“The Land League's Advice to the Tenant Farmers of Ireland”


"Cheer up your hearts, you tenant farmers, the land you nobly till, Pay no rent, and keep the harvest" is the advice of Parnell, Brennan, Thomas Woods and Michael Davitt. Thumb your nose at the landlord. Reject the champion spud


Bodleian, Harding B 40(6), "The Land Leagues Advice to the Tenant Farmers of Ireland ("Attend to me you tenant farmers thats assembled in this town"), J.F. Nugent and Co.? (Dublin?), 1850-1899 is apparently this ballad but I could not download the image to verify that. It has the author as M. O'Brien.

Zimmermann: "This ballad was probably written as a comment on the 'No-Rent Manifesto' issued by the Land League after the arrest of its leaders, advising the tenant farmers 'to pay no rents under any circumstances to their landlords ... They can no more evict a whole nation than they can imprison them'" quoting _The Nation_, 22nd October 1881.

Zimmermann notes that the "Champion spud," ridiculed in the song, was resistant to the potato blight and was grown in Scotland and Ireland after 1870.

Zimmermann notes, p. 276, that Thomas Brennan was a Land Leaguer arrested in 1881. Charles Stewart Parnell was also arrested in 1881 (p. 278; cf. "The Blackbird of Avondale (The Arrest of Parnell)"). Michael Davitt is another arrested Land Leaguer (cf. "Michael Davitt"). [For these two, see also the notes on "The Bold Tenant Farmer." - RBW] I have no information on Thomas Woods. - BS

Cross references


  1. Zimmermann 79, "The Land League's Advice to the Tenant Farmers of Ireland" (1 text)
  2. BI, Zimm079


Author: "M. O'Brien" (Source: Zimmermann)
Earliest date: c.1881 (Zimmermann)