Songs of Erin

by Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir (1852 - 1924)

Word count: 7405

1. The song of the rose [sung text checked 1 time]

The Rose of Spring forth venturing
Too soon to trust the zephyr with her worth,
Her crimson smiles and fragrant wiles
May waste instead upon the piercing North.
For balmy blisses, his icy kisses
Fall fast and faster upon her head;
While, one by one, with woe foredone,
She weeps, and weeps away her petals red.

Ye maidens fair, now have a care
How ye too dare that stricken rose’s fate!
O, bide in bud, lest frost and flood
Mar your sweet beauties with as sudden hate.
For she who grieves that her gay leaves
Unfold not sooner in the Summer sun,
And tempts her fate, shall find too late
Love over-rash may into ruin run.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

2. The only one for me [sung text checked 1 time]

My love she is far sweeter
Than any flower that blows,
Her little ear's a lily
Her velvet cheek a rose;
Her locks like gillygowans
Hang golden to her knee.
Of all the girls in Ireland,
She's the only one for me.

Her eyes are fond forget-me-nots,
And no such snow is seen
Upon the heaving hawthorn bush
As crests her bodice green.
The thrushes when she's talking
Sit listening on the tree,
Oh were I King of Ireland,
She's the only Queen for me.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

3. Changing her mind [sung text checked 1 time]

As I rowled on my side-car to Santry Fair,
I chanced round a corner on Rose Adair,
Her shoes in her hands, as she took the track,
And a fowl in a basket upon her back.
"Step up Miss Rose! Och that bird's luck,
Attendin' the fair as Rose's duck,
As Rose's duck, as Rose's duck!"
"No Shawn Magee, the bird's a goose
And to travel with two, there's no sort of use.

I couldn't but laugh, though I'd had it hot,
But I fired, as I passed her, one partin' shot.
"The poor second gander that got the worst,"
Says I, "must leave Rose to mind the first.
The creature must fly and boldly try
To seem a swan in some girl's eye,
Some other girl's eye, some other girl's eye.
Good day to you, Rose, for I'd best push on,
And perhaps at the fair, I'll prove some girl's swan."

But hardly a furlong away I'd flown,
When plainly behind me I heard her moan.
In a breath I was back, where she limped forlorn,
With her purty foot pierced by a thumpin' thorn.
With one soft squeeze I gave her ease;
Then turning kind, says she, "I find
I'm changing my mind, - I've changed my mind."
"Change more," says I, "What's that?" says she.
"Your name to mine, Be Rose Magee.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

4. Lost light of my eyes [sung text checked 1 time]

Oh, why was I left and he taken instead,
Mochuma, Mochuma! my heart and my head?
Cold, cold, dark and speechless he lies on his bed;
Cold, cold, dark and silent the night dew is shed,
But hot, fierce and swift fall the tears for my dead.
Oh, why was I left and he taken instead?

Oh, why was I left and he taken away,
My bright headed Donal, my pride and my stay?
His manly cheek reddened with the sun's rising ray,
But a cloud of black darkness has hid him away,
My hope and my comfort, my joy and my stay.
'Neath that black cloud of sorrow my lost one he lies,
And the heart in my bosom to think of it dies,
That day after day the dear sun will arise
To comfort our hearts from his home in the skies,
But never, ah! never I'll see you arise,
Lost warmth of my bosom, lost light of my eyes!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

5. The stratagem [sung text checked 1 time]

Who'd win a heart must learn the art
To hide what he's about.
When Kate I met, too soon I let
My loving secret out.
In vain  I'd sigh, in vain I'd try
Each trick of eye and speech;
Advance, retire, neglect, admire,
The rogue I could not reach.
Then I grew warm and in a storm
Against her out I blew,
And she stood fast before my blast
And raging I withdrew.

Then I began a different plan,
I went to Rose Maguire,
Who'd had her scene with Con Mulqueen,
And asked her to conspire.
Says she, "Avick, we'll try the trick."
And so we shammed sweethearts,
Till Con grew vexed and Kate perplexed,
So well we played our parts:
And when we found them turning round
The very way we wanted,
Our stratagem we owned to them
And got our pardon granted.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

6. The stolen heart [sung text checked 1 time]

I was a maiden fair and fond,
Smiling, singing all the day,
Till Maguire with looks of fire
He stole my heart away.
The gardener's son, as he stood by,
Blossoms four did give to me:
The pink, the rue, the violet blue,
And the red, red rosy tree.

Lass, for your lips the sweet clove pink,
For your eyes the violets blue;
The rose to speak your damask cheek,
For memory the rue.
Oh, but my love at first was fond,
Now, alas, he's turned untrue,
My rose and pink and violet shrink,
But tears keep fresh the rue.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

7. The melody of the harp [sung text checked 1 time]

Oh, Harp of Erin what glamour gay,
What dark despairing are in thy lay?
What true love slighted thy sorrow wells,
What proud hearts plighted thy rapture tells.
Round thy dim form lamenting swarm
What banshees dread; till, glowing warm,
A heavenly iris of hope upsprings
From out the tumult that shakes thy strings.

(The chief dejected, with drooping brow,
Aroused, erected, is hearkening now,
The while abhorrent of shame and fear
Thy tuneful torrent invades his ear.
He calls his clan: "Who will and can
The slogan follow in Valour's van?"
Then forward thunder the gallant Gael
And death and plunder are o'er the pale.)

The child is calling through fever dreams;
When, softly falling as faery streams,
Thy magic Soontree his soul shall sweep,
Into the country of blessed sleep.
To ears that heed not their longing moan
Let lovers plead not with words alone,
But seek thine aid. The haughtiest maid
Will pause by thy sweet influence swayed;
Until the ditty so poignant proves,
She melts to pity and melting loves.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

8. The beautiful City of Sligo [sung text checked 1 time]

We may tramp the earth for all that we're worth,
But what odds where you and I go?
We shall never meet a spot so sweet
As the beautiful City of Sligo.
  Oh, sure she's a Queen in purple and green,
  As she shimmers and glimmers her gardens between;
  And away to Lough Lene the like isn't seen
  Of her river a-quiver with shadow and sheen,
  The beautiful City of Sligo.

Though bustle and noise are some folks' joys,
Your London just gives me ver-ti-go,
You can hear yourself talk when out you walk
Thro' the beautiful City of Sligo.
  Oh, sure she's a Queen…

As an artist in stones a genius was Jones,
Whom so queerly they christened In-i-go,
But he hasn't the skill to carve a Grass Hill
For the beautiful City of Sligo.
  Oh, sure she's a Queen…

Then for powder and puff and cosmetical stuff,
Dear girls to Dame Fashion, ah! why go?
When Dame Nature supplies for tresses and eyes 
Such superior dyes down in Sligo.
  Oh, sure she's a Queen…

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

9. The blackbird and the wren [sung text checked 1 time]

Once the blackbird called unto the solemn crow,
"O why do you for ever in mourning go?"
Quoth the crow, "I lost my own true love, alack!
And thereafter for ever I go all in black."
Then the blackbird sighed from out the sally bush,
"Once I too fell courting a fair young thrush.
Oh, but she deceived me and grieved me, Oh, but she turned false, false, O!
And ever since in mourning I too go!"

Last the little wren he piped, "If we were men,
Faith, 'tis we could find us sweethearts, eight, nine and ten.
Then if one grew cold or turned unfaithful, O!
It is off to another one we each could go."
"Perhaps," replied the crow, "that plan of yours might work
If we were living in the land of the Turk,
But in Christian climes a woman's just as free to give you pain!
And so, my friends, in feathers we'll remain."

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

10. Remember the poor [sung text checked 1 time]

Oh! remember the poor when your fortune is sure,
And acre to acre you join;
Oh! remember the poor, though but slender your store,
And you ne'er can go gallant and fine.
Oh! remember the poor when they cry at your door
In the raging rain and blast;
Call them in! Cheer them up with the bite and the sup,
Till they leave you their blessing at last.

The red fox has his lair, and each bird of the air.
With the night settles warm in his nest,
But the King Who laid down His celestial crown
For our sakes, He had nowhere to rest.
Oh, the poor were forgot till their pitiful lot
He bowed himself to endure;
If your souls ye would make, for His Heavenly sake,
Oh! remember, remember the poor.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

11. The heroes of the sea [sung text checked 1 time]

I'll tell you of a wonder, that will stiffen up your hair,
That happened two poor fishermen convenient to Cape Clear.
They just had run their boat afloat, they'd hardly gripped an oar,
When their dog leapt in, their cat stepped in, that never did before.
Now what overcame the creatures to start from shore?

Says one brother: "What's come o'er them two, who ne'er on land agree,
To settle up their difference a-this-way on the sea?"
"I consave," replied the other, "'tis the portent we could wish
For a powerful take of pilchard, since that same's their favourite fish.
'Tis a symptom, for sure, of a power of fish."

Well! when the rising moon revealed a swiftly rushing shoal,
Their net they shot and found they'd got a purty tidy haul.
But when a dozen yards of mesh they'd plumped into the hold,
They saw their fish were fine say-rats, which made their blood run cold,
As around and around them they screeched and rolled.

But ere each rat could rip his way out the noosin' net,
Bedad, the jaws of Towzer or the claws of Tom he met.
Then safely our two fishermen rowed home from out the bay,
And Tom and Towzer from that time were haroes you may say,
Round about the country-side, many and many a day.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

12. The black phantom [sung text checked 1 time]

On for ever, on for ever,
Unbeknown beneath the night,
O mo chuma! O mu chuma!
Stole the silent searching blight,
Till it struck us with a shiver,
Shaking wide its woeful curse,
Like the white plumes of a hearse.

Down we dug, but only showered
Poison'd praties o'er the slope -- 
O mo chuma! O mu chuma!
Hoping yet agin all hope,
Till, at long lost overpower'd,
In the gloomy gathering shades
We should rest our useless spades.

While around us ghostly shadows,
Phantoms of our fathers' dead,
O mo chuma! O mu chuma!
Roamed and roamed with ceaseless tread,
Weeping and wailing thro' the meadows,
Fit to melt a heart of stone.
Ochone! and ochone!

Then we knew for solemn certain
That the poison breathing cloud --
O mo chuma! O mu chuma!
Surely yet would be our shroud,
Still would draw its cruel curtain
Closer still round child and wife,
Till it strangled out their life.
O mo chuma! O mu chuma!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

13. Mary, what's the matter? [sung text checked 1 time]

"Now, Mary, what's the matter
What's come o'er you, dear,
That all your lightsome chatter
Is no more to hear?"
"'Tis nothing, mother deary,
Worth your care at all.
Who'd not be dull and weary
In so dark a Fall?"

"Because brown leaves are fluttering, 
Skies are seldom bright,
Will heart-whole girls go uttering
Sighs from morn to night?"
"Well since you're so perceiving,
Mothereen astore,
P'raps I've been make-believing,
Though my heart was sore."

"Would Mary's heart be sorer,
If one Myles O'Hea
Had asked her father for her
And got his wish to-day?"
"O Mother there's brave news for me,
Now you've brought me joy!"
"My dear, if you'd set, 'Choose for me!'
I'd have chose that boy."

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

14. Away to the wars [sung text checked 1 time]

When the route is proclaimed thro' the old barrack yard,
To part from our sweethearts it surely is hard!
But smother the sigh boys, and swallow the tear,
And comfort the darlings with words of good cheer.
While the bugles they blow so gaily oh!
And away to the battle we marching go.

Then it's "Right about face," and we're clearing the street,
"Good luck" and "God bless you!" from all that we meet,
While all the lazy ones bounce from their beds,
And up to their windies and out go their heads.
While the bugles they blow so gaily oh!
And away to the battle we marching go.

Now it's "Halt, Royal Irish!" now "Dress by the left!"
And on to the Quay through the crowd we have cleft;
Here's cheers for Old Ireland, with twenty cheers more,
And off with our ship from the Emerald shore. 
While the bugles they blow so gaily oh!
And away to the battle we marching go.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

15. Lovely Anne [sung text checked 1 time]

Lovely Anne, oh! lovely Anne!
Oh hearken to my bitter cry!
Alone on rugged Slievenaman,
For your fond sake I lie;
For you I've fled my friends, fled my clam,
Fair Saxon, have you turned untrue?
And has my lovely Amme, my lovely Anne,
But brought me here to rue?

Lovely Anne, oh, lovely Anne,
Since darkly here I laid me down,
How oft the wind-swept cannavan,
Has seem'd your fluttering gown,
And once a maid, with bright milking can,
Brush'd hitherward across the dew,
"'Tis she, my lovely Anne, my lovely Anne!"
She turned and frown'd me through.

Lovely Anne, oh, lovely Anne,
Cold morn is mounting o'er the height,
And your forsaken Irishman
Afar must take his flight.
Heaven's curse upon the black, heartless ban,
That sunders thus the fond and true.
Adieu, my lovely Anne, my lovely Anne,
For evermore, Adieu!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

16. Farewell now, Miss Gordon [sung text checked 1 time]

Farewell! now, Miss Gordon, my day dream is over
And I march in the morn with our Royal young Rover.
Yet peace be about you both sleeping and waking,
Though I live on without you with a heart nigh to breaking.

Oh, have you forgotten, oh, have you forgotten,
When I found the white heath all among the moor cotton,
How you wore it, on your bosom, for a whole week together?
Is my love flung away with that spray of white heather?

And do you remember, oh, do you remember,
When the falling star flashed that bright night of September;
How your heart's wish I read in your rapt look of longing?
Have you crushed that hope dead, to my heart's bitter wronging?

But with lips still locked tight, at your pride's stern commanding,
As a statue death white, here before me you're standing.
Woe's me we part thus! yet if so we must sever,
Farewell now, Miss Gordon, oh, farewell for ever.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

17. Eva Toole [sung text checked 1 time]

Who's not heard of Eva Toole,
Munster's purest, proudest jewel,
Queen of Limerick's lovely maidens,
Kerry's charming girls?
As her gliding course she takes
Like a swan across the lakes,
With her voice of silver cadence,
And her smile of pearls!
Oh! the eyes of Eva Toole!
Now why would not Cromwell cruel,
Just have called two centuries later
Here on Carrig height?
For one angry azure flash
From beneath her ebon lash! _
And away old Noll should scatter
Out of Eva's sight.

Is't describe you, Eva Toole?
As she danced last night at Shrule,
Her two feet like swallows skimmin'
Up and down the floor;
Or the curtsey that she dropped
Ev'ry time the music stopped,
Not the oldest men or women
Saw such grace before.
Yet altho' you bore the rule
O'er us all then, Eva Toole,
Ne'er a one but I was in it
Of your sweethearts fine.
And my heart's in such a riot,
That to keep the crayture quiet
I am running round this minute
Just to make you mine!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

18. The falling star [sung text checked 1 time]

On my heaven he flashed, as the meteor star
Out of night will flame from afar.
Ah how could I escape his spell?
Deep, deep into my heart he fell.
Ochone!

I believed the stars that burn above
Shone less true than his eyes of love.
All their lamps beam on and on,
But, my falling star, thou art gone.
Ochone!

And a new love claims my fealty now,
Scant of speech and stern of brow.
Until death I own his claim.
Sorrow is my new love's name.
Ochone!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

19. Kitty of the cows [sung text checked 1 time]

When Kate gives the warning
For the milking in the morning,
E'en the cow known for horning comes running to her pail.
All the lambs they play about her,
And the little bonneens snout her,
While their parents they salute her wid a twist of the tail,
Just as if they said, "You darling, God bless you!"

When we rest from our labour,
And, neighbour wid neighbour,
Draw in from the sun to the shelter of the tree,
Wid the new milk and murphies
You come trippin' out to serve us,
All the boys' hearts beguilin', alanna machree!
While each one of us whispers, "God bless you!"

But there's one sweeter hour,
When the sun has lost his power
And the shadows they come creeping along the dewy land,
Then sweet Kitty I go stalking,
Till away we two are walking,
And 'tis pleasantly we're talking, wid my one hand in her hand
And the other slipped around her and welcome!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

20. The king's cave [sung text checked 1 time]

Rash Son, return! Yon shores that dazzle
With glowing pleasance, glittering plain, 
And crystal keep is not Hy-Brazil,
But some false phantom of the main.
And yon bright band thy vision meeting,
Their warbled welcome hither fleeting_
Oh, trust not to their siren greeting,
Oh, wave not, wave not back again.
But veil thine eyes from their entreating
And list not their enchanting strain.

O Sovran Sire, no cruel vision
Compels my curragh o'er the deep!
Yea, have we seen the land Elysian,
Hy-Brazil out of Ocean leap.
None ever knew it smiling nearer,
Or hearkened yet, a blessed hearer,
Its Virgin Chorus chanting clearer
O'er lulled Atlantic's cradled sleep.
That strain again! What psalm sincerer
From Angel harps to Earth could sweep.

With hand to brow the monarch hoary
Stood rapt upon the Western ray,
Till in a gulf of golden glory
The bright bark melted o'er the bay.
Then cracked the glass of calm asunder!
Then roared the cave the sea cliff under!
Then sprang to shore, with hooves of thunder,
Mannanan's steeds of ghostly grey.
Yet ere the shock, a cry of wonder,
"Hy-Brazil's here!" rose far away.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

21. Lullaby [sung text checked 1 time]

I've found my bonny babe a nest
On Slumber Tree.
I'll rock you there to rosy rest,
Asture Machree!
Oh, lulla lo! sing all the leaves
On Slumber Tree,
Till everything that hurts or grieves
Afar must flee.

I'd put my pretty child to float
Away from me,
Within the new moon's silver boat
On Slumber Sea.
And when your starry sail is o'er,
From Slumber Sea,
My prescious one, you'll step to shore,
On Mother's knee

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

22. The alarm [sung text checked 1 time]

Hurry down, hurry down, hurry down ever,
From the wrack-ridden mountain and yellow rushing river,
Stern horsemen and footmen with spear, axe and quiver,
Oh, hurry down, hurry down, your land to deliver.
Haste, oh, haste, for in cruel might clustering
Far and near the fierce Nordman is mustering,
Haste, oh, haste, or the daughters you cherish,
The bride of your bosom shall far more than perish.

Lo! how he toils down that narrow pass yonder,
Ensnared by his spoils and oppressed by his plunder!
Flash on him, crash on him, God's fire and thunder!
And scatter and scatter his fell ranks asunder.
Oh, smite the wolf, ere he slinks from the slaughter,
Oh, rend the shark, ere he wins to deep water.
Pursue and hew him to pieces by the haven,
And feast with his red flesh the exulting sea raven.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

23. The song of the Fairy King [sung text checked 1 time]

Bright Queen of women, oh, come away,
Oh, come to my kingdom strange to see:
Where tresses flow with a gentle glow;
And white as snow is the fair body.
Beneath the silky curtains of arching ebon 'brows,
Soft eyes of sunny azure the heart enthral,
A speech of magic songs to each rosy mouth belongs,
And sorrowful sighing can ne'er befall.

Oh bright are the blooms of thine own Innisfail
And green is her garland around the West;
But brighter flowers and greener bowers
Shall all be ours in that country blest.
Or can her streams compare to the runnels rich and rare
Of slow yellow honey and swift red wine,
That softly slip to the longing lip
With magic flow through that land of mine?

We roam the earth in its grief and mirth,
But move unseen of all therein;
For before their gaze there hangs the haze,
The heavy haze of their mortal sin.
But oh! our age it wastes not; for our beauty tastes not
Of Evil's tempting apple and droops and dies.
Cold death shall slay us never but for ever and forever
Love's stainless ardours shall illume our eyes.

Then Queen of women, oh come away,
Far, far away to my fairy throne,
To my realm of rest in the magic West,
Where sin and sorrow are all unknown.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

24. Clare's dragoons [sung text checked 1 time]

When on Ramillies' bloody field
The baffled French were  forc'd to yield,
The victor Saxon backward reel'd 
Before the charge of Clare's men.
The flags we conquer'd in that fray
Look lone in Ypres choir they say:
We'll win them company today
Or bravely die, like Clare's men.
  Vive la! for Ireland's wrong,
  And vive la! for Ireland's right,
  Vive la! in battle throng
  For a Spanish steed and sabre.

Another Clare is here to lead,
The worthy son of such a breed,
The French expect some famous deed
When Clare leads on his warriors.
Our Colonel comes from Brian's race,
His wounds are in his breast and face,
The gap of danger's still his place,-
The foremost of his squadron.
  Vive la! for Ireland's…..

Oh, comrades think how Ireland pines
For exiled lords and rifled shrines, -
Her dearest hope the ordered lines
And bursting charge of Clare's men.
Then fling your green flag to the sky,
Be Limerick your battle cry,
And charge till blood floats fetlock high
Around the track of Clare's men.
  Vive la! for Ireland's…..

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

25. The bower in my breast [sung text checked 1 time]

I once loved a boy who would come and go
Whenever I made my request;
Till, the truth for to tell, I loved him so well
That I built him a bower in my breast,
In my breast,
A bower of green hope in my breast.

But the times grew so black, that at last he would sail
His fortunes to seek in the West.
Long sorry was I to bid him good-bye;
For I'd built him a bower in my breast,
In my breast,
A bower of green hope in my breast.

O his letters were loving, his letters were long,
That came floating far out of the West.
Then cold, short and few they turned, wirrasthrue!
And goodbye to the bower in my breast,
In my breast,
The  bower of green hope in my breast.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

26. Marching to Candahar [sung text checked 1 time]

Marching, forced marching,
At stretch of speed so strong the need,
Marching, forced marching,
And Bobs himself to lead.
Horse, foot and gun at call,
Like wool upon a ball,
'Tis in and out and round about
He winds and binds us all.

Marching, forced marching,
For weeks and weeks, o'er moors and peaks;
Marching and outmarching
Ten thousand grand old Greeks.
Till Xenophon's harangues
Of stades and parasangs,
By all the powers this march of ours
To Banagher it bangs.

Marching and marching,
So swift and far by sun and star!
On marching and marching
Away for Candahar.
They say she's sore beset,
But through the Afghan net
We boys will break, and no mistake,
And save the city yet.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

27. The quern song [sung text checked 1 time]

Maids, at morn, grind the good corn
Each in her mill with a will!
In go the oats, wheat and pearly barley,
Down in a shower falls the flour.

Winding strong, grinding all day long,
Round and round goes the mill;
Grinding turn-about, till the meal is out, 
Must never, never be still.

Those hands that are strongest
Will find a welcome here,
And they who work the longest
Shall earn the best cheer.

Those hands that are strongest
Will find a welcome here,
And they who work the longest
Shall earn the best cheer.

Winding strong, grinding all day long,
Round and round goes the mill;
Grinding turn-about, till the meal is out, 
Must never, never be still.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

28. I shall not die for love of thee [sung text checked 1 time]

O Woman, shapely as the swan,
Shall I turn wan for looks from thee?
Nay bend those blue love-darting eyes 
On men unwise, they wound not me.
Red lips and ripe and rose from soft cheek,
Shall limbs turn weak and colour flee,
And languorous grace and foam white foam
Shall still blood storm because of ye?

Thy slender waist, the cool of gold
In ringlets rolled around thy knee,
Thy scented sighs and looks of flame
They shall not tame my spirit free.
For, Woman, shapely as the swan,
A wary man hath nurtured me;
White neck and arm, bright lip and eye,
I shall not die for love of ye.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

29. O'Donnell's march [sung text checked 1 time]

Oh! have you heard the tidings?
Limerick's aflame,
Kerry and the Ridings
Out in Red Hugh's name:
Till chiefs so lately mocking
Around the flag are flocking
And Dublin's towers are rocking
At O'Donnell's fame.

The rain it ran in fountains
Then there fell such frost,
That Slieve Phelim's mountains
Swift as fire he crossed.
Past every Saxon Warder
He's broke the Southern Border,
And struck in battle order
Mountjoy's startled host.

Then hail to Hugh O'Donnell!
Hail, Clan Donnell, hail!
Out of far Tyrconnell
Hosting to Kinsale!
Oh, heroes of Blackwater,
Stay not your swords of slaughter,
Until your foes ye scatter
Headlong through the Pale.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

30. The death of Oscar [sung text checked 1 time]

I sought my own son over Gowra's black field,
Where the host of the Fians was shattered,
Where fell all our mighty ones, and helmet and shield
O'er the red earth lay shamefully scattered.
I sought my own Oscar and my proud heart upleaped,
As at last on a lone ridge I found him,
His stern hand still clinging to the sword that had reaped
Swathe on swathe of the dead foes around him.

He held out his arms, though the drear mist of death
Had begun o'er his bright eyes to gather.
"I thank God," he faltered with his failing breath,
"That thou still art unhurt, Oh, my father."
Then down, down I knelt by my heart's dearest one,
All else beside himself forgetting;
Till Oscar's proud spirit passed forth like the sun
In a red sea of glory setting.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

31. Daniel Whitty [sung text checked 1 time]

As she sat spinning beside her door,
Sweet Kitty Kelly of Farranfore,
In dropped, as often he'd done before,
Ned Byrne, the young Schoolmaster.
He took the seat that she signed him to
And then that same to her side he drew,
When up there hurried big Tom McHugh
Who lived by lath and plaster.
He took the seat that Miss Kate supplied
And drew that same to her other side
"Now do spake one at a time," she cried,
"And we'll get on the faster."

Says Ned, "Miss Kelly, but don't you see,
My business needs but yourself and me."
"Then since, at present at least, we're three,
'Twill have to wait," says Kitty.
"Now Tom McHugh, 'tis your turn to start."
"Well then, Miss Kitty, first come apart."
"And hurt poor Ned to the very heart!
Your selfish plans I pity."
But since I've guessed what you're both about,
P'raps now 'tis best not to lave you in doubt;
So here's the whole of the murder out --
I'm promised to Daniel Whitty.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

32. Roddy More the rover [sung text checked 1 time]

Of all the rovin' Jacks that e'er to Farranfone came over
As paramount I'd surely count ould Roddy More the Rover;
Wid steeple hat and stiff cravat and nate nankeen knee breeches
Aud on his back a pedlar's pack just rowlin' o'er with riches.

(For so it was when o'er the hill his coat-tails they'd come flyin'
The sharpest tongue of all was still, the crossest child quit cryin',
Ould women even left their tay, ould men their glass of toddy,
An' spoon in hand, a welcome grand would wave and wave to Roddy.)

Then when his treasures he'd unlade in view of all the village,
In from her milkin' ran the maid, each boy from out the tillage,
The while the rogue, in each new vogue, the lasses he'd go drapin',
Until their lads his ribbons, plaids and rings had no escapin'.

Now whist your noise and take your toys, cried he, "My darlin' childer;
Or my best ballads wid your prate ye'll woefully bewilder."
Then his "Come-all-ye's" he'd advance wid such a fine comether
That you might say he took away your since and pince together.

(But there of all the roamin' Jack's that trass the country over,
Far paramount I'd ever count ould Roddy More the Rover.
For deed an' I believe that when his sperrit parts his body,
If he's allowed, he'll draw a crowd in Heaven itself, will Roddy.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

33. Trottin' to the fair [sung text checked 1 time]

Trottin' to the fair
Me and Moll Molony,
Seated, I declare
On a single pony.
How am I to know that
Molly's safe behind,
With our heads in oh, that
Awkw'rd way inclined?
By her gentle breathin'
Whisper'd past my ear,
And her white arms wreathin'
Warm around me here.

Thus on Dobbin's back
I discoursed the darling,
Till upon our track
Leaped a mongrel snarling.
"Ah!" says Moll, "I'm frightened
That the pony'll start!"
And her pretty hands she tightened
Round my happy heart;
Till I axed her "May I
Steal a kiss or so?"
And my Molly's grey eye
Didn't answer no.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

34. Like a stone in the street [sung text checked 1 time]

I'm left all alone like a stone at the side of the street,
With no kind "good day" on the way from the many I meet.
Still with looks cold and high they go by, not one brow now unbends,
None holds out his hand of the hand of my fair-weather friends.

They help'd me to spend to its end all my fine shining store,
They drank to my health and my wealth till both were no more.
And now they are off with a scoff as they leave me behind,
"When you've ate the rich fruit, underfoot with the bare bitter rind."

There's rest deep and still on yon hill by our old chapel side,
Where I laid you long ago in my woe, my young one year's bride.
Then ochone! for relief from my grief into madness I flew.
Would to God ere that day in the clay I'd been cover'd with you.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

35. The Daughter of the Rock [sung text checked 1 time]

As on Killarney's bosom blue
We lay with lifted oars,
He challenged with his clarion true
The silent shores.
And straight from off her mountain throne
The Daughter of the Rock
Took up that challenge, tone by tone,
With airy mock.

And twice and thrice from hill to hill
She tossed it o'er the heather,
Then drew the notes with one wild thrill
Together.
Like pearls of silver dew
From a fragrant purple flower,
Echo's secret heart into
They shower.

We floated on and ever on
With many a warbled tune,
Until above the water wan
Awoke the moon.
Then with a sudden strange surprise
A clearer challenge came
From out his eager lips, and eyes
Of ardent flame.

Like Echo answering his horn,
At first I mocking met him;
Till lest e'en counterfeited scorn
Should fret him.
From all my heart strings caught
Faint as Echo's closing stress,
Stole the answer that he sighing sought,
Love's low yes.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

36. The sailor's bride [sung text checked 1 time]

And is he coming home today
Who all these years has ranged?
And will he be the same to me ,
Although so have changed?
The same again, the same as when
At first he courting came
And looked me through with eyes so blue --
Ah, will he be the same?

I would have dressed in all my best;
He'd have me wear my worst,
The faded gown of home spun brown
In which I met him first.
My woman's heart would have me smart;
I'm but a woman still.
Yet hide, gay gown, come, old one down;
Let Donal have his way.

The Southern Star has fetched the Bar,
She's signalled from the land.
Quick, little Donal, to my arms!
Now on my shoulders stand!
There, there she sails! He's at the rails.
For joy my eyes run o'er.
Wave, little lad, to your own dad!
Aye, 'tis himself once more.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

37. The riddle [sung text checked 1 time]

Raise us a riddle as spinning we sit.
P'raps I have one that your fancy will fit.
Come, then advance it with all of your wit.

Some have got the barley showin',
Some a purty patch of oats,
Others just the praties growin'
With a mountainside for goats.
Come with me through meadows flow'ry
Up where furze and heather blow,
If my secret golden dowry,
Lasses, you would like to know.

Surely hid treasure is in your head.
Wrongly my riddle this time you have read.
Come, give us hold of a stronger thread.

How is this my herds can utter
Of themselves the milk all day,
Churn and turn it into butter
Faix and firkin it safe away.
Kerry cows upon their brows
Bear a pair of branching horns;
But my kind they wear behind
One, only one, like Unicorns.

Ah, then, your herds are the bees on the height.
Deed and this time you've guessed right.
Pleasant the riddle you put us tonight.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

38. I pray you be patient [sung text checked 1 time]

Mourn not beyond measure, my long absent lover,
These eyes dim with watching, this trouble-pale mouth,
As for you they have faded, for you they'll recover --
Your violets, your roses, refreshed after drouth.

Yet I pray you be patient, for, oh, I am tired,
Too tired, too tired to be closely caressed;
So take me and soothe me, my love long desired'
As a mother would lay her own child on her breast.

So long I have starved, oh, a little while longer
Thus tenderly, slenderly portion my bliss.
More now were too much, when I'm braver and stronger,
I'll sigh back your whispers, restore you your kiss.

O see how the shadows in sunshine are fleeting!
O hark how the robins rejoice in the lane!
There! lay my thin hand on your heart's happy beating,
There! lift my tired head to your shoulder again.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

39. More of Cloyne [sung text checked 1 time]

Little sister, whom the Fay
Hides away within his doon,
Deep below you tufted fern
Oh, list and learn my magic tune.
Long ago, when snared like thee
By the Shee, my harp and I
O'er them wove the slumber spell,
Warbling well its lullaby.
Till with dreamy smiles they sank,
Rank on rank, before the strain;
Then I rose from out the rath
And found my path to earth again.
Little sister, to my woe
Hid below among the Shee,
List and learn my magic tune,
That it full soon
May succour thee.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

40. The reaper's revenge [sung text checked 1 time]

Oft and oft I dream, astore,
With secret sighs and laughter,
How once you reaped the field before,
And I came gathering after.
While tenderly, tenderly with the corn
Looks of love you threw me;
Till I stood up with eyes of scorn
And withered your hope to woo me.

Oft and oft I'm dreaming still,
With smiles and tears together,
Of how I stretched my weak and ill,
Through all the wintry weather;
While tenderly, tenderly still you'd tap,
Seeking news of Norah;
Till I grew fonder of your rap
Than father's voice, anora!

Must I mind the plan conceal'd
That through the spring around you,
To wait to find me in the field,
Where rashly I refused you;
Then earnestly, earnestly in my eyes
Gaze till I return'd you
The look of looks and sigh of sighs
On the spot where once I spurn'd you.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

41. The Killarney hunt [sung text checked 1 time]

The hunt is up! and hound and pup
Are tuning round Killarney;
The hunt is out! O there's a shout!
You'd hear it down to Blarney.
There goes the stag along the crag,
A Royal now I warrant,
See how he sails across the rails
And flies the foaming torrent.

Away in Tork they wind and work,
Among the whorts and heather.
The scent's in doubt, now all are out,
Now hark! They're all together.
For old Jack Keogh he marked him go
And waved 'em with his wattle.
A full George crown they've thrown him down,
With that he'll moist his throttle.

Yoicks! Tally ho! Away they go!
See how the turf he's skimming.
He's through the brake, he's took the lake,
And after him they're swimming.
Their floating ranks are on his flanks,
They're closing now behind him;
He feels the land, he's up the strand!
Now, mind him, oh now mind him!

Hull-hullahoo! they flash in view
Along the shining shingle;
In length'ning row they streaming go,
Now with the shades they mingle;
While, underneath the evening star,
A phantom hunt seems flying,
Now swelling near, now echoing far,
Now down the breezes dying.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

42. Oh my grief! oh my grief! [sung text checked 1 time]

Oh my grief! oh my grief!
Oh my grief all the morning!
Oh my grief all the even!
Oh my grief all the night!
Over flower, over leaf
Falls the shade of her scorning,
And darkens blue heaven
With its desolate blight.

Oh, wind, and oh, wind
Wailing over the forest,
With thee my sad spirit
Would fain wander forth!
Thus all unconfined,
When sorrow was sorest,
I too should inherit
The strange, silent North.

More pure and more chaste,
Thou desolate Norland,
Than the South's sighing languors
In bowers rose-hung,
Thy wan, winter waste,
Thy still solemn foreland,
Aurora's red angers
The white stars among.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

43. Since we're apart [sung text checked 1 time]

Since we're apart, since we're apart,
The weariness and lonely smart
Are growing greatly round my heart;
Upon my pillow, ere I sleep,
The full of my two shoes I weep,
And like a ghost all day I creep.

'Tis what you said you'd never change
Or with another ever range,
Now ev'n the Church is cold and strange.
There side by side our seats we took,
There side by side we held one book;
But with another now you look.

And when the service it was o'er,
We'd walk the meadow's flow'ry floor,
As we shall walk and walk no more.
For while beneath the starry glow
Ye two sit laughing light and low,
A shade among the shades I go.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

44. My garden at the back [sung text checked 1 time]

When I came over from old Rosstrevor,
Here to London Town,
A lonesome spell upon me fell
For Kate and County Down.
'Twas gloomy toil for her glad smile,
Grey stone for grassy track;
Till I took heart at last to start
A garden at the back.

With country mould at morn and eve,
Still I plied my plot;
Then sow'd and set musk, mignonette,
Pink, rose, forget-me-not.
Till bees they flew from out the blue,
And butterflies they'd tack,
O blessed hour, from flow'r to flow'r
Of my garden at the back.

Then when I 'd but the Christmas rose,
To end the flow'ry race,
Around the corner came my scorner
With a sadden'd face.
The cause to guess of her distress
For sure I was not slack,
And now her eyes make Paradise
Of my garden at the back.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

45. The County of Mayo [sung text checked 1 time]

On the deck of Lynch's boat, here I sit in woeful plight,
Through my sighing all the day and my weeping all the night.
Were it not that full of grief from my people forth I go,
O, 'tis royally I'd sing all thy praises, sweet Mayo.

When I dwelt at home in peace, and my gold did much abound,
In the midst of fair young maids, how the Spanish ale went round!
Oh! the change from that gay day thus, across the ocean flow,
To be laid in Santa Cruz far and far from sweet Mayo.

Sadly changed are Irrul's girls; very proud they've grown and high
With their patches and their powder, for I pass their buckes by;
But their airs I little heed, since the Lord will have it so
That I'm forced to foreign lands far and far from sweet Mayo.

'Tis my grief that Patrick Loughlin is not Earl in Irrul still,
And that Brian Duff no more rules as lord upon the hill,
And that Colonel Hugh O'Grady should be lying dead and low,
And I sailing, sailing swift from the County of Mayo.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

46. Alone, all alone [sung text checked 1 time]

When westward I'm called,
'Tis not east I'll be going.
Should I sup the salt wave
With the pure spring to hand,
Or prefer the base weed
To the richest rose blowing,
Or not follow my own love
The first through the land.

Oh, my heart is a fountain
Of sorrow unspoken,
A virgin nut-cluster
Untimely down torn!
And oh, but my heart
Flutters bleeding and broken,
Like a bird beating out
Its wild life on a thorn.

His cheek is the hue
Of the blackberry blossom,
And blackberry blue
His dark tresses above;
And I'm cryin' without
Who should lie in his bosom
And I doubt and I doubt
If he's true to his love.

'Tis time I should part you,
Proud, hurrying City;
For your tongues they cut sharper
By far than your stone,
And your hearts than that same
Are more hardened to pity;
So my love I'll go seeking,
Alone, all alone!

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

47. The death of General Wolfe [sung text checked 1 time]

"The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave
Await alike the inevitable hour --
The paths of glory lead but to the grave."
Thus great Wolfe sighed,
While on muffled oar,
We darkling crossed St. Lawrence's whispering tide
For the foeman's unguarded shore.

Then, one by one, far up the fearful steep
We toiled and toiled through all the live long night;
Till on the Frenchmen startled out of sleep
Enraged Montcalm
Bade his host advance --
And on the frowning heights of Abraham
Closed the champions of England and France.

Oh, fierce we fought until a fatal ball
Found Wolfe's brave bosom through the battle smoke.
Then charged the Scots with fiery slogan call
And backward reeled the French and broke.
"See! Sir, they run!"
"Who?" he faintly cried.
"The French." "Now God be praised, our arms have won!"
And contented he turned and died.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

48. The songs Erin sings [sung text checked 1 time]

I've heard the lark's cry thrill the sky o'er the meadows of Lusk,
And the first joyous gush of the thrush from Adare's April wood,
At thy lone music's spell, Philomel, magic stricken I've stood,
When in Espan afar star on star trembled out of the dusk.

While Dunkerton's blue dove murmured love 'neath her nest I have sighed,
And by mazy Culdaff with a laugh mocked the cuckoo's refrain,
Derrycarn's dusky bird I have heard piping joy hard by pain
And the swan's last lament sobbing sent over Moyle's mystic tide.

Yet as bright shadows pass from the glass of the darkening lake,
As the rose's rapt sigh must die, when the zephyr is stilled;
In oblivion grey sleeps each lay that those birds ever trilled,
But the songs Erin sings from her strings shall immortally wake.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

49. Like a ghost I am gone [sung text checked 1 time]

In the wan, mistful morning to Ocean's wild gales
Afar from her scorning I loose my black sails;
For my kiss was scarce cold on her cheek when she turned
And my love for the gold of a renegade spurned.

Under cloud chill and pallid, while hollow winds moan,
Lies alas! our green-valleyed, purple-peaked Innishowen;
For as if my sad case she were sharing to-day,
All her glory and grace she hides weeping away.

Farewell, Lake of Shadows! Buncrana, farewell
To your thymy sea meadows, your fern-fluttering dell!
Adieu, Donegal! o'er the waters death wan,
Under Heaven's heavy pall, like a ghost I am gone.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

50. The leafy Cool-kellure [sung text checked 1 time]

Just between the day and dark,
O'er the green of the glimmering Park,
Lost in heaven one lonely lark
Soared and poured his passion pure;
Till the long, sweet shivering strain
Took, methought, this meaning plain,
As it showered like silver rain
Softly into the Cool-kellure.

How we prayed and prayed of old,
Blackbird, with the crown of gold,
That you'd cross the waters cold
Erin's sorrows at last to cure.
But you sought and sought in vain
Succour out of France and Spain,
None would help you here to reign,
Blackbird, over the Cool-kellure.

Yet the Blackbird far above
Now I rank the Royal Dove
Who, at last for Erin's love
Wreathing with shamrock her bosom pure,
O'er the dreadful flood's decrease
Flutters with its spray of peace
To her bow'r of Queenly ease
Nesting under the Cool-kellure.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson