“My Irish Molly-O”


The singer, (a Scotsman,) is in love with Molly. Her parents oppose the match (because he is not Catholic). Unable to win his love, he is ready to die (and makes preparations for burial). (Common versions often lose the plot, and simply speak of courting)

Same tune

  • The Lass of Swansea Town (Swansea Barracks) (per broadside Bodleian Harding B 11(2071) )
  • I Often Think of Writing Home (File: RcIOTOWH)

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 11(1787), "Irish Molly, O!" ("As I walk'd out one morning all in the month of May"), J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also Harding B 11(2121), Firth b.28(35) View 2 of 2[some words illegible], Johnson Ballads fol. 114, Harding B 11(4209), Harding B 17(140b), Johnson Ballads 2582, Firth c.26(181), Harding B 20(257), Firth c.26(137), 2806 c.15(243), Firth c.14(204), 2806 b.11(252), "Irish Molly, O[!]"; Johnson Ballads 340, "Irish Molly!"
  • LOCSinging, as106290, "Irish Molly, O," Harris (Philadelphia), 19C
  • NLScotland, L.C.1270(006), "Irish Molly, O," James Kay (Glasgow), c. 1845; also L.C.178.A.2(256), "Irish Molly O," unknown, c. 1860


  1. Ord, p. 131, "Irish Molly, O" (1 text)
  2. FSCatskills 62, "My Irish Molly-O" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Meredith/Covell/Brown, pp. 177-178, "Irish Molly-O" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. O'Conor, p. 52, "Irish Molly O" (1 text)
  6. ADDITIONAL: Charles Gavan Duffy, editor, The Ballad Poetry of Ireland (1845), pp. 214-215, "Irish Molly"
  7. H. Halliday Sparling, Irish Minstrelsy (London, 1888), pp. 186-187, 512, "Irish Molly"
  8. Roud #2168
  9. BI, FSC062


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1842 (Joyce, The Native Music of Ireland)
Found in: US(MA) Ireland Australia Britain(Scotland)