“The Pride of Kilkee”


Singer meets a maid going to Kilkee. He offers her a seat and asks her home. She rejects him as a seducer. He claims to be honorable. She agrees only to marry him. "Oh, her name I won't mention at all But I'll style her the Pride of Kilkee"


In spite of the line "Who would blame me to make her my own" it is not clear, at the end, that they marry.

Kilkee is in County Clare, Ireland.

For other examples of hidden names see "Ar Eirinn Ni Neosfainn Ce hi (For Ireland I Will Not Tell Whom She Is)" and "Drihaureen O Mo Chree (Little Brother of My Heart)" and its notes. Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan: "Obviously, the writer of Tom's song ["the Pride of Kilkee"] was familiar with the English version of 'Ar Eirinn Ni Neosfainn Ce hi.' Writing more than two decades after hearing these songs for the first time, I have not re-encountered them in oral tradition since, and know of no printed sources for either of them." But, in the notes to "Ar Eirinn Ni Neosfainn Ce hi," Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan: "The Clare Gaelic scholar Eugene O'Curry stated that this song was written originally about 1810 .... The song in English which Tom sings has been about for a good many years likewise, as is witnessed by the similar version which Freeman noted down in London in 1915...." - BS

Cross references


  • Tom Lenihan, "The Kilkee Maid" (on IRTLenihan01)


  1. Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan 32, "The Pride of Kilkee" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #5217
  3. BI, RcPriKil


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1974 (Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan)
Keywords: courting marriage
Found in: Ireland