“The Irish Family”

Alternate titles: “My Father Had a Horse”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1904 (Sharp mss.)
Keywords: farming drink food nonballad animal bird bug horse sheep brother family father mother sister
Found in: Britain(England(Lond,South))

Description

Singer describes his family: "Me father had a horse/And me mother she'd a mare... So we'd a ride from father's horse/And a gallop from mother's mare." Cho: "So the more we have to drink/And the merrier we shall be/For we all do belong/To an Irish family"

Long description

Singer describes life in his family: "Me father had a horse/And me mother she'd a mare/Sister Susie had a rabbit/And Johnny he'd a hare/So we'd a ride from father's horse/And a gallop from mother's mare/We'd a pie from Susie's rabbit/And a course from Johnny's hare." Successive verses follow the same pattern of ownership and use. Chorus: "So the more we have to drink/And the merrier we shall be/For we all do belong/To an Irish (happy) familie"

Notes

It's worth noting that although the song was collected twice under the name of "The Irish Family," it's never been found in Ireland. - PJS

Kennedy claims that this tune is "similar" to "Click Go the Shears." There are certainly points of contact, but it's not close enough (in my opinion) to list them as the same. - RBW

Recordings

References

  1. Kennedy 275, "The Irish Familie" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. DT, HAPFAMLY
  3. Roud #850
  4. BI, K275