0:00 / ???
  1. I'll Tell My Ma

From the album One For the Road

In cart Not available Out of stock

Traditional

Mark Clavey: vocals, guitar
Mary Hanover: vocals, hammered dulcimer
Rachel Bowerman: lead vocals, percussion
Tara McCullough: fiddle

If you're looking for some kind of definitive notes on this children's skipping song, forget it. There are dozens of copies in print from Ireland, Scotland, and England. It has appeared with such titles as "The Boys Won't Leave the Girls Alone", "The Belle of Belfast City", and "The Wind, The Wind". Our girl in the song is not only the "belle of Belfast city"… she's also the "belle of Dublin city", the "pride of London city", and the "flower of the golden city". Johnny Murray endures something of an identity/gender crisis, appearing as Biddy Murray, Jenny Murray, Jenny Murphy, Johnny Morrisey, and Lizzy Johnston (to name a few). And it has been recorded by a plethora of performers… from the Dubliners to the Rankin Family, from The Irish Tenors to Brak (backed up by the Chieftains, of course). We've added a little bit of style to our arrangement by throwing the song out of 'major' (Ionian) and into Mixolydian… something we've been told is part of the 'Tullamore sound'. We're just glad we have a 'sound'.

Lyrics

I'll tell my ma, when I go home, the boys won't leave the girls alone. They pull my hair and they stole my comb, but that's all right till I go home. She is handsome, she's so pretty, she is the belle of Belfast city. She is courting one, two, three... please won't you tell me who is she?

Albert Mooney says he loves her, all the boys are fighting for her. They knock on the door and they ring at the bell, saying, "Oh my true love, are you well?" Out she comes as white as snow, rings on her fingers and bells on her toes. Old Johnny Murray says she'll die if she don't get the fellow with the roving eye.

I'll tell my ma, when I go home, the boys won't leave the girls alone, &c

Let the wind and the rain and the hail blow high, and the snow come tumbling from the sky. She's as nice as apple pie and she'll get her own lad by and by. And when she gets a lad of her own, she won't tell her ma when she gets home. Let them all come as they will for it's Albert Mooney she loves still.

I'll tell my ma, when I go home, the boys won't leave the girls alone, &c