“Barney Brallaghan”


"'Twas on a frosty night at two o'clock in the morning." Barney Brallaghan courts sleeping Judy Callaghan from under her window. He recounts her charms and his possessions. He leaves when the rain starts but promises to return until she marries him.


O'Conor has almost identical texts as "Barney Brallaghan" and "Charming Judy Callaghan." He shows Samuel Lover as author of the second and has no attribution for the first. At South Riding Folk Network site _The South Riding Tune Book Volume 1_, "Notes on Judy Callaghan" says that "Barney Brallaghan and Judy Callaghan were the subjects of a whole series of 'Stage Irish' comic songs." The site then quotes the text printed in O'Conor and makes the author Thomas Hudson [(1791-1844)], about 1825-1830, to a tune by Jonathan Blewitt, written between 1811-1814. None of the broadsides show an attribution.

How reliable are O'Conor attributions? See also "The Angel's Whisper."

Broadside LOCSinging sb10019b: H. De Marsan dating per _Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song_ by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS

Dean's text isn't much like O'Conor's, but I'massuming they're the same based on the unlikelihood of two songs with such a title. There is also a fairly well-known fiddle tune (a slip jig) with this title, though it's hard to prove that it's the same since our texts don't have tunes. - RBW


  • Bodleian, Harding B 25(124), "Barney Brallaghan", T. Birt (London), 1828-1829; also Firth b.25(69), "Barney Bralaghan's Courtship"; Harding B 17(17b), Johnson Ballads 2333, "Barney Brallaghan"; Firth b.26(451), 2806 c.15(273), Harding B 11(168), Harding B 11(2267), Harding B 11(167), Harding B 11(3020), "Barney Brallaghan's Courtship"; 2806 c.17(20), "Judy Callagan"; Harding B 15(41a), "Charming Judy Callaghan"
  • LOCSinging, sb10019b, "Barney Brallaghan", H. De Marsan (New York), 1859-1860; also as112630, "Barney Brallaghan"


  1. O'Conor, p. 45, "Barney Brallaghan" (1 text); pp. 80-81, "Charming Judy Callaghan" (1 text)
  2. Dean, p 100, "Barney Bralligan" (1 text)
  3. Roud #9592
  4. BI, OCon045


Author: unknown (see notes)
Earliest date: before 1830 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 25(124))
Keywords: courting humorous storm
Found in: US(MW)