“The Banks of Banna”


"Shepherds have you seen my love, Have you seen my Anna? Pride of every shady grove Upon the banks of Banna." The singer left home and herd for Anna; he will not return to them until he finds her. In some versions he finds her and they are happy.

Supplemental text

Banks of Banna, The
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From Huntington, Songs the Whalemen Sang, pp. 236-237. From the
1795 journal of the sloop Joseph Francis of Boston.

Shepherds have you seen my love
Have you seen my Anna
Pride of every shady grove
Upon the banks of Banna

I for her my home forsook
Near yon mighty mountain
Left my flock my pipe my hook
Greenwood shade and fountain

Never shall I see them more
Until her returning
All the joys of life are o'er
From gladness turned to mourning

Whither is my charmer flown
Shepherds tell who've seen her
Ah woe's me perhaps she's gone
Forever and forever


Huntington says that this song is found in Chappell. The closest equivalent I can find in that book is "Shepherd, Saw Thou Not." They do not appear to me to be the same song; "The Banks of Banna" is much simpler and has at least some of the qualities of a folk song, though field collections are rare - RBW

There are three variations among [the Bodleian broadsides]. All begin with the first four verses: she's lost and "perhaps she's gone For ever and for ever." Some stop there: Firth b.34(13), Johnson Ballads fol. 9 and Firth b.28(10a/b) View 2 of 8; some have her return ("Flocks did sport and lambs did play, All around my lovely Anna"): Firth c.18(50) and Harding B 25(56), named "Anna"; and one has him meet her by surprise ("With joy I clasp'd her round the waist"): Firth b.27(484a). - BS

Sir George Ogle the Younger (c. 1740-1814) was a poet and politician born in county Wexford. He served in the Irish parliament in the 1790s, and was briefly a Tory representative to Westminster. His best-known works are considered to be "Banna's Banks" (i.e. this piece) and "Molly Astore" (in this index as "Gramachree"); in this Index he is also contributed "The Hermit of Killarney." - RBW


  • Bodleian, Firth c.18(50)[many lines illegible], "Anna" ("Shepherds I have lost my love"), J. Pitts (London), 1802-1819; also Bodleian, Harding B 25(56), "Anna" ("Shepherds, I have lost my love"), Jennings (?), (London), n.d. (barely legible); Harding B 12(3)=Johnson Ballads 865 (damaged), "Anna," J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; Firth b.27(484a), Firth b.34(13), Johnson Ballads fol. 9, "[The] Banks of Banna"; Firth b.28(10a/b) View 2 of 8, "Shepherds, I Have Lost My Love"


  1. Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 236-237, "The Banks of Banna" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Croker-PopularSongs, p. 134, "Banks of Banna" (1 fragment)
  3. ST SWMS236 (Full)
  4. Roud #2058
  5. BI, SWMS236


Author: George Ogle (1739-1814) (source: Croker-PopularSongs)
Earliest date: 1795 (Journal from the Joseph Francis)