“Hail to the Oak, the Irish Tree!”


"The Irish oak ... the kingly forest tree ... sickens where the slave, To power despotic, homage gives ... Its branching green head long defend The Shamrock, Thistle and the Rose. Hail to the oak, the Irish tree, And British hearts ..."


See "The Sprig of Shillelah" for another example of "The Shamrock, Thistle[Scotland] and the Rose[England]" unity theme during and after the Napoleonic wars. Nevertheless, reference to "power despotic" remains. - BS

The unity theme is perhaps best known from its appearance in "The Bonny Bunch of Roses-O" [Laws J5]. I musst admit to finding some irony in the Irish calling the oak their tree at a time when the British made "Heart of Oak" almost an alternative national anthem. - RBW


  1. Croker-PopularSongs, pp. 115-117, "Hail to the Oak, the Irish Tree!" (1 text)
  2. BI, CrPS115


Author: W. Kertland? (source: Croker-PopularSongs)
Earliest date: 1839 (Croker-PopularSongs)
Keywords: Ireland nonballad