“The Banks of the Dee (II)”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1935 (Sam Henry collection)
Keywords: love courting separation soldier disguise reunion
Found in: Ireland


The singer "heard a maid a-sighing... And, 'Johnny,' she was crying, 'oh how could you leave me?" He recalls leaving her on the spot, and how they promised to be true. He tells her her love was slain in battle, then reveals that he is her love


Huntington was of the opinion that this was the source for the song "The Banks of Champlain" which he found in the 1838 journal of the _Nautilus_. I disagree. There are several "Banks of the Dee" songs, and the other (to the tune "Langolee") fits "The Banks of Champlain" much better. - RBW

Cross references


  1. SHenry H583, p. 314, "The Banks of [the] Dee" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #3814
  3. BI, HHH583