The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15769   Message #143413
Posted By: Lesley N.
01-Dec-99 - 07:32 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Flora Lily of the West
Subject: RE: Flora Lily of the West
Here's what I found on it (which is at Lily of the West ( On my pages the tunes to Lakes and Lily are noticably similar, but when someone wrote me they were the exact same tune I confess I can't hear that much similarity!

Rev. S. Baring-Gould collected versions of Lily of the West in Devonshire, Yorkshire and elsewhere. Baring-Gould felt the ballad was of definite Irish origin (though it may not have been sung to a similar air) and traced it back to at least 1839. The lyrics in Sam Henry's Songs of the People are an Irish version which begins; "When first I came to Ireland..."

Another theory of it's origin traces it back to the West of Ireland during the time of Cromwell.