“Molly Agnew”


The singer is vexed that the Irish are "forced from their nation." He meets Molly Agnew, a poor servant girl. Her rich father had been slain in 1799, and his family driven "to beg, starve or die." She agrees to marry the singer and go to old Scotia.


The Bodleian broadsides 2806 b.11(175) and Harding B 17(196b) are more complete than Creighton-SNewBrunswick and are the source for the description. - BS

I have to suspect that this is based some other emigration song which lacks the political motif. It reminds me a bit of "The Poor Stranger (Two Strangers in the Mountains Alone)." - RBW

Same tune

  • The Girl I Love Best (tune, per broadside Bodleian Harding B 17(196b))


  • Bodleian, 2806 b.11(175), "Molly Agnew"[partly illegible] ("On the nineteenth of July, in the year twenty-nine"), The Poet's Box (Glasgow), 1854; also Harding B 17(196b), "Molly Angew"[sic but only in the title][partly illegible]


  1. Creighton-SNewBrunswick 30, "Molly Agnew" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #2750
  3. BI, CrSNB030


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1854 (broadside, Bodleian 2806 b.11(175))
Found in: Canada(Mar)