“The Shady Woods of Trugh”


Before joining Owen Roe O'Neill to fight the English, M'Kenna rides from "the Shady Woods of Trugh" to bid farewell -- in case he were killed -- to Maureen McMahon at Glaslough castle. After the battle on Benburb's plains they are married.


Morton-Ulster: "Trugh was one of the Baronies of Monaghan.... The McMahons and the M'Kennas are two of the leading families in the area.... Major John M'Kenna, perhaps the M'Kenna of our song, lost his life in 1689; his being the first blood of the Williamite campaign."

Owen Roe O'Neill defeated the Ulster Puritan commander Munroe at Benburb in the Spring of 1646 (source: "Owen Roe O'Neill - The Cavan Connection" by Jim Hannon at the Cornafean Online site). I assume that's the battle of this ballad. - BS

I think it must be, since, first, it does not seem to have been a disaster for the Irish, and second, there were no other memorable battles there. For more on Owen Roe O'Neill, see the notes to "General Owen Roe." - RBW


  1. Morton-Ulster 35, "The Shady Woods of Trugh" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #2911
  3. BI, MorU035


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1970 (Morton-Ulster)
Found in: Ireland