Patrick Joseph McCall

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Patrick Joseph McCall (6 March 1861 – 8 March 1919) was an Irish songwriter and poet, known mostly as the author of lyrics for popular ballads: "Follow Me Up to Carlow", "The Boys of Wexford", "Boolavogue", "The Lowlands Low" and "Kelly the Boy from Killanne". He was assisted in putting the Wexford ballads, dealing with the 1798 Rising, to music by Arthur Warren Darley using traditional Irish airs. His surname is one of the many anglicizations of the Irish surname Mac Cathmhaoil, a family that were chieftains of Kinel Farry (Clogher area) in Tír Eoghain, Ulster.[1]


He was born at 25 Patrick St, Dublin, Ireland, the son of John McCall, a publican and grocer. He attended St. Joseph’s Monastery, Harold's Cross, a Catholic University School.[2]

He spent his summer holidays in Rathangan, County Wexford where he spent time with local musicians and ballad singers. He also collected many old Irish airs, but is probably best remembered for his patriotic ballads. He married Margaret Furlong, a sister of the poet Alice Furlong, in 1901.[3] See memorial inscription.


  • "In the shadow of St. Patrick's: A paper read before the Irish National Literary Society", April 27, 1893 (Carraig chapbooks ; 3), Dublin: Sealy, Bryers & Walker, 1894
  • Irish Noíníns (Daisies) (Dublin: Sealy & Bryers 1894)
  • The Fenian Nights' Entertainments (Dublin: T. G. O'Donoghue 1897)
  • Songs of Erinn (London: Simpkin, Marshall, 1899)
  • Pulse of the Bards (Cuisle na hÉigse): Songs and Ballads (Dublin: Gill 1904)
  • Irish Fireside Songs (Dublin: Gill 1911).
  • "In the Shadow of Christ Church" [Pt. III], in Dublin Historical Record, 2.3 (March 1940)

His manuscript Ballad Collection is in the National Library of Ireland.


  1. ^ P.J. McCall memorial inscription
  2. ^ Boylan, Henry (1998). A Dictionary of Irish Biography, 3rd Edition. Dublin: Gill and MacMillan. p. 235. ISBN 0-7171-2945-4. 
  3. ^ 1911 census returns