“The May Queen”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1978 (Hammond-Belfast)
Keywords: bragging ritual nonballad
Found in: Ireland


"Our Queen up the river And we'll keep her there forever with your yah-yah-yah ... Your Queen down the river ... Our Queen can tumble a pole ... birl her leg ... smoke a fag ... ate a hard bap ... The darkie says he'll marry her Because she is a Queen"


Hammond-Belfast describes Belfast May Day rituals and children's May Queen parades. "The encounters with rival Queens are always exciting and vituperative. Modesty and restraint are not predominant features of the occasion." - BS


  1. Hammond-Belfast, pp. 14-15, "The May Queen" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. BI, Hamm014