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In Carlow Town
(Roud 9500)
Jamesie McCarthy
Mount Scott, Mullagh
Recorded in Conway’s Bar, Mullagh, July 1976

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Jamesie McCarthy

In Carlow town there dwelt a maid, she being a beauties bright.
Many a man came courting her and that both day and night.
Many a man came courting her and for her sake would I,
We will make no matter Molly bán, young men they do tell lies.

Molly being young and innocent, as I’ve told you before.
Molly being young and innocent, she slighted half a score.
“Though six long months and bitter, I am in love with thee.
I hope you’ll see me justified, proved loyal and marry me.”

“To marry you dear Molly bán it’s a thing I cannot do.
To marry you dear Molly bán it’s a thing I will not do.
Go home you foolish creature and do the best you can,
And tell them your love slighted you, and proved a false young man.”

Molly would not hang herself, her parents to disgrace.
She would rather go and drowned herself, beside some silent place.
Meeting with the Liffey clear, her body to destroy,
Saying, “Adieu to all men breathing, and to you my darling boy.”

It was in three days after, when Johnnie went to swim,
Stripping off his small, small clothes and laying them on the banks.
Stripping off his small, small clothes, while gazing on the deep.
It was there he saw his Molly bán and she lying fast asleep.

Ten times he kissed her cold pale lips, found she was dead and gone.
“May the Lord have mercy on your soul, I’ve proved a false young man.
Who will go and tell my parents that they need not look for me?
For this very day in that cold, cold grave I will lie with you Molly.”


“While the theme of a pregnant young woman being abandoned by her lover and committing suicide is common enough in the oral tradition, there seems to be only one other example of this particular song having been recorded, from Mrs Eileen Sheridan (originally from Kerry) in London in 1956. The best known of these type of songs, ‘Caroline of Edinburgh Town’ can be found elsewhere in this collection.”
Jim Carroll

See also
Molly Bawn sung by Mikey Kelleher

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