An Irish Idyll in Six Miniatures

Song Cycle by Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir (1852 - 1924)

Word count: 1150

1. Corrymeela [sung text checked 1 time]

Over here in England I’m helpin’ wi’ the hay,
An’ I wisht I was in Ireland the livelong day;
Weary on the English hay, an’ sorra take the wheat!
Och! Corrymeela an’ the blue sky over it.

There’s a deep dumb river flowin’ by beyont the heavy trees,
This livin’ air is moithered wi’ the bummin’ o’ the bees;
I wisht I’d hear the Claddagh burn go runnin’ through the heat
Past Corrymeela an’ the blue sky over it.

The people that’s in England is richer nor the Jews,
There’s not the smallest young gossoon but thravels in his shoes!
I’d give the pipe between my teeth to see a barefut child,
Och! Corrymeela an’ the low south wind.

Here hands so full o’ money an’ hearts so full o’ care,
By the luck o’ love! I’d still go light for all I did go bare.
“God save ye, colleen dhas,” I said: the girl she thought me wild.
Far Corrymeela an’ the low south wind.

D’ye mind me now, the song at night is mortial hard to raise,
The girls are heavy goin’ here, the boys are ill to plase;
When one’st I’m out this workin’ hive, ‘tis I’ll be back again –
Ay, Corrymeela, in the same soft rain.

The puff o’ smoke from one ould roof before an English town!
For a shaugh wid Andy Feelan here I’d give a silver crown,
For a curl o’ hair like Mollie’s ye’ll ask the like in vain,
Sweet Corrymeela, an’ the same soft rain.


Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

2. The Fairy Lough [sung text checked 1 time]

Lough-a-reem-a! Lough-a-reem-a;
Lies so high among the heather;
A little lough, a dark lough,
The water's black an' deep.
Ould herons go a-fishin' there,
An' seagulls all together
Float roun' the one green island
On the fairy lough asleep,

Lough-a-reem-a! Lough-a-reem-a;
When the sun goes down at seven,
When the hills are dark an' airy,
'Tis a curlew whistles sweet!
Then somethin' rustles all the reeds
That stand so thick an' even;
A little wave runs up the shore
An' flees, as if on feet.

Lough-a-reem-a! Lough-a-reem-a;
Stars come out, an' stars are hidin';
The wather whispers on the stones;
The flittherin' moths are free.
One'st before the mornin' light
The Horsemen will come ridin'
Roun' an' roun' the fairy lough
And no one there to see.


Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

3. Cuttin' rushes [sung text checked 1 time]

Oh maybe it was yesterday, or fifty years ago!
Meself was risin' early on a day for cuttin' rushes,
Walkin' up the Brabla' burn, still the sun was low,
Now I'd hear the burn run an' then I'd hear the thrushes.
Young, still young! - an' drenchin' wet the grass,
Wet the golden honeysuckle hangin' sweetly down;
"Here lad, here! will ye follow where I pass,
An' find me cuttin' rushes on the mountain."

Then it was only yesterday, or fifty years or so?
Rippin' round the bog pools high among the heather,
The hook it made her hand sore, she had to leave it go,
'Twas me that cut the rushes then for her to bind together.
Come, dear, come! an' back along the burn
See the darlin' honeysuckle hangin' like a crown.
Quick, one kiss, - "sure, there' someone at the turn!"
Oh, we're afther cuttin' rushes on the mountain.

Yesterday, yesterday, or fifty years ago
I waken out o' dreams when I hear the summer thrushes.
Oh, that's the Brabla' burn, I can hear it sing an' flow,
For all that's fair, I'd sonner see a bunch o' green rushes.
Run, run, run! can ye mind when we were young?
The honeysuckle hangs above, the pool is dark an' brown:
Sing, burn, sing! can ye mind the song ye sung
The days we cut the rushes on the mountain?


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Johneen [sung text checked 1 time]

Sure he’s five months old, an’ he’s two foot long,
				Baby Johneen;
Watch yerself now, for he’s terrible sthrong,
				Baby Johneen.
An’ his fists ‘ill be up if ye make any slips,
He has finger ends like the daisy-tips,
But he’ll have ye attend to the words of his lips,
				Will Johneen.

There’ nobody can rightly tell the colour of his eyes,
				This Johneen;
For they’re partly o’ the earth an’ still they’re partly o’ the skies,
				Like Johneen.
So far has he’s thravelled he’s been laughin’ all the way,
For the little soul is quare an’ wise, the little heart is gay;
An’ he likes the merry daffodils, he thinks they’d do to play
				With Johneen.

He’ll sail a boat yet, if he only has his luck,
				Young Johneen,
For he takes to the wather like any little duck,
				Boy Johneen;
Sure them are the hands now to pull on a rope,
An’ nate feet for walkin’ the deck on a slope,
But the ship she must wait a wee while yet, I hope,
				For Johneen.

For we couldn’t do wantin’ him, not just yet,
				Och, Johneen;
‘Tis you that are the daisy, an’ you that are the pet,
				Wee Johneen.
Here’s to your health, an’ we’ll dhrink it to-night,
Slainte gal avic machree! live and do right,
Slainte gal avourneen! may your days be bright,


Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

5. A broken song [sung text checked 1 time]

'Where am I from?'
From the green hills of Erin,
'Have I no Song then?'
My songs are all sung.
'What of my love?'
'Tis alone I am farin'
Old grows my heart,
An' my voice yet is young.
'If she was tall?'
Like a king's own daughter.
'If she was fair?'
Like a mornin' o' May.
When she'd come laughin'
'Twas the runnin' wather
When she'd come blushin'
'Twas the break o' day.
'Where did she dwell?'
Where one'st I had my dwellin'.
'Who loved her best?'
There no one now will know.
'Where is she gone?'
Och why would I be tellin'
Where she is gone
There I can never go.


Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

6. Back to Ireland [sung text checked 1 time]

Oh tell me, will I ever win to Ireland again,
Astore! from the far North-West?
Have we given all the rainbows, an’ the green woods an’ rain,
For the suns and the snows o’ the West?
“Them that goes to Ireland must thravel night an’ day,
An’ them that goes to Ireland must sail across the say,
For the len’th of here to Ireland is half the world away –
An’ you’ll leave your heart behind you in the West.
	Set your face for Ireland,
	Kiss your friends in Ireland,
	But lave your heart behind you in the West.”

On a dim an’ shiny mornin’ the ship she comes to land,
	Early, oh, early in the mornin’,
The silver wathers o’ the Foyle go slidin’ to the strand,
	Whisperin’ “Ye’re welcome in the mornin’.”
There’s darkness on the holy hills I know are close aroun’,
But the stars are shinin’ up the sky, the stars are shinin’ down,
They make a golden cross above, they make a golden crown,
An’ meself could tell you why, - in the mornin’,
	Sure an’ this is Ireland,
	Thank God for Ireland!
	I’m coming back to Ireland the morning’.


Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson