> Waterson:Carthy > Songs > Bold Doherty

Bold Doherty

[ Roud 2992 ; Ballad Index RcBolDoh ; trad.]

Mary Ann Carolan sang Bold Doherty in 1978 in her home in Hill o' Rath, near Drogheda, Co. Louth. This recording by Roly Brown was released in 1982 on her Topic album Songs from the Irish Tradition and on the 1998 Topic anthology They Ordered Their Pints of Beer and Bottles of Sherry (The Voice of the People Volume 13). Sean Corcoran commented in the original album's notes:

This appears to be a fragment of a longer song. However, as Mrs Carolan sings it, the story, which is told by innuendo, is so complete in itself that it would be a pity to extend it. I have never heard the song sung elsewhere, even in the Donegal-Fermanagh area where the story is set. The air is taken from the jig The Connachtman’s Rambles (see O’Neill’s Music of Ireland, new edition, 1963, No. 1003). Herbert Hughes collected a version of the song in North Antrim in 1903. It was called Molly of Cushendall and was set only to the first part of the jig (Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, Vol. I, p. 17). When first recorded in 1970, Mrs Carolan sang this song at a much faster tempo with fluctuating 3rd and 7th. A ‘saucepan’ (v.2) was a measure of ale.

Norma Waterson sang Bold Doherty in 1994 on Waterson:Carthy's eponymous debut album Waterson:Carthy. Nancy Kerr plays fiddle. Martin Carthy commented in the sleeve notes:

Norma learned Bold Doherty from a recording of the Drogheda singer Mary Ann Carolan, and according to Sean Corcoran in his notes, although it's just a piece of a longer song, what she has hangs together just fine. We agree. The tune is one of those which visits just about every corner of the universe before landing back on its own front doorstep, and Norma's been itching to sing it almost since she heard Mary Ann back in 1978.

Ann Armstrong and Ron Kavana sang Bold Doherty in 2011 on the latter's album 40 Favourite Folk Songs.

Lyrics

Mary Ann Carolan sings Bold Doherty Norma Waterson sings Bold Doherty

My name is Bold Doherty from the North Country
Where there's a still upon every stream.
“Landlady, be quicker and bring us more liquor
And fill us a pitcher that's stronger than cream.
If I had you, Molly, so pleasant and jolly,
Although it's a folly to ask you at all.
For if I had a glass and a mile to the bottom
I'd drink to you, Molly, beside Donegal.”

My name is Bold Doherty from the North Country
Where there's a still upon every stream.
“Landlady, be quicker and bring us more liquor
And fill us a pitcher that's stronger than cream.
If I had you, Molly, so pleasant and jolly,
Although it's a folly to ask you at all.
But if I had a glass and a mile to the bottom
I'd drink to you, Molly, beside Donegal.”

Chorus (after each verse):
With me fal-le-dal-dah, fal-de-dal-darridy,
Fal-le-dal-dah, ally fal-de-fal-day

Chorus (after each verse):
(And sing) Folderol day folderol laddity
Folderol lay raddely folderol day

I've a new pair of clogs I got home from the market,
I wanted an excuse to get into the town.
So I told my old mother the seams they were ripped
And I wanted some nails to rivet them round.
She clothed my hand with a bright British shilling;
She thought the remainder it would be her own,
Saying, “When you do go to town you may take a full noggin,
But beware you bring none of your fancibles home.”

I'd a new pair of clogs I brought home from the market,
I needed an excuse for to go to the town.
I told my old mother the seams they were ripped
And I needed some nails for to rivet them round.
She clothed my hand with a bright golden shilling;
She thought the remainder it would be her own.
She says, “When you go to town you may buy half a noggin,
But be sure you leave all of them fancibles home.”

When crossing the hills of my brave Enniskillen
I went into an alehouse for to take a dram.
Where I saw two tinkers dividing a saucepan
Although they were arguing about a tin can.
One of them then made a blow at the other
And said, “You old villain, I will take your life.
For your saucepan's a-leaking and won't hold the water
Since ever bold Doherty spoke to your wife.”

When crossing the hills of my brave Enniskillen
I went to an alehouse for to take a dram.
There I saw two tinkers dividing a saucepan
Although they were arguing about a tin can.
Then one of them made such a blow to the other
And said, “You old villain, I will take your life.
For your saucepans are leaking and can't hold the water
Since ever bold Doherty spoke to your wife.”

Ah, when I went home the door it was bolted,
I rapped up my mother for to let me in.
“Ah, be gone out the place,” were the words that she mentioned,
“For inside this door, oh, you'll not enter in.
You may go away to wherever you came from
For to keep you out now, I'm sure it's no sin.”
“Ah,” says I, “My good woman, you may keep your temper,
For I can get lodging with Nora McGlynn.”

And when I got home, well the door it was bolted,
I rapped up my mother for to let me in.
“Be gone from the place,” were the words that she mentioned,
“For inside this door you will not enter in.
You may go away to wherever you came from
But to keep you out now I'm sure 'tis no sin.”
I said, “My good woman, you can keep your temper,
And I can get lodging with Nora McGlynn.”

(repeat first verse)

Acknowledgements

Transcribed by Garry Gillard.

A very slightly different version was posted in the Mudcat Café thread Lyr Req: Bold Doherty . Thanks as ever to Wolfgang Hell.