Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

300 traditional songs, inc sheet music with full piano accompaniment & lyrics.

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It is contended by some, that Saint Patrick was not even a man, let alone being a gentleman. He is said to be as much a myth as the bogle that points out the gold by moonlight, or the banshee that has frightened our young wits in the story-books. And so, we suppose, he never preached his sermon, and Irishmen never learned how to drink whiskey, and old Ireland has as many clusters of snakes as a Southern swamp in June. Alas, for the sweet old faith!
The song has not recorded its own genealogy as carefully as it has that of the saint; but we know that the three stanzas of which it originally consisted—the first, second, and fifth—were the joint impromptu production of Mr. Henry Bennett and Mr. Toleken, of Cork. They were written in the winter of 1814, to be sung by the authors at a masqeradc. where they appeared as ballad-singers, and sang alternate lines. The song became an immediate favorite, and, at the request of Webbe, the comedian, Toleken wrote the sixth stanza. The third and fourth are of unknown origin.