“Loughrey's Bull”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1988 (McBride)
Keywords: homicide funeral farming humorous talltale animal landlord
Found in: Ireland

Description

Cruel John Loughrey's bull attacks him for evicting tenants. He promises he will never evict anyone again. The bull kills him anyway, saying "if I was a landlord I'd treat the tenants fair." Nobody mourns the loss. Tenants should feed that bull well.

Notes

McBride: "This song recalls the death of a local landlord." - BS

There is an interesting symbolism, however -- though in reverse: Usually it is the bull (John Bull) which is harming Ireland. But there is a certain sense to this if one takes it in the context of the Land League and the Tenant Rights Movement -- an attempt to get the English law (often represented by a bull) to give tenants fair treatment. Could this have been a tale of John Bull's government actually enforcing its laws against a landlord? - RBW

References

  1. McBride 50, "Loughrey's Bull" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, McB1050