“Flowery Nolan”


At seventy one, Flowery Nolan, "a terror to all men," decides to marry. He marries the only acceptable candidate. When he tells his wife they would not sleep together -- "you are only but my serving maid" -- she goes home to her father's house.


Jim Carroll's notes to IRTravellers01: "Arranged or 'made' marriages were very much an accepted part of rural life in Ireland up to comparatively recent times... Women from poor house-holds which were unable to support the whole family would readily marry older farmers looking for a housekeeper, or maybe widowers with young children to care for."

IRTravellers01: Mikeen McCarthy tells, on the record, that Flowery Nolan was an old bachelor who only talked about getting married until he was 71. Then he advertised for a wife and the song tells how it went. The moral: "Never marry an old man Till you're fed up of your life, Or then you'll be coming home again Like Flowery Nolan's wife." - BS


  • Mikeen McCarthy, "Flowery Nolan" (on IRTravellers01)


  1. Roud #16693
  2. BI, RcFlowNo


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1985 (IRTravellers01)
Found in: Ireland