Erin’s Green Shore

There are so many versions of this song and so many wonderful videos and recordings that it is difficult to choose only one. I think this old TV clip of Rosie Stewart might be my favorite, though.  The thing I like about her singing is it’s ability to punch through a one inch steel door like a hot knife through butter, but her demeanor is so natural.  What you see/hear is exactly what you get, and it’s marvelous. Enjoy!

Erin’s Green Shore

One morning as I went out walking,
Twas down by a clear flowing stream.
I set down on a bed of primroses
And I gently fell into a dream.
I dreamt I beheld a fair female,
Her features I’d ne’er saw before,
And she sighed from the wrongs of her country,
As she rambled around Erins green shore

Her eyes were like two sparkling diamonds,
Or the stars on a cold, frosty night.
Her cheeks were like to blooming roses,
And her skin it was ivory white.
She was dressed in the richest attire,
And green was the mantle, she wore
Decked around with the shamrock and roses
That bloom along Erins green shore

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Ar Éirinn Ní Neosfainn Cé Hí (For Ireland, I’d Not Tell Her Name)

Cathy Jordan and Dervish (one of my favorite singer/bands) performing For Ireland, I’d Not Tell Her Name live. And farther below is the Irish form of the song, performed by the great Liam Clancy.

Ar Éirinn Ní Neosfainn Cé Hí (For Ireland, I’d Not Tell Her Name)

There’s a home by the wide Avonmore
That would sweep o’er the broad open sea
And wide rivers where the waves wash ashore
Whilst bulrushes they wave to the breeze
Where the green ivy clings round the door
And the birds sweetly sing on each tree
O me darling they’re tuning they’re notes
Is ar Éirinn ní neosfainn cé hí

Like a sick man that longs for the dawn
I do long for the light of her smile
And I pray for my own cailin ban
While I’m waiting for her by the stile
Oh I’d climb all the hills of this land
And I’d swim all the depths of the sea
To get one kiss from her lily-white hand
Is ar Éirinn ní neosfainn cé hí

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False Lady

John Doyle‘s unique guitar playing makes this version of False Lady my favorite.  You can find a version of it on his CD with Karan Casey Exiles Return. 

False Lady

“Abide, abide, true love,” she said,
“Bide and stay all night,
You shall have pleasure in my room
With a coal and a candle light, light,
With a coal and a candle light”

“I won’t abide, you false lady,
and bide and stay all night,
For I have a far better love to enjoy
When I go home, than you, you,
When I go home, than you”

As he stooped over saddle bow
To kiss her lips so sweet
And with a penknife in her hand
She wounded him full deep, deep
She wounded him full deep

“Why woundest me, you false lady
Why woundest me full sore?
There’s not a doctor in all Scotland
Can heal my mortal wound, wound
Can heal my mortal wound”

She awoke her maids in the morning
Just at the break of day
Saying, “there’s a dead man in my bed chamber
I wish he was away, away
I wish he was away”

Some took him by the lily-white hands
And others by the feet
They threw him into a very deep well
Full fifty fathoms deep, deep
Full fifty fathoms deep

“Lie there, lie there, you false young man
Lie there, lie there, alone
And let the one that you love best
Think you long a coming home, home
Think you long a coming home”

Oh then upspoke a pretty little bird
Sitting on a tree
“An ill death may you die, lady
He had no love but thee, thee
He had no love but thee”

“Come down, come down, you pretty little bird
Sit upon my knee
For I have a golden cage at home
That I will give to thee, thee
That I will give to thee”

“I won’t come down, you false lady
And sit upon your knee
For you have slain your own true love
And I’m sure you would slay me, me
And I’m sure you would slay me”

“I wish I had my bow to bend
My arrow and my string
I’d shoot you through the very heart
Among the leaves so green, green
Among the leaves so green”

“Well if you had your bow to bend
Your arrow and your string
I’d take my wings and away I’d fly
You’d ne’er see me again, again
You’d ne’er see me again”