“Duncan Campbell (Erin-Go-Bragh)”


Duncan Campbell, although he comes from Argyle in Scotland, is known as Erin-Go-Bragh. A policeman mistakes him for an Irishman and abuses him. Campbell returns the favor, then flees before anyone can stop him


From the commentary to broadside NLScotland, L.C.1270(003): "This song was written in the nineteenth century, and the mention of the police puts it post-1829, when the 'Peelers' were first established." - BS

A clever but not quite certain bit of logic, since the song generally refers to "policemen," not "Peelers," and that word is older. (Also, the first Peelers served in Ireland in 1817; the concept of a unified police force then came to Britain in 1829). - RBW

Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan 17 differs from the common version in two ways. First, instead of being Duncan Campbell from Scotland, the hero is Paddy from Ireland (Athy), which changes it from a ballad of common cause between the Scotsman and Irishman. Second, the hero is taken by the crowd as a "bold rascal that has killed our police"; usually, he escapes. - BS

Cross references

  • cf. "Villikens and his Dinah" (tune) and references there


  • Bodleian, Harding B 11(3725), "Duncan Campbell," M. Stephenson (Gateshead), 1838-1850; also Firth b.25(539), 2806 c.14(79), Firth b.26(199), Harding B 11(1026), 2806 b.10(198), Harding B 20(83), "Duncan Campbell"; Firth c.26(15), "Erin Go Bragh" ("My name's Duncan Cambell, from the shire of Argyle")
  • Murray, Murray, Mu23-y1:068, "Duncan Cambell," James Lindsay (Glasgow), 19C; also Mu23-y1:025, "Duncan Campbell," James Lindsay Jr. (Glasgow), 19C
  • NLScotland, L.C.1270(003), "My Name Is Duncan Campbell," unknown, c. 1845; also L.C.Fol.70(57b), "Duncan Campbell," unknown, c. 1890


  • John Strachan, "Erin-Go-Bragh" (on FSB7)


  1. Laws Q20, "Duncan Campbell (Erin-Go-Bragh)"
  2. Ford-Vagabond, pp. 49-51, "Erin-Go-Bragh" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Kennedy 319, "Erin-go-Bragh" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan 17, "Erin Go Bragh" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  5. Ord, p. 387, "Erin-Go-Bragh" (1 text)
  6. Mackenzie 134, "Duncan Campbell" (1 text)
  7. MacSeegTrav 112, "Erin-Go-Bragh (Ireland Forever)" (1 text, 1 tune)
  8. SharpAp 197, "Clay Morgan" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  9. DT 531, ERNGOBRA*
  10. Roud #1627
  11. BI, LQ20


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1850 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(3725))
Keywords: abuse police
Found in: US(Ap) Canada(Mar) Britain(Scotland) Ireland