“The Christmas Letter”

Author: Michael Scanlon? (source: Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan)
Earliest date: 1974 (Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan)
Keywords: emigration separation America Ireland moniker family
Found in: Ireland


Singer weeps and asks daughter Kate to reread letters from grandchildren in America. "One by one the lot of them Sailed out across the great big sea." The grandchildren are named and recalled. "Somehow it makes me better Ah, each time I hear the news"


Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan: A text from another singer, Martin Crehan, adds a verse that explains "... in the pleasant County Clare, Where there lived a widow lonely with her one daughter only Who stayed at home to care [for] her while the rest were gone away.... 'twas the eve of Christmas Day. They got letters, they got money, they felt lonely, somehow funny" - BS

For another song by Michael Scanlon, see "The Bold Fenian Men (I)." Zimmerman reports that that song was first printed in Chicago in 1864, so it is perhaps reasonable to see Scanlon writing about emigration. - RBW




  1. Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan 28, "The Christmas Letter" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #5220
  3. BI, RcChrLet