At the "Local Ireland" Web site, in the "County Clare" section, is a page about the history of Ennis, Ireland. Included is the following excerpt. :-)
"Johnny Patterson (1840 - 1889)
Patterson was a ballad maker, song writer, musician and circus entertainer. The colourful character first started work as an apprentice in his uncle's workshop in Ennis as a nailer. He joined the British Army as a drummer boy and became quite competent not alone on the drums but also as a piccolo player. After five years army service he joined the circus as an entertainer. He entertained large audiences at home and abroad with such well known companies as Risarelli's, Cooper & Bailey's and Powell & Clarke's Great Circus. Patterson composed the well- known songs "The Stone Outside Dan Murphy's Door", "Bridget Donahue" and "The Garden Where the Praties Grow"."
Source: Ennis, County Clare History