Monday, March 14, 2011

'Tis Irish I am...

'Tis Irish I am, and proud am I of it..."
My grandma used to sing this song. I've realized I can't really, in kindness, share the rest of it. 

However, there were other songs.
"Me mother and father were Irish,
Me mother and father were Irish,
Me mother and father were Irish,
And I am Irish, too." (pronounced Irish stew)
"We kept two pigs in the parlor,
We kept two pigs in the parlor,
We kept two pigs in the parlor,
And they were Irish, too."
(We thought it was hysterical as kids. I love to share this with my grandchildren.)

Or, how about
"An Irish Lullaby" (Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra).
This was a regular in our family. I learned some years ago that it was written in 1914, so it can't really be from the 'homeland,' but is still dear to us. I always sang this one to my babies.

The list goes on for us, too.

There were probably others that I don't recall, but my grandma was very proud of her Irish heritage. She was Irish through her Grandmother Morgan whose grandparents, Edward and Margaret (Frazier) Orr were born in Ireland. Somehow, even with a very long and strong English heritage, Grandma Epps  and her siblings always considered themselves Irish. So does my mom.

Having recently viewed a couple of programs dealing with Irish heritage, I have a newly deepened appreciation and respect for that hardy people. (Links to those programs are here and here.) It seems that no matter the difficulty or devastation, they carried on. They seem to have been able to find joy in living while carrying a deep-seated sorrow. An amazing people! I count myself blessed to have their blood streaming through my veins.


  1. “When anyone asks me about the Irish character, I say look at the trees. Maimed, stark and misshapen, but ferociously tenacious.”

    Edna O'Brien quotes (Irish Writer, b.1932)

  2. I wanted to share my history with the song that you have posted.
    I am of African and Cuban descent. I went to school in New York City and I learned the song Tis Irish I am in 2nd grade for a school play. I have searched for the song online and many folks do not know what I am talking about.
    I am 32 now and this is what I still remember of the song mistakes and all:
    Tis Irish I am and Tis Proud am I of it
    The town I wander Killarney's my home
    now I love her green meadows her lakes and her
    collies I wear her shamrock wherever I roam
    and sing her majesties Erin Go Bragh
    Patricks and bridges Irish men All
    The rocky the road as it leads up to town
    It never could keep a good Irish man down.

  3. Thank you for sharing your memory with me. I'm surprised at the many versions of this song that have been presented to me since making this post. Isn't it surprising how clearly we remember some things?

    1. Hi there! I'm hoping you can help me with how YOUR grandma sang it to you! All I can remember from my childhood memory of this song, now nearly 50 yrs ago, is as follows:

      T'is Irish I am, and t'is proud I am of it,
      Though far I wander, t'is Ireland's my home.
      I love her green meadows, her fields and her ...

      ... and that's where it ends. For years, I've been searching for the lyrics to this song, and now, finally, I can get it from an authority!

      Please, I would really appreciate it if you shared all the words to this song with ne. My email address is


  4. My 93 year old Irish Mother recently passed away, and she loved her Irish Heritage. With her great sense of humor, she would sing this song to us:

    Me Mother and Father were Irish
    Me Mother and Father were Irish
    Me Mother and Father were Irish
    And I was Irish too
    They put me in a dark hole
    They covered me up with charcoal
    And what you could see was my.....areshole
    And that was Irish too!

    Greg Young, MN

  5. Looks like I'm a little late to the party, but this song is one we learned in grammar school, and it has stuck with me all these years. Not sure why, but here are the correct words:

    'Tis Irish I am and 'tis proud I am of it,
    Though far I wander Killarney's me home.
    I love her green meadows, her lakes and her colleens,
    I'll wear her shamrock wherever I go.

    Then sing ye merrily, erin go braugh,
    Patricks and bridgets, Irishmen all,
    Though rocky the road that leads us to town,
    It never can keep a good Irishman down.

  6. This exactly is how we sang the song in 1964 in Eastern Kentucky. Coal mining area called McVeigh KY.