“The Colleen Rue”


Singer meets and praises Colleen Rue. She rejects his "dissimulation and invocation." He says if he were Hector, Paris, or Orpheus he'd "range through Asia, likewise Arabia, Pennsylvania" to see her face.


As in "Lough Erne Shore" and "Sheila Nee Iyer," there is no resolution for the Tunney-StoneFiddle version. - BS

A curious set of literary references, this. Orpheus of course went to Hell to bring back Euridice (and then lost her at the end); this very loosely inspired the ballad/romance "King Orfeo" [Child 19]. Paris (Alexander) was the Trojan prince who abandoned his first wife Oenone to hook up with Helen of Sparta (married name: Helen of Troy; for this see especially Ovid's Letter from "Oenone to Paris" in the _Heroides_). And Hector, while faithful to his wife as far as we can tell from the legends, was not a significant traveler. - RBW


  1. Tunney-StoneFiddle, p. 118, "The Colleen Rue" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 258-259, "Colleen Rue"
  3. Roud #2365
  4. BI, TSF118


Alternate titles: “Colleen Ruadh”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1979 (Tunney-StoneFiddle)
Found in: Ireland