The Irish


In the mid-19th century what is known as the 2nd great wave of immigration occurred and the majority of people came from Northern and Western Europe.  Approximately every one out of three immigrants arriving between 1820 to 1870 came from Ireland and by 1930 approximately 4.5 million Irish had migrated to the United States.  

irish immigrants  

Image courtesy of Library of Congress 

A common theme that appears in many love songs about the Irish, including the ones below, is the yearning and attraction of a dark haired, dark eyed Irish girl.  To learn more click on the photo or song title.

Beautiful Dark Girl: An Irish Love Ballad  Beautiful Dark Girl: An Irish Love Ballad, 1919.  Composer: Gerald McDonald.     

The Irish Girl I Love  The Irish Girl I Love, 1905.  Composer: Max Hoffmann. Lyricist: George V. Hobart.

My Yankee-Irish Girl  My Yankee Irish Girl, 1905.  Composer: Theodore Morse.  Lyricist: Jack Drislane.


The dark haired beauty wasn’t the only Irish attraction that drew people’s thoughts back to their homeland.  Several songs reference a yearning and love for the Emerald Isle itself and a longing for the land that many left behind.

Go Find A Sweetheart from The Emerald Isle  Go Find a Sweetheart from the Emerald Isle, 1909.  Composer: Herbert Ingraham.

On an Irish Honeymoon On An Irish Honeymoon, 1911.  Composer: Jean Schwartz.  Lyricist: William Jerome.

I'm Going back to Erin to my sweet Killarney Rose I’m Going Back to Erin to my Sweet Killarney Rose, 1915.  Composer: Walter J. Leopold.  Lyricist: Will Mar.  

   Me Little Dudeen, 1913.  Composer: Ernest R. Ball.  Lyricist: George Graff.