You Remember Ellen – Wealthy man and country girl

In his poem, You Remember Ellen, Thomas Moore takes a popular theme among 18th and 19th century Irish songs and reworks it his own way.

Silent movie and music score
Full list of songs

The basic story is about a stranger who meets a simply country girl one day and falls in love.

Still from the 1912 film set to the poem, You Remember Ellen, by Thomas Moore

First meeting

The stranger doesn’t tell the girl that he is rich because he wants to be certain that she loves him for himself rather than for his wealth.

Only when he has tested the girl’s true emotions does he reveal his real identity.

In several songs like The Green Mantle and The Lady Fair, the stranger is the woman’s husband or lover who has been away for many years. He returns in disguise to check whether she has been true to him.

In other songs, like You Remember Ellen, the stranger meets the girl for the first time. He doesn’t reveal his wealth and status until she has proved her love.

All of these stories tap into the desire for men of those times to be sure that wives and lovers were both faithful and honest.

Happy ending - from the poem You Remember Ellen, the poe by Irish poet Thomas Moore.

Happy ending

The songs possibly appealed to women because of the ‘Cinderella’ factor – the idea that a handsome stranger would come along and love them even though they had no wealth, and take them away from a life of poverty and hardship.

You Remember Ellen was set to an old traditional melody called, Were I a Clerk, as part of Moore’s Irish Melodies collection.

The poem is shown here in full. Click the link at the bottom of the page to find out about and see the silent movie version of You Remember Ellen.


You Remember Ellen Lyrics

You remember Ellen, our hamlet’s pride,
How meekly she blest her humble lot,
When the stranger, William, had made her his bride,
And love was the light of their lowly cot.
Together they toiled through winds and rains,
Till William, at length, in sadness said,
“We must seek our fortune on other plains;”–
Then, sighing, she left her lowly shed.

They roamed a long and a weary way,
Nor much was the maiden’s heart at ease,
When now, at close of one stormy day,
They see a proud castle among the trees.
“To-night,” said the youth, “we’ll shelter there;
“The wind blows cold, the hour is late:”
So he blew the horn with a chieftain’s air,
And the Porter bowed, as they past the gate.

“Now, welcome, Lady,” exclaimed the youth,–
“This castle is thine, and these dark woods all!”
She believed him crazed, but his words were truth,
For Ellen is Lady of Rosna Hall!
And dearly the Lord of Rosna loves
What William the stranger wooed and wed;
And the light of bliss, in these lordly groves,
Shines pure as it did in the lowly shed.

You Remember Ellen
Silent movie and music score
Full list of songs

Did you know?

An Irish schoolteacher has created a brilliant YouTube video explaining the history of Ireland in just six minutes. It’s brilliantly done and makes learning both fun and engaging for children and also adults. Find out more.

Have you heard about…

Are you a Celt? Or a Gael? Viking or British? Well it might depend on where you come from in Ireland according to a new study. A genetic map has been created by researchers that reveals the impact of immigration, invasion and plantation throughout Irish history. Find out more.

What about this…

The Incredible life of Irish American Molly Brown saw her labelled ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’ by the media after surviving several disasters including the sinking of the Titanic. Find out more.

Personalised framed prints

Illuminated Letters

Stunning Illuminated Letters based on the ancient Book of Kells

Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.