The Emigrant Farewell (Farewell to Old Ireland)

This is a lovely video I stumbled on while cruising YouTube.  Bruce Michael Baillie sings and plays a superb version of this song made famous by Andy Irvine.

The Emigrant Farewell

Farewell to old Ireland, the land of my childhood
Which now and forever I am going to leave;
Farewell to the shores, the shamrock is growing
It’s the bright spot of beauty and home of the brave.
I will think on its valleys with fond admiration
Though never again its green hills will I see,
I’m bound for to cross o’er that wide swelling ocean,
In search of fame, fortune and sweet liberty.

It’s hard to be forced from the lands that we live in,
Our houses and farms obliged for to sell,
And to wander alone amongst Indians and strangers
To find some sweet spot where our children might dwell.
I’ve got a wee lassie I fain would take with me,
Her dwelling at present lies in County Down,
It would break my sad heart for to leave her behind me,
We will both roam together the wide world around.

So come away, Bessie, my own blue-eyed lassie,
Bid farewell to your mother and then come with me,
I’ll do my endeavour to keep your mind cheery
Till we reach the green fields of Americay.
Our ship at the present lies below Londonderry,
To bear us away o’er the wide swelling sea;
May heaven be her pilot and grant her fair breezes
Till we reach the green fields of Americay.

Our farmers, our artists, our tradesmen are going
To seek for employment far over the sea,
Where they will get riches with care and industry;
There’s nothing but hardship at home if you stay.
So cheer up your spirits, you lads and you lasses,
There’s gold for the digging and lots of it, too,
And success to the hearts that have courage to venture,
And misfortune to him or to her that would rue.

There’s brandy in Quebec at ten cents a quart, boys,
The ale in New Brunswick’s a penny a glass,
There’s rum in that sweet town they call Montreal, boys,
At inn after inn we will drink as we pass,
We’ll call for a bumper of ale, wine and brandy,
And we’ll drink to the health of those far away;
Our hearts will all warm at the thought of old Ireland
While we’re in the green fields of Americay.

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