> Folk Music > Songs > The Pride of Petravore / Eileen Oge

The Pride of Petravore / Eileen Oge

[ Roud 34408 ; DT PRIDPETR ; Mudcat 4704 ; Percy French (1854-1920)]

Pedar a Voher’s Crossroads is in the townland Tullynamoltra in the civil parish of Templeport, County Cavan, Ireland. ‘Pedar a Voher’ is Irish for ‘Peter of the Road’, a Peter McGovern who kept a public house at the crossroads in the 18th century. [Wikipedia]

Daria Kulesh sang Pride of Petravore on her 2018 download EP Russian | Irish | English and on her 2019 CD Earthly Delights. She noted:

What a tongue-twisting roller-coaster of a song! Behind the jungle of syllables, however, lies a simple take on the “battle of the sexes”, claiming that the best way to win a beautiful girl’s heart to treat her badly. “The first man of resolute action whom she meets will have her at his mercy,” prophesied a London journalist of Maud Gonne, Ireland’s fiery femme fatale and W.B. Yeats’ exalted muse. Our blinkered pride often leaves us trapped.

We do have the most amazing ability to build whole worlds that don’t exist—just to compensate for the inadequacy and shortcomings of our objects of desire, or those who desire us. Moreover, we can indeed be easily fooled, and eagerly fool ourselves into wanting something—or someone—that is not right for us at all.

Lankum sang The Pride of Petravore on their 2019 CD The Livelong Day. They noted:

The Pride of Petravore or Eileen Oge [Young Eileen] was the name given to a song written by Percy French (1854-1920), and set to a traditional hornpipe tune. French was a renowned comic songwriter and performer in his day and is responsible for the well-known songs Phil the Fluther’s Ball, Slattery’s Mounted Fut, and Are You Right there Michael?. The tune itself is widely known around the country; Dé Danann recorded a version in 1987 for their album Ballroom [GLCD 3040].


Daria Kulesh sings Pride of Petravore

Eileen Oge oh that the darlin’s name is
Through the Barony her features they were famous
If we all loved her who was there to blame us
For wasn’t she the Pride of Petravore?
But her beauty made us all so shy
Not a man could look her in the eye
Boys, oh boys, sure that’s the reason why
We’re in mournin’ for the Pride of Petravore

Chorus (after every verse):
Eileen Oge, my heart is growin’ grey
Ever since the day you wandered far away
Eileen Oge, there’s good fish in the sea
But there’s none of them like the Pride of Petravore

Friday at the fair in Ballintubber
Eileen met McGrath the cattle jobber
Got to set my mark upon the robber
For he stole away the Pride of Petravore
He never seemed to see the girl at all
Even when she ogled him from underneath her shawl
Lookin’ big and masterful when she was lookin’ small
Most provokin’ for the Pride of Petravore

So it went as was in the beginning
Eileen Oge was bent upon the winning
Big McGrath contentedly was grinning
Being courted by the Pride of Petravore
Says he: “I know a girl that could knock you into fits”
At that Eileen nearly lost her wits
The upshot of the ruction is that now the robber sits
With his arm around the Pride of Petravore

Boys, oh boys, with fate it’s hard to grapple
Of my eyes Eileen was the apple
Now I see her walkin’ to the chapel
With the hardest featured man in Petravore
Now, boys, this is all I have to say:
When you do your courtin’ make no display
If you want them to run after you, just walk the other way
For they’re mostly like the Pride of Petravore