“Cruiskeen Lawn”

Author: Dion Boucicault
Earliest date: before 1884 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 15(73b))
Keywords: drink humorous nonballad death party foreignlanguage
Found in: Canada(Ont) Ireland


"Let the farmer praise his grounds, as the hunter does his hounds" and so on, but the singer prefers his full jug. He reviews the benefits and when death comes to take him he will have death wait while he has "another crooskeen lawn"

Long description

Partly in Gaelic. Singer says farmers may praise their grounds, the huntsman his hounds, but he's happy with his cruiskeen lawn (little full jug). He toasts his companions, proposing not to go home although it's morning, and swears that when Death approaches, he will beg off to "have another cruiskeen lawn" Chorus: "Gramachree ma cruiskeen, slanthe gal mavourneen, Erin mavourneen lawn"


"Cruiskeen lawn" is, in Irish, a "full jug." (source: radiohaha: the online encyclopaedia of contemporary british radio comedy. [Also Hoagland, who renders the title "My full little jug" - RBW]).

Sparling: "Originated among convivial circles of Dublin, but embodies fragments of a much older Celtic song. The tune is clearly not Irish; said to be of Danish origin, and a variant of that which has reached modern times as 'There was a little man and he had a little gun!'" It appears here that Sparling is referring to the melody of Opie-Oxford2 325, "There was a little man, and he had a little gun." - BS

Although apparently the work of a known author, it has quickly been "anonymized"; the several popular books of poetry which include it (Stevenson's Home Book of Verse v. 2, Hoagland) list no author. - RBW

Cross references




  1. O'Conor, p. 54, "Crooskeen Lawn" (1 text)
  3. ADDITIONAL: Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 259-260, "The Cruiskeen Lawn" (1 text)
  4. H. Halliday Sparling, Irish Minstrelsy (London, 1888), pp. 485-486, 511, "An Cruiscin Lan"
  5. Roud #2309
  6. BI, OCon054A