“The Maid of Craigienorn”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1933 (Sam Henry collection)
Keywords: love courting rejection abandonment beauty
Found in: Ireland


The singer praises the Maid of Craigienorn, whom he sees as he rambles. He begs her to come away. She refuses; she has another love and will not leave her parents. He says her love has abandoned her. The ending is confused


The first several stanzas of this are your standard guy-sees-girl/guy-hits-on-girl/girl-says-leave-me-alone ballad. Then we get a John Riley-like scene in which he says her love has abandoned her. (And how, given that the singer has never seen her before, does he know?) Then there seems to be a section from the woman's viewpoint, and another in which she is revealed as a Protestant, and another in which the singer complains about England's laws and wishes the couple happiness.

There seems little doubt that the ending of this song is confused. I would guess at least three other songs have contributed. But it's hard to identify them from the small fragments extant. - RBW


  1. SHenry H500, pp. 359-360, "The Maid of Craigienorn" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #6880
  3. BI, HHH359