“Who Killed Cock Robin? (II)”


Questions and answers. "What came of 82?": The name. "Whence came the shout of freedom?": o'er the Atlantic. "Who drove the people mad?": Pitt. "Who picketed the Croppies?": Captain Swayne. "When shall [Union] be repealed?": When the people are united.


There are thirty-eight verses. The form follows "Who Killed Cock Robin?" Each verse has a question and an answer about eighteenth and nineteenth century Irish history. More villains than heroes of that period are among the answers.

Here is an example of the form (Dublin Town Major Sirr [for whom see "The Major"] is the villain again):

Who shot Lord Edward?

The Major said demurely,

I took my aim securely,

I shot Lord Edward!

[The references to "82" is to] April 16, 1782 [when] Henry Grattan moved a declaration of the independence of the Irish parliament. Grattan: "Ireland is now a nation!" (source: "Henry Grattan" at the Ireland Information Guide site). [See also the notes to "Ireland's Glory." - RBW]

Pitt and Union are discussed, among other places in this index, in the notes to "The Game of Cards" (II).

Captain Swayne appears briefly in "The Song of Prosperous," in which he dies in the fire. He is one of the people accused of "pitch capping": filling a cap with boiling pitch and putting it on a peasant's head. (source: "The Search for Weapons" in _1798 Rebellion_ at Rathregan National School site). - BS

Madden's pen-name of "Ierne" is one of the sundry ancient names for Ireland. - RBW


  1. Moylan 168, "Who Killed Cock Robin?" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, Moyl168


Author: "Ierne" (R.R. Madden) (source: Moylan)
Earliest date: 1887 (Madden's _Literary Remains of the United Irishmen of 1798_, according to Moylan)