“The Poor Chronic Man”


The "poor chronic man" from Athlone goes to visit a cousin in Belfast. Along the way he meets a girl, who wines him, beds him -- then puts him to sleep and steals his clothes and money. He is taken into custody, and wishes he had never left home

Supplemental text

Poor Chronic Man, The
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Norman Cazden, Herbert Haufrecht, Norman Studer, Folk Songs
of the Catskills, #118, pp. 448-449. From the singing of George

I'm a poor chronic man from the town of Athlone,
I'm sad to my heart that I ever left home.
I went down to Belfast, my cousin to see,
I fell in with a slasher and got on a spree.

  Ral-di-fal-di-diddle die dow, toddle-i-day.

She says, "Cousin Pat, you are going astray,
And now, if you'll follow, I'll show you the way!"
We walked down through Wilsdom, she carried my coat,
And we traveled like lightning down to the steamboat,

(8 additional stanzas)


Leyden's Connaughtman visits Belfast; Harding B 17(56b) is about Glasgow; the other Bodleian broadsides take place in Dublin.

Leyden's text has the couple travel by steam coach, rather than steamboat, into Belfast. Leyden says that the steam train had been in operation since 1839. - BS

Cross references

  • cf. "Gold Watch" [Laws K41] (plot) and references there


  • Bodleian, Harding B 17(56b), "The Connaught-man" ("I am a poor Connaught man, from the town of Athlone"), Sanderson (Edinburgh), 1830-1910; also 2806 c.15(119), Harding B 40(1)[last verse illegible], "The Poor Connaughtman"; 2806 c.15(23), Harding B 19(32), "The Connaughtman's Adventures in Dublin"


  1. FSCatskills 118, "The Poor Chronic Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Leyden 33, "The Connaught Man's Trip to Belfast" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. ST FSC118 (Partial)
  4. Roud #3341
  5. BI, FSC118


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1911 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 17(56b))
Keywords: whore trick prison
Found in: US(MA)