Maid of Ballydoo


’twas on a summer’s morning, all in the month of May
Down by yon shady arbour I carelessly did stray
’twas there I met this charming maid most pleasing to my view
And the title that she gave herself was the maid of Ballydoo

I gently stepped up to her and unto her I did say
Oh, are you the Aurora bright or Flo, the queen of May
Or is it the fair Helen that appears all in my view
But the title that she gave herself was the maid of Ballydoo

I took her by her lily white hand and by her waist so grand
I showed to her my father’s farm down by the river Bann
Where sheep and lambs do sport and play, the trout and salmon too
And I said, sweet maid, don’t be afraid for to leave oul Ballydoo

It was with great persuasion that I got from her consent
Hand in hand together, it was Hilltown down we went
We there got liquor of the best and rare oul’ mountain dew
She soon forgot the vows she made when leaving Ballydoo

’twas on a summer’s evening, all in the month of June
I was sitting silently condoling at my loom
My scissors, they cut sweetly, my shuttle neatly flew
When I first composed there verses on the Maid of Ballydoo

Down 1

Songs of Down


Ballydoo is a small town-land between Hilltown and Mayobridge.  Throughout colonial Ulster, farmers took up weaving to eke out a living from their small plots of land.  They grew their own flax and the women spun the yarn and wove it into cloth on small hand looms.

Clip – Reg Keating



Song Themes

Irish women