My Wild Irish Rose

Luka Bloom is about to begin his first U.S. tour in quite some time. We’ll celebrate with this great video of Luka performing a “modern” folk classic by Chauncey Olcott, written in 1899.

My Wild Irish Rose

If you listen I’ll sing you a sweet little song
Of a flower that’s now droped and dead,
Yet dearer to me, yes than all of its mates,
Though each holds aloft its proud head.
Twas given to me by a girl that I know,
Since we’ve met, faith I’ve known no repose.
She is dearer by far than the world’s brightest star,
And I call her my wild Irish Rose.

Chorus:
My wild Irish Rose, the sweetest flower that grows.
You may search everywhere,
but none can compare with my wild Irish Rose.
My wild Irish Rose, the dearest flower that grows,
And some day for my sake,
she may let me take the bloom from my wild Irish Rose.

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The Homes of Donegal

The Rosses – Houses at north end of Cruit Island

This ballad was written in 1955 by Donegal songwriter Seán McBride and performed here, most famously, but Paul Brady. From the all-knowing Wikipedia, we learn:

McBride was a native of Cruit Island which is in the Rosses area of County Donegal.

Seán only wrote the lyrics, the actual air itself may be 150 or more years old, there are many songs around using the same melody, the closest one is a song called “The Faughan Side”, This song was part of the Curriculum in national schools in East Donegal and as Seán was a Teacher in the “Laggan Valley” (South Inishowen) It seems prudent to many people to assume he got his inspiration for the “Homes of Donegal” from “The Faughan Side”.

Homes Of Donegal

I’ve just called in to see you all, I’ll only stay a while
I want to see how you’re getting on, I want to see you smile.
I’m happy to be back again, I greet you big and small,
For there’s no place else on earth just like the homes of Donegal.

I always see the happy faces, smiling at the door,
The kettle swinging on the crook, as I step up the floor.
And soon the taypot’s fillin’ up me cup that’s far from small,
For your hearts are like your mountains, in the homes of Donegal.

To see your homes at parting day of that I never tire,
And hear the porridge bubblin’ in a big pot on the fire.
The lamp alight, the dresser bright, the big clock on the wall,
O, a sight serene, celestial scene, in the homes of Donegal.

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The Fields of Athenry

I great modern song set during the Irish famine of the late 19th century.  It was written by singer-songwriter Pete St. John in the 1970s, but by far the most successful version has to be this one recorded by Paddy O’Reilly in the ’80s.

The Fields of Athenry

By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young girl calling
Micheal they are taking you away
For you stole Trevelyn’s corn
So the young might see the morn.
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay.

Chorus:
Low lie the Fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly.
Our love was on the wing we had dreams and songs to sing
It’s so lonely ’round the Fields of Athenry.

By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young man calling
Nothing matters Mary when you’re free,
Against the Famine and the Crown
I rebelled they ran me down
Now you must raise our child with dignity.

Chorus

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