“Poor Old Granuaile”


Granuaile appears in a dream. She supports those jailed "in O'Connell's time in '29 ... 'we'll Home Rule get.'" She plays the patriotic tunes. She says "we'll have freedom yet." The dreamer wakes in jail.


Zimmermann 77: "This text was the new version of an older ballad (first half of the nineteenth century." There are only a few words difference between Zimmermann 77 and OLochlainn 3A. An early date for these texts is set by the mention of tunes played by Granuaile including "God Save Ireland" (1867).

Zimmermann p. 55: "At the time of the United Irishmen, Granu Waile standing for Ireland was already celebrated by broadsides in English."

Two similar but different broadsides:

Bodleian, Harding B 19(25), "Granauile" ("One morning fair to take the air and recreate my mind"), J.F. Nugent & Co. (Dublin), 1850-1899

Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 507A, "Granawail" ("[Come] all you Irish hero's that's craving for liberty"), E. Hodges (London), 1855-1861

"Granuaile O'Malley (Or Grace O'Malley, or Gr.inne Ni Mhaille or Gr.inne Uaile) is among the most illustrious of O'Malley ancestors. She was a 'Sea Queen' and pirate in the 16th century." (Source: The Official Web Site of The O'Malley Clan Association) - BS

The _Oxford Companion to Irish History_ gives her dates as c. 1530-c. 1603, observes that she was married twice and imprisoned 1577-1579 -- and notes that, on the whole, she strove for peaceful relations with the English.

For a discussion of this type of song as a example of the genre known as the "aisling," see the notes to "Granuaile." - RBW

Cross references


  1. OLochlainn 3A, "Poor Old Granuaile" (1 text)
  2. Zimmermann 77, "Poor Old Granuaile" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. ADDITIONAL: Anne Chambers, Granuaile, 1986, pp. 197-198, "Poor Old Granuaile"
  4. Roud #3068
  5. BI, OLoc003A


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1939 (OLochlainn); 1870s? (Zimmermann)
Found in: Ireland