“The Social Thistle and the Shamrock”


"The Scotch and Irish friendly are, their wishes are the same, The English nation envy us, and over us would reign ... Now to conclude and end my song, may we live long to see, The Thistle and the Shamrock, entwine the olive tree"


The thistle represents Scotland and the shamrock represents Ireland. See, for example, "The Sprig of Shillelah." - BS

Although the Scots are descended from the Irish (or, more correctly, Highland Gaelic culture is descended from Irish; the genes may tell a different story), I suspect this could only have been written by an Ulster Protestant. And Henry Joy McCracken (1767-1798) was one of the most liberal and high-minded men in Ireland at the time; for his background, see the notes to "Henry Joy McCracken (I)." - RBW

Cross references


  1. Moylan 108, "The Social Thistle and the Shamrock" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, Moyl108


Author: Henry Joy McCracken (1767-1798) (source: Moylan)
Earliest date: 1887 (Madden's _Literary Remains of the United Irishmen of 1798_, according to Moylan)