The Rose Of Tralee - Irish Traditional

The Rose Of Tralee
(Irish Traditional)

The Rose Of Tralee
– Irish Traditional

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The Rose Of Tralee is a nineteenth-century Irish ballad about a woman called Mary, who because of her beauty was called The Rose of Tralee. The Rose of Tralee International Festival had been inspired by the ballad.
The words of the song are credited to Edward Mordaunt Spencer and the music to Charles William Glover, but a story circulated in connection with the festival claims that the song was written by William Pembroke Mulchinock, out of love for Mary O’Connor, a poor maid in service to his family.
In 2019 the Rose of Tralee International Festival, as part of their 60th Anniversary living history promotion, employed the services of Dr. Andrea Nini, a forensic linguist working on cases of disputed authorship. His report concluded that a poem written by Tralee poet William Pembroke Mulchinock called Smile Mary My Darling was published and passed off by Edward Mordaunt Spencer in 1846 in his book of poetry The Heir of Abbotsville. This poem was adapted into a poem called The Rose of Tralee with the air being re-set by Charles William Glover from one of his previous ballads.

Lyrics

The Rose Of Tralee

The pale moon was rising above the green mountain
The sun was declining beneath the blue sea
When I strayed with my love to the pure crystal fountain
That stands in beautiful vale of Tralee.
She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer
Yet, ’twas not her beauty alone that won me
Oh no! ‘Twas the the truth in her eye ever beaming
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.
The cool shades of evening their mantle were spreading
And Mary all smiling was listening to me
The moon through the valley her pale rays was shedding
When I won the heart of the Rose of Tralee.
Though lovely and fair as the rose of the summer
Yet, ’twas not her beauty alone that won me
Oh no! ‘Twas the the truth in her eye ever beaming
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.

Songwriters: Edward Mordaunt Spencer, Charles William Glover