“Peggy Bawn”


An Irishman stops at a Scots farmer's house and courts daughter Jane. The farmer offers his daughter in marriage, money, and land. The singer thinks of Peggy and excuses himself: he must be off on the king's business. He will always be true to Peggy


OLochlainn-More: "Once very popular in Northern Ireland and among the Irish in Scotland.

Duffy (1845): "The existence of this ballad is traceable for a century -- it is probably much older. It bears strong evidence of having been written in Ulster, where it holds its ground with undiminished popularity to this day."

I have to admit to some confusion. It seems clear that Jane and Peggy are not the same person but some broadside lines make it seem otherwise: "With hat in hand I came away, And parted with each one, And especially the pretty girl Who was tired of lying alone. With hat in hand I came away, But in my mind it ran, That blithe and merry were the days I had with Peggy Band." The counter argument, from broadside Bodleian Harding B 25(1481), "Peggy Band's Answer," D. Wrighton? (Birmingham), 1810-1820 has Peggy relating that her Jemmy, "a SCOTISH Lady did adore, And offerred him her Hand, But he slighted all her Proffers For his dear PEGGY BAND." - BS


  • Bodleian, Harding B 25(1481)[many illegible words], "Peggy Band," D. Wrighton? (Birmingham)[hand-written note on broadside], 1810-1820; also Harding B 28(149), Firth b.25(391), Harding B 20(131), Harding B 11(2699), Harding B 11(2700), Harding B 11(2982), Firth c.18(244), 2806 c.17(329), 2806 b.11(232), "Peggy Band"; Harding B 25(1480), "Peggy Bann"


  • Walter Pardon, "Peggy Benn" (on Voice01)


  1. OLochlainn-More 5, "Peggy Bawn" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ADDITIONAL: Charles Gavan Duffy, editor, The Ballad Poetry of Ireland (1845), pp. 134-135, "Peggy Bawn"
  3. Roud #661
  4. BI, OLcM005


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1788 (William Shield's opera "Marion," according to OLochlainn-More)
Found in: Ireland Britain(England(Lond))