DESCRIPTION: "'Twas on a frosty night at two o'clock in the morning." Barney Brallaghan courts sleeping Judy Callaghan from under her window. He recounts her charms and his possessions. He leaves when the rain starts but promises to return until she marries him.
AUTHOR: unknown (see notes)
EARLIEST DATE: 1827 (Hodgson's Royal Song Book, p. 19); before 1830 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 25(124))
KEYWORDS: courting humorous storm
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (4 citations):
O'Conor-OldTimeSongsAndBalladOfIreland, p. 45, "Barney Brallaghan" (1 text); pp. 80-81, "Charming Judy Callaghan" (1 text)
Dean-FlyingCloud, p 100, "Barney Bralligan" (1 text)
Hylands-Mammoth-Hibernian-Songster, p. 133, "Barney Brallaghan" (1 text)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #1166, p. 80, "Judy Callaghan's Answer to Barney Bralligan" (1 reference)
Bodleian, Harding B 25(124), "Barney Brallaghan", T. Birt (London), 1828-1829; also Firth b.25(69), "Barney Bralaghan's Courtship"; Harding B 17(17b), Johnson Ballads 2333, "Barney Brallaghan"; Firth b.26(451), 2806 c.15(273), Harding B 11(168), Harding B 11(2267), Harding B 11(167), Harding B 11(3020), "Barney Brallaghan's Courtship"; 2806 c.17(20), "Judy Callagan"; Harding B 15(41a), "Charming Judy Callaghan"
LOCSinging, sb10019b, "Barney Brallaghan", H. De Marsan (New York), 1859-1860; also as112630, "Barney Brallaghan"
NOTES [274 words]: O'Conor-OldTimeSongsAndBalladOfIreland has almost identical texts as "Barney Brallaghan" and "Charming Judy Callaghan." He shows Samuel Lover as author of the second and has no attribution for the first. At South Riding Folk Network site The South Riding Tune Book Volume 1, "Notes on Judy Callaghan" says that "Barney Brallaghan and Judy Callaghan were the subjects of a whole series of 'Stage Irish' comic songs." The site then quotes the text printed in O'Conor and makes the author Thomas Hudson [(1791-1844)], about 1825-1830, to a tune by Jonathan Blewitt, written between 1811-1814. None of the broadsides show an attribution.
How reliable are O'Conor attributions? See also "The Angel's Whisper."
Broadside LOCSinging sb10019b: H. De Marsan 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
Dean-FlyingCloud's text isn't much like O'Conor's, but I'm assuming they're the same based on the unlikelihood of two songs with such a title. There is also a fairly well-known fiddle tune (a slip jig) with this title, though it's hard to prove that it's the same since our texts don't have tunes.
In regard to the authorship question, Jon W. Finson, The Voices That Are Gone: Themes in Nineteenth-Century American Popular Song, Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 275, says the Peter K. Moran, an Irish immigrant to America, arranged "Barney Bralligan" in 1830; Finson seems to think Moran supplied at least the melody, and he gives us another date peg. Perhaps Moran picked up the text from the Birt broadside and supplied a tune? - RBW
Last updated in version 6.1
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 2021 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.