Limerick Rake

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"Limerick Rake" is a traditional Irish song whose composer is disputed. The lyrics are set to the tune of an earlier song titled "Agús fagaimid siúd mar atá sé".[1] The lyrics likely date to the late 18th century, as attested by the use of the place-name "Castletown Conyers" (which was still seen referred to by its former name "Castletown McEnyry" as late as 1763[2]) and the mention of the deaths of Lord Devonshire (1764) and John Damer (1776).

The song appeared in Colm Ó Lochlainn's 1939 publication Irish Street Ballads and has been recorded by a number of notable artists.



  1. ^ A town in County Limerick, situated five km south of Ballingarry, on the road from Rathkeale to Charleville.
  2. ^ A reference to the expression "sow one's wild oats". The phrase dates to the 1560s, and during the 16th and 17th century dissolute or wild young men were called 'wild oats'.
  3. ^ Translates roughly to English as "And that's enough said about that" or "And we'll leave it at that."
  4. ^ A region in County Tipperary southeast of Ballingarry, and southwest of Knockshigowna.
  5. ^ A "spancel". is a rope for fettering a cow's hind legs while she is milked.
  6. ^ Pronounced (and translates to English) as "spree".

Notable recordings[]


  1. ^ "Songs of Clare".
  2. ^ "Can conservation efforts save the ruined church at Castletown Conyers?". 2019-12-13. Retrieved 2021-06-08.
  3. ^ Hendrickson, Robert (2008). Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, Fourth Edition. New York: Facts on File. p. 778. ISBN 978-0-8160-6966-8.
  4. ^ "Christy Moore".

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