“The Magpie's Nest”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1952 (recorded from Aunt Jane Kelly)
Keywords: love beauty dancetune lyric nonballad lover
Found in: Ireland

Description

Singer praises his love, saying if he was a king he would make her queen and set her down in the "magpie's nest" -- a cottage alongside the River Shannon. He says he's never seen anyone more lovely than "the little Irish fairy in the magpie's nest."

Long description

Singer praises his love, saying if he was a king he would make her queen and set her down in the "magpie's nest" -- a cottage alongside the River Shannon. He says he's never seen anyone more lovely than "the little Irish fairy in the magpie's nest." Chorus: "Shiddly-idle-daddle-diddle-dadle-diddle-didle-dum/I would l'ave you down to rest in the magpie's nest"

Notes

This shares the tune and structure with both versions of "The Cuckoo's Nest," the latter of which sometimes incorporate "dowdling" (mouth music) as here. However, "The Cuckoo's Nest" is almost inevitably bawdy or erotic, while "The Magpie's Nest" is invariably clean, so I split them. For completeness, though, better check them out. - PJS

Cross references

Recordings

References

  1. Kennedy 182, "The Magpie's Nest" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #2127
  3. BI, K182