“The Fair Maid of Passage”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1839 (Croker-PopularSongs)
Keywords: love courting rejection nonballad
Found in: Ireland


The maid Dermuid loves is "plump as a sassage" and "mild as a kitten" He describes other attributes (red lips, black eyes and hair, sweet breath, moves "like a goddess") Because of her cruelty he "must die, Like a pig in a sty, Or the snuff of a candle"


Croker-PopularSongs: "In a note (1838) he [Mr Edward Quin] adds, 'I assure you, from my own recollection, the song is known in my family upwards of thirty-five years. I have no doubt that it originated in Cork, though I do not know its author.'"

Two Bodleian broadsides (Firth c.11(32) View 3 of 4, "Labour in vain. A song, an hundred years old" ("Ye patriots, who twenty long years"), W Webb. (London), 1742; G.A. Warw. b.1(149), "The draper dup'd. A new song" ("Says Tom Dowlas, I pray now discover"), unknown, 1768?) are both to the tune of "Molly Mogg." Quin's version of "The Fair Maid of Passage" is essentially the same as Croker's, but begins "My dear Molly Mogg, You're soft as a bog."

Croker-PopularSongs: "The town of Passage ... is situated between Cork and its Cove...." - BS


  1. Croker-PopularSongs, pp. 260-262, "The Fair Maid of Passage" (1 text)
  2. BI, CrPS260