Songs collected by Donagh MacDonagh (Under Construction - Check Back Often)

Back in the 40s and 50s my Dad did a programme on Radio Eireann called Ireland is Singing. Songs for the programme were sent in by listeners and the staff would set them to a tune (for the most part the songs did not come with any indication of the correct tune) and they would be sung on the programme. This resulted in a major body of songs, many of which are not commonly available elsewhere. The original, mostly handwritten, sheets are at the Department of Irish Folklore in University College Dublin. For over 30 years, the typewritten copies have been sitting on my shelves while I tried to figure out how to make them more widely available. The Internet provides me with the ideal way to do so and this site is the result.

I have to start out with a disclaimer. My Dad was an enthusiast, not a folklorist and in his papers I have found songs lifted from books, recordings and even songs he wrote intermixed with material he collected. I have tried to eliminate songs that he might have acquired from sources other than collection from the source (except for a few written by him and so noted), but it is entirely possible that I have missed some. I have also refrained from putting on what I consider to be well known songs unless the version here is substantially different to the well know one. Anyone who would like to check out my father's own writing (poetry,plays, translations from the Irish and songs) can go to Plays, poetry and songs by Donagh MacDonagh

Only in a few cases did anyone send in music with these songs, so potential singers will have to fit a tune to them or find the original. The frustration for me is that I know the tunes to a lot of them, but, not being able to sing (not even well enough to hint at the tune to a singer) or play a musical instrument, they are stuck in my head.

Special thanks to Patricia O'Brien, Barbara Currier, Sean Morrison and Tina Carlsen who did the bulk of the work retyping these songs from JPG images. Thewholething can be downloaded (a modest 251K) at: Donagh MacDonagh song collection downloadable..

If anyone knows any of the tunes for these songs I would very much appreciate it if they could be e-mailed to me at ComeByTheHills@AOL.COM . They will be included with the songs with an acknowledgement of the source.

People who know of recordings of any of these songs or variants of them or songs to the same tune are encouraged to send along that information.

Naturally, I welcome all other comments. In particular I would like to know if I have inadvertently included copyrighted material.

A personal note. When my Dad died he and I had been working on doing a book of these songs. I well remember one day after he died, riding my bike down Leeson Street and thinking of what we were going to do with this collection. Then I realized that he was no longer here - this is when the full realization of my loss hit home. I still miss him 32 years later, but these days I can feel him around me.

Niall MacDonagh


All Ireland Hurling Final at Jones Park 1910

Annie Dear

Annie Moore

The Athlone Landlady

Down the Moor

The Ball in the Bro

Two songs by Donagh MacDonagh
Ballad of John Mitchell
Ballad of Mick Collins

Banks Of The Boyne

Banks Of The Foyle

Billy Byrns Of Ballymanus


Boating On The Finn

Boer War

The Balkey Mare

Before You Get Married

Begorrah Says Mick, I Don't Mind if I Do

Bold Captain Freeny

Boney's Defeat

The Bonny Irish Boy

The Bold Militia Man

The Bonny Light Horseman

The Bonny Wee Widow

The Boys of Kilkenny

The Braes Of Faughanvale

The Braes Of Strabane

Brian O'Lynn

An Cailin Deas- The Nice Girl

An Cailin Ruagh - The Red Haired Girl

Captain Thompson

The Captain With The Whiskers

Careys Disguise

Carlow Town

Cavan Races

Claudy Town

Corporal Casey

The Comber Ballad

The County Tyrone

Crimea, The

Dan O'Hara

Darby Kelly

Darling Cailin Ban

Dear Irish Boy

Dear Little Ambush

Dear Old Sligo

Death of Carey

Devils Are The Dealers

Dingle Puck Goat

Doom Of Nancy McCoom


Drimmin Dubh

An Droighnean Donn.jpg

Dublin City Or Wheel Of Fortune

Dublin Shop Boys Complaint Or Skinflint Of Ballyflake

Ducks Of Magherlin

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb

Dunmore (cf. Going to Mass last Sunday)

Dying Ass

Edward Boyle

Emmetts Farewell

Erins Green Linnet

Erins Lovely Home

Erins Lovely Lee

Escape Of Samuel Hale

Escaping Men

Execution Of Tim Kelly

Fair Lady

Fair Maidens Beauty

Fair At Turloughmore

Faithless Lover

False Bride

Famous Lynchehaun

Fanny Fletcher

Farewell To Patrick Sarsfield

Farmers Wife I'll Be

Father Murphys Men

FenianMan Of War

First I Loved Thomas

First Place I Met My Love

Flag Is Raised

Floating Sea Mines

Flower Of Erins Green Shore

Flower Of Sweet Strabane

For Ireland I'll Not Tell Her Name

Funeral Of Michael Hegarty

Galway City

Gaol Song

Gardener's Son

Garryowen In Glory


Gay Old Hag

General James Shields

General Lucas

Gentleman From Kildare

General Munroe

Girl From Donegal

Girl From Dunmore

Girl I Left Behind Me

Goat's Will

Going To Mass Last Sunday (cf Dunmore)

Goodbye Mike

Grand Conversation on Old Ireland

Granuaile - 1st of two different songs with the same title.

Granuaile - 2nd of two different songs with the same title.

Green Bushes

Green Fields Of Amerikay

Green Grow The Rushes

Green Linnet

Growling Old Woman
Handsome Sally


Hat My Father Wore


High Germany

Hounds Of Filemore

Hunting The Wren In Tipperary

I am A Bold Undaunted Youth

I Am A Poor Stranger

I Am A Wee Laddie

I'm Going To Be Married On Sunday

I Once Loved A Bonny Boy

I Once Was The Queen Of May

I Planted A Garden

I Was A Belfast Working Man

I Wish I Was Lying Alone


Irish Brigade

Irish Girl For Me

Irishmen Of Every Creed

Jem Larkin Is A Fighting Man

Johnny Doyle

Johnny From The West

Johnny's The Lad I Love

Johnny The Daisy O

Jolly Rake Of All TRades

Kerry Moonlighters

Lady From Holland

Lambs On The Green Hills

Lament For Hugh Reynolds

Landlord Eviction

Last Lovely Lassie

Last Of All The Sweeps In Ballina

Leaving of Limerick

Limerick Races

Little Ball Of Yarn

Lovely Sailor Boy

Low Counterie

MacKenna's Dream

Mare and the Foal

Moorlough Mary

Moreland Shore

Mountain Streams Where The Moorcocks Crow

Mullingar Races

My Bonny Irish Boy

My Wonderful Wife

Ye Mariners All

Nancy Hogans Goose

Napoleon Bonapartes Farewell To Paris

New Song On The Assasination Of The Old Informer Carey

New Song On The Manchester Martyrs or The Smashing of the Van

New Song On The Shooting Of Bailey The Alleged Informer

Ninety Eight Ballad

Noblemans Wedding

Nora Crenia

Nora Daly

Nora MacShane

North Amerikay

Nothing Else To Do

OConnellThe Brightest Star Of All

ODonnell And Carey

ODonnell The Avenger

Old Grey Mare

Old Leather Breeches Page1

One Penny Portion

Orange LilyO Two versions

OReilly Of The County Cavan

OReilly The Fisherman

Out Of The Window

Oyster Girl

Paddy From Clare

Paddys Green Counterie


Palatine's Daughter

Paistín Fionn

Pat Maguire

Pat O'Donnell

Pat from Mullingar

Patsy MacCann

Pegeen Mike

Pot Still


Pretty Polly

Pretty Susan The Pride Of Kildare

Pride Of Erin's Isle


Rakes Of Rathkeal

Rakes Courtship

Rakes of Mallow

Rambler From Clare

Rambling Irishman


Reading Made Easy

Red Haired Mans Wife

Redmond O'Hanlon

Ribbon Boy

River Roe

Rocks Of Bawn - a completely different version

Roddy McCorly - two very different versions


Roving Journeyman


Send Back My Barney

Seven Exiles

Shamrock Shore

Shan Van Vocht - not the standard version.

Shes A Dear Maid To Me

Shooting Of Lord Leitrim

Sights And Sounds Of Dublin


Smuggling Man

Two gas songs about Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick Was A Gentleman

Song Of The Galloping Hogan

Sons Of Ireland

Sons Of Old Ireland

South Down Militia Page 1

Spailpin Fanach Page 1

Star Of Donegal

Suit Of Green

Summer Is Come

Sweet Clonlee

Sweet Coothill Town

Sweet County Wexford

Sweet Moneymore

Sweet Mountstewart

Sweet Shady Groves Of Clontead

Sweet Slaneys Side

Sweet West Mayo

Tadhg An Astna

Taking An Evenings Walk

Tanyard Side

Thank You Maam Says Dan

That Dear Old Land

That Lighterman Of Mine

They're Pickin Em By Degrees

Thomas Walsh

Time Is Drawing Nigh

Tipperary Recruiting Song

Titanic Page 1

Tom Doolans Attempt To Get Married

Tom Keogh

To The River Lagan

Tom MacArdle

Town Of Mullingar

Town Of Passage

Traitors Of Ireland

Travels Of Paudheen Rhú Number III

Trip Over The Mountain

True Deserter

Turfman From Ardee

'Twas On A Sunday Morning


Underneath Your Apron

Upperwood Rangers

Waiting For Me

Wee Cutty Pipe

Wee Duck.

Wee Melodeon

Wexford Insurgent

When FirstI Came To The County Limerick

Where Are You Going My Pretty Little Girl O

Where The Water Runs Muddy

Whiskey In My Tay

William Scanlon

Willie O

Willie Reilly and Polly Kiely

Willie Reilly

Wreck of the Mary Jane

Young Maids Song

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