Boys of Kilkenny, The
DESCRIPTION: "Oh the boys of Kilkenny are brave roaring blades." They kiss and coax every girl they meet. The singer remembers a "pretty dame" from Kilkenny. Now he's in exile; if he were in back there, he could get "sweethearts but here can get none"
AUTHOR: Words: Arthur Matthison/Music: W. F. Wellman
EARLIEST DATE: 1807 (sung by Thomas Moore, according to Croker-PopularSongs)
KEYWORDS: homesickness courting exile nonballad rake
FOUND IN: Ireland Britain(England(Lond,South),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (7 citations):
OLochlainn 73, "The Boys of Kilkenny" (1 text, 1 tune)
O'Conor, p. 44, "The Boys of Kilkenny" (1 text)
Croker-PopularSongs, pp. 196-199, "The Boys of Kilkenny" (1 text)
Greig #32, p. 2, "The Boys of Kilkenny" (1 fragment)
Wiltshire-WSRO Gl 47, "Boys of Kilkenny" (1 text)
VaughanWilliams/Palmer, #88, "The Lads of Kilkenny" (1 text, 1 tune)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #190, p. 14, "The Boys of Kilkenny" (1 reference)
Bodleian, Harding B 11(2403), "The Boys of Kilkenny," J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also Firth b.26(318), Firth b.25(595/596) View 2 of 2, 2806 b.11(171), "[The] Boys of Kilkenny"
LOCSinging, as101550, "The Boys of Killkenny," J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859
cf. The Boys of Virginia (theme, some lyrics)
cf. "The Old Head of Denis" (tune, according to Croker-PopularSongs)
cf. "Bonny Portmore" ("it shines where it stands") and references there
NOTES: Kilkenny is one of many places that "shines where it stands" in song. Bodleian broadside Harding B 11(2403) includes the typical lines "Kilkenny's a pretty town and shines where it stands And the more I think of it the more my heart warms." See also the discussion of Steve Gardham's notes for "The Poor Stranger."
Source: Re author--the Bodleian Library broadside.
Croker-PopularSongs says Thomas Moore, whom he admits he incorrectly believed wrote the song, "sung 'The Boys of Kilkenny' in England, where he became a permanent resident about 1807."
Broadside LOCSinging as101550: J. Andrews dating per Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS
Last updated in version 4.2
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.