“The Old Grey Mare (III)”


.".. of traitors now beware There's none but men would glory win can ride my old Grey Mare. In Erin's Isle in ancient times She was rode by Brian Boru" and other heroes and others "not long ago" and "Brave Bonaparte" as well.


Zimmermann: "The song probably has no emblematic meaning."

For a broadside with the same theme but different ballad see NLScotland, RB.m.169(243), "The Wonderful Grey Horse," unknown, c.1840. The similarity extends even to leading up to support of the Irish Home Rule Movement. - BS

Historical references

  • 1014 - Battle of Clontarf; Brian Boru defeats a mixed force of Vikings and their Irish allies (but is killed in the battle)

Cross references


  1. OLochlainn 35, "The Old Grey Mare" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Zimmermann 44B, "The Sporting Old Grey Mare" (1 text)
  3. Moylan 164, "The Old Grey Mare" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Roud #3039
  5. BI, OLoc035


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1939 (OLochlainn); first half 19C (Zimmermann)
Found in: Ireland