My Own Dear Galway Bay

Another great song from the group Líadan. The song is known alternatively as Galway BayMy Own Dear Galway Bay, or the ‘old Galway Bay’. It was composed in London by Frank A. Fahy (1854–1935), a native of Kinvara (Co. Galway) on the shores of Galway Bay. It was originally written to air of Skibbereen but is now better known sung to a different air written by the late Tony Small, a Galway native.

My Own Dear Galway Bay

‘Tis far away I am today from scenes I roamed a boy,
And long ago the hour I know I first saw Illinois;
But time nor tide nor waters wide can wean my heart away,
For ever true it flies to you, my dear old Galway Bay.

My chosen bride is by my side, her brown hair silver-grey,
Her daughter Rose as like her grows as April dawn to day.
Our only boy, his mother’s joy, his father’s pride and stay;
With gifts like these I’d live at ease, were I near Galway Bay.

Oh, grey and bleak, by shore and creek, the rugged rocks abound,
But sweet and green the grass between, as grows on Irish ground,
So friendship fond, all wealth beyond, and love that lives alway,
Bless each poor home beside your foam, my dear old Galway Bay.

A prouder man I’d walk the land in health and peace of mind,
If I might toil and strive and moil, nor cast one thought behind,
But what would be the world to me, its wealth and rich array,
If memory I lost of thee, my own dear Galway Bay.

Had I youth’s blood and hopeful mood and heart of fire once more,
For all the gold the world might hold I’d never quit your shore,
I’d live content whate’er God sent with neighbours old and gray,
And lay my bones, ‘neath churchyard stones, beside you, Galway Bay.

The blessing of a poor old man be with you night and day,
The blessing of a lonely man whose heart will soon be clay;
‘Tis all the Heaven I’ll ask of God upon my dying day,
My soul to soar for evermore above you, Galway Bay.

And here’s a vido of Tony Small singing this song Dingle. He died in January of 2013.

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