Like many classic American folk tunes, The Rakes of Mallow is strongly linked to Ireland. The town of Mallow is located near Cork, Ireland, and was the home of a spa resort between 1730 and 1810. Apparently when the young folk were not bathing or drinking the waters, they did other activities discussed in the first verse of The Rakes of Mallow published around 1740:1
Beau-ing, belle-ing, dancing, drinking.
Breaking windows, cursing, sinking.
Ever raking, never thinking,
Live the Rakes of Mallow.
Spending faster than it comes.
Beating waiters, bailis, duns,
Bachus’ true begotten sons,
Lives the Rakes of Mallow.
The Rakes of Mallow can be heard in Old Time Jams, Contradances, Irish and Scottish Sessions, and at University of Notre Dame football games.2
Last modified: June 1, 2022
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