Dear Little Shamrock, The
DESCRIPTION: "There's a dear little plant that grows on our isle" brought by St Patrick "and he called it the dear little shamrock of Ireland." The shamrock still grows. "When its three little leaves are extended" they denote that "we together should toil."
AUTHOR: Words: Andrew Cherry (1762-1812)
EARLIEST DATE: 1806 (sung by Mrs Mountain, Dublin Opera House, according to Croker-PopularSongs)
KEYWORDS: Ireland nonballad patriotic
REFERENCES (3 citations):
O'Conor, pp. 112-113, "The Dear Little Shamrock" (1 text)
Croker-PopularSongs, pp. 46-48, "The Green Little Shamrock of Ireland" (1 text)
ADDITIONAL: H. Halliday Sparling, Irish Minstrelsy (London, 1888), pp. 149-150, 497, "The Green Little Shamrock of Ireland"
Bodleian, Harding B 11(658), "The Dear Little Shamrock," J. Harkness (Preston), 1840-1866; also Harding B 11(823), Harding B 11(824), 2806 c.15(239), "The Dear Little Shamrock"
LOCSheet, sm1870 02376, "The Dear Little Shamrock," Whittemore Swan & Stephens (Detroit), 1870; also sm1875 00381, sm1878 07872, "[The] Dear Little Shamrock" (tune)
NOTES: The shamrock has been associated with St. Patrick for centuries; the earliest legend has it that he used it to explain the concept of the Trinity. (The argument, however, is not found in his extant writings.) In the earliest accounts, though, there is no claim that Patrick actually imported the shamrock -- and, of course, good evidence that he didn't.
Either there are two tunes for this (not unlikely), or there have been multiple claims; Croker-PopularSongs lists the tune as by "Shield," but [no author listed] A Library of Irish Music (published by Amsco) credits the tune to "W. Jackson." - RBW
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