Driotháirín-ó Mo Chroí

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  • Teideal (Title): Driotháirín-ó Mo Chroí.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 853912.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 2360.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): Song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Lucy Simpson.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 05/05/1980.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): Private.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): Unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

(Driotháirín-ó Mo Chroí is sometimes anglicised as Drahaareen-O Mochree1.)

This was her real brother – a girl talking about her brother – who had to go away, and he was killed in the wars with France and England… These times, a lot of people had to go because they were sort of blackmailed into fighting. Maybe a man would have a couple of sons, and he’d be threatened with eviction if one of his sons didn’t join the army. They were hard times, you know. There was no other means of living, there was no other way to get a few shillings, you know… They were bad times, they had to do it. Will I sing it? This was her real brother, and she was broken-hearted.

I grieve when I think on the dear happy days of yore
When all the bright dreams of the faithless world seemed true
When I strayed through the woodland as gay as a midsummer’s bee
In the brotherly love with my driotháirín-ó mo chroí.

Together we lay in sweet scented meadows to rest
Together we watched the gay lark as he sung o’er his nest
Together we plucked the red fruit of the hawthorn tree
And I loved as a sweetheart my driotháirín-ó mo chroí.

His form was straight as the hazel that grows in the glen
His manners were courteous and social and gay amongst men
His bosom was white as a lily on summer’s green lea
And God’s brightest image was driotháirín-ó mo chroí.


1. This anglicisation is given to indicate the phonetic spelling this title often receives in printed sources, for any readers who may wish to track it down elsewhere.

Lucy and Joe go on to speculate about this song, agreeing that neither of them likes it very much. It’s clear from the sound of page-turning that they are looking at a printed source as Joe sings; subsequent conversation reveals that this particular source gives seven verses in all. P. W. Joyce gives four verses (all different from the ones Joe sings here) in Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (Dublin 1909), 212-3.

One of the best-known recordings of ‘Drahaareen-O Mochree’ was by Donegal singer, the late Paddy Tunney. The air is that of ‘Jimmy Mo Mhíle Stór.’