The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside ballad entitled 'John Reilly'




As I went out one morning clear down by yon river side,
I overheard a fair maid, the tears rolling down did glide,
This is a cold and stormy night, these words I heard her say
My lover is on the ocean wide bound for America .

John Reily they do call him, reared near the town of Rea,
He is as nice a young man as you did ever see,
My father he has riches and Reily he is poor,
Because I love a sailor they could not me endure.

My mother took me by the hand and this to me did say,
Your father says he'll have his life?so shun his company,
If you be fond of Reily let him leave this country,
For your father says he'll have his life so take advice from me

O mother dear, don't be severe, where must I send my love
My very heart lies in his breast, as constant as the dove,
O daughter dear, I'm not severe, here is a thousand pound,
Send Reily to America to purchase there some ground.

Soon as she got the money to Reily she did run,
To take your life this very night my father charged the gun
Here is one thousand pound in gold my mother sent to you,
Sail you to America and I'll soon follow you.

As soon as he got the money next day he sail'd away.
He hand't got a foot on board, these words to him did say,
Here is a token of true love, and we'll break it in two,
You have my heart and half my ring until I find out you.

In course of three weeks after she was walking on the quay,
When Reily he came home again and stole his love away,
The ship was wreck'd all hands was lost, her father griev'd
full sore,
When he got Reily in her arms, drowned on the shore.

And in her breast these lines were found, and they were
wrote with blood,
Cruel was my father that went to shoot my love,
That this may be a warning to all fair maidens gay,
Never let the boy you love sail to America.

Printed and Sold by JAMES LINDSAY, Wholesale Stationer.
11 King St., City, Glasgow.    Upwards of of 50,000 different
sorts always on hand ; also, a great variety of Picture books,
Song-books, Histories, &c.    Shops and Hawkers suppliedon
Liberal Terms.

Soiree and Ball Cards, Large Posting and Hand Bills, In-
voice Tops, Circulars, Business and Fancy Cards, Society Ar-
ticles, Pamphlets, and every description of Letterpress Print-
ing done neatly and quickly. Lithographing, &c., &c.


previous pageprevious          
Probable period of publication: 1860-1880   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(072)
Broadside ballad entitled 'John Reilly'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland