“The Four-Leaved Shamrock”


"I'll seek a four-leaved shamrock In all the fairy dells" and use its magic to cure the world of tears and aching hearts, mend estrangement between friends and see that "vanished dreams of love" return.


Broadside NLScotland RB.m.143(139): The text includes the statement that "This is supposed to be one of Sheilds' productions." The commentary states "It is not clear who Shields is, but this piece was in fact written by the Irish songwriter, painter and novelist, Samuel Lover (1797-1868)." That agrees with the O'Conor attribution.

Broadside LOCSinging sb10130a: 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


  • Bodleian, 2806 c.16(203), "The Four Leaved Shamrock", J. Paul and Co (London), 1838-1845; also Harding B 11(3888), Johnson Ballads 562, Harding B 11(1250), Firth b.25(599), Johnson Ballads 417, Harding B 11(1249), "The Four Leaved Shamrock"
  • LOCSinging, sb10120b, "The Four-Leaved Shamrock", H. De Marsan (New York), 1864-1878; also as104540, as104080, as201070, "[The] Four-Leaved Shamrock"
  • NLScotland, RB.m.143(139), "The Four-Leaved Shamrock", Poet's Box (Glasgow), c.1880


  1. O'Conor, pp. 137-138, "The Four-Leaved Shamrock" (1 text)
  2. BI, OCon137


Author: Samuel Lover
Earliest date: before 1846 (broadside, Bodleian 2806 c.16(203))
Keywords: magic healing nonballad