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Red Robin
(Roud 9648)
Mikey Kelleher
Quilty and Depford, London

Recorded in London, 1977
Carroll Mackenzie Collection


Mikey Kelleher

So come into my cabin red robin, partake of my plain, humble fare.
I never yet had a dainty red robin and Paddy could share.
Come freely up into my cabin, thrice welcomes wee robin from me;
This cold winter put on his white cap, and again I’ll give shelter to thee.

Three long years have gone by sweet red robin, since I first gave shelter to thee.
And at last, what a change pretty robin, since you first saw my Sheila with me.
I once had a beautiful Sheila, and now with another she’s gone.
Kind friends daily call to my cabin and now I must sigh all alone.

Oh where’s that sweetheart red robin, go search her on house top or tree,
And I’ll freely be kind to you, robin, who falls what my Sheila to me.
You shall share every crumb on my table and sing the wild winters away,
I would not let them harm you robin, let others use me as they may.

Sure I’m proud of my name and my nation, I’m proud to be in Erin’s green shore.
What names in history hold a loftier station than brave Emmet, O’Connell and more.
I fear but a glorious reception, since last I crossed o’er the salt sea,
And my heart beat with fond recollection, dear Ireland mavourneen, and thee.

“This rather plaintive emigration song was recorded from Patrick Egan of Tulla in I960 by Seamus Ennis, at a public recording session in a bar in Quilty. There are no other reported versions of it, though we have heard a number of local people refer to it. The BBC index note reads:

“The origin of the song unknown, but the tune is common in Co. Donegal - a variant of Eileen McMahon and The Day the Crubach went to Tory.”

BBC Annotated Index
Jim Carroll

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