I'm sorry I've away from this thread for so long. It is a very interesting discussion. But may I ask a question?
I don't know if "Dublin in the Rare Ould Times", Pete St. John, 1977, would be considered a folk song. I found what I think are all of the verses Click here. However, how would you handle the lines in the third verse about his courting a lass and then:
I lost her to a student chap, with skin as black as coal,
When he took her off to Birmingham, she took away my soul.
In some places these lines might be perceived as racist. Especially since the next verse begins with the line that ...the years have made me bitter. Is the only solution to omit the third verse entirely? Or, would it be acceptable to use the words "his heart was" in place of "with skin"?
I enjoyed the redition of this song by the Irish Tenors in their Belfast concert and had been looking for the lyrics. When I found them at the above site I was troubled by these lines.