“Alone on the Shamrock Shore (Shamrock Shore III)”

Alternate titles: “Disdained Daughter of the Shamrock Shore”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1825 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 28(158))
Keywords: grief courting marriage warning war death baby wife sailor soldier trial punishment abuse
Found in: Canada(Newf)


The singer married a sailor/soldier and now wanders disowned by her parents, "Alone on the Shamrock shore" with her baby. Called to fight, her husband has a disagreement with his superior and is hanged/whipped.

Supplemental text

Alone on the Shamrock Shore (Shamrock Shore III)
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Kenneth Peacock, Songs of the Newfoundland Outports, Volume II,
pp. 418-419. Sung by Mary Ann Galpin, Codroy, July 1960.

Come all you fair maids take a warning,
With a handsome young stranger don't wed,
Try all that you can for to slight him,
Or banish him out of your head,
For once I lived light-hearted and cheerful,
Such pleasure I never had before,
But now I am lief for to wander
Alone on the shamrock shore.

(Three additional stanzas plus a half stanza.)


The Bodleian broadsides "Shamrock Shore"/"Shamrack Shore"/"New Shamrock Shore" replaces the sailor by a soldier, the "trifle dispute with his captain" becomes a "small dispute with a serjeant" at Lifford and the war, if specified, is against "the bold rebels"; "Disdained Daughter..." retains the sailor, the war is with Spain and the incident is at Portsmouth [as in Peacock's version]; in all broadsides the hanging is a lashing, father's castle is a "snug neat little cottage...." Perhaps the "New" title indicates that the sailor version is the older. - BS

To add to the fun, the whole thing reminds me strongly of "The Gallant Hussar (A Damsel Possessed of Great Beauty)," though there don't seem to be many direct allusions. - RBW



  1. Peacock, pp. 418-419, "Alone on the Shamrock Shore" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST Pea418 (Partial)
  3. Roud #9786
  4. BI, Pea418