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Sing-Along

Join Us in Song for “I’ll Tell Me Ma,” a Pub-Sing Favorite


Thursday, March 14, 2013

This traditional children’s ditty came into being in the 19th century in England. Today it is a well-known pub-sing favorite, made popular by recordings from Van Morrison, The Chieftains, and Gaelic Storm, among others. In Ireland, the toe-tapping tune is often referred to as “The Belle of Belfast City,” although the town in which it is being sung is often slotted into the lyric. So bust out your tin whistles and guitars — you only need to know chords G, C, and D – and ready your voice… And a-one, and a-two…

I’ll tell my ma, when I go home

The boys won’t leave the girls alone

They pull my hair and stole my comb

And that’s all right till I go home

(Chorus)

She is handsome, she is pretty

She is the belle of Bellfast city

She is courtin’, one two three

Please won’t you tell me who is she?

Albert Mooney says he loves her

All the boys are fighting for her

They rap at the door and ring at the bell

Saying, “Oh my true love, are you well?”

Out she comes as white as snow

Rings on her fingers, bells on her toes

Old Jenny Murphy says she’ll die

If she doesn’t get the fellow with the roving eye

(Chorus)

She is handsome, she is pretty

She is the belle of Bellfast city

She is courtin’, one two three

Please won’t you tell me who is she?

Let the wind and the rain and the hail blow high

And the snow come pouring from the sky

She’s as nice as apple pie

And she’ll he own lad by and by

When she gets a lad of her own

She won’t tell her Ma when she comes home

Let them all come as they will

But it’s Albert Mooney she loves still

(Chorus)

She is handsome, she is pretty

She is the belle of Bellfast city

She is courtin’, one two three

Please won’t you tell me who is she?