Meanwhile, Down By The River Saile


‘Weila, Weila Waile’

For the week that’s about to be in it.

What about the gruesome murder ballad made popular by The Dubliners which became  a  playground nursery rhyme staple?

Via Irish Central:

Though “Weile Weile Waile” first appeared in print in the late 19th century and its content can be traced from tragic events in the 1840s the term itself, “Weile Weile Waile” actually comes from the middle ages.

“Wailowai” was an exclamation of utter grief from the 10th century and as the language changed over time so too did this word, transformed into “Weile Waile” which became a popular turn of phrase in and around the Dublin region in the 1800s.

The words Weile and Waile can also be linked to the words weeping and wailing which are popular terms for an outburst of sorrow….[more at link below]

Kids, eh?

“Weile Weile Waile” – How an old Irish murder ballad became a children’s song (Pauline Murphy, Irish Central)

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5 thoughts on “Meanwhile, Down By The River Saile

  1. H

    I grew up close to the Poddle river which my brothers told me was the river in the song to frighten me, as I grew up I dismissed what they had said as a lie but then last year I discovered that the Saile was indeed another name for the Poddle!

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