you all." 

La, la, la, &c. 

He ran bushes and groves,** up to Carbury Bourns,f f 
Joe Debill, and Preston, kept leading by turns; 
The earth it was open, but Reynard was stout, 
Though he could have got in, yet he chose to keep out. 

occasion, which gave the name of " Aclair s leap " to an enormous rock 
which overhangs the western side of the Scalp? The tradition is, that 
a gentleman of the name of Adair, in following the hounds, with 
" breathless, fiery haste," suddenly found himself on the very brink of 
this precipitous rock ; and, when his companions gave him up as lost, 
he skilfully wheeled his courser and escaped. According to the Irish 
fashion, it was called his leap, because he did not take it. 

* A hamlet in the neighbourhood of Leopardstown, the magnificent 
residence of Lord Castlecoote. 

t A wood still, close to the village of Laughlinstown. 

| A high hill, about eight miles from Dublin, forming the east 
wing of the Scalp, now remarkable for its lead mines. 

A wild romantic glen, through which flows Ferrily s-brook, which 
here separates the counties of Dublin and Wicklow, watering the 
valley of Diamonds, till it is lost in the Bray river. Reynard s retreats 
are still to be seen in this glen. 

|| Remains a common at this day. 

IT Has disappeared, nor does any tradition of its existence remain. 

** Ritson s reading is, " He ran Bushe s Grove." Bush Grove, 
now Cork Abbey, was the seat of the late Colonel Wingfield. 

ft It is remarkable that a man named Carberry Bvrne should at 
present reside at this place : he is a respectable carpenter. 



THE KILRUDDERY HUNT. 225 

To Malpas s* summits away then he flew; 
At Dalkey sf stone common we had him in view; 
He shot on through Bullock, J to Shrub Glenagary ; 
And so on, to Mount Town,|| where Larry grew weary. 

La, la, la, &c. 

Through Roches town wood,5[ like an arrow he passed, 
And came to the steep hills of Dalkey ** at last ; 
There gallantly plunged himself into the sea, 
And said in his heart, " Sure none dare follow me." 
But soon, to his cost, he perceived that no bounds 
Could stop the pursuit of the stanch mettled hounds ; 
His policy here didn t serve him a rush, 
Five couple of terriers were hard at his brush. 

La, la, la, &c. 

* The bill next to Killiney ; an obelisk, was erected on its summit 
by Colonel Mapas in 1741, for the benevolent purpose of employing 
the poor in a season of distress, and in imitation of the example of Sir 
Piggot Piers, who had a pillar constructed at Stillorgan with the same 
object the preceding year. On the Killiney range, and in the verv 
track of the hounds, as described in the song, the young Duke of 
Dorset was killed on the 14th February, 18 15, by a fall from his horse, 
whilst hunting with Lord Powerscourt s hounds. A small pyramid 
marks the spot. 

f No longer a common. 

J A small fishing village. 

A mile and a half from Kingstown. The name no longer re 
tains the " Shrub," being now simply called " Glenageary." 

[| Should be Monk s Town, close to Kingstown. 

^[ About half a mile from Glenageary, a remnant of the ancient 
wood still exists. 

** The sea side of Killiney, the land, or northern side, having 
nearly disappeared, to form the pier of Kingstown harbour. 

L2 



226 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

To recover the shore, then again was his drift, 
But ere he could reach to the top of the clift, 
He found both of speed and of cunning a lack, 
Being waylaid and killed by the rest of the pack ; 
At his death there were present the lads that I ve sung : 
Save Larry, who, riding a garron, was flung. 
Thus ended at length a most delicate chase, 
That held us five hours and ten minutes space. 

La, la, la, &c. 

We returned to Kilruddery s plentiful board, 
Where dwells hospitality, truth, and my lord;* 
We talked o er the chase, and we toasted the health 
Of the man who ne er varied for places or wealth. 
Owen Bray balked a leap ; said Hal Preston, " Twas odd !" 
" Twas shameful ! " cried Jack, " by the great living G !" 
Said Preston, I hallooed, " Get on, though you fall, 
Or I ll leap over you, your blind gelding and all ! " 

La, la, la, &c. 

Each glass was adapted to freedom and sport ; 
For party affairs were consigned to the Court. 
Thus we finished the rest of the day, and the night, 
In gay flowing bumpers, and social delight : 
Then, till the next meeting, bid farewell each brother ; 
For some they went one way, and some went another. 
And as Phoebus befriended our earlier roam, 
So Luna took care in conducting us home. 

La, la, la, &c. 

* Chaworth, the sixth Earl of Meath, born in 1686. He died at 
Calais on his way to Aix la Chapelle, 14th May, 1763, and was buried 
at Canterbury. His brother Edward succeeded to the title. 



THE PRAISE OF KINSALE. 227 



THE PRAISE OF KINSALE. 

This satirical song, with the subsequent reply to it, 
are given from a broadside purchased by the Editor in 
1831, at the shop of Haly, a ballad printer in Hanover 
Street, Cork. They were respectively entitled, " Paddy 
Farrell, of Kinsale, to his friend at Mallow;" and " An 
swer of Thady Mullowny, of Mallow, to Paddy Farrell, 
Kinsale." 

The authorship is ascribed to Mr. John Lander, an 
eminent solicitor in Cork, who has been mentioned more 
than once in the preceding pages. 

" The World s End," alluded to in the seventh verse, 
is a district so called on the south-west side of the town 
of Kinsale. Dr. Smith, in his " History of Cork," de 
scribing Scilly, recommended for its perfumes in the fol 
lowing verse, quotes as an " exact picture," Pope s imitation 
of Spenser : 

" And on the broken pavement, here and there, 

Doth many a stinking sprat and herring lie ; 
A brandy and tobacco-shop is near, 

And hens, and dogs, and hogs, are feeding by, 
And here a sailor s jacket hangs to dry; 
At every door are sun-burnt matrons seen 

Mending old nets, to catch the scaly fry ; 
Now singing shrill, and scolding oft between, 
Scolds answer foul-mouthed scolds bad neighbourhood, I ween." 

" Scilly," says Smith, " is a small village near Kinsale, 
well built, and inhabited by fishermen, who have, both 
here and in that town, a considerable number of fishing 
vessels, and yearly take good quantities offish, which they 



228 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

salt for foreign markets and home consumption. These 
fishermen were an English colony,* who settled here after 
the defeat of the Spaniards in Queen Elizabeth s time. 
They never marry out of the village, so that they are all 
related to each other." 

As shepherds and ploughmen in verses so clever, 
Have sung of their heath-covered mountain or vale ; 

Why not a poor fisherman try his endeavour 
To sing of his own native town of Kinsale ? 

By folks esteem d learned, I m reckon d amphibious, 
Because half my time on the water I sail ; 

And each morning arise from the ocean with Phoebus, 
When we both spread our rays on the strand of Kinsale. 

To do the theme justice exceeds my poor powers ; 

Then expect but a round and unvarnish d tale : 
To hook in the aid of poetical flowers 

Is not in my line, while I sing of Kinsale. 

For bathers of all sorts, we ve hot baths and cold ones, 
And boxes for ladies their charms to conceal ; 

We ve races and quadrilles for young and for old ones, 
And billiards and cards at the rooms in Kinsale. 

We ve a Royal Hotel fit for kings to repose in, 
Built and furnished in style by a brewer of ale ; 

Where are soft arm-chairs after dinner to dose in, 

While fanned by the zephyrs that breathe o er Kinsale. 

* It is traditionally said from the Scilly Islands, after which their 
Irish location was named. 



THE PRAISE OF KINSALE. 229 

We ve a choice set of books for the student who wise is, 
The eel of true science to seize by the tail ; 

At all seasons, a skate you can have where no ice is, 
Or a sinecure plaice you may get at Kinsale. 

Would you seek for that solace of life, a true friend, sir ? 

In this mart of pure friendship you never can fail ; 
Not a man but would travel e en to " the World s End," sir, 

To serve any friend that he has in Kinsale. 

If you re partial to perfumes, cross over to Scilly, 
Where scents odoriferous float on the gale ; 

Where you ve cold baths if warm, and warm ones if chilly, 
And much higher fragrance than is in Kinsale. 

Cold bathing, tis said, gives additional tension 
To muscles, and renders the fibres more hale; 

Would you weigh this opinion with rigid attention, 
You d not want for scales on the strand of Kinsale. 

Then take my advice, if you ve gout, boil, or cholic, 
Only try what our baths and pure air will avail ; 

Or if you re in health, just come here for a frolic, 
And abundant amusement you ll find in Kinsale. 



KINSALE VERSUS MALLOW. 



The introductory remarks prefixed to the preceding 
song, render any observations here unnecessary, except 
that the " Break-heart Hill," mentioned in the ninth verse, 



230 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

is called Compass Hill, upon the side of which Kinsale 
is built ; the principal street runs at the base, and is like 
all old streets, " narrow and incommodious. Over this 
are other streets, but the communication is by steep, 
slippery lanes, which, to strangers, are far from being 
agreeable." 

In a manuscript Journal of the Rev. Richard Allyn, 
chaplain of H. M.S. Centurion, 1691 (which was purchased 
for Sir Walter Scott in 1823), Kinsale is described as 
" a large, stinking, filthy hole, that hath nothing good in 
it, besides honest Parson Tomms. I was very glad," 
writes the pious chaplain, " to leave so vile a place, though 
indeed I was somewhat sorry to part with Parson Tomms, 
and the two only fit men for Christian conversation besides 
himself in the whole town ; viz. Mr. Stawell, the mayor, 
and Parson Mead." 

The Spa of Mallow alluded to in the fifth verse, will 
be particularly noticed hereafter. 

The present with which Paddy Farrell accompanied 
" his poetic epistle," and which fish, " the sovereign" (so 
is the chief magistrate of Kinsale styled), is represented 
as regulating the price of when dried, is a gigantic species 
of haddock, which should be eaten as soon as possible- 
after it is caught ; in fact, should be put into the pot 
alive. " As dead as a hake," is one of the most con 
temptuous phrases of an Irish fish-market. The hake is 
very plentiful during the summer months on the southern 
coast of Ireland. There existed in Kinsale (the Editor 
speaks of the years 1815 or 1816), a yacht, or rather 
hooker club, called " the Hake Club," of which the late 
Lord Kingsale was commodore and president. The mem- 



KINSALE VERSUS MALLOW. 231 

bers were distinguished by the figure of a hake fish em 
broidered or painted on a riband, which was worn inserted 
through the button-holes of the waistcoat, like the badge 
of the society called Friendly Brothers. 

Dear Paddy, I got your poetic epistle, 

Along with the hake that you sent by the mail ; 

But what could bewitch you, to sing, or to whistle, 
In strains so melodious the praise of Kinsale? 

In all baits you re well skilled, you cod-dragging curmudgeon, 
To hook every fish from a sprat to a whale ; 

But your lines shan t catch me by my sole I m no gudgeon 
To flounder or starve in the streets of Kinsale. 

I know your design is as usual sell fish; 

For catch what you will, my old boy, I ll be bail 
You ll jolt off to Cork your best hake and best shell-fish, 

And leave barely a claw for the town of Kinsale. 

But what to Kinsale boys are solids or liquids, 
Madeira, or turbot, beef, mutton, or veal, 

So they swallow the whisky, and in their jaws stick quids 
Of tobacco, while grumbling the praise of Kinsale ? 

Your bathers, ocli batltersin /* Paddy, no boasting, 
Tis in Mallow our fair ones are hearty and hale ; 

Those that drink of our Spa, need no boiling or roasting 
Like the coddled old dabs that play cards in Kinsale. 

* Oh, may be so! 



232 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Your hotel, yerra Paddy be easy, devil burn ye ! 

Was not built, well you know, by a brewer of ale ; 
But a dealer in spirit, an honest attorney, 

Who stills all the breezes that rise in Kinsale. 

What king, you spalpeen, will have a sight of your inn, 
Or on your fine chairs clap his majesty s tail ; 

But that king of good fellows, your own portly sovereign, 
When fixing the price of dried hake in Kinsale ? 

Your sinecure place, Pat, is filled by a butcher, 
Or else your librarian to claim it won t fail ; 

For he who for mind or for body loves good cheer, 
Must go somewhere else from the town of Kinsale. 

Your friendship too, Pat, for your own " World s End" is, 
I mean when you re paid for it down on the nail ; 

You ll not catch one insane or so silly as to bend his 
Steps up Break-heart Hill, for a friend in Kinsale. 

I ve no gout, nor consumption, nor jaundice so yellow; 

Nor, cameleonlike, do I feed on the gale : 
Sick or well, full or fasting, I ll stay here in Mallow ; 

So, e-cod you ll not drag me, old boy, to Kinsale ! 



THE RIVER LEE, 

By moonlight. This beautiful lyric is by Mr. Milli- 
kin. A copy of it in the author s autograph, entitled 
" An Ode to Cynthia," embellished with a vignette exe- 



THE RIVER LEE. 233 

cutcd in pen and ink, representing a gentleman reclining 
on the bank of a romantic stream and touching the chords 
of a guitar, occurs in a manuscript volume in the Editor s 
possession, which appears to have been written about 1803. 
These verses were first printed in " The Harmonica," 
a collection of lyrics published by J. Bolster, Cork, 1818; 
and they are reprinted among the " Poetical Fragments 
of the late Richard Alfred Millikin," 1823. 

Pale goddess, by thy ray serene 
I fondly tread the level green, 

Where Lee serenely rolls 
His smooth and ample tide 

Mid fields in flowers profuse, and woody knolls; 
Thy silver lamp my guide. 

To thee I tune a rural shell 
In some lone sequestered dell, 

Where hums the secret rill 
Through shrubs that tangling meet, 

Or gurgling brook, that flies its native hill 
W T ith limpid current fleet. 

For these, the gentle sounds thou lov st to hear 
These, Cynthia ! suit thy sad and chaster ear ; 

And not the trumpet s clangour, 
Or the nerve-wounding fife : 

Thee more delights the lute s harmonious languor, 
That shuns the voice of strife. 

Thou shalt my frequent steps direct 
\Vhen, by thy calmer radiance deck d, 



234 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

The murmuring streams, and groves, 
And meadows, mildly bright, 

Invite to converse sweet the timid loves 
Beneath thy kinder light. 

And fays, as poet s fain, and fairy throng, 
And elfins light, the pride of antique song, 

To the warm fancy then 
Appear, from hall or bower, 

In gaudy troops to ride o er flood or fen, 
Exerting fairy power. 

But when the rose of morn, with blushing light, 
Buds in the laughing east, each fading sprite 

To rocky dens retreating 
Break off their airy show ; 

And then fond lovers, endless vows repeating 
At parting, fonder grow. 



THE BELLS OF SIIANDON, 

As here introduced according to alphabetical arrange 
ment, refer to 

" The spreading LEE, that, like an island fair, 
Encloseth Cork with his divided flood." 

SPENSER S Faery Queen, ii. 4. 

The steeple of the Church of St. Anne, or Upper Shan- 
don, in which hang the bells celebrated in the following 
song, is 120 feet high, and, being built upon a consider- 



THE BELLS OF SHANDON. 235 

able eminence, appears a remarkable object in every point 
of view of the city of Cork ; but especially from what 
Moore has termed " its noble sea avenue," the River Lee. 
The building of this church was commenced in 1722, and 
its steeple was constructed of the hewn stone from the 
Franciscan Abbey, where James II. heard mass, and from 
the ruins of Lord Barry s castle, which had been the 
official residence of the lords president of Munster, and 
from whence this quarter of the city takes its name, 
Shandon (reAt) bun) signifying, in Irish, the old fort 
or castle. But as the demolished abbey had been built of 
limestone, and the castle of redstone, the taste of the 
architect of Shandon steeple led him to combine the dis 
cordant materials which ecclesiastic and civic revolution 
had placed at his disposal, by constructing three sides of 
his work of white, and the remaining side of red stone; 
a circumstance which has occasioned many local jokes 
and observations, the most memorable of which are some 
rhymes commencing 

" Party-coloured, like the people, 

Red and white stands Shandon steeple," 

said to have been addressed to Dr. Woodward, bishop of 
Cloyne, by the famous Father O Leary. 

Fitzgerald has chronicled, in his " Cork Remem 
brancer," that Shandon bells were put up in the summer 
of 1752. The first joyful peal they rung was for the 
marriage of the present (1783) burgess, Henry Harding 
(mayor of Cork in 1789, and who died in office), with 
Miss Catherine Dorman, on Thursday, December 7th. 

Dr. De la Cour, whose song on Blackpool has been 
quoted at p. 176, lies buried in the churchyard of Upper 



236 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Shandon. The author of the lyric now given upon the 
bells of that church, is the Reverend Francis Mahony. It 
was originally published in " Eraser s Magazine " for 
1834, and is reprinted in " The Reliques of Father 
Prout," i. 255, where the reverend author, after indulging 
in his usual strain of facetiousness, speaks really from his 
heart. A discussion, about the melody of bells, is thus 
concluded : " All these matters, we agreed, were very 
fine ; but there is nothing, after all, like the associations 
which early infancy attaches to the well-known and long- 
remembered chimes of our own parish steeple; and no 
music can equal on our ear, when returning after long 
absence in foreign, and perhaps happier countries." 

Sabbata pango. 
Jpuncra plango. 
Sokmnia clango. 

Inscription on an old Bell. 

With deep affection 
And recollection 
I often think of 

Those Shandon bells, 
Whose sounds so wild would, 
In the days of childhood, 
Fling round my cradle 

Their magic spells. 

On this I ponder 
Where er I wander, 
And thus grow fonder, 
Sweet Cork, of thee; 



THE BELLS OF SHANDON. 237 

With thy bells of Shandon, 
That sound so grand on 
The pleasant waters 
Of the river Lee. 

I ve heard bells chiming 
Full many a clime in, 
Tolling sublime in 

Cathedral shrine, 
While at a glibe rate 
Brass tongues would vibrate ; 
But all their music 

Spoke naught like thine. 

For memory, dwelling 
On each proud swelling 
Of thy belfry knelling 

Its bold notes free, 
Made the bells of Shandon 
Sound far more grand on 
The pleasant waters 

Of the river Lee. 

I ve heard bells tolling 
Old Adrian s Mole " in, 
Their thunder rolling 

From the Vatican, 
And cymbals glorious 
Swinging uproarious 
In the gorgeous turrets 

Of Notre Dame ; 



238 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

But thy sounds were sweeter 
Than the dome of Peter 
Flings o er the Tiber, 

Pealing solemnly. 
Oh ! the bells of Shandon 
Sound far more grand on 
The pleasant waters 

Of the river Lee. 

There s a bell in Moscow, 
While on tower and kiosk O ! 
In Saint Sophia 

The Turkman gets, 
And loud in air 
Calls men to prayer 
From the tapering summit 

Of tall minarets. 

Such empty phantom 
I freely grant them ; 
But there is an anthem 

More dear to me, 
Tis the bells of Shandon, 
That sound so grand on 
The pleasant waters 

Of the river Lee. 



THE SILVERY LEE. 239 



THE SILVERY LEE 

Is evidently the effusion of a juvenile Cork poet, who, 
fascinated by the charms of whisky (vide the second 
verse), and some sentimental simpering (vide the fourth 
verse) from a pretty girl of " the beautiful city," felt 
convinced of the truth of the old proverb about going 
further in search of rivers whereby to locate himself, and 
faring worse. The author, therefore, appears to have 
been quite content with the banks of " the Silvery Lee ;" 
and so would many a Cockney angler, if the description of 
an Irish poet can be fully credited. 

" As crystal its "waters are pure, 

Each morning they blush like a bride ; 
And, when evening comes gray and demure, 

With the softness of silver they glide. 
Of salmon and gay speckled trout 

It holds such a plentiful store, 
That thousands are forced to leap out, 

By the multitude jostled on shore." 

However the latter assertion may be doubted, the Lee 
is, beyond all question, a lovely river. The lyric now 
given is copied from a broadside, printed at Cork in 1818. 

Rivers are there great and small, 

Romantic, too, the course of many, 
With castled crag and foamy fall ; 
But never river saw I any 
Half so fair or dear to me 
As my own, the silvery Lee. 



240 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Much I ve heard about the Rhine, 

With vineyards gay and castles stately ; 
But those who think I care for wine, 
Or lofty towers, mistake me greatly : 
A thousand times more dear to me 
Is whisky, by the silvery Lee. 

The Tagus, with its golden sand, 

The Tiber, full of ancient glory, 
The Danube, though a river grand, 

The Seine and Elbe, renowned in story, 
Can never be so dear to me 
As the pure and silvery Lee. 

Tis not the voice that tongues the stream, 

In winter hoarse, in spring time clearer, 
That makes my own dear river seem 
Above all other rivers dearer ; 

But tis her voice, who whispers me 
" How lovely is the silvery Lee ! " 



THE PRAISES OF LIMERICK 

Appeared in the " Anthologia Hibernica" for February, 
1793, prefaced by the following communication to the 
editor of that periodical: 

" The enclosed humorous song was (I imagine) never 
before printed; it was composed by a very witty but 
satirical genius, a Dr. MacDonnell, about the year 1757. 



THE PRAISES OF LIMERICK. 241 

He was an eminent physician, but lost almost his whole 

business by this song. 

" Yours, &c. 

" P L L Y." 

This statement is confirmed by a passage from the " Me 
moirs of Sir James Campbell," of Ardkinglas, published 
in 1832. " One of the members of the Medical Board 
(in Dublin)," says Sir James, or the writer of his memoirs, 
" was a very amiable young man, who practised his pro 
fession in Limerick. He had lived very much with the 
regiment when quartered there ; but had fallen into 
disgrace with the fair sex, in consequence of a jeu 
cC esprit which he had been so indiscreet as to circulate. 
Here are four lines by way of specimen : 

O what a sweet and pretty town Limerick is, 
Where neither sly one, nor simkin, nor slattern is ; 
It would do your heart good, on the quay as they walk at eve, 
To see them so funny, so skittish, so talkative. 

" The beauties of Limerick took the joke in such 
dudgeon, that the poor doctor was fain to make his escape 
in the night time, and never return. He settled after 
wards, I think, in Chester, and did very well. By way of 
gloss to the stanza, I should have added, that a simkin is 
a person with a loose shambling gait," 

Tune " My name is Molly Mucky," &c. 

Oh ! what a dainty, sweet, charming town Limerick is, 
Where neither sly nor slippery slim trick is ; 
For true generosity, honour, fidelity, 
Limerick s the town, ne er doubt it I tell it you. 

Toll de roll, &c. 

M 



242 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Of smart pretty fellows in Limerick are numbers ; some, 
Who so modish are grown, that they think good sense 

cumbersome ; 

And, lest they should seem to be queer or ridiculous, 
They affect not to value either God or old Nicholas. 

Toll de roll, &c. 

You neighbours of Ennis, of Kerry, and Gallaway,* 
Whose characters justly are taken by all away, 
Come hither among us, we ll make honest men of you ; 
For, in every respect, one of us is worth ten of you. 

Toll de roll, &c. 

Though fame has given out our shopkeepers have a cant, 
And in selling their goods they charge us extravagant ; 
Yet I, the other day, heard an honest man swear it, 
That he never charged more than his conscience could 
bear it. 

Toll de roll, &c. 

Our wives behind counters, not saucy nor slatterns are ; 
For meekness, politeness, and goodness, they patterns are : 
It would do your heart good, on the mall where they walk 

at eve, 

To see them so dressy, so flirtish, so talkative. 

Toll de roll, &c. 

* The old and vulgar pronunciation of Galway. " All the way from 
Gallaway, early in the morning," is the burden of a popular song de 
scriptive of the march of the Galway militia. In the " London Gazette," 
No. 2598, Oct. 2d to 6th, 1690, the Editor finds, " Two persons come 
from Galloway confirm the former account," &c. 



GARRYOWEN. 243 



GARRYOWEN, 

In English, " Owen s Garden," is a suburb of Limerick; 
for a copy of the very popular song respecting which, 
the Editor is indebted to Lieut. Colonel Sir Charles 
O Donnell. 

Mr. Banim (the author of " The O Hara Tales "), in 
a letter which appeared in the " Literary Register," a 
short-lived London weekly paper of the year 1822, says, 
** The celebrated Garryowen forms part of the filthy 
suburbs of Limerick. The former character of its in 
habitants is said to be well described in a verse of their 
own old song: 

In Garryowen we ll drink nut-brown ale, 
An score de reckonin on de nail ; 
No man for debt shall go to gaol 
From Garryowen in glory whu! [a yell.] 

" Some years ago the Garryowen boys, headed by a 
young gentleman of respectable family, did what they 
listed in every department of heyday wildness and devil 
ment : they were the half-terror, half-admiration of the 
surrounding communities. But the present generation is, 
comparatively, a decayed and insignificant race, not 
remarkable for any peculiar acts of daring ; while the old 
leader, to whom I have alluded, is now a most respectable 
quiet citizen, about sixty, famed for propriety and ur 
banity of demeanour, and at the head of one of the most 
thriving mercantile concerns in the town. My antiquary 
(Mr. Geoffrey Foote) pointed him out and introduced me 
to him, the other day, in the streets ; and I futilely sought, 



244 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

in the grave and generous expression of his features, in 
the even tone of his voice, and in the Quaker cut and 
coloured suit which he wore, for any characteristic of 
the former Georgie Robinson of an Irish Porteus mob. 
Neither age nor change of habits had altered the tall 
and muscular figure which, in the redolence and buoy 
ancy of youth, must have been equal to any achievement 
of physical prowess." 

" Mr. Connell (the Johnny Connell of Garryowen) 
and Darby O Brien (some versions have Harry, others 
Jerry O Brien) were," writes Sir Charles O Donnell to 
the Editor, in 1833, " two squireens in Limerick, and, 
about the time the song was written, between the years 
1770 and 1780, devil-may-care sort of fellows, who defied 
all authority : they were the sons of brewers ; the former 
is still alive, and has, or had, until very lately, a large 
brewery in Limerick." 

The feat mentioned in the last verse, of O Brien 

having 

" leapt over the dock, 

In spite of judge and jury," 

(some versions run " In spite of all the soldiers"), 
although the Editor is unable to give the particulars of 
this occurrence, has many parallels in the history of 
the administration of justice in Ireland. Fitzgerald, in 
his " Cork Remembrancer," chronicles that, in 1753, 
" Matthew Callaghane, aged 18 years, was capitally 
convicted in the City Court on Tuesday, April 17th, for 
the robbery of Captain Capel at Glanmire. As soon as 
he received sentence of death, he leaped out of the dock 
with his bolts on, made his escape out of court, but was 



GARRYOWEN. 245 

retaken the same day, and hanged at the corner of Broad 
Lane on Wednesday, the 25th of April. The informer 
who discovered on him was so ill-treated by the mob 
(having one of his ears cut off), that his life was despaired 
of. Since this transaction happened," adds Fitzgerald, 
" the dock in the City Court has been made higher." 

Limerick is as notorious for its nocturnal irregularities 
as for its memorable sieges; many instances of which may 
be produced. Before the freaks of Johnny Connell, 
Mr. Hayes,* whose memory is recorded in the cathedral 
of that city as 

" DAN HAYES, AN HONEST 
MAN AND LOVER OF HIS COUNTRY," 

has thus described his departure from the scene of his 
juvenile excesses, under the title of " The Farewell." 

" Ye gentle virgins, set your hearts at ease, 

No more the town s disturbed with riotous Hayes ; 

No more in Barrack Street his sword he draws, 

Nor murders horses, nor bravades the laws ; 

No more inspired with rack he scours the streets 

To swear and play the devil with all he meets ; 

No more the windows clink with clattering stones, 

Nor dying pigs emit untimely groans ; 

The peaceful street, no more with clamour rings, 

Nor nightly fiddlers ply their sounding strings," &c. 

Previous to the midnight vagaries of " Buck Hayes," 
or " Count Hayes," as he was sometimes called, we find 

* He died at Kensington on the 20th July, 1767, at the early age 
of thirty-four ; it may be presumed, from the effects of dissipation. By 
his will, he left his estates to aid the foundation of a hospital in 
Limerick ; but his heirs successfully contested the bequest. 



246 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Dr. Smyth, the bishop of Limerick, complaining by his 
letter of the 27th October, 1710,* of similar wanton 
proceedings. 

" On the 12th of September, about one or two in the 
morning, several persons with musical instruments, who 
sang a song, which (I am informed by those who heard 
it most distinctly) was a very scandalous one. After 
wards, I heard them repeat the words, confusion and 
damnation, which, I suppose, was when they drank con 
fusion and damnation to Dr. Sacheverel and all his ad 
herents, and all of his principles, as I was informed they 
did by a gentleman, who says he opened his casement and 
heard them. They staid before my house a considerable 
time, and (the same gentleman informed me, whose de 
positions are taken before the mayor and other justices) 
drank other healths, among which was the health most 
prophanely called * The Litany health, wherein they 
prayed that plague, pestilence, and famine, &c. might 
fall on all (and among them particularly on all archbishops 
and bishops, &c., to the best of his remembrance, and as 
he verily believes) who should refuse to drink the glorious 
memory of King William. The former of these healths 
was likewise drank at one Alderman Higgins s, and neither 
of them drank at any other houses appears by depositions 
taken as before. The persons concerned in this (as ap 
pears upon oath) were Major Cheater, at that time com 
manding officer in chief of the garrison, Captain Plasto, 
Lieutenant Mason, Lieutenant Barkly, and Lieutenant 

* Autograph in the Editor s possession, with the depositions re 
ferred to : they were sold among the Southwell MSS. by auction at 
Messrs. Christies , in February 1834. 



GARRYOWEN. 247 

Walsh, all belonging to Sir John Whittingar s regiment, 
and Captain Blunt, of Colonel Rooke s regiment. After 
this, on the 21st of this month, about four, as I conceive, 
in the morning, I and my family were again disturbed by 
several persons who passed by my house, and made a 
strange unusual noise, by singing with feigned voices, and 
by beating with keys and tongs (as it appears on oath) 
on frying-pans, brass candlesticks, and such like instru 
ments. Afterwards, on the 24th instant, about the same 
hour, I was startled out of my sleep (as I was each time 
before) by a hideous noise made at the corner of my 
house by the winding of horns, and the following of men, 
and the cry of a pack of dogs. I lay some considerable 
time in bed, in hopes they would soon have gone away, 
but finding they did not, I got out of my bed and opened 
my window, and stood there for some time in hopes of 
discovering who they were (for it was a moonshiny night), 
but could not. At length the dogs, in full cry (to the 
number, I believe, of twenty-three or twenty-four couple, 
or thereabouts) ran by my house, and in some time after 
returned again, and soon after in the same manner ran 
back again, making the same noise. After they had 
passed by my house the first time, I called to the centincl 
at my door, and asked him who those men were, and what 
they were doing ; who answered me that they were officers, 
who had got a fox and dragged him along, and sent the 
dogs after him. Who these persons were, who were 
guilty of the second and third riots, appears by the de 
positions taken before our justices of the peace. I cannot 
but observe that Major Cheater, with others of that 
regiment (as I think appears by my depositions), was 



248 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

always one ; and in the second riot, was accompanied by 
Lieutenant Barkly. 

" The gentlemen who put the first great affront upon 
me having owned their fault and asked my pardon, I 
should never have mentioned it to their prejudice, had 
it not been for the repeated indignity they have put upon 
me since ; which, if continued, will oblige me to remove 
with my family out of town, till the gentlemen come to 
a better temper. 

" Beside these abuses which I have mentioned, I and 
my family have been frequently alarmed and awakened 
in the dead of night by soldiers (as they afterwards ap 
peared to be), who feigned themselves to be spirits, some 
by stripping themselves naked, and others by putting on 
white garments, and throwing stones at the centinel at 
my door, and at other times by throwing stones on the 
slates of my house, which made an unusual noise when 
they were tumbling down ; and one night particularly the 
century was so much affrighted, and made such a noise, 
that I was obliged to rise out of my bed to encourage 
him, and to assure him they were no spirits. 

" All this having been done since the first abuse that 
was put on me, and never before having received any 
such abuses by any officers or soldiers since my first 
coming to this town, there having been always a good 
understanding betwixt us, and the officers of all former 
regiments having been at all times very obliging and 
courteous to me, which I think myself bound in justice 
to acknowledge ; for these reasons I cannot but believe 
that these later outrages were the result of some resent 
ments occasioned by the first abuse, and that the first abuse 



GARRYOWEN. 249 

was occasioned by an opinion they conceived that my 
principles did not in all things agree with their own. 

(Signed) " Tuo : LIMERICK." 

Speaking of the enjoyments of the people of Limerick 
at fair time or on festival days, Fitzgerald and MacGregor 
notice in their history, a fondness for music of the fiddle 
or bagpipe. " Amongst the airs selected upon these oc 
casions, Patrick s Day, and Garry owen, always hold a 
distinguished place." 

Let Bacchus s sons be not dismayed, 
But join with me each jovial blade; 
Come booze and sing, and lend your aid 
To help me with the chorus: 

Instead of Spa* we ll drink brown ale, 
And pay the reckoning on the nail,f 
No man for debt shall go to goal 
From Garryowen in glory I 

We are the boys that take delight in 
Smashing the Limerick lamps when lighting,}; 
Through the streets like sporters fighting, 
And tearing all before us. 

Instead, &c. 

* The spa of Castle Connell, about six miles from Limerick, was 
in high repute at the period when this song was wiitten. 

f " Circular tahlets of metal in the Exchange, so called, and where 
it was customary to pay down the earnest money." SIR CHARLES 
O DONNELL. " Paying the reckoning on the nail/ was a cant phrase 
for knocking a man on the head. " Nail him," being equivalent to 
" knock him down." 

$ " Lamps were first put up in the streets of Limerick at the sole 
expense of Alderman Thomas Rose, in 1696." FERRAR S Limerick. 

M2 



250 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

We ll break windows, we ll break doors, 
The watch knock down by threes and fours ; 
Then let the doctors work their cures, 
And tinker up our bruises. 

Instead, &c. 

We ll beat the bailiffs, out of fun, 
We ll make the mayor and sheriffs run ; 
We are the boys no man dares dun, 
If he regards a whole skin. 

Instead, &c. 

Our hearts, so stout, have got us fame, 
For soon tis known from whence we came ; 
Where er we go they dread the name 
Of Garryowen in glory. 

Instead, &c. 

Johnny Council s tall and straight, 
And in his limbs he is complete ; 
He ll pitch a bar of any weight, 

From Garryowen to Thomond Gate.* 
Instead, &c. 

Garryowen is gone to rack 
Since Johnny Connell went to Cork, 
Though Darby O Brien leapt over the dock 
In spite of judge and jury. 

Instead, &c. 

* That is, from one side of Limerick to the other. In Fitzgerald 
and MacGregor s " History of Limerick," when noticing the customs 
and amusements of the lower orders, it is stated that the tradesmen 
formerly marched in grotesque procession on Midsummer-day, and 
that " the day generally ended in a terrible fight between the Garry 
owen and Thomond Gate boys, the tradesmen of the north and south 
suburbs." 



THE COUNTY OF LIMERICK BUCK-HUNT. 251 

THE COUNTY OF LIMERICK BUCK-HUNT. 

From a manuscript copy, most obligingly procured for 
the Editor by Miss Crumpe. In Fitzgerald and Mac- 
Gregor s "History of Limerick" (vol. ii. Appendix, p. 50), 
it is stated that the popular song of, " By your leave, 
Larry Grogan," was made on Edward Croker, Esq., of 
Rawleighstown, high-sheriff of the county in 1735, " by 
the late Pierce Creagh of Dangan, Esq." 

Mr. Grogan is traditionally said to have composed a 
song upon the vagaries of a disappointed suitor of Miss 
Alicia Croker, which became exceedingly popular;* she 
was the high sheriff s second sister, -j- and is the Miss 
Croker mentioned in the fifth verse of the following song : 

" Let no nice sir despise the hapless dame, 
Because recording ballads chant her name." 

No doubt all the beautiful lasses toasted in that verse 
were celebrated belles. Who Miss Cherry Singleton and 
Miss Sally Curry were, the Editor is unable to determine. 
" Ally Croker" married Charles Langley, Esq., of Lisnar- 
nock, county of Kilkenny, and died at an advanced age, 
without children to inherit their mother s charms, which 
only live in song. A sampler, worked by the hands of the 
fair Alice, was carefully preserved at Ballydavid, a seat 
of the Baker family, in the county ofTipperary, and hung 
in an old oak frame, over the fireplace of the dining-room 
a venerated relic. 

* SeeBoswell s "Johnson," vii.84, Murray s 10 vol. ed. ; Hone s 
" Every-day Book," col. 1641 ; Nichols " Collection of Poems," &c. 

t His eldest sister had married John Dillon, Esq., of Quartertown, 
iu the county of Cork. 



252 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Miss Bligh was the eldest sister of the first Earl of 
Darnley. Her second brother, who was an officer of 
dragoons, had married, about the period that the song 
was written, the sister of William Bury, Esq., of Shannon 
Grove, in the county of Limerick ; she subsequently (in 
1748) became the wife of Thomas Le Hunte, Esq., M.P. 
for Wexford, and died in 1772, without issue. 

Miss Prittie, whose sister Mr. Croker had married, 
was the eldest daughter of Henry Prittie, Esq., of Kilboy, 
county of Tipperary, and married, in 1736, Sir Richard 
Meade, Bart., M.P. for Kinsale. Their son was created 
Earl of Clanwilliam. She afterwards married the Right 
Honourable Sir Henry Cavendish, Bart, and died in 1779. 

Miss Persse was of a Galway farnjly ; but it is not in 
the Editor s power to add any particulars respecting thib 
" subject for verse." 

By your leave, Larry Grogan,* 

Enough has been spoken ; 
Tis time to give over your sonnet, your sonnet. f 

Come listen to mine, 

Tis far better than thine, 
Though not half the time was spent on, spent on it. 

* A celebrated amateur piper, of the family of Grogan of Johnstown 
Castle, in the county of Wexford. 

t In the early part of the last century commonly used for song, or 
ballad. For instance, in an imitation of the famous ballad of " Molly 
Mogg " 

" Now if Curl will print me this sonnet, 
To a volume my verses shall swell ; 
And a fig for what Dennis says on it. 
He cannot find fault with Lepdl." 



THE COUNTY OF LIMERICK BUCK-HUNT. 253 

Oh I tis of a buck slain 

In this very campaign : 
To let him live longer twere pity, twere pity ; 

For fat and for haunches, 

For head and for branches, 
Exceeding the mayor of a city, a city. 

A council assembled 

(Who d think but he trembled?), 
Of lads of good spirit, well mounted, well mounted ; 

Each with whip and with cap on, 

And spurs made at llipon,* 
To the number of twenty were counted, were counted. 

Off, a score, we went bounding, 

Sweet horns were sounding, 
Each youth filled the air with a whoop and a halloo ; 

* Or Rippon, in Yorkshire. " Rippcn spurs were formerly very 
famous. 

Why, there s an angel, if my spurs 

Be not right Rippon. BEN JOXSON S Staple ofN., 13. 

Whip me with wire, headed with rowels of 
Sharp Rippon spurs. - The Wits, Old Play, viii. p. 501. 

" Ray has a local proverb, As true steel as Rippon rowels ; 
with this note subjoined: It is said of trusty persons, men of 
metal, faithful in their employments. Rippon, in this county, is a town 
famous for the best spurs of England, whose rowels may be enforced 
to strike through a shilling, and will break sooner than bow. P. 263. 
Fuller Las the same saying and explanation. A modern account of 
Rippon says, that when James I. went there, in 1617, he was pre 
sented by the corporation with a gilt bow, and a pair of spurs : the 
latter article cost 5i. It is said, also, that this manufacture is now 
neglected there. " NAUES S Glossary. 



254 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Dubourg,* were he there, 

Such sweet music to hear, 

Would leave his Cremona, and follow, and follow. 

Knockaderk and Knockaney,f 

And hills twice as many, 
Saw us fly o er their stone walls, and hedges, and ditches. 

He skimmed o er the grounds, 

But to baffle our hounds 
Was ne er yet in any buck s breeches, buck s breeches. 

Four hours he held out 

Most surprisingly stout, 
Till at length to his fate he submitted, submitted ; 

His throat being cut up, 

The poor culprit put up, 
To the place whence he came was remitted, remitted. 

* A celebrated performer on the violin, whose skill in the ex 
ecution of Irish melodies is thus alluded to in Lawrence White s 
" Dissertation on Italian and Irish Music," 1742. 

" Dub g improves them in our days, 

And never from the subject strays ; 
Nor by extravagance perplex d, 
Will let them wander from the text." 

Dubourg was a pupil of Geminiani, and, in 1728, was appointed 
Master and Composer of the State Music in Ireland. He died in Lon 
don in 1767. Some interesting particulars of Dubourg are to be found 
in a very curious and amusing little volume, entitled " The Violin," 
recently published by his grandson, Mr. George Dubourg; whose 
preface, whimsically enough, commences with the assertion, that 
"Mankind may be divided into two classes those who plav the 
violin, and those who do not." 

t Two high hills, about twelve miles south-east of the city of 
Limerick. 



THE COUNTY OF LIMERICK BUCK-HUNT. 255 

A place most enchanting, 

Where nothing was wanting 
That poor hungry huntsman could wish, sir, could wish, sir. 

Though our number was there, 

Yet of delicate fare 
For every man was a dish, sir, a dish, sir. 

We fell-to with fury, 

Like a long-famished jury, 
Nor stayed we for grace to our dinner, our dinner; 

The butler a-sweating, 

The knives all a-whetting, 
The edge of each stomach was keener, was keener. 

Oh ! the bumpers went round, 

With an elegant sound, 
Chink, chink, like sweet bells, went the glasses, the glasses. 

We drank Queen and King, 

And each other fine thing, 
Then bumpered the beautiful lasses, sweet lasses. 

There was Singleton (Cherry), 

And sweet Sally Curry, 
Miss Croker, Miss Bligh, and Miss Prittie, Miss Prittie ; 

With lovely Miss Persse, 

That subject for verse, 
Who shall ne er be forgot in my ditty, my ditty. 

With a great many more, 

From fifteen to a score ; 
Oh ! had you but seen them together, together, 

Such charms you d discover, 

You d pity the lover, 
And look on St. James s a feather, a feather. 



256 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Long prosper this county, 

And high-sheriffs bounty, 
Where thus we indulge, and make merry, make merry ; 

For, jovial as we are, 

We ll puff away all care, 
To poor busy Robin, and Fleury, and Fleury.* 



DEAR MALLOW, ADIEU! 

The following song, entitled " The Farewell, a pas 
toral ballad in imitation of Shenstone," is copied from 
a quarto volume, published in Dublin in 1772, called 
" The Shamrock, or Hibernian Cresses, a collection of 
poems, songs, epigrams, &c., Latin as well as English, 
the original production of Ireland. To which are sub 
joined, Thoughts on the prevailing System of School 
Education respecting Young Ladies, as well as Gentlemen, 
with practical Proposals for a Reformation. By Samuel 
Whyte, Principal of the English Grammar School." 

Whyte, whose memory is embalmed in a sonnet ad 
dressed to him by his pupil, Thomas Moore, ruled, for 
above fifty years, a noisy mansion in Grafton Street, 
Dublin. " He was," observes another of his distinguished 
pupils,-)- formed by nature for a schoolmaster ; indeed, he 
seemed to consider it the highest office of which man was 
capable, and himself fittest of all the world to sustain it. 

* Sir Robert Walpole and the Cardinal Fleury were, at this 
period, respectively the prime ministers of England and France. 

t Manuscript Autobiography of the late Sir Hardinge Giffard, chief 
justice of Ceylon. 



DEAR MALLOW, ADIEU ! 257 

His temper was admirable, his habits and pursuits almost 
those of the children he taught ; a pun ; or a story of the 
most innocent or powerless kind, gave him the utmost 
delight, and, seated among the grandchildren of those he 
had first taught, he was little else than an object of their 
worship. Next to a school, in his estimate, stood a 
theatre ; and his pupils were all taught to declaim in the 
style of Mossop, Barry, and Sheridan, the friends and 
associates of his youth. This had, I doubt not, a very 
powerful influence upon the tone of Irish rhetoric, for 
most of those who were prominent at the bar or in the 
pulpit had passed under his tuition. It was delightful to 
see the old man presiding at one of his public examina 
tions. It was a jubilee time to him. A large company, 
and that not a very disinterested audience, attended to 
observe the rivalry for prizes, which were, with no small 
policy, awarded by temporary judges, friends from the 
University, whose character gave weight to their decisions, 
while their presence imposed solemnity on the scene. 
Poor Sam Whyte I 

\\~ho ruled o er children was himself a child, 

at least in worldly matters ; but he was neither wasteful 
nor intemperate, and if he grew not wealthy, neither was 
he poor. He died since I left Ireland, and must have 
been above fourscore years of age." * 

In 1750, Dr. Smith thus describes Mallow, which was 
then a very fashionable watering-place: " Not far from 
the Castle is a fine spring, of moderately tepid water, 

* "Mr. Samuel Whyte died in Dublin, 4th October, 1811, aged 
seventy-eight." Annual Register. 



258 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

which bursts out of the bottom of a great limestone rock, 
and approaches the nearest, in all its qualities, to the hot- 
well waters of Bristol, of any that has been discovered in 
this kingdom. Here is generally a resort of good com 
pany during the summer months, both for pleasure and 
the benefit of drinking the waters. Near the spa there 
are pleasant walks, agreeably planted, and on each side 
are canals and cascades, for the amusement and exercise 
of the company, who have music on these walks. There 
is also a long room, where assemblies are held for dancing, 
card-playing, &c. Adjoining to the well is a kind of 
grotto, on which the follo\ving lines were wrote, and 
printed in the public papers, when it was first erected. 

Joint work of judgment, fancy, taste, and art, 
Nature s wild wondrous rival s counterpart ; 
By avarice opposed, by envy blamed, 
By bounty built, to future ages famed, 
Live long; by time, by malice undestroyed, 
By avarice or by envy unenjoyed. 

The town being well situated, the country about it 
pleasant, and the company agreeable, it hath obtained 
among some the name of the Irish Bath." 

" The Ulster Miscellany," printed in 1753, contains 
" A Poem on the Hot Wells at Mallow," p. 294 ; and 
also " A new Ballad on the Hot Wells at Mallow," p. 342. 
The former, after commending " this healing fountain," 

which 

" far more virtues hath, 

Than those of Bristol, or her sister Bath," 
thus concludes : 

" Attend, ye lovers, while the muse records 
The charming pleasures which the place affords : 



DEAR MALLOW, ADIEU ! 259 

Here stands a wood bedeckt with summer s pride, 

There the Blackwater rowls his dusky tide ; 

Here a canal of waters, deep and clear, 

Whose spouting cascades please the eye and ear, 

While on the pebble-walks fresh air you breathe, 

Trees nod above, and fishes swim beneath. 

Music, in consort, from a side retreat, 

Gives life to all, and makes the scene complete ; 

At night a gay assembly and a ball, 

Murphy s sweet harp, and dancing closes all." 

The ballad mentioned very glibly runs on in praise of 
the springs of Mallow, according to this fashion, to the air 
of " Ballyspellen," 

" All you that are 

Both lean and bare, 
With scarce an ounce of tallow, 

To make your flesh 
- Look plump and fresh, 
Come, drink the springs at Mallow ! 

For all that you 

Are bound to do 
Is just to gape and swallow; 

You ll find by that 

You ll rowl in fat, 
Most gloriously at Mallow ! 

Or, if love s pain 

Disturbs your brain, 
And makes your reason shallow, 

To shake it off, 

Gulp down enough 
Of our hot springs at Mallow ! " 

Notwithstanding this advice, the author of the " Adieu 
to Mallow," instead of there shaking off " love s pain," 



260 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

seems to have become so fascinated by the charms of 
Susan, or Mary, or Bess, that if the words of man are to 
be believed, one of these damsels should have had an early 
opportunity of considering whether she would like to 

" cry hallow, 

To lull and keep 
Her babe asleep 
Beside the springs of Mallow !" 

Oh, Mallow, dear Mallow, adieu ! 

How oft have I walked by thy spring, 
While the trees were yet dropping with dew, 

Ere the lark his shrill matin did sing. 
How often at noon have I strayed, 

By the streamlet that winds through thy vale ; 
How oft, at still eve, on thy mead, 

The soft breeze have I joyed to inhale. 

O er thy green hills, high-bosomed in wood, 

O er thy sweetly diversified ground, 
How oft, as my walk I pursued, 

Have I gazed in wild transport around 1 
Invoking the powers that preside 

O er the stream, o er the grove, o er the hill, 
With their presence my fancy to guide, 

With their fire my wrapt bosom to fill. 

On a rock hanging over the flood, 

Through the wild glen meandering slow, 

Half-frighted, how oft have I stood, 
To pore on the mirror below. 



DEAR MALLOW, ADIEU ! 2G1 

To see, in the heart of the wave, 

The glen, and the rock, and the sky, 
How bright the reflection it gave, 

How pleased, how delighted was I. 

At the foot of an elm, or a lime, 

How oft have I stretched me along, 
Enchanted with Collins s rhyme, 

Or Akenside s rapture of song ! 
How oft, too, as accident led, 

Through the churchyard path s fear-stirring ground, 
Busy Fancy has called up the dead, 

T^o glide in dread visions around. 

These sweet walks, this soft quiet, and all 

Those blameless, those rational joys, 
Must I quit for the buzz of the hall, 

For dissonance, wrangling, and noise ; 
For the city s dull uniform scene, 

Where jobbing, and party, and strife, 
Dissipation, and languor, and pain, 

Fill up the whole circle of life. 

" The language which flows from the heart," 

In Susan, in Mary, and Bess, 
How exchanged for the polish of art, 

Smooth nonsense, and empty address ! 
For painting, which Nature bestows 

On the village-maid s innocent cheek, 
Mid the birthright s fantastical rows, 

How lost were the labour to seek ! 



262 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Yet oft shall fond Memory anew, 

Present each loved scene to my eye, 
And, with painful enjoyment, review 

The delights that too hastily fly ; 
Through all the sweet landscape around, 

Not a stream, not a rock, nor a tree, 
Not a field-flower nor shrub shall be found, 

Unmarked or unhonoured by me. 

And ye, my companions so dear, 

What words my deep anguish can tell ? 
Receive from a witness this tear, 

How it pains me to bid you farewell. 
Ye, too, for I read in your eyes 

The emotions that swell at your heart, 
Ye have not yet learned to disguise, 

" Ye are sorry to see me depart." 

Sweet seat of Contentment and Ease, 

Where Rest her still sabbath may keep, 
Where all may live just as they please, 

Eat, drink, read, laugh, saunter, or sleep ; 
The next spring may new-brighten thy scene, 

And thy leaves and thy blossoms restore : 
But bring the loved circle again, 

Or the landscape will charm me no more. 

Sweet commerce of unison minds, 
A treasure how rarely possess d ; 

How seldom, through life, the heart finds 
The joy that gives worth to the rest. 



THE RAKES OF MALLOW. 263 

But, hark ! tis the chaise at the door, 

My mare is already in view- 
Alas ! I have time for no more, 

Oh, Mallow, dear Mallow, adieu ! 



THE RAKES OF MALLOW. 

So were the young men of that fashionable water- 
drinking town proverbially called ; and a set of " pretty 
pickles" they were, if the song, descriptive of their mode 
of life, here recorded after the most delicate oral testi 
mony, is not very much over-coloured. 

Air " Sandy lent the man his Mull." 

Beauing, belling, dancing, drinking, 
Breaking windows, damning, sinking,* 
Ever raking, never thinking, 

Live the rakes of Mallow. 

Spending faster than it comes, 
Beating waiters, bailiffs, duns, 
Bacchus s true begotten sons, 

Live the rakes of Mallow. 

One time naught but claret drinking, 

Then like politicians thinking 

To raise the sinking funds when sinking, 

Live the rakes of Mallow. 

* Cursing extravagantly; i.e. " damning you to hell, and sinking 
you lower." 



264 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

When at home with dadda dying, 

Still for Mallow water crying ; 

But where there s good claret plying 

Live the rakes of Mallow. 

Living short, but merry lives ; 
Going where the devil drives ; 
Having sweethearts, but no wives, 

Live the rakes of Mallow. 

Racking tenants, stewards teasing, 
Swiftly spending, slowly raising, 
Wishing to spend all their days in 

Raking as at Mallow. 

Then to end this raking life 
They get sober, take a wife, 
Ever after live in strife, 

And wish again for Mallow. 



DARLING NEDDEEN. 

" Neddeen," says Mr. \Veld, " is the principal place 
of trade on the Kenmare river.* It is a very small town, 
and though we have observed some new houses, has, on 
the whole, an appearance of decay." 

Neddeen is now generally known as Kenmare, and the 
authorship of the song respecting its attractions js already 

* An arm of the sea, west of Bantry Bay. 



DARLING NEDDEEN. 265 

attributed to Mr. Wood, the gentleman mentioned at 
pages 14 and 149. The Banimian style of writing the 
words as vulgarly sounded, in which this and the songs 
at these pages originally appeared, together with the rich 
store of traditionary knowledge displayed, and the love 
of local allusion, leave no doubt upon the subject, unless 
indeed the Editor has suffered himself to be carried away 
by circumstantial evidence, as he has reason to believe he 
did, when giving judgment upon the authorship of the 
" Boys of Kilkenny." 

The song now republished there can be no question, 
from the mention of the Marquess of Lansdowne s visit 
to the south of Ireland in company with Mr. Moore, was 
written in 1823. It was originally printed in a Cork 
scurrilous publication, called " The Freeholder" (August 
30, 1823), with the subsequent introductory letter. 

" Mr. Boil,* I am toul the Marquis o Lansdown is 
gone down to Neddeen, and as I heard that Tommy Moor 
was gone off to Klarney to write about the Lakes, I think 
that a hint about Neddeen mite make him write about 
that too. I wish he d buil a poem on the follow founda 
tion ; an as I m tould the Marquis manes to build a new 
town, I could give a plan for that too. The above may 
serve for a dedication for both, from your humble servant 
to comman, 

" JACK GRAUMMACHREE." 

This visit of Mr. Moore to Ireland was followed by 
the appearance, in the ensuing year, of the ninth number 

* Mr. Boyle, the editor. 

N 



266 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

of the " Irish Melodies," perhaps the most Irish part of 
that national work, as well as the one most identified with 
the author. Of the twelve songs which it contains, nine 
have reference to local feelings or traditions, or to cir 
cumstances which arose out of the poet s tour. Thus, 
" Sweet Innisfallen," and " Twas one of those dreams," 
obviously allude to Mr. Moore s visit to Killarney ; and 
" In yonder valley there dwelt alone," is said to have 
originated in an anecdote connected with O Sullivan s 
cascade. The song commencing, " By the Feal s wave 
.benighted," is founded on a romantic anecdote in the 
history of the Geraldines. These four songs fairly belong 
to the county of Kerry. Then, descriptive of a glance at 
a map of Ireland, preparatory to the tour, we find, 
" Fairest, put on a while," in a note on which, by the by, 
the Skellig rocks, mentioned, at p. 126, as off the coast 
of Kerry, are confounded with the Saltees which are in 
the barony of Forth, off the coast of Wexford. On 
meeting with a party of old friends in Dublin, " And doth 
not a meeting like this." On Irish politics, " As van 
quished Erin wept beside," &c. ; and, " Quick, we have 
but a second," is just the song that might have been 
suggested by a pleasant travelling party being hurried off 
from an agreeable meeting. The horn of the mail-coach 
guard, or the voice of some equally urgent personage, is 
absolutely ringing in the ear. 



Tune " The Sprig of Shillelah." 

As Thady Mac Murtough O Shaughnessy, oge, 
T other day was industriously mending a brogue, 
On a neat little hill that they call Drumcusheen, 



DARLING NEDDEEN. 267 

His sole, and his welt, and his cord was so strong, 
That, soon waxing warm, he lilted a song ; 
He bellowed as loud as his lungs they could bawl ; 
Oh ! bad cess to the tanners, I ll leather them all, 
But I ll first sing the praises of darling Neddeen ! 

On the face of this earth tis the most curous place, 
I swears black and blue, by the nose on my face, 

Tis the sweetest of any that ever was seen ; 
Och ! it s there you will see both the hedgehog and whale, 
And the latter continually flapping his tail, 
Just to raise up a breeze for the fowls of the air, 
As the eagle, the jackass, or gosling so fair, 

While they sing round the cabins of darling Neddeen ! 

There stone houses all, are weather-slated with mud, 
And the praties, and women, and whisky is good, 

And the latter small hardware, they call it poteen. 
Small blame to them keeping no lamps there at night, 
Because of the girls, whose eyes shews them light ; 
You may talk of your lamps, that is all lit with gas, 
Och ! give me the black eye of a sweet Colleen das, 

Such as light up the cabins in darling Neddeen ! 

There the geese run about through the most of the street, 
Ready roasted, inviting the people they meet 

To eat, lord an squire, cobbogue an spalpeen ; 
From the cows they gets whisky, the ganders give milk, 
An their best woollen blankets is all made of silk ; 
Their purty young girls, they never grows old, 
And the sun never set there, last winter, I m told, 

But stay d lighting the pipes of the boys of Neddeen 1 



2G8 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Oh ! if I kept singing till this time next year, 
Not a half of the beautiful beauties you d hear, 

From the Skelligs down west, to the great Noersheen ; 
There the sea s great broad bottom is covered with grass, 
Where many a young mermaid s seen washing her glass, 
An great elephant teeth are turned up in the bogs, 
Some charmed into sawdust, some changed into logs, 

Or converted to tooth-picks in darling Neddeen ! 

Long life to the Marquis, I m glad he s gone down 
To his own little city a far sweeter town 

Than Bandon, Dunmanway, or Ballyporeen. 
Long life to his honour, till after he s dead 
May nothing that s teazing e er run in his head ; 
May he give to each tenant a long building lease ; 
May their praties, an butter, an childer increase, 

Till Dublin looks smaller than darling Neddeen I 



THE TOWN OF PASSAGE. 

No less than three songs upon the town of Passage, 
which is situated between Cork and its Cove, are here 
given to illustrate the manner in which popular lyrics are 
imitated and sometimes amalgamated. , 

As to the authorship of No. I., there can be no 
doubt. Mr. Simon Quin, stimulated by the discomforts 
of a drowsy landlady and her lively lodgings, having, in 
the concluding verse, saved the Editor the risk of con 
jecture. This song was introduced, with considerable 
effect, upon the London stage by the late Mr. Charles 



THE TOWN OF PASSAGE. 269 

Connor, in Lord Glengall s very amusing farce of the 
" Irish Tutor;" the fourth verse, especially, never failing 
to produce a burst of laughter and applause. 

Of the author of No. II., it may be said as of Junius, 
" Stat nominis umbra" It is, however, evidently, from 
the fourth line of the second verse, a subsequent com 
position to No. I. 

In what manner the Rev. Francis Mahony, under the 
nom de guerre of Father Prout, has combined the songs 
Nos. I. and II., the reader can judge from the version of 
" The town of Passage," No. III. Its reverend author, 
or rather concoctor, has described it as " manifestly an 
imitation of that unrivalled dithyrambe, the Groves of 
Blarney, with a little of its humour, and all its absurdity." 
Notes are appended to such local matters as appear to 
require explanation. 

No. I. 

The town of Passage is neat and spacious, 

All situated upon the sea ; 
The ships a-floating, and the youths a-boating, 

With their cotton coats on each summer s day. 
Tis there you d see, both night and morning, 

The men of war, with fresh-flowing sails ; 
The bould lieutenants, and the tars so jolly, 

All steering for Cork in a hackney chaise. 

Tis there s a stature drawn after nature, 
A leaping from the mud upon the dry land ; 

A lion or a leopard, or some fierce creature, 
With a Reading-made-easy all in his hand.* 

* The figure-head of an old ship. 



270 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

There s a rendez-vous house for each bould hero 

For to take on, whose heart beats high ; 
The colours a-drooping, and the children s rockets 

All pinned across it, hanging out to dry. 

Tis there s a Strand too, that s decked with oar- weeds, 

And tender gob-stones* and mussel-shells; 
And there s skeehories,^ and what still more is, 

A comely fresh-flowing water rill. 
Tis there the ladies, when break of day is, 

And tender lovers, do often pelt ; 
Some a-airing and some a-bathing, 

All mother naked, to enjoy their health. 

And there s a ferry-boat that s quite convenient, 

Where man and horses do take a ride ; 
Tis there in clover you may pass over 

To Carrigaloe J on the other side. 
There may be seen, oh ! the sweet Marino, 

With its trees so green O I and fruit so red ; 
Brave White Point, and right forenent it 

The Giant s Stairs, and sweet Horse s Head. [| 

There s a house of lodgings at one Molly Bowen s, 

Where often goes in one Simon Quin ; 
Oh ! tis there without a coat on, you d hear her grope on 

The door to open, to let him in. 



* Round pebbles. 

f Hawthorn berries. 

J A village on the Great Island, opposite Passage, between which 
places there is a ferry. 

The seat of Savage French, Esq., on the Great Island. 

|| White Point, the Giant s Stairs, and Horse s Head, are remark- 
able objects not far from Passage. 



THE TOWN OF PASSAGE. 271 

Then straight up stairs one pair of windows, 
With but the slates betwixt him and the sky ; 

Oh, tis there till morning, the fleas all swarming, 
Do keep him warm in where he does lie. 

No. II. 

Oh, Passage town is of great renown, 

For we go down in our buggies there 
On a Sunday morning, all danger scorning, 

To get a corning* at sweet Passage fair. 
Oh, tis there you d see the steam-boats sporting 

Upon Lough Mahon,-]- all so fair to view ; 
Bold Captain O Brien,^: with his colours flying, 

And he a-vieing with the Waterloo. 

There s a patent slipping, and dock for shipping, 
And whale-boats skipping upon the tide ; 

There ships galore is,|| and Cove before us, 
With " Carrigaloe on the other side." 

* " The town is much frequented during the summer by the in- 
habitants of Cork, for the benefit of salt-water bathing." MR. SHAW 
MASON S Su?Tys of Ireland, vol. iii. 1819. 

f A fine sheet of water between the point on which Blackrock 
Castle stands, and the town of Passage. 

$ The well-known commander of a steam-boat which plied between 
Cork and Cove. 

A rival steam-boat. 

|| " The principal trade carried on in the town is the repairing of 
vessels, of which a good number in the year come thither for that pur 
pose. Timber ships from Sweden, and the northern powers, always 
stop and unload at Passage, and many merchant ships belonging to 
Cork also take in their cargoes and discharge there." MR. SHAW 
MASON S Surveys of Ireland, vol. iii. 1819. 



272 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Tis there s the hulk that s well stored with convicts, 
Who were never upon decks till they went to sea ; 

They ll ne er touch dry land, nor rocky island, 
Until they spy land at sweet Botany Bay. 

Here s success to this foreign station, 

Where American ships without horses ride, 
And Portugueses* from every nation 

Comes in rotation upon the tide. 
But not forgetting Haulbowline Island, 

That was constructed by Mrs. Deane : 
Herself s the lady that has stowed the water 

To supply the vessels upon the main.f 

And these bold sons of Neptune, I mean the boatmen, 
Will ferry you over from Cove to Spike ; { 

And outside the harbour are fishers sporting, 
Watching a nibble from a sprat or pike ; 

* " Passage, whose chief trade comes from tbe ships that ride before 
it. We counted sixteen then at anchor, among which were seven Por 
tuguese, that were taking in beef, tallow, and hides." Tour by Two 
English Gentlemen through Ireland, published in 1748. 

t The late Mrs. Deane, the mother of Sir Thomas Deane, was a 
woman of extraordinary energy of character. She took an active part 
in the superintendence of the naval works which were constructed upon 
Haulbowline Island, in Cork harbour, between the years 1816 and 
1822, at the cost of nearly 200.000/. The tank alluded to above is 
divided into six compartments, each one hundred feet long, twenty- 
seven feet and a half wide, and eight feet in depth, which are each 
capable of containing 176,000 gallons : the entire, consequently, holds 
1,056,000 gallons of water. 

J " From Cove the harbour s mouth seems closed by the island 
called Spike, lying opposite the entrance, so that this harbour is not 



THE TOWN OP PASSAGE. 273 

While their wives and daughters, from no danger shrinking, 

All night and morning they rove about 
The mud and sand-banks, for the periwinkle, 

The shrimp and cockle, when the tide is out. 

No. III. 

The town of Passage 

Is both large and spacious, 

And situated 

Upon the say; 
Tis nate and dacent, 
And quite adjacent, 
To come from Cork 

On a summer s day. 
There you may slip in, 
To take a dipping, 
Forenent the shipping, 

That at anchor ride ; 
Or in a wherry, 
Cross o er the ferry, 
To " Carrigaloe, 

On the other side." 

Mud cabins swarm in 
This place so charming, 
With sailors garments 
Hung out to dry ; 

unlike the fine description given by Virgil, in his first .Eneid, of a 
beautiful port. 

Est in secessu longo locus ; insula portum 
Efficit objectu laterum, kc." 

SMITH S Cork. 
N2 



274 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

And each abode is 
Snug and commodious, 
With pigs melodious, 

In their straw-built sty. 
Tis there the turf is, 
And lots of Murphies,* 
Dead sprats and herrings, 

And oyster-shells ; 
Nor any lack, oh ! 
Of good tobacco, 
Though what is smuggled 

By far excels. 

There are ships from Cadiz, 
And from Barbadoes, 
But the leading trade is 

In whisky-punch ; 
And you may go in 
Where one Molly Bowen 
Keeps a nate hotel 

For a quiet lunch. 
But land or deck on, 
You may safely reckon, 
Whatsoever country 

You come hither from, 
On an invitation 
To a jollification 
With a parish priest, 

That s called " Father Tom."f 

* A popular name for potatoes. 

t The reverend concoctor of this song, who would palm it upon 
Barry the painter, observes, on the mention of " Father Tom," 



THE FAIR MAID OF PASSAGE. 275 

Of ships there s one fixt 
For lodging convicts, 
A floating "stone jug" 

Of amazing bulk; 
The hake and salmon, 
Playing at bagammon,* 
Swim for divarsion 

All round this hulk ; 
There " Saxon" jailors 
Keep brave repailers, 
Who soon with sailors 

Must anchor weigh. 
From th em rald island, 
Ne er to see dry land, 
Until they spy land 

In sweet Bot ny Bay. 



THE FAIR MAID OF PASSAGE. 

From a manuscript in the autograph of the late Mr. 
Millikin. The Editor has received a copy of this song 
from Mr. Edward Quin, between which and the version 

" This cannot possibly refer (without a flagrant anachronism) to the 
present incumbent, the Rev. Thomas England, P.P., known to the 
literary world by a life of the celebrated friar, Arthur O Leary, 
chaplain to a club which Curran, Yelverton, Earls Moira, Charlemont, 
&c. &c., established in 1780, under the designation of the monks of 
the screw. " 

* See page 146. 



276 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

now given, the only material variation occurs in the first 
lines. According to Mr. Quin, they are 

" My dear Molly Mogg, 
You re soft as a bog." 

In a note (1838) he adds, "I assure you, from my own 
recollection, the song is known in my family upwards of 
thirty-five years. I have no doubt that it originated in 
Cork, though I do not know its author." 

Oh, fair maid of Passage, 

As plump as a sassage, 
And as mild as a kitten, 

Those eyes in your face ! 

Yerrah ! pity my case, 
For poor Dermuid is smitten 1 

Far softer nor silk, 

And more white than new milk 
Oh, your lily-white hand is; 

Your lips red as cherries, 

And your eyes like blackberries, 
And you re straight as a wand is. 

Your talk is so quare, 

And your sweet curly hair 
Is as black as the devil ; 

And your breath is as sweet, too, 

As any potatoe, 
Or orange from Seville. 

When dressed in her bodice 

She trips like a goddess, 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 277 

So nimble, so frisky, 

One kiss from her cheek, 

Tis so soft and so sleek, 
That twould warm me like whisky. 

So I sobs and I pine, 

And I grunts like a swine, 
Because you re so cruel ; 

No rest can I take, 

All asleep or awake, 
But I dreams of my jewel. 

Your hate, then, give over, 

Nor Dermuid, your lover, 
So cruelly handle ; 

Or, faith, Dermuid must die, 

Like a pig in a stye, 
Or the snuff of a candle. 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 

The ballad on the entrenchment of New Ross, in 1265, 
which is here given as a specimen of ancient local song, 
was first printed in the " Archseologia," vol. xxii., having 
been communicated to the Society of Antiquaries in 1829 
by Sir Frederic Madden, with the following introductory 
observations : 

" Among the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum, 
is preserved a highly curious volume, written at the com 
mencement of the fourteenth century, containing a mis 
cellaneous collection of pieces in verse and prose, appa- 



278 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

rently the production of an Irish ecclesiastic, and chiefly 
of a satirical description. Most of these pieces are in 
English or Latin ; and there is great reason to conclude 
that they are from the pen of Friar Michael Kyldare,* 
who is expressly named as the author of a ballad, fol. 10, 
and who is erroneously assigned by Ritson, in his Biblio- 
graphia Poetica, to the fifteenth, instead of the beginning 
of the preceding century. But towards the close of this 
MS. (which, from the folios having been strangely mis 
placed, is very difficult to follow in the order of contents), 
occurs an extremely interesting poem, written in the an 
cient or Norman-French language, contributing in a re 
markable degree to throw illustration on the early topo 
graphy and history of the town of New Ross in Ireland. 

" The poem in question is thus described in the Harleian 
Catalogue, No. 913, Art. 43, ( Rithmus facture mile de 
Rosse, being a French poem upon the quarrel which hap 
pened there, between Sir Morice .... and Sir Wauter 
.... A. D. 1265. This is not a very accurate description, 
since the object of the writer (who was an eye-witness, 
and therefore of undoubted authority) was not to relate a 
quarrel between two anonymous knights, but to give a 
detailed and highly interesting narrative of the erection 
of the walls and fortifications of the town of Ross ; occa 
sioned by the dread felt by the inhabitants, lest the un 
protected and open situation of the place might cause 

* In Bishop Tanner s " Bibliotheca Britannico-Hibernica" (a dic 
tionary of all the English and Irish authors previous to the seven- 
teenth century) this article occurs. " Kildare [Michael] monachus 
vel frater Mendicans, scripsit Anglice carmen pium. Pi. Sweet Jesu 
hend and fre. M. S. Norwic. More, 784." ED. 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 279 

them to suffer from a feud then raging with violence be 
tween two powerful barons." 

" These barons," according to Sir Frederic Madden, 
" were Maurice Fitzmaurice,* the chief of the Geraldine 
faction, and Walter de Burgo or Bourke, Earl of Ulster, 
whose deadly wars, as Sir James Ware writes, under the 
year 1264, wrought bloodshed and troubles throughout 
the realm of Ireland. " 

The Editor, however, is inclined to think, that whoever 
the Sir Maurice mentioned may have been, and he pro 
bably was a Fitzgerald, the Sir Walter was not a De Burgo, 
but a Le Poer, or Power, not improbably the father of 
the Walter le Power, who is chronicled by Holinshed, in 
1302, as having " wasted a great part of Mounster, burn 
ing manie farmes and places in that countrie." 

Stanihurst s account of the entrenchment of New Ross, 
as given in Holinshed, is exceedingly minute. " Rosse," 
he writes, is " an haven towne in Mounster, not far from 
Waterford, which seemeth to have beene in ancient time a 
towne of great port. Whereof sundrie and probable con 
jectures are given, as well by the old ditches that are now 
a mile distant from the wals of Rosse, betweene which wals 
and ditches, the reliks of the ancient wals, gates, and 
towers, placed betweene both, are yet to be scene. The 
towne is builded in a barren soile, and planted among a 
crue of naughtie and prolling neighbours. And in old 
time when it flourished, albeit the towne were sufficientlie 
peopled, yet as long as it was not compassed with wals, 
they were formed with watch and ward, to keepe it from 
the greedie snatching of the Irish enimies. With whome 

* He died in New Ross in 1286. COLLIXS S Peerage, ED. 



280 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

as they were generallie molested, so the privat cousening 
of one pezzant on a sudden incensed them to inviron their 
towne with strong and substantiall wals. 

" There repaired one of the Irish to this towne on 
horssebacke, and espieng a peece of cloth on a merchant s 
stall, tooke hold thereof, and bet the cloth to the lowest 
price he could. As the merchant and he stood dodging 
one with the other in cheaping the ware, the horsseman 
considering that he was well mounted, and that the mer 
chant and he had growne to a price, made wise as though 
he would have drawne to his purse to have defraied the 
monie. The cloth in the meane while being tucked up and 
placed before him, he gave the spur to his horsse and ran 
awaie with the cloth, being not imbard from his posting 
pase, by reason the towne was not perclosed either with 
ditch or wall. The townesmen being pinched at the heart 
that one rascal in such scornefull wise should give them 
the slampaine, not so much weieng the slendernesse of the 
losse, as the shamefulnesse of the foile, they put their 
heads togither, consulting how to prevent either the sud 
den rushing, or the post-hast flieng of anie such adventurous 
rakehell hereafter. 

" In which consultation a famous Dido, a chast widow, 
a politike dame, a bountifull gentlewoman, called Rose, 
who, representing in sinceritie of life the sweetnesse of 
that hearbe whose name she bare, unfolded the devise, 
how anie such future mischance should be prevented, and 
withall opened hir coffers liberallie to have it furthered ; 
two good properties in a councellor. Hir devise was, that 
the towne should incontinentlie be inclosed with wals, and 
therewithall promised to discharge the charges, so that 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 281 

they would not sticke to find out labourers. The devise of 
this worth ie matrone being wise, and the offer liberall, the 
townesinen agreed to follow the one, and to put their 
helping hands to the atchiving of the other. The worke 
was begun, which, thorough the multitude of hands, seemed 
light. For the whole towne was assembled, tag and rag, 
cut and long taile ; none exempted, but such as were bed- 
red and impotent. Some were tasked to delve, others 
appointed with mattocks to dig, diverse allotted to the 
unheaping of rubbish, manie bestowed to the cariage of 
stones, sundrie occupied in tempering of morter, the better 
sort busied in overseeing the workmen, ech one according 
to his vocation imploied, as though the civitie of Carthage 
were afresh in building, as it is featlie versified by the golden 
poet Virgil, and neatlie Englished by Master Doctor Phaer. 
" But to returne from Dido of Carthage to Rose of 
llosse, and her worke. The labourers were so manie, the 
worke, by reason of round and excheker paiment, so well 
applied, the quarrie of faire marble so neere at hand (for 
they affirme that out of the trenches and ditches hard by 
their rampiers the stones were had ; and all that plot is so 
stonie, that the foundation is an hard rocke), that these 
wals with diverse brave turrets were suddenlie mounted, 
and in manner sooner finished, than to the Irish enimies 
notified ; which I wisse was no small corsie to them. 
These wals in circuit are equall to London wals. It hath 
three gorgeous gates, Bishop his gate on the east side, 
Algate on the east-south-east side, and Southgate on the 
south part. This towne was no more faraoused for these 
wals, than for a notable woodden bridge that stretched 
from the towne unto the other side of the water, which 



282 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

must have beene by reasonable surveie twelve score [ ], 
if not more. Diverse of the poales, logs, and stakes, with 
which the bridge was underpropt, sticke to this daie in the 
water. A man would here suppose, that so flourishing a 
towne, so firmelie builded, so substantiate walled, so well 
peopled, so plentiouslie with thriftie artificers stored, 
would not have fallen to anie sudden decaie."* 

Stanihurst, whose account was published in 1586, 
adds, " The wals stand to this daie, a few streets and 
houses in the towne, no small parcel thereof is turned to 
orchards and gardens. The greater part of the towne is 
steepe and steaming upward. Their church is called 
Christ s Church, in the north side whereof is placed a 
monument, called the King of Denmarke, his toome ; 
whereby conjecture may rise that the Danes were founders 
of that church. This Rosse is called Rosse Nova, or 
Rosse Ponti, by reason of their bridge." 

In addition to what Sir Frederic Madden has said 
respecting the manuscript in which the ballad on the 
entrenchment of New Ross occurs, an attempt to trace its 
history may not be unsatisfactory. That a friar named 
Michael of Kildare was the writer, is not only tolerably 
certain from the passage alluded to by Sir Frederic Mad 
den, which is the closing verse of a religious song, viz. 

" This sang wrozt a frere, 
Jhesu Crist be is secure, 
Loverd bring him to the tour, 
Frete Michel Kyldare ;" 

* Dormer, a lawyer, is enumerated by Stanihurst among the 
authors of Ireland as a scholar of Oxford, born in Ross, who wrote in 
ballad royal, " The Uecaio of Rosse." 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 283 

but from a satire in Latin, at p. 26 v, which commences, 
" Ego, Michael Bernardi." The manuscript consists of 
64 leaves of vellum, 12mo. size, and is written in a good 
hand, and embellished with initial letters in colours. On 
folio 25, a paragraph commences " Anno domini, m. ccc. 
viij. xx a . die Feb." which is the identical year when the song 
on the death of Sir Piers de Birmingham, printed by 
Ritson, in his " Collection of Ancient Songs," from this 
manuscript, appears to have been composed.* From this 
coincidence, the year 1308 may be fairly assigned as the 
date of this manuscript. Various notices respecting it at 
different periods, enable us to trace its history with some 
degree of accuracy. On the suppression or dissolution of 
the monastery in which the volume had been preserved, 
it came into the possession of a George Wyse, as is evident 
from the following entry, in the writing of Elizabeth s 
time, on the back of the second folio : 

" Iste Liber pert inet ad . 
me GEORGIU WYSE." 

* " Sith Gabriel gan grete 
Ure ledi mari swete 

That Godde wold in hir lizte 



A thousand zer hit isse 
Thre hundred ful i wisse 
And over zeris eizte. 



1308 
Than of the eizt zere 

Tak twies ten ifere 

That wol be xx y fulle ; 1288 date of event. 

Apan the xx dai 
Of Averil bifor Mai 

So deth us gan to pulle." 



1000 

300 

8 



284 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

The comparison of the autograph of George Wysc, 
who was bailiff of Waterford in 1566, and mayor of that 
city in 1571, which is extant in the State Paper Office, 
leaves little doubt as to the identity of this individual. 
The Wyse family, it may be observed, were distinguished for 
their literary taste. Stanihurst, speaking of them, remarks, 
that " of this surname there flourished sundrie learned 
gentlemen. There liveth," he adds, " one Wise, in Water- 
ford, that maketh [verse?] verie well in the English;" and h 
particularly mentions " Andrew Wise, a toward youth and 
a good versifyer." To the same family were granted 
various ecclesiastical possessions in Ireland. Sir William 
Wyse, the ancestor of the late member for Waterford, and 
possibly the father of the above-mentioned George, had a 
grant of the Abbey of St. John, near that city, 15th 
November, 1536. 

However this manuscript may have come into the 
hands of a member of the Wyse family, it seems to have 
continued, if not in their possession, at least in the same 
locality ; as, in the reign of James I., it is noticed as 
" The Book of Ross or Waterford:" see No. 418 of the 
Lansdowne MSS. in the British Museum, a collection 
made by Sir James Ware, which contains transcripts of 
several pieces from it, where the following note occurs 
upon the copy of the song already mentioned respecting 
the death of Sir Piers de Birmingham : " Out of a smale 
olde book inparchm*, called the book of Posse or Waterford. 
Feb. 1608." 

The Editor is not aware of any further notice by which 
the history of this interesting manuscript can be traced, 
until the appearance of the " Catalogus Manuscriptum 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 285 

Angliae et Hiberniae," printed in 1697, where it is men 
tioned as in the library of More, Bishop of Norwich. 
That this little collection of monkish rhymes should have 
escaped the fanaticism of the Commonwealth, proves 
either how highly it was prized, or that its escape was 
almost miraculous, and therefore baffles sober conjecture. 
But having been transferred to the library of Bishop 
More, a few years after that in which it is registered as 
being in his possession, the English poem which this 
manuscript contains on Cokaygne, was printed in the 
" Thesaurus" of Dr. Hickes, from a manuscript lent to him 
by Bishop Tanner. 

A careful comparison of the poem on Cokaygne, as 
printed by Hickes, with the copy in " the Book of Ross 
or Waterford " (the only early copy now known to exist 
in manuscript), can leave no question that the original of 
Hickes was derived from the copy in the British Museum. 
And, as no such manuscript is to be found in the public 
library of the University of Cambridge, where More s 
manuscripts were deposited after his death, and also as the 
contents in the catalogue of 1697 agree with those of the 
Harleian MS. No. 913, there can be little doubt that 
the MS. " Book of Ross or Waterford," as Sir James 
Ware s copyist calls it, had been lent by More to Tanner, 
and that not having been returned before the death of the 
former prelate, or from some other cause, it had afterwards 
passed into the library of the Earl of Oxford. The cir 
cumstance, hitherto unexplained, of this manuscript being 
mentioned, at nearly the same period, as in the possession 
of several persons, has led to the supposition that two, or 
even three, copies of it were in existence. 



286 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

At the time that "the Book of Ross or Waterford" 
came into the Harleian Library, it certainly was in a very 
tattered condition, and some of the leaves wanting. At 
present (as already noticed by Sir Frederic Madden) 
many of the leaves are transposed, the order of the pieces 
does not coincide strictly with that in More s catalogue, 
and two or three articles have evidently been lost. 

Among the transcripts made for Sir James Ware 
(Lansdowne MSS. 418), the following tantalizing note is 
an evidence of the loss of an Anglo-Irish ballad of some 
interest at least to any one engaged in the investigation 
of the history of Irish Song. 

" There is in this book a longe discourse in meter 
putting the youth of Waterford in mind of harme taken 
by the povers,* and wishing them to beware for the time 
to come ; I have written out the first staffe only 

" Young men of Waterford," &c. 

And it would seem from the transcript that the copyist 
was deterred from proceeding, by the difficulty he expe 
rienced in reading his original. " The Book of Ross or 
Waterford" being now known as the Harleian MSS. 

* Upon tins the compiler of the Lansdowne Catalogue (who was 
the late Mr. Douce, justly esteemed in his day for superior accuracy 
and antiquarian knowledge) observes : " The Povers seem to mean 
the paupers or rabble," in perfect ignorance that the Poers or- Powers 
were the clan alluded to. Mr. Lemon, of the State Paper Office, has 
queried, Whether the common expression of " By the powers," does 
not refer to the warlike strength of the Poer family, or faction, 
becoming proverbial ? 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 287 

No. 913, it may save the inquisitive Irish reader some 
trouble by stating that its contents are of a very miscella 
neous character. Most of the articles in it are, as numis 
matists say, " unique and unpublished ;" but the only 
poems which have any direct reference to Ireland, beside 
the Anglo-Norman ballad on " The Entrenchment of New 
Ross," are the song on the death of Sir Piers de Bir 
mingham, already mentioned as printed by Ritson, and a 
satirical lyric, in which the conduct of the monks of various 
orders, and the nuns of St. Mary s house, is severely handled, 
as well as the mode of dealing then practised, and, it is to be 
feared, but since little amended, by the merchants, tailors, 
shoemakers, tanners, potters, bakers, brewers, hucksters, 
and wool-combers. Both the latter songs are in English. 
There is also the following scrap in Anglo-Norman [fol. 
1.5. v.], entitled " Proverbia comitis Desmonie" the 
history or point of which is not very evident beyond an 
ingenious play upon words 

" Soule su simple e saunz solas, 

Seignury me somount sojorner, 
Si suppris sei de moune solas, 
Sages se deit soul solacer. 

Sonle ne solai sojorner, 

No solein estre de petit solas, 
Sovereyn se est de se solacer, 

Que se sent soule e saunz solas." 

To return to the ballad on " The Entrenchment of New 
Ross." It appears evident from it that the inhabitants feared 
that, in the war between two powerful barons, they should 
be exposed to insult and reprisal from the Irish who were 
engaged in the quarrel. At this period the middle of 



288 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

the thirteenth century it should be borne in mind, that 
town and country were two distinct states, under entirely 
different governments. The towns were republics, under 
the protection of the king ; the country was under the 
despotic government of a whole tribe of tyrants, and under 
no protection whatever. The corporate towns, therefore, 
walled themselves, in order to be able to preserve their 
neutrality in the wars of the district which surrounded 
them. This, which was the case in England, must have 
been still more necessary in a country like Ireland, where 
the townsmen were English, and the countrymen chiefly 
Irish. 

The whole tenour of this very remarkable song shews 
that it was written when the foss was nearly finished, but 
before the walls were begun. The foss, or ditch, was 
always the first part of such undertakings ; therefore, in 
the translation, where, for the sake of rhyme, or from any 
other cause, the word "wall" is used, it must be under 
stood as meaning the foss, or preparatory step towards the 
building of the wall ; and in the passage where the word 
" rampart" occurs, it is intended to express the ground 
above the foss. Indeed, the passage is not unlike the one 
in "Hudibras," descriptive of the entrenchments formed by 
the citizens of London in 1642, upon the alarm that it 
was the intention of the royal army to attack the metro 
polis : 

" March d rank and file, with drum and ensign, 

T entrench the city for defence in ; 

Raised rampiers with their own soft hands 

To put the enemy to stands ; 

From ladies down to oyster wenches, 

Laboured like pioneers in trenches j 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 289 

Fall n to their pick-axes and tools, 
And helped the men to dig like moles." 

The burgesses of New Ross, however, as far as the 
song goes, laboured not in building the wall, but in digging 
the foss ; and, while they rested on Sunday, the ladies 
carried stones, and placed them alongside of the foss, to 
be ready to build the wall when the entrenchment was 
completed. And thence these fair dames go and talk of 
building one of the gates themselves. After Sunday the 
burgesses again resumed their digging at the foss, which 
was twenty feet in depth, and, according to the words 
of the ballad, so soon as it shall be completed will be 
a league in length. It is, therefore, to be presumed, 
that the foss was not quite completed when the song 
now given was composed by some merry minstrel of 
the place on the day noted at the conclusion, and it 
was perhaps sung at the corporation dinner after their 
work. 

In Sir Richard Musgrave s " History of the Irish 
Rebellion of 1798," a plan of the town of New Ross may 
be found (which plan was, the Editor believes, sketched 
for Sir Richard, by Miss Mary Ann Tottenham). In 
this plan the town appears inclosed by a wall, defended by 
towers, to which the following names are attached : 
" North Gate," u Maiden Tower," " Market Gate," " Bun- 
nion Gate," " Weaver s Tower," " Brogue Makers Tower," 
"Three Bullet Gate" (where Lord Mountjoy was killed 
in the attack on New Ross, in 179), " Mary s Tower," 
and " The Priory, or South Gate." 

Upon the line, 

" E od floites e taburs," 
O 



290 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Sir Frederic Madden remarks, in the " Archoeologia," 
" The flute is mentioned as a musical instrument in the 
romances of Alexander, Dolopathos, and several others of 
the 13th and 14th centuries. In a curious poem of Guil- 
laume de Machault, a writer of the 14th century, among 
other instruments of music, is noticed i Laflauste brchaigne, 
on which Roquefort remarks, C etoit probablement une 
flute chapetre. But may we not interpret this the Irish 
flute, in contradistinction to the flute traversiere, or Ger 
man flute ? Walker, in his < Historical Memoirs of the 
Irish Bards, p. 90, has stated, that no record exists to 
prove the use of the flute among the ancient Irish ; but at 
the same time owns it highly probable this instrument was 
known to them, particularly from the length of some of 
the notes in the early Irish melodies appearing calculated 
rather for the flute than the harp." 

Jt only remains for the Editor to add, that the transla 
tion of the curious ballad to which these observations are 
prefixed, was made, at his request, by Mrs. George Mac 
lean, in 1831. In the playful letter which accompanied 
her translation, she (L. E. L.) observes, " I am not quite 
sure that I perfectly understand the line 

Qe ja ne li leireit vilein fere, 

which Mr. Madden, in his communication to your Society, 
is pleased to slur, by saying, after paying a compliment to 
these heroines, in the usual style of such compliments, and 
therefore not worth repeating, &c. Now, I doubt whether 
any compliment ever paid to a woman was utterly thrown 
away ; and, in the belief that some fair dame of the pre 
sent clay may like to see that the ladies of old were flat- 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 291 

tered much the same as now, I have ventured to turn the 
compliment." 

I have a whim to speak in verse, 
If you will list what I rehearse, 
For an unheeded tale, I wisse, 
Not worth a clove of garlic is. 
Please you, then, to understand, 
Tis of a town in Ireland, 
For its size the one most fair 
That I know of anywhere. 
But the town had cause of dread 
In the feud two barons spread ; 
Sir Maurice and Sir Walter see, 
Here their names shall written be ; 
Also that fair city s name 
Ross they then did call the same. 



[Fol. 64.] Rithmus faclure Ville de Eosse. 

Talent me prent de rimaunceir, 
S il vous plet de escoteir ; 
Kar parole qe n est oVe, 
Ne vaut pas un ailiie. 
Pur ce vous prie d escoter, 
Si me oi es ben aiicer 
De une vile en Ireland, 
La plus bele de sa grand 
Qe je sache en nule tere. 
Mes poure avoint de un gerre, 
Qe fu par entre deus barouns, 
Vei-ci escrit amdeus lur nuns 
Sire Morice e Sire Wauter. 
Le noun de la vile voil nomer, 
Ros le devez apeler ; 



292 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Tis the new bridge-town of Ross, 
Which no walls did then enclose ; 
It therefore feared a stranger s blows. 
Commons both, and leading men, 
Gathered in the council then, 
What for safety to devise, 
In shortest time and lowest price : 
Twas that round the town be thrown 
Walls of mortar and of stone. 
For this war filled them with fear ; 
Much they dreaded broil so near. 
Candlemas, it was the day * 
They began to delve in clay, 
Marking out a foss, to shew 
Where the future wall should go. 



C est le novel pont de Ros : 
Ce fu lur poure ke lie furent clos. 
A lur conseil un joure alerent, 
E tot la commune ens enterent ; 
Lur conseil pristerent en tele maner, 
Qe .i. mure de morter e def pere 
Yoilent enture la vile feire, 
Qe poure avoint de eel geere. 
A la chandeler commencerent, 
De mercher la fosse y alerent, 
Coment le mure dut aler. 
Aleint liz prodoms mercher, 

* Candlemas day is the 2d of February. It is proverbially the 
commencement of spring. 

On Candlemas day 
Throw candle and candlestick away," 

t De is repeated in the MS. by an error of the scribe. 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 293 

Soon twas traced, and then were hired 
Workmen ; all, the task desired. 
More than a hundred workmen ply, 
Daily, neath the townsmen s eye ; 
Yet small advance these fellows made, 
Though to labour they were paid. 
So the council met again ; 
Such a law as they pass d then I 
Such a law might not be found, 
Nor on French nor English ground. 
Next day a summons, read aloud, 
Gathered, speedily, a crowd ; 
When the law proclaimed they hear, 
Twas received with many a cheer. 
Then a good man did advance, 
And explained the ordinance, 



E avoint le mure merche" : 
Pur overors unt tost mande, 
Fol. 646.] Cent ou plus cbescun jour 

I vont overer od grand honur. 
Les burgeis eutur la fosse alerent. 
E gent lowis poi espleiterent ; 
E a lure conseil re-alerent. 
E un purveans purparlerent, 
Ke unkes tele purveance 
Ne fu en Engleter, ne en France. 
E lendemain en firent crier, 
E tot la commune ensembler j 
La purveance fu la mustre, 
E tot la commune ben paie. 
Une prodome sus leva, 
La purveans i mustra, 



294 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Vintners, drapers, merchants, all 
Were to labour at the wall, 
From the early morning time, 
Till the day was in its prime. 
More than a thousand men, I say, 
Went to the goodly work each day ; 

Monday, they began their labours, 
Gay, with banners, flutes, and tabours ; 
Soon as the noon-hour was come, 
These good people hastened home, 
With their banners proudly borne. 
Then the youth advanced in turn, 
And the town, they make it ring, 
With their merry carroling ; 
Singing loud, and full of mirth, 
Away they go to shovel earth. 



Dies lune. 1F Ke le Lundi tot primers, 

Irrunt a la fosse le vineters, 
Mercers, marcbans, e drapers, 
Ensemblement od lez vineters, 
Del oure de prime de ke mine sonee 
Dussent overer au fossee. 
Et si si funt eus mult bonement, 
I vont overir od bele gent, 

M; Mil e plus, pur voir vous die, 

I vont overir chescun lundi, 

beles baners e grantz lionurs, 
E od floites e taburs. 

E ausi tost cum noune soune. 

1 vont al ostel li prodome ; 
[Fol. 61.] Lure baners y vont devant. 

La jevene gent haut cbantant, 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 295 

And the priests, when mass was chanted,* 

In the foss they dug and panted ; 

Quicker, harder, worked each brother, 

Harder, far, than any other ; 

For both old and young did feel 

Great and strong, with holy zeal. 

Mariners came next, and they 

Pass d along in fair array, 

With their banner borne before, 

Which a painted vessel bore. 

Full six hundred were they then ; 

But full eleven hundred men 

Would have gathered by the wall, 

If they had attended all. 



Par tot la vile karoler, 
Oue grant joi vount laborer. 
E les prestres quau[t] ont chante 
Si vont overir au fosse, 
E travellent mut durement, 
Plus qe ne funt autre gent. 
Kar i sunt jevenz e vilyses, 
E grans e forts ben sojornes. 
Le mariners kant al ostel sunt, 
En bele maner au fosse vount, 
Lure baner en vete devont, 
La nef cledens est depoint. 
E apres la baner vont suent 
DC. Bien vj. cenz de bel gent ; 



* The preceding " hora prima," or, as it is translated, the " early 
morning time," means the break of day ; and the "hora nona," three 
o clock in the afternoon. The priests went to work after vespers, 
which began at four o clock P.M. 



296 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Tuesday came, coat-makers,* tailors, 
Fullers, cloth-dyers, and * sellers ;"f 
Ilight good hands, these jolly blades, 
Were they counted at their trades. 
Away they worked liked those before, 
Though the others numbered more; 
Scarce four hundred did they stand, 
But they were a worthy band. 

Wednesday, following, down there came 
Other bands, who worked the same ; 

E si fusent tuz alouteus, 

Tuz le nefs e bateus, 
xic. Plus i averent de xi. cens, 

Sacliez pur veir, de bone gens. 
^[ Le Mardi prochein suant apers, 

I vont taillurs e parmters. 

Tenturers, fulrurs, e celers, 

Bele gent sunt de lur mesters, 

I vont overir cum dit devant ; 

Mes ne sunt tant de gent, 
cccc. Mes bien sunt iiij. cens, 

Sachez pur veir, de bele gens. 
[Fol. 616.] Le Mekirdi prochein suant. 

I vont autre maner de gent, 

* Parmtiers means faisenrs d habits, what we call habit-makers, 
which, up to a recent time, appears to have been a distinct trade, by- 
tailors still calling themselves " tailors and habit-makers." 

t Saddlers, from the French, selle, a saddle. The word frequently 
occurs in Spenser : 

" What mighty warrior that mote be, 

Who rode in golden sell, with single speare." 

Fatry Queen, n. iii. 12. 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 297 

Butchers, cordwainers, and tanners, 

Bearing each their separate banners, 

Painted as might appertain 

To their craft, and, mid the train, 

Many a brave bachelor ; 

Small and great, when numbered o er, 

Singing as they worked their song, 

Just three hundred were they strong. 

Thursday came, the fishermen 
And the hucksters followed then, 
Who sell corn and fish : they bear 
Divers banners, for they were 
Full four hundred; and the crowd 
Carrolled and sung aloud ; 



Cordiwaners, tannors, macecrers, 
Mult i a de beus bachelors ; 
Lur baners en sunt dpeint 
Si com a lur mester apeint. 
ccc. CCC. sunt, si cum je quit, 

Qe oue grant e oue petit, 
E hautement vont karoler, 
Ausi com funt li primer. 
f Le Judi vont li pescurs, 
E lez regraturs trestuz, 
Qe ble vendunt e poissuns ; 
Divers sunt lur gonfanuns. 
Bien y vont en icel jour, 
cccc. CCCC. od grant honur. 

E karoleut e chantent haut, 
Com le primers par devant. 
Lez waynpayns vont ausi 
Meimes en icel Judi, 

o2 



298 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

And the wainwrights, they came too 
They were only thirty -two ; 
A single banner went before, 
Which a fish and platter bore.* 
But on Saturday the stir 
Of blacksmith, mason, carpenter, 
Hundreds three with fifty told, 
Many were they, true and bold ; 
And they toiled with main and might, 
Needful knew they twas, and right. 

Then on Sunday there came down 
All the dames of that brave town ; 
Know, good labourers were they, 
But their numbers none may say. 



Apres les altres vont derer, 
E par devant ount bele baner 
Le esquele e le peissun par dedens 
En lur baner est depeins. 
Issi vont ens au fossae, 
xxxi j t XXXIJ. sunt pur verite. 

T Le parti . . s vont le Vendredi, j # Fr .^ nork ., no( 

ccc d Bien SUnt CCC. e demy. I trantlatcd, at there it no 

jp* ] Lur taners en sunt devant, ~T*? " " 

Al orle de fosse en estant. J 

Lez carpenters vont le Samadi, 

E fevers e masuns autresi ; 

Mult bele gent sunt je vous plevi 
CCCtd< Ben sunt ccc. e demy, 

E tuz vont overir od bon corage, 

Sachez de ce en funt qe sage. 
^ Le Demainge les dames i vont, 

Sachez de veires bon overe i funt; 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 299 

On the ramparts there were thrown, 
By their fair hands, many a stone ; 
Who had there a gazer been, 
Many a beauty might have seen. 
Many a scarlet mantle too, 
Or of green or russet hue ; 
Many a fair cloak had they, 
And robes dight with colours gay. 
In all lands where I have been, 
Such fair dames working I ve not seen. 
He who had to choose the power, 
Had been born in lucky hour. 
Many a banner was displayed, 
While the work the ladies aid ; 
When their gentle hands had done 
Piling up rude heaps of stone, 



Numerus non est. Le nombre ne sai de cert nomer, 

Nule bom vivant ne les puit center. 
Totz la pere i vont Jeter, 
E hors de fosse a porter ; 
Ki qe la fut pur esgarder, 
Meint bele dame y put il veer, 
Meint mantel de escarlet, 
E de verd e de burnet, 
E meint bone roket bien ride e, 
Meint blank fen ben colouree j 
Ke unkes en tere ou je ai est6, 
Tautz bele dames ne vi en fossee, 
Mult fu cil en bon ure ne, 
Ke purreit choiser a sa volunte". 
Meint bele baner lur sunt devant, 
Tant cum sunt la pere portant; 

[Fol. 556.] E quant ont la pere aportee, 



300 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Then they walked the foss along, 

Singing sweet a cheerful song ; 

And returning to the town, 

All these rich dames there sat down : 

Where, with mirth, and wine, and song, 

Pass d the pleasant hours along. 

Then they said a gate they d make, 

Called the Ladies , for their sake, 

And their prison there should be ; 

Whoso entered, straightway he 

Should forego his liberty. 

Lucky doom I ween is his, 

Who a lady s prisoner is ; 

Light the fetters are to wear 

Of a lady kind and fair : 



Tant cum plest a volunte", 

Entur la fosse vont chanter, 

Avant qe en vile volen[t] entrer. 

E quant en la vile sunt entr6s, 

Les richez dames sunt ensemble s, 

E juent et beivent e karolent, 

E de bons enveisurus en parolent, 

E chescun a autre en comfort, 

E dient qe ferunt un port, 

La Port de Dames avera a noune ; 

E la en ferunt lur prisune. 

E qi en lur prisun est entr6, 

De tut n en avera sa volunte", 

II ne di pas pur nule blame, 

Bon serreit estre en prisun de dame ; 

Kar bone dame est deboner, 

Qe ja ne li leireit vilein fere. 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 301 

But of them enough is said, 
Turn we to the foss instead. 
Twenty feet that foss is deep, 
And a league in length doth creep. 
When the noble work is done, 
Watchmen then there needeth none ; 
All may sleep in peace and quiet, 
Without fear of evil riot. 
Fifty thousand might attack, 
And yet turn them bootless back. 
Warlike stores there are enough, 
Bold assailant to rebuff. 
We have hauberks many a one, 
Savage, garcon, haubergeon ; 
Doublets too, and coats of mail, 
Yew-bows good, withouten fail. 



De dames ore me veil lesser, 
E du fosse plus en parler. 
Le fosse est xx pees parfunt, 
E une lue de vei teint ben de lung. 
Al oure qe serra tot parfeit, 
Ja n avera mester de aver gayte, 
Mes dormir puunt surement ; 
Ja n averunt gard de male gent. 
Me ke venissent xl. mile, 
Ja n en entrunt dedens la vile. 
[Fol. 56.] Kar ens unt acez de garnesuns, 

Meint blanc auberk, e aubersuns, 
Meint parpunt, e meint aketun, 
E meint savage garsun, 
E mult de bon arblasters, 
E de arc de main mult bons archers, 



302 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

In no city have I seen 
So many good glaives, I ween. 
Cross-bows hanging on the wall, 
Arrows too to shoot withal ; 
Every house is full of maces, 
And good shields and talevaces.* 
Cross-bow men when numbered o er, 
Are three hundred and three score ; 
And three hundred archers shew, 
Ready with a gallant bow ; 
And three thousand men advance, 
Armed with battle-axe and lance ; 



Qe unkes en vile ou je ai estee 

Ne vi tant do bone glenne, 

Ne tant arblastes au pareis pendre, 

Ne tant de quarels despendre ; 

E cliescun oustel plein de maces, 

E bonez escuz e tolfaces. 

Bein sunt garnis, je vous plevis, 

Pur bien defendre de lur enemis. 

Qe arblaster, vus di pur vers, 
ccc[lxiij.] CCC. suntlxiij, 

Ke a lur mostresun furent contez, 

E en loure rol sunt arollez. 
x ijc. E de autres archers xii. cens, 

Sachez pur veir, de bon gens. 
flI7 E de autre part furent iij mile 

O lances, e od baches de membles la vile. 

* The talevace was a large wooden shield, particularly used by the 
Scotch and Irish, as would appear. See Ducange, in vv. Talavacius 
and Tavolacius. Sir Frederic Madden s note is, " See Roquefort, v. 
Talevas, and notes and glossary to the Romance of Havelok, v. 2320." 



THE ENTRENCHMENT OF ROSS. 303 

Above a hundred knights, who wield 
Arms aye ready for the field. 
I warrant you the town s prepared 
Gainst all enemies to guard. 
Here I deem it meet to say, 
No desire for war have they, 
But to keep their city free, 
Blamed of no man can they be. 
When the wall is carried round, 
None in Ireland will be found 
Bold enough to dare to fight. 
Let a foeman come in sight, 
If the city horn twice sound, 
Every burgess will be found 
Eager in the warlike labour, 
Striving to outdo his neighbour ; 



c iiij. E gens a chival C. e quater, 

Bien furent armes pur combater. 
Me je vous die tot, sanz faille, 
Ens ne desirent nule bataile, 
Mes lur vile voleint g-arder, 
De maveis gent, a lur pover. 

[Fol. 566.1 Nule home de ce ne lez dut blamer 

Qe lur vile voleint fermer, 
Qe quant la vile serra ferme, 
E le mure tot virone, 
N ad Ires en Irland si hardi, 
Qi 1 oserent asailler, je vus plevi, 
Qe kant unt j. corne ij. feez cornee ; 
Tantost la commune est ensemblee, 
E as armes vont tost corant ; 
Chescun a envie pur aler devant, 
Tant sunt corajus e hardi 
Pur eus venger de lur enemi. 



304 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

God give them the victory ! 
Say amen for charity. 
In no other isle is known 
Such a hospitable town ; 
Joyously the people greet 
Every stranger in their street. 
Free is he to sell and buy, 
And sustain no tax thereby. 
Town and people once again 
I commend to God. Amen. 



Deu lur doint si en venger ! 
E la vile a honur garder; 
Qe deus en seit de tot paie ; 
E tuz diez amen pur charit. 
Kar ce est la plus franch vile 
Qe seit en certein ne en yle ; 
E tot horn estrange est ben venu, 
E de grant joi est resceii, 
E chater e vendre en pute ben, 
Qe nul horn ne li demandra reen. 
A deu la vile je command, 
E tous qe dedens sunt habitand. 

Amen, amen, amen. 
Cefufet Van del incarnation nostre Seignur, m.cc.lxv. 



SHANDRUM BOGGOON. 

Boggoon is the Irish for bacon. Stanihurst quotes the 
fragment of a song that probably was popular in Ireland 
in the reign of Elizabeth ; according to which, 

" He is not a king that weareth saten, 
But he is a king that eateth bacon." 



SHANDRUM BOGGOON. 305 

Shandrum (in English, the old hill) is the seat of William 
Allen, Esq. near Charleville, in the county of Cork, a 
gentleman no less remarkable for his hospitality than 
Shandrum is for the excellence of the bacon produced 
there. 

The author of the song in praise of Shandrum boggoon 
is Mr. Edward Quin, also the writer of another popular 
song, called " Bobety Dawly," and the brother of Mr. 
Simon Quin, whose " Town of Passage" may be found 
at p. 269. Both the brothers have long since aban 
doned their coquetry with the Irish Muse for the more 
substantial employment of English coach-building, which 
Mr. Edward Quin successfully carries on in London. 

Blackrock Castle, and the Baths, mentioned in the 
second verse, are prominent objects on the south shore of 
the river Lee, along which the New Wall, a stone embank 
ment, extends for more than a mile from Cork. Mount 
Prospect race-course is distant about four miles from " the 
beautiful city." 

On the circumstance alluded to in the third verse, it 
is only necessary to state, that the ingenious fancy of the 
Irish ballad publishers produces annually, or sometimes 
more frequently, a marvellous story of the appearance 
of the evil one, with various minute particulars of his 
dining, supping, or spending the evening in the com 
pany of some individual ; and which stories, adorned with 
a fearful woodcut, being duly printed, sell and circulate, 
to the no small profit of the publishers, advantage of the 
venders, and terror of all true believers therein. 



306 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 



Air" The Black Joke." 

To Goddesses, Graces, the Lakes of Killarney, 
To " Bobety Dawly," to Passage, to Blarney, 

Some folks have attempted their lays to attune ; 
But the subject on which these few lines are compose 
Was never yet chanted in verse or in prose. 
The reason is plain, no praise did it need ; 
If you ever should taste it, you d swear it, indeed: 

What I mean now, an please you, is Shandrum boggoon. 

Of old greedy Midas a strange story s told, 

That, whatever he d touch, it would turn into gold. 

Were that attribute mine, I would barter it soon 
For the gift that, whatever I d touch, I d at ease 
Convert to the substance or form that I d please : 
Oh ! I d touch Blackrock Castle, the Baths, and New Wall, 
Mount Prospect race-course, the racers and all, 

And I d turn them at once into Shandrum boggoon. 

If you credit report, about this time last year 
His terrific highness the Devil did appear, 

And dined with one Martin, who lives in Johnstown. 
Tis said in that place he has chosen to dwell, 
Perhaps somewhere near us. Lord save us ! tis well 
That they ve got no boggoon : by my soul, twould require 
A host of the clargy to banish the squire, 

If he e er set his eyes upon Shandrum boggoon. 

Since in praise of boggoon I ve the honour to start, 
Indulge me, for once, in a wish of my heart 

And this wish shall be mine till I m laid in the tomb : 



SHANNON S FLOWERY BANKS. 307 

May the inmates of Shanclrum, encircling that board, 
Enjoy every comfort this world can afford 
Have always a plenty, and, should we go there, 
A heart to divide it, and never worse fare 

Than a ham, flitch, or gammon of Shandrum boggoon. 



SHANNON S FLOWERY BANKS. 

The music of this song was by Mr. Carter, a member 
of the choir of Cloyne, who also composed the beautiful 
and well-known melody of " O, Nannie, wilt thou gang 
with me ? " The Shannon, and its banks, have been long a 
favourite locality with Irish poets. Among the popular 
broadsides now lying before the Editor, are songs entitled 
" The Shannon Side," " Lovely Jane of the Shannon 
Side," " Shannon s Cottage Maid," &c. ; and, in a very 
small book among the Sloane MSS. (No. 3514),* may 
be found, " The Shannon s Praise," wherein, after other 
matters, it is stated, that 

" For sixty miles and more, the swelling sea 
Comes rouling up its streams twice every day, 
Where vessels of great burden safely ride, 
And swiftly saile, assisted by the tyde ; 
And if that craggy, steep, confounded rock, 
Near Killaloe, were, by good fortune, broak 

* This manuscript is chiefly in the Irish character. The following 

notes occur in it:" Written in Ireland Nov br y e 17, 1713." 

" Mr. John Scanlan to Mr. Dennis Connor, Traly." Also, " Sep r y e 
4 th . 1727." Some of the initial letters are rather grotesque. 



308 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Up to its very head, from raging sea, 
You vessels of great burden might convey : 
Which winding voyage, if you rightlv count, 
To twice a hundred miles it will amount. 
Some rivers are for their great bridges praised, 
And for the many arches on them raised ; 
The Thems has nineteen arches, and no more, 
Portumney nineteen, and, besides, a score, 
Which shews the Shannon doth widely exceed 
The Thems, the Clyde, and the dividing Tweed." 

Lord Macartney, when embarking, in 1781, for his 
government at Madras, thus addressed this noble river : 

" Raptured, I try the strain, 



Great king of floods ! to hail thy new-born reign, 

Which breaks from darkness like the rise of day, 

And gives the promise of imperial sway ! 

Already Commerce spreads her ample stores, 

Pours Afric s riches on lerne s shores ; 

Brings either India s treasures to her view, 

Brazilian gold, and silver of Peru ! 

Bids wondering navies on thy billows ride, 

Rolls the world s wealth, O Shannon, to thy tide ! " 

The view of Tarbert, given in Milton s " Seats of the 
Nobility and Gentry of Ireland," engraved after a picture 
by Wheatley, refers to the embarkation of Lord Mac 
artney from the seat of Edward Leslie, Esq., afterwards 
Sir Edward Leslie, Bart., and the projected railroad may 
realise his lordship s anticipations of the Shannon. 

In summer when the leaves were green, 

And blossoms decked each tree, 
Young Teddy then declared his love 

His artless love, to me. 



SHANNON S FLOWERY BANKS. 309 

On Shannon s flowery banks we sat, 
And there he told his tale ; 

" Oh, Patty ! softest of thy sex, 
Oh, let fond love prevail ! 

" Ah ! well-a-day, you see me pine 

In sorrow and despair, 
Yet heed me not. Then let me die, 

And end my grief and care." 
" Ah, no, dear youth," I softly said, 

" Such love demands my thanks ; 
And here I vow eternal truth 

On Shannon s flowery banks." 

And then we vowed eternal truth 

On Shannon s flowery banks ; 
And there we gathered sweetest flowers, 

And played such artless pranks. 
But wo is me, the press-gang came 

And forced my Ned away, 
Just when we named next morning fair 

To be our wedding-day. 

" My love," he cried, " they force me hence, 

But still my heart is thine; 
All peace be yours, my gentle Pat, 

While war and toil are mine ; 
With riches I ll return to thee." 

I sobbed out words of thanks, 
And then we vowed eternal truth 

On Shannon s flowery banks. 



310 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

And then we vowed eternal truth 

On Shannon s flowery banks, 
And then I saw him sail away 

And join the hostile ranks. 
From morn to eve, full twelve dull months, 

His absence sad I mourned ; 
Then peace was made, the ship came back, 

But Teddy ne er returned. 

His beauteous face and manly form 

Have won a nobler fair ; 
My Teddy s false, and I forlorn 

Must die in sad despair. 
Ye gentle maidens, see me laid, 

While you stand round in ranks ; 
And plant a willow o er my head 

On Shannon s flowery banks. 



THE MAYOR OF WATERFORD S LETTER. 

The manuscript volume from which the two following 
ancient ballads respecting Waterford are transcribed, is in 
the State Paper Office. It appears to be the collection of 
some laborious antiquary about the latter end of the reign 
of Elizabeth, and consists of nearly nine hundred pages, 
many of which are pasted over with apparently unarranged 
scraps and memoranda, chiefly relative to the history and 
legends of the South of Ireland. 

This volume, which was bound in the time of 
Charles II., and bears the royal impress, is lettered on 



THE MAYOR OF WATERFORD s LETTER. 311 

the back, " INSTRUCTIONS," merely because the first 
article in it is a copy of instructions from Edward VI. to 
Sir Anthony St. Leger, lord deputy, and others, for the 
better government of Ireland.* 

" Ballad royal," or rhyme royal, was the name given 
to the measure in which the ballads or songs about Water- 
ford are written ; and it will be seen that they are in strict 
accordance with the rules laid down by George Gascoigne, 
in " Certain Notes of Instruction concerning the making of 
Verse or Rhyme in English," attached to " The princelye 
Pleasures at the Courte of Kenelwoorth ; that is to say, the 
copies of all such verses, proses, or poeticall inventions, and 
other devices of pleasure, as were then devised and pre 
sented by sundry gentlemen before the Queene s Majestie, 
in the year 1575." 

" Rythme royall is a verse of tenne syllables, and 
tenne such verses make a staffe, whereof the first and 
thirde lines do aunswer (acrosse) in like terminations and 
rime ; the second, fourth, and fifth, do likewise answere 
eche other in terminations ; and the two last do combine, 
and shut up the sentence. This hath beene called rithme 
royall, and surely it is a royall kind of verse, serving but 
for grave discourses." 

These specimens of Waterford rhyme royal have been 
evidently composed about the years 1487 and 1545. 

The following very curious prose introduction, pre 
served with the manuscript copy from whence the ballad 

* Since this was written (1829), the volume above described has 
been taken to pieces, in order that its contents may be classified in 
the general arrangement of State Papers now in progress. The account 
of it, however, is retained, as in some degree connected with the 
history and preservation of these curious songs. 



312 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

designated by the Editor " The Mayor of Waterford s 
Letter," and now for the first time printed, is tran 
scribed, and with which copy it is contemporary, details 
the circumstances so minutely wherein the letter, or 
rather the metrical version of it, originated, that nothing 
is left for the Editor to observe ; except that, upon the 
suppression of the rebellion, against the progress of which 
the town of Waterford took so decided a part, Sir Richard 
Edgeeomb was sent over to Ireland.* 

" Lambert, a boy, crowned an " To the great discredit of 
Dublin King of England, I foolish men, then held for wise, 
&c. An. Henric. 7. 3. J j t j s remembered, and the pos- 
teritie is to take notice of the foolery, that one Lambert, a 
boy, an organ - maker s sonne, was crowned at Dublin 
Kinge of England and Lord of Ireland, in the third yere 
of Henry the 7. The circumstances may not be forgotten. 
The Erie of Kildare, then governor of the realme, with 
the asistance of all the lordes spirituall and temporall, and 
commons, of the north part of Ireland, assembled in the 
Castell of Dublin, crowned the same boy,f and proclaymed 
him as aforesaid. The crowne they took off the head of 
the image of our Lady of Damascus, I and clapt it on the 

* The particulars of his visit, as is conjectured, written by himself, 
are printed in Harris s " Hibernica," No. III. 

f Cox says he was crowned in Christ Church, Dublin. 

J According to tradition, the crown was taken from the statue of 
the Virgin Mary in St. Mary s Abbey, or the Church of St. Mary 
les Dames. The identical statue is stated to be still in existence, and 
the one preserved in the New Church of the Carmelites, in Whitefriar 
Street, Dublin. At the time of the Reformation, this statue, it is 
supposed, was consigned to the flames. " One half of it was actually 
burnt but it was the moiety which to a saint is perhaps not absolutely 



THE MAYOR OF WATERFORD*S LETTER. 313 

boye s head.* The maior of Dublin tooke the boye in his 
arraes, caried him about the citie in procession with great 
triumph, the clergie goinge before ; the Erie of Kiklare, 
then governor; Walter, archbishop of Dublin, lord chaun- 
celer, the nobilitie, counsell, and citizens of the said citie, 
followinge him as their kinge : unto whome, also, all the 
partes of Ireland yelded obedience. Shortly after the said 
Erie, as tutor and protector of the said kinge, wrote to 
John Butler, maior of Waterford, and to all the citizens, 
a straight charge and severe comaund upon their duty of 
allegianc to be well prepared, and with all redynes to 

indispensable, and which, at least when placed in a niche, is not much 
missed ; the other half was carried by some devout or friendly hand 
to a neighbouring inn yard, where, with the face buried in the ground, 
and the hollow trunk appearing uppermost, it was appropriated, for 
concealment and safety, to the ignoble purpose of a hog -trough ! " 
However accurate the foregoing statement may be which is given 
with a print of the statue in that curious and interesting work, "The 
Dublin Penny Journal " it is too much for the most credulous to 
believe, that " within the last few years the ancient silver crown, with 
which it was adorned, was taken from the Virgin s head, sold for its 
intrinsic value as old plate, and melted down." An editorial note, 
however, states, after doubting that it was the identical crown used at 
tLe coronation of Lambert Simnel, that " the crown itself we have 
often seen exposed for sale in the window of the jeweller to whom it 
was sold. It was a double-arched crown, such as appears on the 
coins of Henry the Seventh, and on his only ; a circumstance which 
marked with exact precision the age of the statue which it had adorned." 

* The ceremony was rendered somewhat more solemn bv a sermon, 
which was preached on the occasion by John Payne, who had been a 
Dominican friar, and was consecrated Bishop of Meath in 1483. " He 
turned," says Harris, " with the tide, and unpreached what he had 
preached before in favour of the mock prince." 

P 



314 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

receave their yonge kinge and lord, and, with all the forces 
they possiblie cold make, to assist him in his voiage unto 
his province of Mounster, where he and his counsail were 
to take order in affaires of great importance touchinge his 
crowne and dignitie. The maior of Waterford, discretly 
takinge the gayne of some small tyme to conferre with his 
bretherne, answered, I will send him answere by one of 
myne owne men ; and so sent him away. 

"Within fewe dayes, with thadvice of his bretherne, he 
framed him an answere as followeth : All loialty and 
subjection to our soveraigne lord, Henry the 7. kinge of 
England and lord of Ireland, and health to your honorable 
person. With thadvice of my bretherne, havinge weyed in 
the ballance of loyalty your imperiall and peremptorie 
comaund, with one consent, and beinge directed by them 
that are experienced, well seene in the lawes of both 
realmes, and are not to seeke much in roiall affaires con- 
cerninge the tyme, this is that we have to say : that he, 
whosever he be, taking upon him the imperiall crowne or 
name to be kynge of England, and is crowned in Dublin 
by a subject, Therle of Kyldare, and inhabitants of the 
citie of Dublin, havinge no right thereunto ; the citie of 
Waterford accepteth and demeth such a one, and all such 
as imbrace and further such a coronation and proclama 
tion made in Dublin, to be rude enemyes, traitors, and 
rebells, to the right prince and kinge of England. 

" Therle myghtely stormed at this answer, and in his 
rage comaunded the poore messenger presently to be 
hanged in Hoggin Greene,* adjoyninge to the citie ; where- 

Now, College Green, Dublin. 



THE MAYOR OF WATERFORD s LETTER. 315 

with Walter, archbishop of Dublin, then lord chaunceler 
of Ireland, and others of the counsail, were not a little 
displeased. Imediatly the said Erie sent an herald in 
his coate of armes to Waterford, whome John Butler, 
maior, espied beyond the river, and caused a boate to ferry 
him over to understand his pleasure. The herald beinge 
come to the key, offred to land ; the maior commanded he 
shold not sett foote on shore, but deliver his message out 
of the boate, and that favor he wold shew him in regard of 
his coate, and for Therle of Kyldare s sake, who, contrary 
to the lawe of armes, had hanged his messenger. 

" The harold, though at the first amazed, yet gatheringe 
breath, and fearinge hard mesure because of thexecution 
of the maior s messenger, drew tyis sword, commanded the 
mariners to putt of the si^pre,- and, if they wold not be 
directed by him, he wold runtae them through. All for 
that tyme beinge effected to his content, he turned him 
to the maior and citizens, and saidf^ Therle of K^ldare, 
tutor and governor to the kinge, with tl)e consent of his 
majestye s counsail, straightly comaundeth the maior of 
the citie of Waterford, and the inhabitantes of the same, 
upon payne of hanginge at their dores, that they forthwith 
proclaime, or cause the kinge lately crowned at Dublin to 
be proclaymed, in their citie, Kinge of England and Lord 
of Ireland, and with all expedition to be in a redynes to goe 
with him into his province of Mounster upon speciall 
service. 

" Whereunto the maior, of himself (being a man of bold 
spirit and good corage) gave answere, Goe tell them 
that sent thee hither, that I will not suffer thy foote to 
come ashore, that I will not yeld unto their directions, and 



316 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

that I will save them a great labor that they shall not 
needs to come to our dores; for I (by the grace of God), 
with the citizens of Waterford and ayde of our neighbors, 
faithfull subjects to the crowne and dignitie of England, 
and the true and lawfull kinge of the same, beinge lord 
of Ireland, will meet them xxx myles of, and ariswcre 
them with the sword of true loialty and subjection : and 
thou, herald, get out of our sight. Forthwith the maior 
and his bretherne sent messengers to all the Butlers and 
Brenys,* and the townes of Carrek, Clonemell, Callan, 
Kilkenny, Fitherth, Gawran, Bala mac kanden, Rosse in 
Wexford, that they and their followers wold receave 
entertaynement of the citie of Waterford in defence of 
the most noble Prince Henry 7., the true kinge of Eng 
land and lord of Ireland, against a counterfeit kinge and 
his adherents lately crowned at Dublin. The Butlers, 
with their followers, returned answere that they, at a day 
and place appointed, with sufficient armes, colors dis- 
plaid, and at their owne charges, with the adventure of 
their lives, wold meete them with v hundred horse and a 
thousand foote, and further if need required. The 
Brenys offred all kyndnes, together with the townes 
heretofore mentioned. 

" When of all sides great thundrings passed, comen 
people in feare doubtinge what effect this course might 
take, and armes redy, the wynd blew a fayre gale from 
the east, and brought the forces and power of Kinge 
Henry 7. from England, some landinge at Scerrese, some 
at Clontarf, and some others at Dalkey, and the places nere 

* Walsh or \Velsl), as often called Trenagh or Briton. 



THE MAYOR OF WATERFORD*S LETTER. 317 

Dublin ; which daunted the counterfeit kinge, Therle of 
Kyldare, and all their complices, cooled their stomaks, and 
quailed the hautye mynd of rebellious hartes ; so that their 
attempt against Waterford was frustrat ; and the counterfeit 
kinge, with his Erie tutor, Walter, archbishop of Dub 
lin, and many others, wer taken prisoners, and carried 
to the towr of London to receave reward condigne, their 
desert. 

" Duringe this pagent, not daringe send messenger to 
Therle of Kyldare, the citie wrote to Walter, archbishop of 
Dublin, in English ryme as followeth : 

O thou most noble pastour, chosen by God, 
Walter, archbishop of Dublin. " 

In consequence of the conduct of the citizens of 
Waterford on this occasion, King Henry VII. addressed 
a letter to them, a copy of which may be found in Dr. 
Smith s " History of Waterford ;" it is dated from \Varwick 
the 20th October (1487). and in the subsequent May a 
new charter was granted to the city. Sir Richard Edge- 
combe arrived in the port of Waterford on the morning 
of the 30th June, 1488 ; " and the same day, at afternoon, 
two boats came from the citty of Waterford, and brought 
the seyd Sir Richard to the citty, and ther the mayor and 
worshipful men of the same honourably receaved hym, 
and the mayor lodgid the se} r d Sir Richard in his own 
house, and made him right herty cheer." 

After breakfasting with the mayor on the 1st July, 
Sir Richard Edgecombe embarked for Dublin ; and it does 
not seem improbable that the mayor s metrical letter was 
sung before Sir Richard, upon the occasion of his public 



318 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

entertainment by the city of Waterford. The State Paper 
Office manuscript is entitled 

" A Copie of Letter sent by the Maior and Inhabitants 
of the Citie of Waterford unto Walter, archbishop 
of the Citie of Dublin, the Maior and Citizens of 
the same, in the tyme of their Rebellion." 

O thou most noble pastour, chosen by God, 

Walter, archbishop of Dublin, 
Elect by th Apostle, bearing the rodd 
Of perfect lief, and also of doctrine, 

To rule thy people by true discipline ; 
And if by custom men used a cryme, 
Thou shouldest correct them from tyme to tyme. 

To thee we recommend us right humblie, 
And to all our masters of that citie ; 

Our neighbours of Dublin right hartelie, 
That be to us bound of old amitie, 
And we to them knitt both in one unitie, 

Which restes with us by their seale and writing, 

Not for a tyme, but, perpetuall enduring. 

Our old progenitours kept well the same 

Undefiled, without disseveraunce, 
Following there truth and right noble fame, 

As men of worth, with true perseveraunce ; 

Wherefore all men said of their governaunce 
The cities of Dublin and Waterford, 
As true brethern, loveth in one accord. 



THE MAYOR OF WATERFORD*S LETTER. 319 

The noble citizens of that faire citie 
Newberry, Wonder, Burncll and Crampe, 

Bennett and Ledelawe* God, of his pitie, 
Rest their soules on the celestiall sea, 
With all the sequele-f- of their affinitie ; 

And of that noble man, Thomas Fitz Symon, { 

In whose tyme Dublin was a noble town. 

Theis noble men, by grace and victorie, 
Fortune inclyned her wheele to them so, 

Their enemies to them did alwayes applie ; 

They had no resistance where they should go : 
All theis, and other laudable actes mo, 

Theis worthie men purchased so by grace, 

That all men loved them in everie place. 

* The names enumerated, with the exception of Ledelawe, who 
probably was the town clerk or official secretary, appear as mayors of 
Dublin between the years 1434 and 1466. Thomas Newberry was 
mayor of Dublin in 1438, 47, 51, 52, 58, 62, 63 ; and Sir Thomas 
Newberry in 1464. Nicholas Wonder (Harris, in his " History of 
Dublin," writes the name Woder) was mayor in 1434, 39, 41, 43, 44, 
45, and 46 ; Nicholas Wonder, jun., in 1448 ; and Sir Nicholas Wonder, 
in 1453. Sir Robert Burnell was mayor in 1450, 54. 59, and 61. 
William Crampe was bailiff of Dublin, 1448 and 50, and mayor in 
1466; and John Bennett was mayor in 1449 and 1457. 

t Relations ; from sequax, a follower. It very frequently occurs 
in the letters of Henry VHIth s time. " To O Conour and his sequele," 
"The sequel of M William," &c. Mr. LEMON. 

J Bailiff of Dublin in 1469, and mayor in 1475 and 1476. 

A common abbreviation of more ; so common, that, in the public 
version of the Bible, it was continued so late as the edition of 1717 
(Oxon), and perhaps later. " The children of Israel are mo and mightier 
than we." Exod. i. 9. The black-letter quarto of 1584 has, in the 
same passage, "greater and mightier than we." At the same time, mo 



320 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

O Dublin! Dublin ! where be the jurours, 

Thy noble men of aureat glorie ? 
They be all passed by processe of yeeres ; 

So is their renowme, worship, and victorie. 

Alas ! therefore, thow maist be right sorie, 
For thow hast made a plaine degression 
From thy true leageance unto rebellion. 

The old amitie betwixt thee and us 

Is now late broken of thy parte onely ; 
Our men by thee weere taken right merveilous, 

Their goods spoiled without remedie : 

And albeit so, wee were not guiltie 
Of anie thing contrarie to good intent, 
Thou hadst our good without anie judgment. 

O ye citizens of that faire citie ! 

Your progenitours, of blessed memorie, 
Were not endurate by no perversitie 

Against their king ; but they right humbly 

Obeied, as subjects, well and trulie : 
They gave no singuler opinion 
Against their king, for none occasion. 

Your citie, then in well * and prosperitie, 
Prospered and floured of all manner thinge 

Of worth, manhode, and all felicitie, 
That in all landes rumour did springe. 
O fie, false Fortune ! with thy sugred flattring, 

and more were both used ; and it does not appear why one or the 
other was preferred in any particular passage, except when it favoured 
a rhyme. 

* Well-being, or weal. 



THE MAYOR OF WATERFORD s LETTER. 321 

Thy peereles play turneth oft to shame ; 
The end is woe that first begon with game. 

Her mutable wheele, she changed, alas ! 
To you, that by long contynuaunce 

Have rebelled against the king s grace. 

Though Fortune have lead you unto that mischaunce, 
We mervaile greatlie of your perseverance ; 

For the doctor saieth it is naturall to synne, 

But diabolike to persevere therein. 

Knowledge your king ; for you shall understand 
That Henry vij th is king, by grace, 

Of England and Fraunce, and lord of Ireland, 
And by just title have taken his place, 
His crowne, and scepter, with joy and solace ; 

And of his title ye may read a parte, 

Which is not fayned by logicke nor by art. 

Moeses had of God, by commaundement, 

If a man died without issue male 
His lands should, by lyniall discent, 

Descend to daughters, his heires generall ; 

For fault of issue, his heires colaterti.il 
Should have the same. Ye may read this story 
Of Sulphact is daughters in the booke of Numery,* 17. 

* The passage Deferred to appears to he the 27th chapter of Num 
bers, from the 1st to the llth verse, where God states to Moses the 
law of inheritance, in consequence of his bringing before the Almighty 
the case of the daughters of Zelophehad. Quere: Will some of the 
older versions of the Bible give a different arrangement of the chapters! 



322 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Which was a figure of Christe s inheritaunce, 
Descended to him by his mother Mary ; 

So that he, without doubt or variaunce, 
As man incarnat, I saie fynallie ; 
And, as Scripture have it in memorie, 

He was borne of the Virgin in Bethliem, 

And, by her, true king of Hierusalem. 

The actes of Christ, as saieth the Scripture, 
Is fynallie for man s instruction ; 

That wee his steppes should follow by nature ; 
That everie man, without devision, 
By perfect law without conclusion, 

Might be a king and have a monarchy 

By his mother, as Christ had by Mary. 

The figure and law is kept in generall ; 

For the more perfeict among all other princes 

Of Christe s faith, and in especiall 

In England, stabled with all sikernes,* 
As we shall shew you by divers chronicles, 

And passed the tyme of man s memorie, 

How, by a woman, descended that monarchy. 

King Henry the First, after the last conquest, 
He passed his traunce without issue male. 

Then entred King Stephen, at the request 
Of the lordes spirituall and temporal!, 
And raigned xix th yeeres, as telleth the tale. 

He was this first Henry is sister s sonn, 

And hereby had the title of his crowne. 

* Sureness certainty. 



THE MAYOR OF WATERFORD s LETTER. 323 

And after him Henry, called Fitz Enipres, 

The second Henry named by writing ; 
He was sonne to Maud, as I can devise, 

Daughter of the first Henry without leasing,* 

And by her title he married as a king 
Many yeeres, as telleth the story, 
And was a prince of noble memory. 

When he accomplished his yeeres of nature, 
His issue raigned King of England, 

And sithen f that tyme have born the scepter, 
Having the governance of all that land 
From sonne to sonne, ye shall understand ; 

Till Edward the iiij th most noble of fame, 

Had the monarchic, and bare thereof the name. 

Stephen and Henry were not of England ; 

They both were strangers, of the realme of Fraunce; 
Stephen, by title, as I understand, 

Was Earle of Bloyes by his enheritaunce. 

This Henry J had under his governaunce 
ThEarldome of Angeoi ; who list to looke, 
Shall find the same in the chroTiicle booke. 

This fourth King Edward his title and right 

Descended to him first by a woman, 
The Duke s daughter of Clarence she hight,^ 

* Lying. It occurs in the Psalms, iv. 2. Shakspere, Spenser, 
Prior, and Gaj, have used this word. 

f From the Saxon pfcfcan ; a common expression of the time, as 
well as sith and sithence, for since, in the sense of because. 

$ Duke of Normandy and Acquitaine, and Earl of Anjou. 

A participle of the Anglo-Saxon verb hatan, to call ; used in a 



324 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Duke Leonell, called a noble man ; 

His daughter Philippa, of \vhom began 
This Edwarde s title of England and Fraunce, 
And by her occupied as her enheritaunce. 

Here may you see noble authorities, 

And first of Christ, which was made incarnate, 

Whom he descended by many degrees 
Of that glorious Virgin immaculate ; 
In his genelogie you maie read it algat,* 

Whom he was king, by liniall discent 

By his mother, without anie argument.- 

Theis three princes that we spake of before, 
Raigned in England, to everie intent 

Trulie obeied ; we can saie no more. 

The lordes and commons, by their whole assent, 
Were to them right humble and obedient. 

This president sheweth that th eir female 

In England shall succeed for fault of the male. 

By this processe unfayned we may shew 

That Stephen and Henry, before tyme of mind, 

By both their mothers, as is well knowne, 
Were kings of England we can find ; 
And also by scripture Christ was betymde 

Of Hierusalem king, and of Juda : 

So was the fourth Edward by the Philippa. 

very peculiar way for some of the passive tenses, without the addition 
of the auxiliary am or was, or their several persons. 

" Full carefully he kept them day and night 
In fairest fields, and Astrophel he hight." 

* Put, on account of the rhyme, for algates by all means. 



THE MAYOR OF WATERFORD*S LETTER. 325 

Which title is fallen to our soveraigne ladie, 
Queene Elizabeth,* his eldest daughter liniall ; 

To her is com all the whole monarchic, 
For the fourth Edward had no issue male. 
The crowne, therefore, and scepter imperiall, 

Both she must have without division, 

For of a monarchic byf no particion. 

It is so that by Divine purveyaunce, 

King Henry the VII th , our soveraigne lord, 

And Queene Elizabeth, to God is pleasure ; 
Ben maried both by amiable accord, 
Why should we speake more of this matter a word ? 

He is our true king without variance, 

And to him by right we should owe our legeaunce. 

Fortune on him have cast her lott and chaunce, 

That he by God is onely provided 
Of England to have the soveraigne governaunce ; 

And of the people chosen and elected, 

By grace in battaile he have obteyned ; 
The auncient right of the Brittons also, 
Is cast on him with titles manie mo. 



* After the murder of Edward V. and the Duke of York, this 
Elizabeth, who was the eldest of the seven daughters of Edward IV., 
was the heir-presumptive ; but her right was set aside by the usurpa 
tion of Richard III. and the victory of Henry VII., whom she after 
wards married, by which marriage his otherwise weak title to the 
crown was set at rest. 

f By, is not unfrequently used for be, in old MSS. 



326 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

First we saie that, by Code s provision, 

This noble prince came by this his sceptor ; 

Second, by the common election 

Of the lordes and commons, he was made sure ; 
The queene s title, by fortune s adventure, 

He have theis three ; the fourth by victorie ; 

And the fifth by the old Brittaine storie.* 

Our holie father the pope, our pastour, 
Of his certaine science and mere motion, f 

Have written to all them that beare chardge and cure, 
By his bull papall,J without exception, 
Affirming theis titles, with sharpe execution 

Against all persons that will make debate 

Upon King Henry the VII th , his royall estate. 

And have given, also, plaine indulgence 

To everie man by his said letters, 
That commeth in aide, or maketh defence 

For his noble king and his said titles ; 

Which bull, with full diligent busines, 
Is dulie executed by terrible censures, 
By all true curates that beareth cures. 

* Quere : Any of Merlin s Prophecies, or the History of Britain 
generally 1 

t This line is a literal translation from the technical phrase in all 
bulls, royal grants, &c., " Certa scientia et mero motu;" now ren 
dered, " of our certain knowledge and mere motion." 

| The bull may probably be found either in Rymer or the Bul- 
larium. 



THE MAYOR OF WATERFORD*S LETTER. 327 

O thow archbushop and metropolitan, 

The chief lampe of pastorall dignitie 
Of all this land, for thow in vertue began, 

If thow be cause of this perversitie 

That late is fallen against all equitie, 
We know it not ; but certaine we can saie, 
Thou keepest silence, and saidst not once nay. 

A man that beareth an ordinarie chardge, 

If anie person greevouslie offendeth, 
And the cryme notorious, she * should at large 

Punishe the man till he were amended, 

But now an errour is well defended; 
And as well by you as others in conclusion, 
For all ye be of one opinion. 

Ye may see, by common experience, 

What vengeance God have shewd in your country, 

By murther, slaughter, and great pestilence ; 
The fruits dearer than they were wont to be, 
And manie of your men drowned in the sea. 

Theis are not without cause after our intent, 

But we be not privie to Code s judgement. 

What is he that have read in cronicle, 
In old stories, or in anie writing, 

Or in the volume of the Holie Bible, 

So rude a matter and so strange a thinge, 
As a boy in Dublin to be made a kinge ; 

And to receave therein his unction, 

The solemyne act of his coronation ? 

Quere, Virtue 1 



328 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

O by what law, custome, or libertie, 

May a king of England be made in Ireland ? 

There is no man that have such aucthoritie, 
For there was no such act made in this land 
Till now right late, as we understand. 

O fie false land, full of rebellion, 

And \vith all men had in great dirision ! 

O God ! where was the prudence of reason 
Of you that have your whole common assent, 

That a boy, an organ-maker is sonne, 

Should be made a king of England, and regent, 
To whom as yett all ye ben obedient ? 

To your dishonour and evill fame, 

An horrible slaunder and great shame. 

It is great pitie that ye be deceaved 

By a false priest,* that this matter began ; 

And that ye his child as a prince receaved 
A boy, a ladd, an organ-maker is sonn, 
Which is now kept in the Tower of London ;f 

His keepers there, to all men declaring, 

" This is of Dublin the first crowned king."f 

And it is strang and great pittie 

That thow, reverend father and pastour, 
Sithen thow hast of that noble citie 

* Sir Richard Symon. 

t Sent to the Tower in June 1487, after the battle of Stoke. See 
Rapin, Cox, &c. 

J The sarcasm he"e is very good : " Now you shall see the won 
derful lion." 3\]r. LEMON. 



THE MAYOR OF WATERFORD s LETTER. 329 

The chardge, and beareth of all them cure, 
That they ben suffred so long to endure 

In their great errour, which is understand 

By all the people of everie land. 

And as it is written in the Gospell, 

Thou shouldest shew the light of true doctrine, 

It should not be hid under a bushell ; 

No love nor feare should thee undermyne : 
But now wee see that all true discipline, 

For feare or love of mightie estates, 

Is put a part by all prelates. 

The pope s censures ben greevous and sore, 
But they be not taken with you in credence ; 

They ben despised dailie, more and more. 
Ye know that in open audience, 
Solemplie they have ben executed with reverence ; 

Therefore religious we thinke, and reguler, 

That singeth masse with you ben irreguler. 

It is tyme for you to be reconciled, 

Of this matter now we will end ; 
Ye have ben to long from trouth exiled, 

The tyme is now come for you to amend, 

A convenable tyme is to you sent ; 
The tyme of Lent, the mirrour of mercy, 
For all them that will reverse their folie. 

Retourne ones, and forsake this folie, 

If anie there be revolved in your mynd ; 
Correct yourself, amend it shortlie, 



330 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

And to your soveraigne lord be not unkind : 

The people tongues no man can bind. 
In such cases they saie, now and then, 
The best clearkes be not the wysest men. 

O Ireland, Ireland ! by what conclusion 
Is thy mirrour of beutie eclipsed all ? 

By murder, slaughter, and great rebellion, 
Thy fertill bondes have had great fall, 
Thy stynge of venyme, as bitter as gall. 

Fortune have cast on thee so her chaunce, 

That alwaies thow must stand in variaunce. 

Reverend father, and our masters all, 

Wee make to you our protestation, 
Not to offend one, nor you in generall ; 

But for to represse your great rebellion 

We send to you this our conclusion ; 
Hereby heartalie praying you that you applie ; 
For your rather* dealing we be right sorie. 

Thiuke not in us no malice or envie, 

For of your honour we would be right faine,f 

And of your reproche we be full sorie; 
We pray to God that we may once againe 
Your old worship, trouth, and manhood attaine ; 

So that ye please God and the kinge, 

And eftsonesj to keape you from all ill dealing. 

* Earlier ; the comparative of the Saxon rathe. Early, soon ; 
rather is still used in the sense of sooner. 

f Glad. 

J Immediately ; soon after; from the Saxon ept, after. It occurs 
frequently in Spenser ; in whose time, however, it was beginning to be 
obsolete. 



THE PRAISE OF WATERFORD. 331 

quoth James Rice. 



Take the matter and leave the dittie,| 



For tis a cause of great pittie, j 

Take no disdaine,! 

You to refraine, [> to your soveraigne lord. 

And to be plaine J 

Ye may be faine "| 

So to attaine I with him to accord. 

His grace againe,J 

JOHN BUTLER, Maior of Waterford. 
Finis. JAMES RICE. 

Wm. LYNCOLLE. 



THE PRAISE OF WATERFORD. 

" The citie of Waterford," says that " learned gentle 
man, Maister Richard Stanihurst," as the old chronicler, 
Holinshed, styles him, " hath continued to the crowne of 
England so loiall, that it is not found registred since the 
conquest to have beene distained with the smallest spot, 
or dusked with the least freckle of treason ; notwithstand 
ing the sundrie assaults of traitorous attempts : and, there 
fore, the citie s armes are deckt with this golden word, 
Intacta manet: a posie as well to be hartilie followed, as 
greatlie admired of all true and loiall townes." 

The motto of " Urbs intacta manet Waterfordia," 
which forms the burden of the following verses, was con 
ferred on the city, with other honours, by Henry VII., 
for the conduct of the mayor and citizens against Perkin 
Warbeck. The date of this composition is satisfactorily 



332 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

fixed, by the twentieth and twenty-second verses, to be 
about 1545. In the former, Henry VHIth s present to. 
the city ofWaterford of a sword of justice in 1523, is 
spoken of as " lately sent;" and in the latter, the term, 
" our triumphant king" (which would scarcely be applied 
to Edward VI.), must have been written subsequent to 
1541, when Henry assumed the title of King of Ireland. 

This ballad was first printed in Mr. Ilyland s " History 
ofWaterford" (1824), but without the foot-notes here 
added in italics, which occur in the margin of the original 
manuscript, and are important illustrations of it. A care 
ful collation with the manuscript, will account for the 
differences which exist between Ryland s reading, and the 
one now given. 

It would, perhaps, be going too far to ascribe the 
authorship to Patrick Strong, from his name appearing at 
the commencement, although the knowledge displayed on 
civic affairs, may warrant the conjecture. Mr. Ryland, 
who gives a list of no less than thirty charters which 
were granted to Waterford, remarks, " Of these valuable 
documents, the only one of which even the corporation 
of Waterford has any knowledge, is the charter of 
Charles I., under which the city is at present governed ; 
all other documents prior to 1G80 were destroyed by fire, 
and no steps have since been taken to supply their 
places." 

The marginal annotation of "anno 16* Eliz. 1573, 
the city had sheriffs," which occurs upon the second and 
third verses, appears to be a subsequent and unconnected 
memorandum ; but it deserves notice, as correcting the 

* Incorrectly printed 24 by Ryland. 



THE PRAISE OF WATERFORD. 333 

errors in the list of civic officers given by Dr. Smith and 
Mr. Ryland in their respective histories of Waterford. 
Smith (p. 158) places the first city sheriffs in 1568, and 
Ryland (p. 406) in 1575, although the latter specially 
tells us (p. 219) what perfectly accords with the note 
upon the ballad, that by the second charter granted by 
Elizabeth in " 1573, the office of sheriffs was first created." 

Patrick Strong, Towne Clerke 
of Waterford, tempore Henry 8. 

God of his goodnes, praysed that he be, 
For the daylie increase of thy good fame ; 

O pleasant Waterford, tho\v loyall cytie, 
That five hundred yeres receavest thy name 
Er the later conquest unto thee came ; 

In Ireland deservest to be peereless 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

Therefore Henry the Second, that noble kinge, 
Knowinge thy prowes and true allegiance, 

Assygned thy franchess and metes,* namyng 
All thy great port, with each appurtenaunce, 
Commanding his son theyne honor to advance, 

With gifts most speciall for thy good ease 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

* Boundaries. In compliance with a precept of Henry II., a 
charter was granted to Waterford by John, in the seventh year of his 
reign, dated at Malbridge, 3d July. Among the extracts from it given 
by Dr. Smith, is the following: " Civibus nostris civitatis nostrae 
AYaterford, infra muros dictae civitatis manentibus totam civitatem 
nostram de Waterford cum omnibus pertineiitiis ; et quod prasdicti 



334 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

John, I do meane the first-named lord, 
Elected governour to rule all Irland, 

For thine amorous truth and loyall accord ; > 

In the first seysed of all this land, 
Then thy charters large,* he did command, 

t*3 

Of his bounteous grace the for to please gf- 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 



To the was granted that every shipp 
Entring thy port, so wyde and large, 

Only in thy presence for great worshipp, g, 

Ever thereafter shoul lade and discharge, 
And no where eles, no vessel nor barge, j 

By thy charters noble it doth expresse 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

And of thy sadge citizence chose thow must 
A provost f yerely, thy people for to guyde ; 

That by aucthorytie whem hym lyst, 
Saff conduct may give to lands wyde, 
To encrease thine honer att every tyde, 

By this noble king that knew nathlesse J 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

cives et eorum Leeredes et successores in perpetuum habeant metas 
suas. Sicut probatje fuere per saciamentum fidelium Lominum 
(viz.) duodecim de ipsa civitate et duodecim extra per praeceptum 
regis Henrici patris nostri," &c. 

* In addition to the charter above quoted, John granted another to 
Waterford, dated at Dublin, 8th November, in the ninth year ofliis 
reign. 

t A proiost in John s tyme. 

$ Not the less ; nevertheless. 



THE PRAISE OF WATERFORD. 335 

Then Henry,* his son, affirmyng the same, 
Granted thy fee-fearme for a yearly rent ; 

And of each shipp to encrease thy fame, 

That enter shall with wyne thy port so potent ; 
The prysadgef of them this he did consent, 

Thyne honour to conserve without dystresse 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

And Edward the First a maiour to the did grant, 
His son confyrmed the same in every case ; 

Edward the Third, J of tryumph most abundante, 
Granted that all plees, by speciale grace, 
In thee shalbe tried, and in no other place, 

For ease of thy people and great prowes 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

The staple || estatute assigned he had by name, 
Unto the by grant, with gyftes many moe ; 

Kilkenye and Casshell ought to obey the same ; 
Weixford and Rosse, Donegarvon allso, 
And each other townes adjoynynge thereto, 

Within the sayd bound, this for thyne ease 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

This king first by Rosse falsly seduct, 

To make her a grawnt contrary to his will ; 
Then att thy request of new he did product 

* Henry III. 

t Prize Wines. 

t Edward III. anno 45 [1371]. 

U Statute Staple. 



336 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

All thy noble grantes and hirs did he spill. 
The law did assent, for he knew by skill 
Of thy true love and service nott rechelesse * 
Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

Richard the Second, of his abundance, 

Confyrmed the same, and in the took place, 

Trusting thy fydelytie and true allegiance, 

Which always shall continue and never deface ; 
And Henry the Fourth followeth his trace, 

Thy grantes knytting to put the in presse 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

The lusty Henry that conquered France, 
In the did creat by his grantes royall, 

All offycers nedeful the to advance ; 

In honour and ease, with aucthoritie speciall, 
Excluding others to kepe thee from fall, 

And by high parliament did geve release 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

Henry f the Holly, that borne was in Wyndsore, 
Collected thy charters, then unyting in one 

Every poynt dystinctly that kinges before 
Did grant unto the, for like I know none ; 
Confirming thy loyalltye and true subjeccion, 

From the said conquest that never did sease 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

* Written also retchless and wreakless. Careless, negligent, pro 
perly reckless ; a compound of reck, from the Saxon riecan j wbeuce, 
also, our word reckon. 

f Henry VI. anno 9 [1430]. 



THE PRAISE OF WATERFORD. 337 

Then Edward* the Strong the same did know, 
Of which he was glad then for thyne ease ; 

Comencing of newe thy grants to shewe, 
And the same regranted the for to pleas, 
Enlarging thy libertye thyne honour to increase, 

Called the his chamber of legiance peerles 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

Submytt art thow under hisf proteccion, 

Agaynst all wronges the for to save ; 
Nott giving thyne honour in oblivyon, 

A sworfl of justice to the he gave ; 

Thyne equytie knowen and thy good lawe, 
With other large grantes the for to please 
Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

Henry I the Valiant, famous of memorye, 
Well did he know by true experyence, 

Thy great fydelytie in tyme of victorye, 

When Lambart was crowned by false advertence, 
And Parkin, allso, with no lesse revereus, 

Then only of this land thow were empresse 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

Thy prowess, therefore, and renowme so prudent, 

His grace remembring, exempted thy port 
From pondadge and subsedy, by letters patentes ; 

* Edward IV. anno 10 [1470], 
t Edward IV. gave the siiorde. 
$ Henry VII. anno 3 [1487]. 

Q 



338 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

That thereby all strangers should gladlyer resort, 
For thy true legeance, to thy comfort, 

And thy people in quietnes to redresse 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

And of thy gaole the full delyverance,* 
To the he gave with execucion ; 

Thy church with anuall rent he did advance ; 
Thine honour, allso, with retribucion, 
Confyrming thy grants from resumpcion, 

In his highe parliament, for thyne increase 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

And his noble son, Henry the Tryumphant, 
Beholding thy virtue in cache degree ; 

Of his gracious favour most abundant 
All grantes affirmed, granted unto the 
By his progenytours, noble and free : 

Under his great scale it doth expresse 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

His bounteous grace revolving in mynde 
Thine old fydelytie and perfect allegiaunce, 

Affirmed in the of duty and kynde, 

Without wemb or spott and dyceaveraunce, 
Accepted had newe thy perseveraunce, 

With hearts infallible that always shall cease 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 



Anno 11 [1495]. 



THE PRAISE OF WATERFORD. 339 

And to the, Waterford,* in special token 
Of his princely favour, he lately sent 

The sword of justice, of which is spoken ; 
No less honour than worthy is the present, 
The gyft well followed his gracious intent, 

To comfort them that find faultlesse 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

And tryumph, gladnes, and great honour, 
Thy cityzence all with humble obedyence, 

On Easter day, att a convenyent houre, 

In their best manner, with good observance, 
Hath this receaved, with letters in affirmance, 

To have them in proteccion, both more and lesse 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

O joyful tyme ! O day and feast most pleasant ! 

In which thy people illumyned was 
With loyalltye true, and love ardeante ; 

Adverting thy swete favor and great grace 

Of our tryumphant king to our sollace, 
Avoyding all dowbt syttf he know nathelesset 
Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

O citizence all, this knott surely ye knytt 

In fast allegiance, your name to conserve, 
And your ancestours hath, and nott permytt 



* A second sicorde, anno 15 [1523]. 

t Since. 

$ Nevertheless. 



340 THE POPULAR SONGS OF IRELAND. 

Your famous loyaltye sclander deserve 
By corrupt matters, but truly observe 

Your princes will from it, do nott dygresse 

Quia tu semper intacta manes. 

Now God, we pray, that three art in one, 
Preserve his high grace in royal estate ; 

And kepe this cytie from dyvysyon, 
In true allegiaunce, without debate ; 
And our hartes in the same to sociate, 

Then Waterford true shall never decrease - 

Quam diu vere intacta manes. 



THE END. 



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