“Bonny Wood Green”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1979 (IRHardySons)
Keywords: love war parting death Ireland soldier
Found in: Ireland

Description

Singer enlists at Kells Barracks "to fight for my Queen" and leaves Nellie behind in Wood Green. He leaves in a troop ship from Larne Harbour. He is shot in Flanders and asks his comrades to take a message to Nellie in Ireland near Portaballintree.

Notes

Notes to IRHardySons: "It would appear to be an Antrim song, given the mention of Portballintree, but there's no parish or townland called Wood Green anywhere nearby." - BS

There is also the curiosity of fighting "for [the] Queen" in Flanders. Which Queen? Elizabeth I? Too early. Victoria? There were no major British interventions in Flanders in her time. Which leaves us only Queen Anne and the War of the Spanish Succession. But that's a lot of time for things to get confused. My guess is that this is a song from some earlier war, perhaps in Victoria's reign, imperfectly updated for World War I. - RBW

Recordings

References

  1. Roud #9246
  2. BI, RcBoWooG