“The Exile of Erin (I)”


"There came to the beach a poor exile of Erin." He looks across the ocean toward Erin, mourns for his lost country and remembers "friends who can meet me no more." He thinks of his family. "Erin, an exile, bequeaths thee his blessing"


Note that there is an early parody: Bodleian, Harding B 16(61c), "The Cottage Maid", J. Pitts (London), 1802-1819.

Broadside NLScotland L.C.Fol.70(118a): The commentary states "There appears to be some doubt over the authorship of 'The Exile of Erin'. Many believe it to be the work of the Scottish-born poet, Thomas Campbell (1777-1844), who is said to have been inspired by an encounter with an Irish exile named McCann. It has also been suggested, however, that it was the work of the Irish ballad writer George Nugent Reynolds (1770-1802)." - BS

Possibly the confusion was inspired by the several other songs with the same or similar titles? There seems to be no doubt that Campbell wrote *a* piece called "The Exile of Erin" (and, if Stevenson's _Home Book of Verse 2_ is to be credited, it's this poem). - RBW

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 28(38), "The Exile of Erin", W. Armstrong (Liverpool), 1820-1824; also 2806 b.11(216), 2806 b.10(90), 2806 c.15(300), Harding B 25(593), Harding B 28(209), Harding B 11(3066), Harding B 11(1655), Harding B 16(325b), Harding B 11(3069), Harding B 11(3067), Harding B 11(2496), 2806 b.10(72), Harding B 11(3068), Harding B 17(86a), Harding B 11(740), Harding B 11(378), Harding B 11(4398), Harding B 11(1105), Harding B 11(3748), 2806 c.15(299), "[The] Exile of Erin"; Harding B 26(178), "The Exile o' Erin "
  • LOCSinging, as103590, "Exile of Erin", George S. Harris (Philadelphia), 19C; also as100640, "The Exile of Erin"
  • Murray, Mu23-y2:048, "The Exile of Erin" unknown (Glasgow), 19C
  • NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(118a), "The Exile of Erin", unknown, c.1885


  1. O'Conor, p. 41, "The Exile of Erin" (1 text)
  2. Moylan 126, "The Exile of Erin" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Dean, pp. 53-54, "Exile of Erin" (1 text)
  4. Roud #4355
  5. BI, OCon041


Author: probably Thomas Campbell (1777-1844) (but see the note re broadside shelfmark L.C.Fol.70(118a))
Earliest date: 1805 (according to Moylan)
Found in: Ireland US(MW)