“The Irish Colleen”


A party of four girls, from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland each toasts her own land and national flower. "Though the flowers all resemble there's a vast gulf between The rose, leek, and thistle, and the Irish colleen"

Supplemental text

Irish Colleen, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Kenneth Peacock, Songs of the Newfoundland Outports, Volume II,
pp. 366-367. Sung by Patrick W. Nash, Branch, October 1962.

I went to a party consisting of four,
And as it was private we soon closed the door;
There was one girl from England and another from Wales,
And one that resided in Scotland's fair dales.
We sat down in friendship, we drank of the wine,
Each told of their country, I told them of mine.
The rose, leek, and thistle, unconquered, unseen,
But says I, "Here's a toast to the Irish colleen."
    Then here's to old Ireland, her sons and her daughters,
    Here's to old Ireland, the shamrock I mean.
    May the sun shine on the round towers of Erin,
    Here's a toast from the heart of an Irish Colleen.

(2 additional stanzas, one taken from a different text.)


The authorship claim is from the broadside: "Written and composed by W.C. Robey Sung by Miss Lizzie Howard Music, Francis, Day & Hunter, London, W."

Library of Congress American Memory 19th century song sheets collection lists 13 different songs, not including this one, attributed to W. C. Robey and published in New York between 1882 and 1884. - BS


  • Bodleian, Firth b.28(10a/b) View 2 of 8, "The Irish Colleen," R. March and Co. (London), 1877-1884


  1. Peacock, pp. 366-368, "The Irish Colleen" (1 text plus a fragment, 2 tunes)
  2. ST Pea366 (Partial)
  3. Roud #6459
  4. BI, Pea366


Author: W. C. Robey
Earliest date: before 1885 (broadside, Bodleian Firth b.28(10a/b) View 2 of 8)
Found in: Canada(Newf)