Songs, Ballads and Snatches

Songs, Ballads and Snatches Songbook

“In this part can be found odd verses out of songs the singers have largely forgotten. People usually remember the best of something, so these snatches are interesting. Some of the other songs seem complete. 

The Bride stolen by fairies [Saturday night is Halloween night] is a scrap of an old ballad rounded off as a story. John Barbour is another old ballad telling its own story in fourteen verses. B’fhearr liom réal beag is an Irish version of I love sixpenceJohnny Jow is The little red fox worn down to one verse. And the last snatch, Good-bye [Oh Molly dear are you going away?], belongs to a song sung by the mill girls in a Belfast linen factory when a mistress they liked particularly was leaving their department.

Many of these songs could be learned as party pieces, or just for fireside amusement.”— Hugh Shields, 1971

Listen and find out more about each item in the Song Pages below or enjoy the Playlist.

I Love My Love Far Better

The Dark-Eyed Gipsy

The Maid of Culmore

B’fhearr Liom Réal Beag


John Barbour

Johnny Jow

Three Men Went A-Hunting

The Kerry Recruit

The Wind Blew High

Saturday Night is Halloween Night

Oh Molly Dear Are You Going Away?

My Love She’s but a Lassie

The Crockery Ware

Did You Ever See the Devil?

Some Say the Divil’s Dead

My Aunt Jane Had a Nice Wee Shop

The Wee Dog Buff

Wee Magee and Half-a-Dozen More

For My Daddy Goes to Meeting

My Love Wears the Tarry Trousers

I'll Climb up a High High Tree

On the Top of Yon Heathery Mountain

The Tree in the Ground

It’s of a Row to You I'll Show

To My Grief and Woe I’ll Let You Know

The Inniskilling Dragoon

Green Grows the Laurel

Twas Pretty to Be in Ballinderry

The Knight of the Road

Seven Little Gipsies

Brian O’Linn

Woman at the Churchyard Gate

The Town of Antrim

Johnny Me Darling Lad

Down by Yon Riverside

Barbara Allen