Jane Austen and the King of Skiffle

A folk favourite loved by Jane Austen and Abraham Lincoln, ‘The Irishman’ has revolutionary roots that have been forgotten.

Lonnie Donegan, 1960.
Lonnie Donegan, 1960 © Gai Terrell via Getty Images.

The London Folks themselves beguile,
And think they please in a capital stile;
Yet let them ask as they cross the Street,
Of any young Virgin they happen to meet,
And I know she’ll say, from behind her Fan,
That there’s none can love like an Irishman

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