Sliabh Gallion Braes

Sliabh Gallion

It doesn’t get much better than this performance from Dolores Keane with her husband John Faulkner. According to one source, the Sliabh Gallion brae referred to in the song is part of the Sperrin Mountains in Counties Tyrone and Derry, and this song was written by James McGarvey, a Derryman, sometime in the 1800s.

Slieve Gallion Braes

As I went a walking one morning in May
To view your fair valleys and your mountains so gay
I was thinking of your flowers all going to decay
That grow around ye bonny, bonny Slieve Gallon Brae

Oft times have I wandered with my dog and my gun
And travelled your valleys for joy and for fun
But those days are gone forever and I can no longer stray
So farewell unto ye bonny, bonny SlieveGallon Brae

Continue reading

Craigie Hills

Some craggy hills in Northern Ireland.

There’s a bit of a debate among singers and song collectors as to the origin of this song and whether or not Craigie Hill(s) is an actually location or just a generic name, although many agree it is an Ulster song. And there is some agreement  that the song was brought to the public’s attention through the singing of the great Paddy Tunney, who got the song off his mother. Here’s a version from the great Dolores Keane.

Craigie Hills

It being in spring and the small birds they were singing
Down by a shady arbour I carelessly did stray
Where the thrushes they were warbling
The violets they were charming
For to view two lovers talking a while I did delay

She said, “My dear, don’t leave me all for another season
Though fortune may be pleasing I’ll go along with you
I’ll give up friends and relations and quit this Irish nation
And to the bonnie Bann banks forever I’ll bid adieu”

He said, “My dear, don’t grieve me or yet annoy my patience
You know I love you dearly although I’m going away
I’m going to some foreign nation to purchase a plantation
For to comfort us hereafter all in America.

Continue reading

Once I Loved

What a true expression of the tradition of oral and generational transmission! Dolores Keane singing with her aunts Rita and Sarah.

Once I Loved (Go and Leave Me)

Once I loved with fond affection
All his thoughts they were of me
Until a dark girl did persuade him
Now he thinks no more of me

One hour he’s happy with another
One that has great gold in store
While I poor girl am left broken-hearted
I’m left alone because I’m poor

So go and leave me if you wish, love
Never let me cross your mind
For if you think I’m so unworthy
Go and leave me I don’t mind

Many’s the day, love, with you I’ve rambled
Many was the night that with you I’ve spent
For I always thought you were mine forever
But now I know you were only lent

Here’s the ring, love, which first you gave me
When our hearts they were entwined
Give it to that dark-haired lady
She’ll never know that it once was mine

Many’s the night, love, as you lie sleeping
Dreaming in your sweet repose
While I young girl lie broken-hearted
Listening to the wind that blows

Fare thee well friends and kind relations
Farewell to you, you false young man
‘Tis you that has caused me pain and suffering
Never to return again