Lonely Irish Maid/Blackwaterside

Rita Gallagher of County Donegal is a multiple winner of the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann‘s English singing competition. Rita is considered by many to be one of the best living singers in the tradition. Here she sings another “As I Roved Out” song. This one goes under many names, but most frequently “Blackwaterside” and “Lonely/Bonnie/Lovely Irish Maid.”

Lonely Irish Maid/Blackwaterside

As I roved out one morning fair,
Bright and early as I strayed,
It being in the merry month of May
As the birds sang in each glade.
The sun it shone so merrily
And billowing with pride,
Where primroses and daisies there,
Down by Blackwaterside

I’d scarcely gone but half a mile,
When there by change I spied
two lovers talking as they walked
Down by Blackwaterside.
And as he held her in his arms,
to her these words did say,
“When I am in Americay,
I’ll be true to my Irish maid.”

“When you go to Americay
Those Yankees girls you’ll find.
And you’ll have sweethearts of your own
More pleasing to your mind.
Do not forget the promises
Or the vows you made to me.
Oh, stay at home, love, do not roam
From your only Irish Maid.”

“‘Tis many’s a foolish youth,” she said,
“Has gone to some foreign shore.
Leaving his own true love behind
Oh, ne’er to see no more.
It’s in crossing the Atlantic foam
Sometimes our graves our made.
Oh, stay at home, love, do not roam
from your only Irish maid.”

These two young hearts together
So fondly did embrace.
Like dew upon the honey drops,
The tears run down her face.
“There’s not a day while your away
I’ll visit still this place.
Until you do return again
to your lonely Irish maid.”

And here’s a video of Maranna McCloskey performing a similar version with accompaniment.


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