Palatine's Daughter (The)
Back to Palatine's Daughter (The)
PALATINE'S DAUGHTER, THE ("Iníon an Phalaitínigh). AKA and see "Garden of Daisies (2) (The)." Irish; Air, Hornpipe. “The Palatine’s Daughter” is the name of the song sung to the tune “Garden of Daisies (2) (The),” and was popularized by Seán Ó Sé (who used a variant of O’Neill’s setting of the tune). It can be found in Donal O’Sullivan’s Songs of the Irish (1960). The melody is essentially the same tune as the jig "Tatter Jack Walsh." According to Alan Ward, author of the booklet “Music from Sliabh Luachra”:
This ['The Palatine's Daughter'] is quite a well-known song in Munster. John and Julia first heard it from their schoolmaster in Gneevgullia, Diarmuid Cronin, who sang a macaronic version [i.e., alternating verses in Irish and English]. Years leater in London they could only remember parts of it so obtained the music from Walton's music shop in Dublin and re-learned it. They used to play the tune in a medley with other songs such as 'Will you come to the bower?'. For a text, background information on the song, and who the Palatines were, see D. O'Sullivan, 'Songs of the Irish' (1960) pp. 68-70.
The title refers to a group of German-speaking people originally located on the River Rhine near the present day border of Germany and France. Their homeland was a state called the Palatinate and was independently ruled by the Elector Palatine. The population fared poorly during the War of the Spanish Succession which saw armies contesting and re-contesting the territory. Sympathetic to the Protestant population of the region, the English Government decided to “rescue” them by offering havens in British colonies, principally in Ireland and America. In 1711 about 300 families, most of who stayed in or around Dublin, arrived and a few settled on land in Limerick and north Kerry. At about the same time other Palatine groups were relocated to New York and North Carolina. Donal OSullivan (Songs of the Irish) states that many Irish Palatines later emigrated to America in the 1770s (similar to ‘Scots-Irish’ Protestants in northern Ireland) and that the rest intermarried and, like the Palatine's daughter of the song, became Catholic.
The song begins:
As I was walking one fine day
To the hiring fair at Ballyshay,
I rambled through the mountain pass
And met the Palatine's lovely lass.
She questioned me "Pray what's your name,
And what's the dwelling that you claim?
Will you bear me company
To where my folk to wait for me?
For of all the lads In e'er did see,
You're the only one that pleases me."
Ri-ti fol d-diddle,
Ti-ti fol d-diddle,
Fal de do da day doh!
Irish composer and music profession Seóirse Bodley (b. 1933) set the tune of "The Palatine's Daughter" for orchestra, used as the theme music for RTE's rural drama series The Riordans. It is his most widely heard work.
Source for notated version:
Recorded sources: HMV B.9112 (78 RPM), Robert Irvin. Topic Records, Julia, John and Billy Clifford - "The Star of Munster Trio." John & Julia Clifford – “Rushy Mountain.”
See also listing at:
Hear the song sung by the Irish Festival Singers at youtube.com 
Hear the song sung by Seán Ó Sé, arranged by Seán Ó Riada at youtube.com 
For more background on the Palatines, read a lecture Ambassador Sean G. Ronan to the German -Irish Society