The Rose of Mooncoin

"The Rose of Mooncoin" is one of the most famous Irish ballads. It was written in the 1800s in Mooncoin by a local schoolteacher and poet named Watt Murphy, who met and gradually fell in love with a local woman called Elizabeth, also known as Molly. Elizabeth was just 20 years old, and Watt was then 56, but the difference in age was of no consequence to either of them. Both were intellectuals, and they would often stroll along the banks of the river Suir, composing and reciting poetry. However, Elizabeth's father, who was the local vicar, did not approve of their relationship, and she was sent away to England. Watt was brokenhearted at the loss of his beloved lady, and wrote this song in her memory.

The ballad has been adopted as the Kilkenny GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) anthem. This is an apt acknowledgement of the village, as Mooncoin (along with Tullaroan) was one of the leading hurling teams in the country in the early years of the GAA.

Words to the famous 'Rose of Mooncoin' song below:

How sweet is to roam by the sunny Shure stream
And hear the doves coo 'neath the morning sunbeam
Where the thrush and the robin their sweet notes entwine
On the banks of the Shure that flows down by Mooncoin.

Flow on, lovely river, flow gently along
By your waters so sweet sounds the lark's merry song
On your green banks I wander where first I did join
With you, lovely Molly, the rose of Mooncoin.

Oh Molly, dear Molly, it breaks my fond heart
To know that we two forever must part
I'll think of you Molly while sun and moon shine
On the banks of the Shure that flows down by Mooncoin.

Then here's to the Shure with its valley so fair
As oftimes we wandered in the cool morning air
Where the roses are blooming and lilies entwine
On the banks of the Shure that flows down by Mooncoin.

Flow on, lovely river, flow gently along
By your waters so sweet sounds the lark's merry song
On your green banks I wander where first I did join
With you, lovely Molly, the rose of Mooncoin.