“Polly Brannigan (Molly Brannigan)”


The singer confesses that Polly Brannigan "stole me heart and I'll never be a man again." Now she has left him; he wishes that "when she got another heart she might send mine back home again." (Considering suicice, he hopes she will grieve when he dies)


There is a sense that the singer is naive and that we are supposed, at least, to smile behind his back. For example, in Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan he asks advice of Father Mc Donald and Counsellor O'Connell who "told me promise-breaches had been ever since the world began: Now I've only one pair, ma'am, and they are corduroy! ... Must my corduroys to Molly go? ... I can't afford to lose both my heart and ould britches too." - BS


  • Tom Lenihan, "Purty Molly Brannigan" (on IRTLenihan01)


  1. Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan 34, "Purty Molly Brannigan" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  2. O'Conor, p. 41, "Molly Brallaghan" (1 text)
  3. Eddy 153, (fifth of several "Fragments of Irish Songs")
  4. Silber-FSWB, p. 181, "Molly Brannigan" (1 text)
  6. Roud #13375 (and 5354)
  7. BI, E153E


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1901 (O'Conor)
Keywords: love rejection suicide
Found in: US(MW) Ireland