“Savourneen Deelish”


"Oh the moment was sad when my love and I parted." The singer is called to fight across the ocean. The singer fights but saves his money and booty. When peace is declared he returns home to find she had died.


Moylan: "The song was immensely popular during the 19th century.... 'Savourneen Deelish' is an anglicization of ''s a mhuirnin dilis', literally 'and my own true love', the first phrase of the chorus of several Irish language songs."

Broadside Bodleian Harding B 18(433) and LOCSinging as203250: H. De Marsan dating per _Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song_ by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site. - BS

The popularity of the song may well be explained by its familiar theme. In Ireland there were few jobs available, especially to Catholics, except working on their parents' farm. And a young man without property, having no prospects, could not marry. So he either waited until his father died and he inherited some land, or he could join the army. And, in those days, joining the military usually meant a long stay far in a foreign land, with no communications with home; even if both he and his love were literate (unlikely), the mail was expensive and unreliable. - RBW


  • LOCSheet, sm1851 680750, "Savourneen Deelish Aileen Oh," William Hall and Son (New York), 1851; also sm1851 491570, "Savourneen Deelish" (tune)
  • LOCSinging, as203250, "Savourneen Deelish Eileen Oge," H. De Marsan (New York), 1861-1864
  • Bodleian, Harding B 18(433), "Savourneen Deelish Eileen Oge," H. De Marsan (New York), 1864-1878; also Harding B 11(3432), "Savourna Deelish" or "The Moment was Sad"; Harding B 11(2993), Firth c.14(215), "Eileen Oge!" or "Savourneen Deelish"


  1. Moylan 173, "Savourneen Deelish" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. O'Conor, p. 13, "Savourneen Deelish" (1 text)
  3. BI, Moyl173


Author: George Coleman (1762-1836) (source: Moylan)
Earliest date: 1791 (Coleman's play _The Surrender of Calais_, according to Moylan)
Found in: Ireland