“The Maid of Croaghmore”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1933 (Sam Henry collection)
Keywords: love courting rejection father mother beauty
Found in: Ireland

Description

The well-born young man falls in love with the maid of Croaghmore. He describes her beauty, says he would make her queen if he were king, and promises to serve for her hand as Jacob served Laban. Her parents say she is too young

Notes

One wonders what was wrong with this wealthy young man, that the girl's parents refused to wed her to him (the song says she was nineteen, so hardly too young!).

The story of Jacob serving Laban for fourteen years to win the hands of Rachel and Leah is told in Genesis 29:15-30.

The song refers in the third verse to the Duke of Cumberland. Sam Henry explained that this was the same Duke of Cumberland (Williams Augustus, 1721-1765) who destroyed the Jacobite cause at Culloden. I can see no basis for this assertion. - RBW

References

  1. SHenry H522, pp. 355-356, "The Maid of Croaghmore" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #6878
  3. BI, HHH522