The singer hears the birds singing and courting as he wanders by the banks of Banna. He thinks longingly of Molly, who once said she loved him but now hates him. He says that he will be true for as long as he lives

Supplemental text

  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

(No title listed; to the tune of "The Maid in Bedlam")

From James Johnson, "The Scots Musical Museum," Volume I, #46, pp.
47 (first of two items listed as "To the foregoing Tune). As found
in the 1853 edition (punctuation is somewhat uncertain,
given the state of the facsimile).

As down on Banna's banks I stray'd, one evening in May,
The little birds, in blythest notes, made vocal ev'ry spray:
They sung their little notes of love; they sung them o'er and o'er.
    Ah! gramachree, mo challeenouge, mo Molly astore.

  The daisy pied, and all the sweets the dawn of nature yields;
The primrose pale, the vi'let blue, lay scatter'd oe'r the fields;
Such fragrance in the bosom lies of her whom I adore,
    Ah! gramachree, mo challeenouge, mo Molly astore.

  I laid me down upon a bank, bewailing my sad fate,
That doom'd me thus the slave of love, and cruel Molly's hate.
How can she break the honest heart, that wears her in its core?
    Ah! gramachree, mo challeenouge, mo Molly astore.

  You said, you lov'd me, Molly dear; ah! why did I believe?
Yes, who could think such tender words were meant but to decieve.
That love was all I ask'd on earth; nay Heav'n could give no more.
    Ah! gramachree, mo challeenouge, mo Molly astore.

  Oh! had I all the flocks that graze on yonder yellow hill.
Or low'd for me the num'rous herds, that yon green pastures fill,
With her I love I'd gladly share my kine and fleecy store,
    Ah! gramachree, mo challeenouge, mo Molly astore.

  Two turtle doves, above my head, fat courting on a bough,
I envy'd them their happiness, to see them bill and coo;
Such fondness once for me she shew'd, but no, alas! 'tis o'er.
    Ah! gramachree, mo challeenouge, mo Molly astore.

  Then, fare thee well, my Molly dear, thy loss I still shall moan;
Whilst life remains in Strephon's hear, 'twill beat for thee alone.
Tho' thou art false, may heav'n on thee its choicest blessings pour!
    Ah! gramachree, mo challeenouge, mo Molly astore.


This is apparently sometimes credited to Samuel Lover (1797-1868). Since, however, it appeared in the Scots Musical Museum before Lover was even born, we can discount this; I suspect it is a confusion with "Widow Machree."

Sir George Ogle the Younger (c. 1740-1814) was a poet and politician born in county Wexford. He served in the Irish parliament in the 1790s, and was briefly a Tory representative to Westminster. His best-known works are considered to be "Banna's Banks" (in the Index as "The Banks of Banna") and "Molly Astore" (this piece); in this Index he is also contributed "The Hermit of Killarney." - RBW

Broadside LOCSinging sb30338b: 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

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 25(770), "Gramachree Molly", J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also Firth c.26(66), "Molly Ashtore"; 2806 c.8(179), Harding B 11(2435), Harding B 11(2400), "Molly Astore"
  • LOCSinging, sb30338b, "Molly Asthore", H. De Marsan (New York), 1861-1864


  1. SHenry H204, pp. 388-389, "Gramachree" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. O'Conor, p. 122, "Molly, Asthore" (1 text); pp. 158-159, "Gramachree Molly" (1 text)
  3. Croker-PopularSongs, pp. 133-136, "Banna's Banks" (1 text)
  4. ST HHH204 (Full)
  5. Roud #4717
  6. BI, HHH204


Alternate titles: “Gra'-mo-chree”; “Mailigh Mo Store”; “Molly Asthore (Molly, My Treasure)”; “Molly Bheag O!”; “Grai My Chree! (Love of my Heart)”
Author: George Ogle (1739-1814)? (source: Croker-PopularSongs)
Earliest date: 1787 (Scots Musical Museum)
Keywords: love betrayal
Found in: Ireland Britain(Scotland)