The Rose Of Tralee

Mary Pauline O`Connor.

The original Rose of Tralee.


THE BEST-loved of all Kerry songs must surely be “The Rose of Tralee”, a simple love ballad, from which has evolved one of Ireland’s most acclaimed festivals.

The story of the song is so well known as scarcely needs re-telling.

It is a song about the love of William Pembroke Mulchinock and a local girl called Mary O’Connor.

William a staunch nationalist, was quite wrongly blamed for a killing during a THE BEST-loved of all Kerry songs must surely be “The Rose of

Tralee”, a simple love ballad, from which has evolved one of Ireland’s most acclaimed festivals.

The story of the song is so well known as scarcely needs re-telling.

It is a song about the love of William Pembroke Mulchinock and a local girl called Mary O’Connor.

William a staunch nationalist, was quite wrongly blamed for a killing during a

Daniel O’Connell meeting in Tralee, and was forced to flee the country. He worked for six years as a war correspondent, in India.

In the spring of 1849, having been cleared of all complicity in the murder, he returned to Tralee, hoping to see his beloved Mary once again. But, his hopes were sadly blighted. Arriving in the town,

he saw a cortege pass by, and was told that it was the funeral of Mary

O’Connor.

He was heart-broken. He later went onto marry a local

girl and moved to America, where his two daughters were born. The

marriage, sadly, was not a success. The couple separated in 1855,

and William returned to Tralee.

He became a victim of extreme depression and sought solace in

alcohol. He died on 13th October, 1864, at the early age of 44, and is

buried beside his beloved Mary, in Clogherbflefl graveyard.

Here, then, is the charming song

which William Muichinock wrote

of his loved one...



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 the beautiful Vale of

Tralee.


She was lovely and fair as the rose of

the summer,

Yet ‘twos not he-r beauty alone that

won me;

Oh no, ‘twas the truth in her eyes

ever dawning

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 Roe 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 truth in her eyes

ever dawning

That made me love Mary, the Rose

of Tralee.


In the far fields of India, ‘mid war’s

dreadful thunder,

Her voice was a solace and comfort

to me;

But the chill hand of death has now

rent us asunder,

I’m lonely tonight for the Rose 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 truth in her eyes

ever dawning

That made me love Mary, the Rose

of Tralee.


Here is the ballad on U-Tube:

The Rose Of Tralee