“A Nice Piece of Irish Pig's Head”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1965 (recording, "Maurice")
Keywords: food nonballad
Found in: Ireland


Irish pig's head is a better meal than Christmas goose, spring lamb, beef, mutton, turkey, or ham. It has been used to pay the rent. Frenchmen eat frog, Englishmen eat beef but give Pat pig's head cabbage and spuds, even as a spread for a wedding.


This probably consists of making the best of necessity. Even before the potato blights of the 1840s, so many Catholics were on such small farms that they could raise nothing but potatoes. Anything else, including meat discarded by the landlord, would be a treat. Yes, the boar's head was sometimes called a delicacy (see "The Boar's Head Carol"), but that seems to be mostly because the rest of the boar came with it.... - RBW



  1. Roud #12932