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-PopularSongsOfIreland)
KEYWORDS: homesickness courting exile nonballad rake
FOUND IN: Ireland Britain(England(Lond,South),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (9 citations):
OLochlainn-IrishStreetBallads 73, "The Boys of Kilkenny" (1 text, 1 tune)
O'Conor-OldTimeSongsAndBalladOfIreland, p. 44, "The Boys of Kilkenny" (1 text)
Croker-PopularSongsOfIreland, pp. 196-199, "The Boys of Kilkenny" (1 text)
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #32, p. 2, "The Boys of Kilkenny" (1 fragment)
Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Gl 47, "Boys of Kilkenny" (1 text)
Palmer-FolkSongsCollectedBy-Ralph-VaughanWilliams, #88, "The Lads of Kilkenny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Karpeles-TheCrystalSpring 46, "The CHaps of Cocaigny" (1 text, 1 tune)
Hylands-Mammoth-Hibernian-Songster, pp. 134-135, "The Boys of Killarney" (1 text)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #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-PopularSongsOfIreland)
cf. "Bonny Portmore" ("it shines where it stands") and references there
NOTES [126 words]: 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-PopularSongsOfIreland 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
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