Mantle So Green, The [Laws N38]

DESCRIPTION: The well-dressed girl refuses the singer's offer of marriage; she is pledged to Willie O'Reilly, whose name is embroidered on her fine mantle. He tells her O'Reilly died at Waterloo; seeing how she grieves, he reveals that he is O'Reilly in disguise
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1859 (Journal from the Ocean Rover); before 1853 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 26(417), but see NOTES)
KEYWORDS: love disguise separation grief
June 18, 1815 - Battle of Waterloo
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,MA,So) Canada(Mar,Newf) Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber)) Ireland Australia
REFERENCES (29 citations):
Laws N38, "The Mantle So Green"
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 151-152, "The Mantle of Green" (1 text)
Randolph 94, "The Mantle So Green" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cazden/Haufrecht/Studer-FolkSongsOfTheCatskills 24, "Famed Waterloo" (1 text, 1 tune)
Thompson-BodyBootsAndBritches-NewYorkStateFolktales, pp. 400-401, "Mantle So Green" (1 text)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 56, "Fain Waterloo" (1 text plus mention of 1 more, 1 tune)
Ritchie-FolkSongsOfTheSouthernAppalachians, pp. 93-94, "Her Mantle So Green" (1 text, 1 tune, expanded by Ritchie from a traditional fragment)
Greenleaf/Mansfield-BalladsAndSeaSongsOfNewfoundland 87, "The Mantle of Green" (2 texts)
Peacock, pp. 555-557, "The Mantle So Green" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Leach-FolkBalladsSongsOfLowerLabradorCoast 130, "Mantle of Green" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-SongsAndBalladsFromNovaScotia 30, "Mantle So Green" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-FolksongsFromSouthernNewBrunswick 29, "The Mantle So Green" (1 text, 1 tune)
Manny/Wilson-SongsOfMiramichi 91, "Round Her Mantle So Green (Willie O'Reilly; Famed Waterloo)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ives-21FolksongsFromPrinceEdwardIsland, pp. 28-31,81-82, "Mantle So Green" (1 text, 1 tune)
OLochlainn-IrishStreetBallads 7, "The Mantle so Green" (1 text, 1 tune)
Moylan-TheAgeOfRevolution-1776-1815 188, "The Mantle So Green" (1 text, 1 tune)
Meredith/Anderson-FolkSongsOfAustralia, pp. 33, 214-215, "As I Was A-Walking" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H76, pp. 314-315, "The Mantle So Green" (1 text, 1 tune)
O'Conor-OldTimeSongsAndBalladOfIreland, p. 38, "Mantle So Green" (1 text)
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #157, p. 2, ("One morning in May as I chanced to pass, And there I beheld a most beautiful lass") (1 fragment)
Greig/Duncan5 1033, "The Mantle o' Green" (2 texts, 1 tune)
Ord-BothySongsAndBallads, pp. 155-156, "The Mantle So Green" (1 text)
Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 357, "Mantle of Green"; Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 745, "William O'Riley" (2 texts)
Huntington-SongsTheWhalemenSang, pp. 122-123, "The Mantle So Green" (1 text, 1 tune)
Dallas-TheCruelWars-100SoldiersSongs, pp. 81-83, "Her Mantle So Green" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hylands-Mammoth-Hibernian-Songster, pp. 161-162, "Mantle So Green" (1 text)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #1371, p. 93, "Mantle So Green" (1 reference)
ADDITIONAL: Harold Nestler, "Songs from the Hudson Valley" (article in _New York Folklore Quarterly_, Volume V, #2, Summer 1949), pp. 80-81, "A Pretty Fair Maid" (1 text)

Roud #714
Margaret Barry, "Her Mantle So Green" (on IRMBarry-Fairs, and not the same as the next item)
Margaret Barry & Michael Gorman, "Her Mantle So Green" (on Barry-Gorman1); "Her Mantle So Green" (on IRMBarry-Fairs)
Robert Cinnamond, "Willie Slain at Waterloo" (on IRRCinnamond02)
Marie Hare, "Round Her Mantle So Green" (on Miramichi1) (on MRMHare01)
Ned Martin, "My Mantle of Green" (on MUNFLA/Leach)
Marge Steiner, "Round Her Mantle So Green" (on Steiner01)

Bodleian, Harding B 26(417), "The Mantle So Green," J. Moore (Belfast), 1846-1852; also Firth c.14(212), 2806 c.15(246), "The Mantle So Green"
NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(85a), "The Mantle So Green," unknown, c.1890

cf. "John (George) Riley (I)" [Laws N36] and references there
cf. "The Plains of Waterloo (I)" [Laws N32] (theme and some lines)
William O'Roley
The Garlands So Green
NOTES [196 words]: Ord-BothySongsAndBallads, in his remarks on this song, notes that green was considered an unlucky color for clothing. I'm not sure what significance that might have. - RBW
See the notes to "The Plains of Waterloo (I)" [Laws N32] for Mackenzie's discussion of Laws N36 as source for "The Mantle So Green" [Laws N38] and "The Plains of Waterloo (I)" [Laws N32].
The ballad is recorded on one of the CD's issued around the time of the bicentenial of the 1798 Irish Rebellion. See:
Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "The Mantle of Green" (on Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "My Name is Napoleon Bonaparte," Hummingbird Records HBCD0027 (2001)).
The Moore broadside, Bodleian Harding B 26(417), includes the lines "For the lad I love lies at Sebastopol.... And in an Inkerman field your true lover does lie.... We fought for three days, till the fourth afternoon, He received his death summons on the 18th of June...." Is it strange that, so close to the event, the month is so far wrong? Inkerman and Alma -- also cited -- are in October 1854. On the other hand, of course, the Battle of Waterloo was June 18, 1815, and the printer wanted to preserve the rhyme from an earlier version. - BS
Last updated in version 6.1
File: LN38

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 2022 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.