DESCRIPTION: The narrator "shags" landlord or bartender O'Reilly's daughter, then assaults father, mother or both.
EARLIEST DATE: 1928 (Russell)
KEYWORDS: bawdy sex family mother father homosexuality
FOUND IN: Australia Britain(England) Ireland US(MW,Ro,So,SW) New Zealand
REFERENCES (8 citations):
Cray, pp. 101-105, "O'Reilly's Daughter" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Randolph-Legman I, pp. 137-140, "One-Eyed Reilly" (3 texts, 1 tune)
Logsdon 53, pp. 249-252, "One-Eyed Riley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bronner-Eskin2 67, "One-Eyed Riley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-AmFolklr, p. 838, "(One-Eyed Riley)" (1 text, 1 tune -- a fragment of a raftsman's song, so short that it might be this or something else. The lyrics are different, but the feeling is similar)
Silber-FSWB, p. 172, "Reilly's Daughter" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: Charles Edward Russell, _A-Rafting on the Mississip'_,, 1928 (republished 2001 by the University of Minnesota Press), p. 207, One-Eyed Riley" (1 short text, 1 tune, probably bowdlerized)
cf. "I Went Down to New Orleans"
NOTES: Annotator Legman (pp. 138-139) includes the text of "The Rover," which he dates to 1790, as the forerunner of the modern bawdy ballad. The "C" text in Randolph-Legman I is only coincidentally "One-Eyed Reilly." - EC
This exists in an extremely bowdlerized version [in which the singer wants to "marry" rather than "shag" the daughter, and in which the daughter is the only one to receive his attentions], which was made popular by the Clancy Bros. in the 1960s. The [Silber] entry is that song. - PJS
Logsdon observes that T. S. Eliot included a verse of this in The Cocktail Party
Even more unlikely is the fact that C. S. Lewis apparently sang the song happily. According to Wilson: A. N. Wilson, C. S. Lewis: A Biography, Norton, 1990, p. 131, Lewis regularly held an "English Binge" for his students. The purpose of this was apparently to get drunk and sing dirty songs. And, yes, this continued after he abandoned atheism. It seems Lewis was happily giving forth with this song at Christmas 1931. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.5
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.