“Nellie (I)”


The singer complains about Nellie's choice of the lily over the rose. Mountain verses: blueberries grow, a castle light-house on top, at its foot the ocean where green-flagged gunships sail to Newry where his "unkind" sweetheart is.


This song shares one verse with "The Streams of Lovely Nancy" [with which Roud lumps it - RBW], which it corrupts:

At the top of this mountain a castle does stand,

It is decked round with ivy and back to the strand,

It is decked round with ivy and marble stone white,

It's a pilot for sailors on a dark stormy night.

Otherwise it shares a confused story line with that ballad but the confusions are not shared: I don't think this is a version of "Streams."

In the language of flowers the white lily stands for virginity and the red rose stands for love.

Newry is about 35 miles southwest of Belfast. - BS

Cross references


  1. Creighton-Maritime, p. 79, "Nellie" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #688
  3. BI, CrMa079


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1954 (Creighton-Maritime)
Found in: Canada(Mar)