DESCRIPTION: The singer compares Eileen to a gem and a flower but "dearest her constancy." If she were not true her lover would never love again. But while all else changes she, like truth alone, "is a fixed star"
AUTHOR: English translation by Gerald Griffin (1803-1840) (source: Sparling)
EARLIEST DATE: 1888 (Sparling)
KEYWORDS: love lyric nonballad
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (5 citations):
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #23, p. 2, "Aileen A-Roon" (2 references)
DT, EILAROON* (cf. EILAROO.NOT)
ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 117-118, "Eileen Aroon" (a translation from the Irish very unlike the usual English version); pp. 415-417, "Aileen Aroon" (the Griffin version) (2 texts)
H. Halliday Sparling, Irish Minstrelsy (London, 1888), pp. 341-343, 501, "Eileen Aroon"
ADDITIONAL: Maud Karpeles, _Folk Songs of Europe_, Oak, 1956, 1964, p. 64, prints the Irish Gaelic version, "Eibhlin a Ruin," with a loose English translation, "Eileen Aroon" (2 texts, 1 tune)
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, "Eileen Aroon" (on IRClancyMakem02)
cf. "Robin Adair" (tune)
cf. "Sadly to Mine Heart Appealing" (portions of Stephen Foster's tune)
NOTES [190 words]: There seem to be three independent English versions of this:
1. the Gerald Griffin version beginning "When, like the dawing day, Eileen Aroon, Love sends his early ray..."
2. George Sigerson's rendering, "Fain would I ride with thee, Eivlin a ruin" (this is the version on pp. 117-118 of Hoagland)
3. One which begins, "Oh! welcome my Aileen, the moment is blest, That brings thee to soothe ev'ry care of my breast."
The third, oddly, shows up fairly early in the United States; Edwin Wolf 2nd, American Song Sheets, Slip Ballads, and Political Broadsides 1850-1870, Library Company of Philadelphia, 1963, p. 2, lists two broadsides of this version.
Jon W. Finson, The Voices That Are Gone: Themes in Nineteenth-Century American Popular Song, Oxford University Press, 1994, p. 276, reports that John Monro published a song "Ellen Aureen" around 1825. I do not know its relationship to this song, but I suspect dependence.
According to William H. A. Williams, 'Twas Only an Irishman's Dream, University of Illinois Press, 1996, p. 34, "Aroon" is a popular word in Irish song because it comes from Irish Gaelic "a rún" "my darling." - RBW
Last updated in version 5.2
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 2021 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.