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

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Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann – Cavan 2012

The annual Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (Society of the Musicians of Ireland) competition Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann begins today in Cavan. There is an impressive lineup of musicians taking the stages, and at the end of the 10 days among the winners will be group of singers taking home top honors in singing competitions in Irish, English, newly composed ballads, and even lilting and whistling.

Good luck to the competitors!


Fare-Thee-Well Lovely Mary

Here is Aoife Murray singing at the the launch party for Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann back in June. The Fleadh starts tomorrow!

Fare-thee-well Lovely Mary

Fare-thee-well lovely Mary, for it’s now I must leave you,
To the distant West Indies, my long course to steer,
I know very well love, my long absence will grieve you,
But love I’ll be with you, in the spring of the year.

So don’t let my long absence, bring any worries on you love,
Nor any foolish notions run into your mind,
For although we are parted, we’ll be true and loyal hearted,
And whene’er I return love, ‘twill be just like old times.

‘I will dress as a sailor’, she said, ‘and go with you’,
‘In the midst of all dangers, by your side I will stand,
And if there be any storms, or raging seas around us,
I’ll be there love, beside you to obey your commands’.

‘Your tiny little fingers could not hold the strong cable,
Your small little feet to the top mast could not go,
Your frail and slender body this rough life could not endure love,
Stay at home lovely Mary, do not cease, do not go’.

Soon the big ship was a-sailing, lovely Mary sadly wailing,
Her red rosy cheeks now as pale as the snow,
Her gay golden locks, she’s continually tearing,
Saying, ‘I sigh love; I’ll die love, should I ne’er see you more’.