I don’t know why I haven’t posted anything from Mary Dillon sooner, but I think she’s one of the finest singers I’ve ever heard. Tonight in Dungiven, Northern Ireland, she debuts her new band Sí Van along with Niamh Parsons, Tionna McSherry, and Graham Dunne. I wish I could be there. Here she sings The Green Fields of Canada.
The Green Fields of Canada
Farewell to the groves of shellelagh and shamrock
Farewell to the girls of Old Ireland all round
May their hearts be as merry as ever I would wish them
When far away across the ocean I’m bound
Oh my father is old and my mother quite feeble
To leave their own country it grieves their hearts sore
Oh the tears in great drops down their cheeks thy are rolling
To think they must die upon some foreign shore
But what matters to me where my bones may be buried
If in peace and contentment I can spend my life
Oh the green fields of Canada they daily are blooming
It’s there I’ll put an end to my misiries and strife.
Then it’s pack up your seastores and tarry no longer
Ten dollars a week isn’t very bad pay;
With no taxes or tithes to devour up your wages
When you’re on the green fields of Amerikay
The lint dams are dry and the looms are all broken,
The coopers are gone and the winders of creels,
Away o’er the ocean go journeymen tailors,
And fiddlers who flaked out the old mountain reels.
The sheep run unshorn and the land’s gone to rushes
The handyman’s gone and the winders of creals
Away across the ocean good journeyman tailors
And fiddlers that play out the old mountain tunes.
Farewell to the dances in homes now deserted,
When tips struck the lightening in splanks from the floor,
The paving and crigging of hobnails on flagstones
The tears of the old folk and shouts of encore.
For the landlords and bailiffs in vile combination,
Have forced us from hearthstone and homestead away
May the crowbar brigade all be doomed to damnation
When we’re on the fields of Americay.
The timber grows thick on the slopes of Columbia
With Douglas in grandeur two hundred feet tall,
The salmon and sturgeon dam streamlet and river,
And the high Rocky Mountains look down on it all.
On the prairie and plain sure the wheat waves all golden
The maple gives sugar to sweeten your tay.
You won’t want for corn cob way out in Saskatchewan
When you’re in the green fields of Americay.
And if you grow weary of pleasure and plenty
Of fruit from the orchard and fish from the foam,
There’s health and good hunting ‘way back in the forests
Where herds of great moose and wild buffalo roam.
And it’s now to conclude and to finish my ditty
If ever friendless Irishmen chances my way
With the best in the house I will treat him, and welcome
At home in the green fields of Amerikay.