“Ould Father Dan”


"I once knew a dodger, whose name was Father Dan ... to purgatory he's gone long ago." "The Repealers of their cash were shorn And Repeal with Dan sent below." "There is no more rent for ould Father Dan, He is gone where the rest all will go"


OrangeLark: "The song celebrates the death of Daniel O'Connell, leader of the mid-19th century movement aimed at breaking Ireland's integral union with Britain. The Repeal movement was financed with money raised from the Roman Catholic masses. The song points to the irony of a popular leader whose income derived from these collections and from the rents of his tenants." - BS

By the looks of it, this is a parody of "Uncle Ned." A vicious one, obviously. But probably produced almost the moment Stephen Foster's song came out; Daniel O'Connell died in 1847, and "Uncle Ned" was copyrighted 1848.

Incidentally, this is an illustration of how violently biased Irish Protestantism could be. I am not Catholic, and I find very many Irish nationalists to be utterly ridiculous -- but O'Connell sought only civil rights for the people, and did not believe in violence, and did not want separation from the British crown. It's hard to see how anyone even vaguely rational could condemn him. - RBW

Cross references


  1. OrangeLark 28, "Ould Father Dan" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, OrLa028


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1987 (OrangeLark)