“The Angel's Whisper”


"A baby was sleeping, its mother was weeping." Her husband, Dermot, is fishing in a storm. She prays that the angels always watching over her baby would now watch over her husband. He returns safely in the morning.

Supplemental text

Angel's Whisper, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

Angels Whisper

As printed in Huntington, Songs the Whalemen Sang, pp. 239-240.

A baby was sleeping it mother was weeping
For her husnand was far o'er the raging sea
And the tempest was swelling round the fisherman's dwelling
And she cried Dermot my darling come back to me.

(3 additional stanzas)


O'Conor and some web sites make the author Thomas Moore (1779-1852). Other sites make the author Samuel Lover (1797-1868); Hoagland also lists Lover as the author. The PoemHunter site, for example, lists 145 poems by Moore and does not include this one. The broadsides have no attribution.

How reliable are O'Conor attributions? See also "Barney Brallaghan."

Broadside LOCSheet sm1883 09445:sheet claims the words are by Samuel Lover.

[Granger's Index to Poetry also lists it as by Lover, but with no original publication; the only citation is Hoagland. - RBW]

Broadside LOCSinging sb10009a: J. Andrews 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


  • Bodleian, Johnson Ballads 151, "The Angel's Whisper", J. Catnach (London), 1813-1838; also Harding B 11(3366), Firth c.26(36), Firth b.34(99), Johnson Ballads 1407, Firth c.26(288), Firth b.26(369), Harding B 11(1427), Firth b.25(68), Harding B 11(442), 2806 c.13(104), Firth b.28(38), Harding B 11(64), "[The] Angel's Whisper"
  • LOCSheet, sm1883 09445, "The Angels' Whisper", Carl Prufer (Boston), 1883 (tune)
  • LOCSinging, sb10009a, "The Angel's Whisper", J. Andrews (New York), 1853-1859; also as100320, "Angel's Whisper"


  1. Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 239-240, "Angels Whisper" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. O'Conor, p. 34, "The Angel's Whisper" (1 text)
  3. ADDITIONAL: Edward Hayes, The Ballads of Ireland (Boston, 1859), Vol II, p. 115, "The Angel's Whisper"
  4. Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 408-409, "The Angel's Whisper" (1 text)
  5. ST OCon034 (Partial)
  6. Roud #2061
  7. BI, OCon034


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1847 (Journal of William Histed of the Cortes)