Here is another from the exile song tradition, and it shares much in common with the other “Erin’s Green Shore” songs. Here the young woman in the vision is given the name “Eileen McManus,” but you can find other versions under the name “Eileen McMahon” such as Patricia Herald sings in a recording from 1991 as a part of the Inishowen Song Project at the Irish Traditional Music Archive.
The video below is of Jimmy Spruhan in Sacred Heart Chapel in Borris, Co Carlow.
Last night as I lay on my pillow
A vision came into my view
Of a ship sailing out on the ocean
And the wind it tremendously blew.
On the deck stood a handsome young maiden
Her features I ne’er saw before
As she sighed for the rights of her country
Saying I’m banished from Erin’s green shore.
In thoughts I addressed this fair maiden
And asked her the cause of her sigh
Saying cheer up my handsome young maiden
And I’ll be your slave til I die.
She looked at me in meditation
As the tears from her blue eyes did flow
Saying I’m a poor exile from Erin
The land where the green shamrocks grow.
My name it is Eileen McManus
My age it is scarcely eighteen
And I thank you dear sir for your kindness
For you don’t know how lonely I’ve been.
For the want of employment in Ireland
I was forced as an exile to roam
Far away from my home in Killarney
Where in childhood I longed for to be.
Far away from each mountain and valley
From hence forth to the gap of Dunloe
All around by the sweet shores of Muckish
And the beautiful vale of Arklow.
It was then I awoke from my slumber
To gaze at my Eileen mo chroí
It was only the face of my mother
As fondly she gazed at me.
The ship on the ocean has vanished
In fancy I see her once more
My beautiful Eileen McManus
You’re the pride of Erin’s green shore.