DESCRIPTION: Kate Kearney lives on the banks of Killarney. "Fatal's the glance of Kate Kearney; For that eye is so modestly beaming... Beware of her smile... And who dares inhale her sigh's spicy gale, must die by the breath of Kate Kearney"
AUTHOR: Charles Lever (1806-1872)
EARLIEST DATE: before 1843 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(431)); Jon W. Finson, _The Voices That Are Gone: Themes in Nineteenth-Century American Popular Song_, Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 276, dates it c. 1835
KEYWORDS: courting beauty nonballad
REFERENCES (2 citations):
O'Conor, p. 17, "Kate Kearney" (1 text)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #1175, p. 81, "Kate Kearney" (1 reference)
Bodleian, Harding B 11(431), "Kate Kearney", W. & T. Fordyce (Newcastle), 1832-1842; also Harding B 11(1960), Harding B 11(1966), 2806 b.11(173), Harding B 28(150), Harding B 11(2067), Harding B 11(430), Firth b.25(142), Harding B 11(1961), Harding B 11(1963) [torn], Harding B 11(1958), Johnson Ballads fol. 113, "Kate Kearney"
NOTES [164 words]: O'Conor makes the attribution [to Charles Lever]. Kate Kearney is a character in Lever's Lord Kilgobbin published as a serial in 1870-1872 (source: The University of Adelaide ebooks site). That would mean he created the character in song no later than 1842, 28 years before the serial was published. - BS
Hazel Felleman's The Best Loved Poems of the American People, p. 12, attributes this to Sady Morgan. I have found no other references to this author. The Amsco publication The Library of Irish Music lists the words as by "Lady Morgan" (which obviously is a variant of the same thing), with "The Beardless Boy" as tune. Still, the attribution to Lever seems much stronger.
There is another broadside heroine named Kate Kearney (see broadside Murray, Mu23-y1:156, "Kate Kearney with the Silver Eye," James Lindsay (Glasgow), 19C); the song is not the same, but whether it inspired Lever, or was inspired by him, I cannot tell. Maybe *that* was written by Lady Sady Morgan? - RBW
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