blog header
Home / Blog / History / The Origins of The Rose of Tralee
13
Apr11

The Origins of The Rose of Tralee

Daithi O'Se with the Roses of Tralee

The Rose of Tralee Festival takes place this weekend with the Rose being crowned on Tuesday night. So this week I decided to take a look at this famous Irish festival and see what inspired it.

The Rose of Tralee is based on the love song ‘The Rose of Tralee’ by William Mulchinock. The festival takes place every August in Co. Kerry where a selection of woman from around the world gather to celebrate their Irish roots. At the end of the festival one of these women is crowned the rose. This international competition is celebrated among Irish communities all over the world.

The story behind the famous song is that of a 19th century wealthy merchant who fell in love with Mary O’ Connor his maid. Mary who was born in Tralee worked as a nanny. William describes in the song how it was love at first sight but because of the difference in social class between the two families their love affair was discouraged. William emigrated and years later returned to Tralee only to discover Mary had died of tuberculosis. He was broken hearted and expressed his love for her in the now famous song ‘The Rose of Tralee’.

Here are the song lyrics.

‘The Rose of Tralee’

The pale moon was rising above the green mountains,
The sun was declining beneath the blue sea;
When I strayed with my love to the pure crystal fountain,
That stands in the beautiful Vale of Tralee.
She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet ’twas not her beauty alone that won me;
Oh no, ’twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning,
that made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.

The cool shades of evening their mantle were spreading,
And Mary all smiling was listening to me;
The moon through the valley her pale rays was shedding,
When I won the heart of the Rose of Tralee.
Though lovely and fair as the Rose of the summer,
Yet ’twas not her beauty alone that won me;
Oh no, ’twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning,
that made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.

In the far fields of India, ‘mid wars dreadful thunders,
Her voice was a solace and comfort to me,
But the chill hand of death has now rent us asunder,
I’m lonely tonight for the Rose of Tralee.
She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet ’twas not her beauty alone that won me;
Oh no, ’twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning,
that made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.

 

While we don’t currently sell any jewelry suitable for the Roses I’m sure their escorts would be delighted to wear our ‘a stór’ ogham tie pin. A Stór (pronounced “a store”) is the Irish word for my darling… perfect for rose week!

Stor Ogham Design

Comments

comments