“The Shamrock Boys from Kill”


The Boys from Kill "march down by Lavey's Strand ... with O'Connell's likeness on their breasts, for to conquer Orange Bill." None fought at Tara as well as the boys from Kill. Many Protestant girls would have liked to be with a boy from Kill.


O'Connell is Daniel O'Connell. Orange Bill is William of Orange. This appears not to be about any particular battle in spite of lines like "none could chase ould Luther's race Like the Shamrock boys from Kill."

Morton-Ulster: ."..there is a townland of Kill on the borders of Co. Cavan.... This song seems to me more militant than pure 'O'Connellism' would allow and not militant enough for 'Young Irelanders'. (Remember they bear 'O'Connell's likeness on their breasts'.) It may be that the Shamrock Boys from Kill were a sort of intermediate stage between the fall of O'Connell and the accession of Mitchel and 'Young Ireland'."

"Rebels posted on Tara Hill, County Meath, were routed on May 26 [,1798]." (Zimmermann, p. 155) - BS

I believe the reference to fighting at Tara is to the rally at that place described in "The Meeting of Tara," since that was organized by Daniel O'Connell. - RBW


  1. Morton-Ulster 36, "The Shamrock Boys from Kill" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #2912
  3. BI, MorU036


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