“Saint Patrick Was a Gentleman”


"St. Patrick was a gentleman, and came of decent people"; they are named O'Houlihan, O'Shaughnessy... He preached from a high hill and "banished all the varmin!" Vermin's misfortunes are described. He planted turf, brought pigs and brewed good whiskey.


The Croker-PopularSongs and O'Conor texts are very close, with a few place and person names changed and verse order changed. Croker would have considered the names of the Saint's parents on his father's side a significant change. Croker has that "His father was a Gallagher, His mother was a Brady"; both texts agree on his mother's side. Croker explains the pedigree: "St Patrick was an Irish [not French, Scotch, Welsh, ....] gentleman. The Gallaghers were a family of consideration in Donegal; the Bradys were the same in Cavan; the O'Shaughnessy, ditto in Galway; and the O'Gradys 'possessed that part of Clare which is now called the Barony of Bunratty.' This 'respectable' pedigree settles the matter."

Croker-PopularSongs says that two verses "were subsequent additions by other hands [than Bennett and Toleken]" Those are the verses missing from the broadsides. - BS

In this index, Toleken is also responsible for "Judy MacCarthy of Fishamble Lane." - RBW


  • Bodleian, Harding B 16(241c), "St. Patrick Was a Gentleman", T. Birt (London), 1828-1829; also 2806 c.18(277), Harding B 11(3395), Harding B 20(151), Harding B 11(2874), "St. Patrick Was a Gentleman"


  1. Croker-PopularSongs, pp. 22-27, "St Patrick Was a Gentleman" (1 text)
  2. O'Conor, p. 105, "St Patrick Was a Gentleman" (1 text)
  3. ADDITIONAL: Gulielmus Dubliniensis Humoriensis [Joseph Tully?], Memoir of the Great Original Zozimus (Michael Moran) (Dublin,1976 (reprint of the 1871 edition)), pp. 9-10, "St. Patrick Was a Gintleman"
  4. Roud #13377
  5. BI, OCon105


Author: Henry Bennett and Mr. Toleken (source: Croker-PopularSongs)
Earliest date: 1814-1815 (according to Croker-PopularSongs)