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Lord Gregory
(The Lass of Aughrim)
(Child 76; Roud 49)
Siney Crotty
Ross, Kilbaha
Recorded at ‘The Singers Club’ in London in the mid-1970s

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Siney Crotty

Oh, it’s of a king’s daughter who strayed to Cappoquin,
In search of Lord Gregory, pray God I will find him!
‘Oh the wind blow on my yellow locks, the dew wet me skin,
The babe is cold in my arms, Lord Gregory, let me in!’

‘Lord Gregory, he's not home love, and henceforth can't be seen,
He is gone to bonny Scotland to bring home his new queen.
So leave now those windows and likewise the hall,
For it's deep in the ocean you must hide your downfall.’

‘Who will shoe my babe's little feet, who’ll put gloves on his hand?
Who'll tie my babe's middle with a long green ribbon band?
Who will comb my babe's yellow locks, with an ivory comb?
Who will be my babe's father until Lord Gregory comes home?’

‘I will shoe your babe’s little feet, I’ll put gloves on his hand,
And I’ll tie your babe's middle with a long green ribbon band.
I will comb your babe's yellow locks, with an ivory comb,
And I’ll be your babe’s guardian, until Lord Gregory comes home.’

‘Do you remember, Lord Gregory, that night in Cappoquin?
We exchanged rings on our fingers, and that against my will.
Oh, yours was fine silver, and mine was block tin.
Oh, yours cost one shilling, love, and mine but one cent.

Do you remember, Lord Gregory, that night in Cappoquin?
We exchanged pocket handkerchiefs, and that against my will.
Oh, yours was fine linen, and mine was coarse cloth.
Oh yours cost one guinea, love, and mine was but one groat.

Do you remember, Lord Gregory, that night in your father's hall,
You stole away my fond heart and that was worst of all.'
‘So leave now those windows, and likewise the hall,
For it's deep in the ocean you should hide your downfall.’

‘My curse on you, mother, my curse it be sore!
For I dreamt I heard that lass of Ormes* a-rapping on my door.’
‘Oh, lie down you foolish son, oh lie down and sleep,
For it's long ago her weary head is a-waving in the deep.’

‘So saddle up the black horse, the brown, or the bay;
Oh then saddle up the best horse in my stable this day.
I will range over valleys, and mountains so high,
And I’ll find that lass of Ormes and lie down by her side.’

* Ormes – a corruption of ‘Ocram’. A common name for this ballad is ‘The Lass of Ocram’.


“Originating in Scotland, ballad scholar Dr Hugh Shields has traced its first recorded discovery in Ireland in 1850 right through to its last recording from County Clare singer, Ollie Conway in 1985, via its inclusion in James Joyce’s short story ‘The Dead’. According to Child, it first made its appearance in print as ‘Isabell of Rochroyall’ in a Scots manuscript songbook in the early eighteenth century, though he points out that is certainly much earlier than its first printed source. He suggested it was in ballad form as early as the late Middle Ages. There have been comparisons made with Constance’s story in Chaucer’s ‘The Sergeant-at-Laws Tale’, one of the Canterbury Tales. The ballad survived mainly in Scotland and also in the United States where a ‘floater’ verse - ‘Who’s going to shoe your pretty little foot’, took on a life of its own and has become a song in its own right. There have been only a handful of versions found in Ireland, the best known of these being the one recorded from Elizabeth Cronin of Ballyvourney, Cork, in the 1950s. Tomas Moran, the Co. Leitrim singer with a seemingly inexhaustible repertoire had it and Tom Munnelly recorded it from Roscommon Traveller, John ‘Jacko’ Reilly. Cahersiveen Traveller, Peggy Delaney (neé McCarthy), gave us a fragment of it which she got as a child from her father, Michael McCarthy Snr., a travelling tinsmith and horse dealer, born in Kilrush, of Tipperary parentage.”

Refrence:
The History of The Lass of Aughrim, Dr. Hugh Shields
The Dead (short story) from Dubliners, James Joyce
The English and Scottish Popular Ballads, F.J. Child
The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
The Songs of Elizabeth Cronin, Dáibhí Ó Cróinín
Jim Carroll

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