Ballad of Lord Leitrim
Jodie Stecher sings the ballad Lord Leitrim
on his "Oh, the Wind and Rain" album (Appleseed 1999).
The first lines of the third verse give an idea of the tone and loyalties celebrated by the ballad . . .
It being on the 2nd of April this old debaucher left his den
He left bailiffs, bums, and harlots in the castle in Lough Rynn
It goes on:
When young Rory seen them coming, his heart it lept with glee
He gave 3 cheers for tenant rights, home rule and liberty
And amongst the closing lines . . .
At his old brain they took fair aim and they hurled him in the mire
To revenge the joke his head they broke and his carcass they did maul
They stuck him in a pool his head to cool below in Donegal
In Frank Mathews' review
, he refers to this ballad "about the hated English "Lord Leitrim" who was ambushed and killed by his Irish subjects. Martin Carthy describes the reason for this vigilantism in the liner notes:
"'Among the more deeply charming of Milord’s habits was his exercise of ‘ius noctis’, that is to say his right in law to deflower the virgin bride of his subjects on her wedding night -- and this was the late 19th century! (And still there are those who express surprise at the passionate feelings of ordinary Irish people against the English)'. Although this song was banned by the BBC for being too subversive, Oh, the Wind and Rain is not an English bashing record and our Anglophile readers can rest assured that they even sing that song in England now.' "
Well there you go. . . Make up your own mind. Fiona Slevin