The Belle of Belfast City

This is a well known children’s song from the 19th century. It is in the Roud Folk Song Index as number 2649. It’s been collected in various parts of England and Ireland. When sung in Northern Ireland it’s known as “The Belle of Belfast City.” There is a game associated with this song. Children form a ring by joining hands while one child stands in the middle. When asked “Please tell me who they be?” The child in the middle gives the name or initials of a child in the ring and after the rest of the lyrics are sung the named child goes in the middle.

[G] I’ll tell my ma [C] when I get home,
[G] The boys won’t leave [D] the girls alone
[G] They pull my hair and [C] stole my comb
[D] But that’s all right [G] till I go home

[G] She is handsome, [C] she is pretty,
[G] She is the Belle of [D] Belfast city
[G] She is a courtin’ [C] one, two, three,
[D] Please won’t you tell me [G] who is she

Albert Mooney says he loves her,
All the boys are fightin’ for her
Knock 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
Ould Johnny Morrissey says she’ll die
If she doesn’t get the fella with the roving eye

Let the wind and the rain and the hail blow high
And the snow come travellin’ through the sky
She’s as sweet as apple pie,
She’ll get her own lad by and by

When she gets a lad of her own
She won’t tell her ma when she gets home
Let them all come as they will
For it’s Albert Mooney she loves still