“Willie Archer (The Banks of the Bann)”


Willie (Archer/Angler/Ingram) wanders by the Bann, meets a young girl, and seduces her. Afterward, he tells her that he cannot marry her because he is an apprentice. She asks his name; he gives it. She (?) warns young girls against men like him


Traditional singers tend to call this "The Banks of the Bann." But I use the title "Willie Archer" to prevent confusion with all the other songs of that title. - RBW

OBoyle: "The ... reference to Willie's apprenticeship in Raithfriland [Riverhead town in Harding B 17(258a)] would date the song sometime in the nineteenth century when the home-weaving of linen in eastern Ulster was superseded by the introduction of the power loom." - BS

Cross references


  • Bodleian, Harding B 17(258a), "The River Ban" ("In yonder noisy harbour called the sweet Hilltown"), Angus (Newcastle), 1774-1825; also Harding B 16(13b) , Harding B 11(140), 2806 b.11(263), "The Banks of [the] Band"; 2806 b.11(209), Harding B 25(108), "[The] Banks of the Ban"


  • Robert Cinnamond, "The Banks of the Bann" (on IRRCinnamond01)


  1. SHenry H614, p. 384, "Willie Angler/The Banks of the Bann" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. OBoyle 3, "The Banks of the Bann" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Roud #3473
  5. BI, HHH614


Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1825 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 17(258a))
Found in: Ireland