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Daughter, Dearest Daughter
(Roud 1570)
Mikey Kelleher
Quilty and Depford, London
Recorded in London, 1977

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Mikey Kelleher

“Oh mother, dearest mother, what’s going to happen me?
Oh mother, dearest mother, my style live ever free.
You know the world have troubled me, those seven long years and more;
Late and early, tired and weary, sick from lying alone.”

“Oh daughter, dearest daughter, I’ll buy for you a cow.”
“Oh, no mamma, oh, no mamma, for that wouldn’t please me now;
For indeed, the world have troubled, me those seven long years and more;
Late and early, tired and weary, sick from lying alone.”

“Oh daughter, dearest daughter, I’ll buy for you a sheep.”
“Oh no mamma, oh no mamma, for that wouldn’t let me sleep.
For indeed, the world have troubled, me those seven long years and more;
Late and early, tired and weary, sick from lying alone.”

“Oh daughter, dearest daughter, I’ll buy for you a horse.”
“Oh no mamma, oh no mamma, for that’s ten times worse than that.
For indeed, the world may troubled me those seven long years and more;
Late and early, tired and weary, sick from lying alone.”

“Oh daughter, dearest daughter, I’ll get for you a young man.”
“Oh yes mamma, oh yes mamma, for I think you really can.
A young man to me, for one night's sleep is better than all your horse, sheep and cow;
He’ll hold me tight, he’ll hold me tight, and mother, I’m sleepy now.”

“Mamma and papa in one bed both do lie,
Embracing one another, and so will my love and I;
Embracing one another, and that without a doubt;
I’ll roll him in my arms tight and I’ll blow the candle out.”

"Known sometimes as ‘Whistle Daughter Whistle’, with the appropriate whistling motif, this seems to have taken on several forms, from being a bawdy song which tells of a frustrated young woman wishing for a man, to a children's game in which all the animals mentioned are imitated by the singer. William Wells Newell described it as being identical to a German, Flemish and French round of the fifteenth or sixteenth century, in which a nun or monk is tempted to dance by various offers. The earliest reference in English appears to be in a manuscript from Wiltshire dated 1740, though it seems to have survived longest in Ireland. We have recorded it on three occasions, from Mikey and Tom Lenihan, both of West Clare, and from Tipperary Traveller, Mary Delaney. Mikey's version seems to have picked up a final verse from ‘Blow the Candle Out’, another bawdy song.
Ref: Games and Songs of American Children, William Wells Newell, pub. Harper and Brothers 1883.
Other recordings: Mary Delaney, From Puck to Appleby, Musical Traditions MTCD325-6"

The above commentary, lyrics and recording are taken from ‘Around the Hills of Clare: Songs and Recitations from the Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie Collection’ (2004) Musical Traditions Records MTCD331-2/Góilín Records 005-6.

See also
Daughter, Dearest Daughter sung by Tom Lenihan


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