“Lanigan's Ball”


Jimmy Lanigan had "batter'd away till he hadn't a pound"; coming into money from his father, he determines to have a party. A fight ends the ball when "Old Shamus the piper" was tangled in "pipes, bellows, chanters" and "the girls in their ribbons"

Supplemental text

Lanigan's Ball
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Sigmund Spaeth, Weep Some More, My Lady, pp. 222-224. No source

In the town of Athol liv'd one Jimmy Lanigan,
  He batter'd away till he hadn't a pound;
His father he died, and made him a man again,
  Left him a farm of ten acres of ground.
He gave a large party to all his relations,
  That stood beside him when he went to the wall;
So if you but listen I'll make your eyes glisten
  With the rows and the ruptions at Lanigan's Ball.

Whack! fal lal, fal lal, tal ladeddy,
Whack! fal lal, fal lal, tal daded-dy,
Whcak! fal lal, fal lal, tal ladeddy,
Whack hurroo! for Lanigan's ball!

(5 additional stanzas)


This reminds me quite a bit of "The Blythesome Bridal," in that the minimalist plot is offered simply to offer a justification for the party that the song is really about. - RBW

OLochlainn: "Air and fragment of words from my mother who learnt them in Kilkee about 1880.... I have seen a full music sheet of this song published about the 'seventies, where words were ascribed to 'Mr. Gavan, the celebrated Galway poet.'" - BS

Same tune

  • Larry Magee's Wedding (File: OCon083)

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 11(2058), "Lannigan's Ball", H. Such (London), 1863-1885; also Harding B 15(167a), Harding B 11(3172), Harding B 26(345), 2806 c.8(124), "Lannigan's Ball"; 2806 b.11(154), "Lannigan's Ball!"


  • Warde Ford, "Jimmie Lanigan" [fragment] (AFS 4212 A4, 1939; in AMMEM/Cowell)


  1. Spaeth-WeepMore, pp. 222-224, "Lanigan's Ball" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. O'Conor, pp. 100-101, "Lannigan's Ball" (1 text)
  3. OLochlainn 52, "Lanigan's Ball" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. cf. Gardner/Chickering, p. 480, "Lanigan's Ball" (source notes only)
  6. ST SWM222 (Partial)
  7. Roud #3011
  8. BI, SWM222


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1886 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(2058))
Found in: US(MW) Ireland