“Moorlough Mary”


The singer recalls meeting Mary in Strabane, and being stricken. He describes how lovely it is to see her. He wishes he had education so he could wed and entertain her. Having no hope of wedding her, he departs Moorlough's banks forever


Credited to James Devine by Sam Henry. Devine's one other song known to me ("The Pride of Glenelly") is a dreadul literary contraption; there is little real evidence that it went into tradition. This song is better-known, and not nearly as pretentious; it makes me wonder if Devine really wrote it. - RBW

Tunney-SongsThunder: "It seems that Mary Gormley or Moorlough Mary was no great beauty at all." Peter Boyle's notes to IRPTunney02: "Local tradition has it that, though they were never married, he [Devine] remained in love with her until they both were very old." - BS


  • Bodleian, 2806 b.11(223), "Moorlough Mary" ("The first time I saw young Moorlough Mary"), H. Such (London), 1863-1885; also 2806 c.14(18)[some words illegible], "Moorlough Mary"; Firth b.27(232), "Moorlouch Mary"[text uses "Moorlough Mary"]


  • Brigid Tunney, "Murlough Mary" (on IRTunneyFamily01)
  • Paddy Tunney, "Moorlough Mary" (on IRPTunney02)


  1. SHenry H173, pp. 250-251, "Moorlough Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. OLochlainn 85, "Moorlug Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Tunney-SongsThunder, pp. 59-61, "Moorlough Mary" (1 text)
  4. OBoyle 17, "Moorlough Mary" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Roud #2742
  6. BI, HHH173


Author: James Devine ?
Earliest date: before 1886 (broadside, Bodleian 2806 b.11(223))
Found in: Ireland