“The Virgin Mary's Bank”


A ship sees Virgin Mary praying on the bank. The captain leads the crew in jeering and a storm wrecks the ship "on Ichidony's rock." The crew are drowned. Local fishermen call "that hillock green 'the Virgin Mary's bank.'"


There is a certain amount of confusion about this author. Most sources list his name as James Joseph Callanan, but he is also sometimes listed under the name "Jeremiah" (and, yes, it is known that it is the same guy). Most sources agree that he was born in 1795, but his death date seemingly varies; Hoagland and MacDonagh/Robinson give 1829. He wrote some poetry of his own, but is probably best known for his translations from Gaelic. Works of his found in this index include "The Convict of Clonmel," "The Outlaw of Loch Lene," "Sweet Avondu," "The Virgin Mary's Bank," "Gougane Barra," and a translation of "Drimindown." - RBW


  1. Lehr/Best 115, "The Virgin on the Strand" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. O'Conor, p. 77, "The Virgin Mary's Bank" (1 text)
  3. ADDITIONAL: Edward Hayes, The Ballads of Ireland (Boston, 1859), Vol II, pp. 177-178, "The Virgin Mary's Bank"
  4. BI, LeBe115


Author: J. J. Callanan
Earliest date: 1855 (Edward Hayes, The Ballads of Ireland (Boston, 1859), Vol II)
Found in: Ireland Canada(Newf)