“The Green Fields of America (I)”


The singer bids farewell to Ireland. His parents weep to leave but he wants a trouble-free life in America with no taxes or tithes. We must follow "our manufacturies" across the Atlantic. "The landlords and bailiffs" have driven us from home.


Many versions of this song note that there are "no taxes or tithes to devour up our wages" in America. While this obviously is not true (America always had at least some taxes, even if only on the sale of taxable items), the freedom from the tithe was very important. For many years, Irish Catholics were charged a tithe which went to the (Anglican) Church of Ireland. Ireland was not entirely freed of the tithe until the mid-nineteenth century, though after 1838 it was up to the landlords to administer it. - RBW

Cross references


  • Bodleian, 2806 b.10(70), "Green Fields of America" ("Farewell to the land of Shillelagh and shamrock"), H. Such (London), 1849-1862; also Harding B 11(1413), Harding B 11(3626), Harding B 11(2600), "Green Fields of America"


  • Paddy Tunney, "The Green Fields of Amerikay" (on IRPTunney01); "The Green Fields of Canada" (on Voice04); "Green Fields of Canada" (on IRPTunney02)


  1. Tunney-StoneFiddle, pp. 156-158, "The Green Fields of Canada" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Roud #2290
  4. BI, DTgrncan


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1863 (broadside, Bodleian Harding 2806 b.10(70))
Found in: Ireland