Were you ever below on the side of Knockcroghery
Meadows all ripe on a bright summer’s day ?
‘twas there that I first met with sweet Molly Dougherty
Laughing and singing and making the hay

Oh Molly come on, I’ll hould you now, hould you now
Molly come on, I’ll roul’ you now, roul’ you now
Molly come on and I’ll bet you a song
‘twill be better divarsion than saving the hay

I took her behind a hedge and disported her
Telling my story so happy and gay
Sure ‘twould take the whole night to tell how I courted her
Blinded with hay-seed and smothered with hay

There’s a sagart aroon below in Knockcroghery
Quickly we found him one fine summer’s day
And he tied me up tight to sweet Molly Dougherty
While finches and linnets were singing away

‘tis fifty long years since we came to Knockcroghery
Our eyes, they are dim and our hair it is grey
And whenever sweet Molly attempts to get cross with me
I just get a hoult and I warble my lay


‘Knockcroghery’ was written by Peader Kearney, author of the Irish National Anthem, ‘Amhran na bhFiann’ (The Soldier’s Song). The story goes that it was written for a bet as Kearney claimed he could write any place-name in Ireland into a song. So his colleagues in the Abbey Theatre, where he worked as a stagehand, picked Knockcroghery from a map of Ireland and this was the result. Famed actor, singer and champion whistle player, the late Joe Lynch recorded ‘Knockcroghery’ early in his career.

Song Clip



Song Themes

Love and romance


Peadar Kearney