A church in Ballymoney Parish.
This might be my favorite track from Maranna McCloskey‘s album At Last. It’s another lively but cautionary tale, and the arrangement is dead on. I’ve also seen these same lyrics, with an additional verse at the beginning, as Meeting/Courting is a Pleasure or Lovely Molly.
Going to Mass Last Sunday
Going to Mass Last Sunday, my love she passed me by
I knew her mind was altered by the roving of her eye
I knew her mind was altered to a lad of higher degree
For it’s Molly, lovely Molly, your looks have wounded me.
Oh! Woe unto you Molly, you have proved to me unkind
For you plucked the bonny briar and left the sweet red rose behind
But the briar it will wither, and the day it will come soon
When the lovely blushing red rose will flourish and will bloom.
This song was one of my first introductions to the sean-nós tradition. It was from the singing of the fabulous Lillis Ó Laoire on the amazing album Celtic Tales and Tongues. If you don’t own the recording, do yourself a favor and pick it up – tradition songs in Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and Breton. I’d also recommend the version by Mary Dillon on her 2013 release North. The song is another of the thousands of sorrowful emigrant songs. Here’s a new take on it from Ciara McCrickard of At First Light.
*Aird Uí Chuain/Ardicoan is County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Aird Uí Chuain
Dá mbeinn féin in Aird Uí Chuain
In aice an tsléibhe atá i bhfad uaim
B’annamh liom gan dul ar cuairt
Go gleann na gcuach Dé Domhnaigh
Is iomaí Nollaig a bhí mé féin
I mBun Abhann Doinne is mé gan chéill
Ag iomáin ar an trá bháin
‘Is mo chamán bán ins mo dhorn liom
Agus och och Éire ‘lig is ó,
Éire lionn dubh (melancholy) agus ó,
‘Sé mo chroí ‘tá trom ‘s bronach.