“Kate of Glenkeen”


"By the banks of the Barrow residing Are girls of dark raven hair," but the queen of them all is Kate of Glenkeen. The singer describes her purity, her beauty, her fleetness of foot. He will meet her by the light of the starts


Sam Henry had no tune for this piece, so he set it to a traditional item he calls "Captain Black." This is equated with "She's a Daughter of Daniel O'Connell," i.e. presumably "Erin's Green Shore."

The tune, however, is curious, ending on the second rather than the tonic (or else it is in Dorian, and starts on the minor seventh, but it sounds as major to me). I've encountered three tunes for "Erin's Green Shore," only one of which (Connie Dover's; she doesn't list her source) has any real similarity to Henry's tune -- and they are by no means identical. - RBW

Cross references


  1. SHenry H41, pp. 231-232, "Kate of Glenkeen" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #7984
  3. BI, HHH041


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1924 (Sam Henry collection)
Keywords: love courting beauty
Found in: Ireland