“Johnny Harte”


A rich farmer's daughter falls in love with Harte, a poor soldier. Her parents complain to his colonel, who threatens to send Harte away. He answers boldly. The colonel is impressed and offers him promotion. The parents consent to the marriage


At the time this song probably originated, it was still possible for soldiers to gain commissions in the British army by purchase. An ambitious soldier might marry to gain the money to earn a commission, which would make him socially acceptable (more so, anyway). One wonders if that might not be related to what happened here. - RBW


  • Bodleian, Firth c.14(207), "Johnny Hart," W. Birmingham (Dublin), c.1867; also Harding B 26(298), Harding B 19(94)[a few illegible words], "Johnny Hart"


  • James Halpin, "Johnny Harte" (on Voice15, IRHardySons)


  1. SHenry H106, pp. 443-444, "Johnnie Hart" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. OLochlainn 88, "Johnny Harte" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Morton-Maguire 32, pp. 84-85,119,169, "Johnny Harte" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Roud #2929
  5. BI, HHH106


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1925 (Sam Henry collection); c.1867 (broadside, Bodleian Firth c.14(207))
Found in: Ireland