Molly Brannigan
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

This tune appeared in The Dance Music of Ireland (1858) as Judy Brallaghan and in 1859 as Molly Brallaghan in One Hundred Irish Airs, 2nd series.*

The tune was composed by Walker 'Piper' Jackson and orginally called Cossey's Jig. It appeared in Jackson's Celebrated Irish Tunes (circa 1790-1795). When it was published in Jigs and Airs (1809) the tune was called Jackson's Farewell.*

The ballad is also known as Purty Molly Brannigan.

It was also collected by Mary Eddy in Ohio as Polly Brannigan.**

Ma'am dear, did you ever hear
Of pretty Molly Brannigan?
The times are going hard with me,
I'll never be a man again.
There's not a bit of all me hide
The sun'll ever tan again
Since Molly's gone and left me
Here alone for to die.
The place where my heart
Was you'd aisy rowl a turnip in,
It's as big as all of Dublin,
And from Dublin to the Divil's Glin:
And if she's took another,
Sure she might have left mine back again
Instead of that, she's gone and
Left me here alone for to die.

Ma'am dear, I remember when
The summer time was past and gone
When coming through the meadow,
Sure she swore I was the only one
That ever she could love,
But oh! the false and cruel one,
For all that, she's left me
Here alone for to die.
Ma'am dear, I remember
When coming home the rain began,
I wrapped my frieze-coat round her
And sure, ne'er a waistcoat had I on
And my shirt was rather fine drawn,
But oh! the false and cruel one,
For all that she's left me
Here alone for to die.

The left side of my carcass
Is as weak as water gruel, ma'am,
There's not a pick upon me bones,
Since Molly's proved so cruel ma'am
Oh! if I had a blundergun,
I'd go and fight a duel, ma'am,
I'd rather go and shoot myself
Than live here to die.
I'm cool an' determined
As any salamander, ma'am,
Will ye come to my wake
When I go the long meander, ma'am?
And I'll feel as proud
As the famous Alexander, ma'am
When I hear ye cryin' o'er me,
"Awah! Why did ye die?"

Related Links
From Burl Ives Irish Songs
See Bibliography for full information.
*From The Mudcat Cafe..
**From Steve Roud's Folksong Index