“The Shannon Side”

Alternate titles: “Captain Thunderbolt”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1930 (Ord)
Keywords: courting sex rape pregnancy betrayal rejection
Found in: Britain(England(Lond),Scotland) Ireland


"'Twas in the month of April... I met a comely damsel Upon the Shannon side." He tries to seduce her, and fails; he throws her down against her will. He departs; six months later, pregnant, she begs him to marry; he says he is pledged to another


This not only shares much of the plot of "Reynardine," the lyrics also overlap to a degree. I have to think there has been some sort of cross-fertilization. Still, they are clearly distinct songs. - RBW

In Broadside Murray Mu23-y4:028, [the Mary Delaney recording,] and Phoebe Smith's version on Voice10... the man gives his name as Captain, or Peter, Thunderbolt... "that's when my baby is born as that may be the same." I assume it is an integral part of the ballad when the text is well enough remembered. - BS

Cross references




  1. Ord, pp. 200-202, "The Shannon Side" (1 text)
  2. Roud #1453
  3. BI, Ord202