Mantle So Green, The

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  • Teideal (Title): Mantle So Green, The.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 843503.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 714.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): N38.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): Irish.
  • Catagóir (Category): song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Sonia Tamer Seeman.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 1983.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, 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.

As I went a-walking one evening in June
To view the fair fields and meadows in bloom
I spied a young damsel, she appeared like a queen
With her costly fine robes and her mantle so green.

I stood in amazement, I was struck by surprise
I thought her an angel that fell from the skies
Her eyes like the diamonds, her cheeks like the rose
One of the fairest that nature composed.

Said I, ‘Pretty fair maid, if you’ll come with me
We’ll join in wedlock, married we’ll be
I’ll dress you rich attire, you’ll appear like a queen
With your costly fine robes and your mantle so green.’

She answered me, ‘Young man, you must be refused
For I’ll wed with no man, you must me excuse
To the green hills I’ll wander, to shun all men’s view
For the lad I love dearly lies in famed Waterloo.’

‘Since you’re not married, tell me your love’s name
I have been in battle, I might know the same
‘Draw near to my garment and that you will see
His name is embroidered on my mantle so green.’

On the raising of her mantle it’s there I behold
His name and his surname in letters of gold
‘Young William O’Reilly appeared in my view
He was my chief comrade in famed Waterloo.’

‘He fought so victorious where bullets did fly
On the field of Nevran your true love does lie
We fought for three days ’till the fourth afternoon
He received his death summons on the eighteenth of June.’
‘As he was dying I heard his last cry:
‘Were you here lovely Nancy, content I would die!’
Peace is proclaimed and the truth I’ll declare
Here’s your true love’s token – the ring that I wear.’

I stood in amazement as paler she grew
She flew from my vision, her heart full of woe
‘To the green hills I’ll wander for the lad that I love’
‘Stop, lovely Nancy, your grief I’ll remove.

‘Oh Nancy, lovely Nancy, it was I won your heart
In your father’s garden that day we did part
In your father’s garden by the shade of a tree
When I rolled you in my arms in your mantle so green.’

This couple got married, I heard people say
They had nobles to attend them on their wedding day
Now peace is proclaimed, and the war is all o’er
You’re welcome to my arms, lovely Nancy, once more.


One stanza of this song, along with a similar air, is given in P. W. Joyce, Old Irish Folk Music and Songs (London and Dublin, 1909), 151.