Smiling Potatoes, The
DESCRIPTION: "Sweet roots of Erin! we can't do without them; No tongue can express their importance to man ... Then here's to the brave boys that plant them and raise them."
AUTHOR: Rev. John Graham (source: Croker-PopularSongs)
EARLIEST DATE: 1829 (Graham, _Poems, Chiefly Historical_, according to Croker-PopularSongs)
KEYWORDS: farming food Ireland nonballad
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Croker-PopularSongs, pp. 61-65, "The Smiling Potatoes" (1 text)
cf. "Dear Creatures, We Can't Do Without Them" (tune, according to Croker-PopularSongs)
cf. "The Potato" (subject)
NOTES [100 words]: The potato was, of course, both blessing and curse to Ireland. Blessing, because it could help replenish the soil depleted by growing cereal grains, and blessing, because by the 1840s, it was nearly the sole source of nutrition for three million of Ireland's eight million people. And curse, because -- by the 1840s, it was nearly the sole source of nutrition for three million of Ireland's eight million people.
For another song in praise of the crop, see "The Potato." For a (quite inadequate) description of the horrors caused by the potato blight, see "Over There (I - The Praties They Grow Small)."
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