Words & Music: Chauncey Olcott (1899)


My wild Irish rose,
The sweetest flow’r that grows,
You may search ev’rywhere,
But none can compare
With my wild Irish rose.

My wild Irish rose,
The dearest flow’r that grows;
And some day for my sake,
She may let me take
The bloom from
My wild Irish rose.


The songwriter, Chauncey Olcott, was an Irish-American born in Buffalo, New York. He produced several shows about Ireland for the New York stage and was one of the more popular singers, actors and songwriters of his time. He is a very important Irish-American figure, since he not only composed this famous piece, but also co-wrote the lyrics of the immortal “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.”


Here is a 1913 recording by the composer. The chorus starts at 0:45 in.

And here is a recording by that great Irish tenor, John McCormack. The chorus starts at 0:50 in.