“Doherty's Wake”


Michael Doherty lives in Kerry and has "a taste for the grog" He is "killed" in a fight. When the whiskey is passed at the wake Doherty lifts the coffin lid. He advises, at the next wake, "don't pass with the whiskey so close to his nose"

Supplemental text

Doherty's Wake
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Helen Creighton, Folksongs from Southern New Brunswick,
#69, pp. 151-152. Collected from Angelo Dornan, Elgin, N.B.

In the county of Kerry so blythe and merry,
In a vice covered cottage not far from the bog,
Lived one Michael Doherty with never a worry,
A rollicking boy with a taste for the grog.

It happened to be on a bright summer's morning
Michael Doherty fell in with a most disorderly mob,
When a sprig of shillelagh without any warning
Paid its respects to poor Doherty's nob.

(9 additional stanzas)


There are several Irish songs about dead men rising at the scent of alcohol; this is so close to "Finnegan's Wake" that I'm tempted to list it as a rewrite. But there are minor differences in form, and the lyrics are different in detail if not in outline. - RBW

Cross references


  1. Creighton-SNewBrunswick 69, "Doherty's Wake" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST CrSNB069 (Partial)
  3. Roud #2761
  4. BI, CrSNB069


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1960 (Creighton-SNewBrunswick)
Found in: Canada(Mar)