“Old Carathee”


Sean McNamara from County Down looks for a wife in Carathee. First, Red Danny shows him his selection. He picks Julia, a hawker. The first month they are happy. The second they argue. The third she beats him. You can find such a wife in Carathee.


Hall, notes to Voice15: "'Old Carathee' tells of an Irish traveller, who chooses for a wife at a fair, thinking she would make him a good hawker."

Musical Traditions site _Voice of the People suite_ "Reviews - Volume 15" by Fred McCormick - 27.2.99: "John Reilly's 'Old Carathee,' is about a bachelor who obtains a wife at a horse fair and ends up with a less than blissful match. Matrimonial bargains of this kind were common in Ireland at one time and survive into the present with the famous matchmaking fair at Lisdoonvarna in County Clare." - BS

Cross references


  • John Reilly, "Old Carathee" (on Voice15)


  1. Roud #3377
  2. BI, RcOlCara


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1967 (recording, John Reilly)
Found in: Ireland