There are so many versions of this song and so many wonderful videos and recordings that it is difficult to choose only one. I think this old TV clip of Rosie Stewart might be my favorite, though. The thing I like about her singing is it’s ability to punch through a one inch steel door like a hot knife through butter, but her demeanor is so natural. What you see/hear is exactly what you get, and it’s marvelous. Enjoy!
Erin’s Green Shore
One morning as I went out walking,
Twas down by a clear flowing stream.
I set down on a bed of primroses
And I gently fell into a dream.
I dreamt I beheld a fair female,
Her features I’d ne’er saw before,
And she sighed from the wrongs of her country,
As she rambled around Erins green shore
Her eyes were like two sparkling diamonds,
Or the stars on a cold, frosty night.
Her cheeks were like to blooming roses,
And her skin it was ivory white.
She was dressed in the richest attire,
And green was the mantle, she wore
Decked around with the shamrock and roses
That bloom along Erins green shore
I quickly approached this fond female
“My jewel come tell me your name.
In this land sure, I know you’re a stranger,
Or I would not have asked you the same.”
She resembled the goddess of freedom
For Liberty’s emblem she wore
Still she sighed for the wrongs of her country
As she rambled along Erin’s green shore
She answer, “Kind sir, I’m a stranger.
The truth unto you I’ll disclose
I’m here in the middle of danger.
I don’t know my friends from my foes.
I’m a daughter of Daniel O’Connell
From England I lately sailed o’er
To awaken my brethren in Ireland
Who slumber along Erin’s green shore.”
“I know you’re a true son of Grainne
My mind until you I’ll disclose.
I’d have you go up to London
And there your distresses make known.
And when the reform is granted,
No proctor you’ll see at your door.
And the blessings of freedom will shine on
The person’s of Erin’s green shore.”
In the transports of joy I awakened
And I found that it was only a dream
For the beautiful maiden had vanished
And I long for to slumber again
May the sun of old Ireland shine on her
For I’m sure that I’ll ne’er see her more.
And my heaven above be her guardian
As she strolls along Erin’s green shore.
For an example of how one of the traditional songs wound up in America, check out this field recording from the Ozarks.