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Songs, Ballads and Snatches

Songs, Ballads and Snatches Playlist

“In this part can be found odd verses out of songs the singers have largely forgotten. People usually remember the best of something, so these snatches are interesting. Some of the other songs seem complete. The Bride stolen by fairies [Saturday night is Halloween night] is a scrap of an old ballad rounded off as a story. John Barbour is another old ballad telling its own story in fourteen verses. B’fhearr liom réal beag is an Irish version of I love sixpence. Johnny Jow is The little red fox worn down to one verse. And the last snatch, Good-bye [Oh Molly dear are you going away?], belongs to a song sung by the mill girls in a Belfast linen factory when a mistress they liked particularly was leaving their department.

Many of these songs could be learned as party pieces, or just for fireside amusement.”— Hugh Shields, 1971

Enjoy the 34 recordings in the Songs, Ballads and Snatches Playlist and/or Return to the Songbook for more detailed information on each item. Please note the Songbook may contain extra songs and rhymes which Hugh and Lisa documented only in writing and no sound file exists.

Songs, Ballads and Snatches Songbook
Now playing: I love my love far better, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English
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  1. I love my love far better, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

    I love my love far better, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

  2. The dark-eyed gipsy, song / Dennis Healey, singing in English

    The dark-eyed gipsy, song / Dennis Healey, singing in English

  3. The maid of Culmore, song / Mary Meenan, singing in English

    The maid of Culmore, song / Mary Meenan, singing in English

  4. B’fhearr liom réal beag, song / Ann Gillespie, singing in Irish

    B’fhearr liom réal beag, song / Ann Gillespie, singing in Irish

  5. Obadiah, song / Nora Cooper, singing in English

    Obadiah, song / Nora Cooper, singing in English

  6. John Barbour, song / Joe McCafferty, singing in English

    John Barbour, song / Joe McCafferty, singing in English

  7. The Kerry recruit, song / Mary Hart, singing in English

    The Kerry recruit, song / Mary Hart, singing in English

  8. Saturday night is Halloween night, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English, speech in English

    Saturday night is Halloween night, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English, speech in English

  9. Oh Molly dear, are you going away?, song / John Shields & Philip Shields, singing in English

    Oh Molly dear, are you going away?, song / John Shields & Philip Shields, singing in English

  10. My love she’s but a lassie, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

    My love she’s but a lassie, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

  11. The crockery ware, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

    The crockery ware, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

  12. Did you ever see the devil and his wooden leg and shovel, song / Paddy Tunney, lilting, singing in English

    Did you ever see the devil and his wooden leg and shovel, song / Paddy Tunney, lilting, singing in English

  13. Some say the divil’s dead, song / Mary Heaney, singing in English

    Some say the divil’s dead, song / Mary Heaney, singing in English

  14. My aunt Jane had a nice wee shop, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

    My aunt Jane had a nice wee shop, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

  15. The wee dog Buff, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

    The wee dog Buff, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

  16. Wee Magee and a half-a-dozen more, song / John Shields, singing in English

    Wee Magee and a half-a-dozen more, song / John Shields, singing in English

  17. For my daddy goes to meeting, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

    For my daddy goes to meeting, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

  18. My love wears the tarry trousers, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

    My love wears the tarry trousers, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

  19. I’ll climb up a high high tree, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

    I’ll climb up a high high tree, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

  20. On the top of yon heathery mountain, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

    On the top of yon heathery mountain, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

  21. The tree in the ground, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

    The tree in the ground, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

  22. It’s of a row to you I’ll show, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

    It’s of a row to you I’ll show, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

  23. To my grief and woe I’ll let you know, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

    To my grief and woe I’ll let you know, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

  24. The Inniskilling dragoon, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

    The Inniskilling dragoon, song / Eddie Butcher, singing in English

  25. Green grows the laurel, song / Dennis Healey, singing in English

    Green grows the laurel, song / Dennis Healey, singing in English

  26. Twas pretty to be in Ballinderry, song / Paddy Tunney, singing in English

    Twas pretty to be in Ballinderry, song / Paddy Tunney, singing in English

  27. The knight of the road, song / Paddy Tunney, singing in English

    The knight of the road, song / Paddy Tunney, singing in English

  28. Seven little gipsies, song / Paddy Tunney, singing in English

    Seven little gipsies, song / Paddy Tunney, singing in English

  29. Brian O’Linn, song / Eddie McGinley, singing in English

    Brian O’Linn, song / Eddie McGinley, singing in English

  30. Woman at the churchyard gate, song / Kitty Shields, singing in English

    Woman at the churchyard gate, song / Kitty Shields, singing in English

  31. The town of Antrim, song / Alec Foster, singing in English

    The town of Antrim, song / Alec Foster, singing in English

  32. Johnny me darling lad, song / Mary Wall, singing in English

    Johnny me darling lad, song / Mary Wall, singing in English

  33. Down by yon riverside, song / Arthur Coulter & Mary Heaney, singing in English

    Down by yon riverside, song / Arthur Coulter & Mary Heaney, singing in English

  34. Barbara Allen, song / Hazel Hornsby, singing in English

    Barbara Allen, song / Hazel Hornsby, singing in English