DESCRIPTION: "By Killarney's lakes and fells" the singer describes "that Eden of the West; Beauty's home, Killarney": "Innisfallen's ruined shrine... Castle Lough and Glenna Bay, Mountains Tore and Eagle's Nest." Sights that "charm the eye," "each sound a harmony"
AUTHOR: probably Edmund Falconer (Edmund O'Rourke) (see Notes)
EARLIEST DATE: 1882 (The Song Wave)
KEYWORDS: lyric nonballad
REFERENCES (3 citations):
O'Conor, p. 81, "Killarney" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: H. S. Perkins, H, J. Danforth, and E. V. DeGraff, _The Song Wave_, American Book Company, 1882, pp. 131-133, "Killarney" (1 text, 1 tune)
Aline Waites & Robin Hunter, _The Illustrated Victorian Songbook_, Michael Joseph Ltd., 1984, pp. 123-25, "Killarney" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bodleian, Firth c.26(71), "Killarney", T. Pearson (Manchester), 1850-1899; also Harding B 12(207), 2806 c.16(219), "Killarney"
NOTES [249 words]: This is credited to Edmund Falconer in Ralph L. Woods's A Second Treasury of the Familiar." Waites & Hunter, based apparently on early sheet music, says the words are by Edmund Falconer and music by Michael William Balfe, The uncredited book The Library of Irish Music (published by Amsco music) credits Balfe with the music and attributes the words to Edmund O'Rourke . The earliest version I have found of the music, the 1882 version in The Song Wave, credits the music to M. W. Balfe but lists no source for the lyrics. Granger's Index to Poetry says that Edmund Falconer was another name for Edmund O'Rourke, and this is confirmed by O'Rourke's Wikipedia entry. This is the only poem or song of Falconer's listed in the very large Granger's database.
Wikipedia also credits O'Rourke (1814-1879), an Irish actor, theater manager, and writer, with writing this song. This attribution thus seems fairly firm.
Michael William Balfe (1808-1870) was an Irish-born violinist and opera singer who later began producing his own operas and eventually retired in England (where he had migrated in 1823; he also studied for a time in Italy). Waites & Hunter all him "the foremost composer of his day, winning a degree of popularity that was rivalled onbly by Arthur Sullivan later int he century." His best-known work was the opera "The Bohemian Girl." Neither Wikipedia nor Balfe's entry in Scholes (p. 71) nor Balfe's entry in Gilder (p. 26) mentions this piece among his compositions. - RBW
Last updated in version 2.6
- Gilder: Eric Gilder, The Dictionary of Composers and Their Music, 1978, 1985 (I use the 1993 Wings Books edition)
- Scholes: Percy A. Scholes, The Oxford Companion to Music, ninth edition, corrected, Oxford, 1960
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 2019 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.