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Around the Hills of Clare
(Roud 18467)
Tom Lenihan
Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay
Recorded in singer’s home, July 1981

Carroll Mackenzie Collection



Tom Lenihan

Well now my friends, the hour has come when I must say adieu,
My lonely heart is filled with grief to think on parting you.
Farewell unto my comrade girls, some old, some young and gay,
Oh, how often did I roam with them around the hills of Clare.

Now I must leave my native home, my parents fond and true,
My sister dear, with weeping heart I bid farewell to you.
Farewell unto my comrade girls, some old, some young and gay.
How often did I roam with them around the hills of Clare.

Now I must leave my native land, the land that gave me birth;
Where oftentimes I passed away the hours in joy and mirth,
Amongst those few and trusty friends, with whom none can compare,
Likewise the ever smiling maids that roam the hills of Clare.

In days long past, I often cast a thought when here alone,
Upon those lands whose Saxon bands should fly from out our home.
But now, at last these days are past, there is nothing left but care.
Oh, the day will come when four, like one will roam the hills of Clare.

Farewell you groves and shady hills where oftentimes I strayed,
Farewell you brooks and sparkling rills besides whose banks I played,
For scenes so grand, no other land can with this spot compare,
Oh, so blessed be the pastures green that deck the hills of Clare.

Cheer up your hearts, my comrade boys, the day’s not far away
When you and I our tears will dry, once more we will be gay.
May heaven keep us safe till then, till home we’ll all repair,
In hope to find you all enjoy around the hills of Clare.

"Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, famine, evictions, political upheaval and general poverty led to mass emigration from Ireland. This gave rise to one of the largest category of songs in the traditional repertoire: those expressing love of the home place and of having to leave, often never to return. This is one such piece, obviously locally composed. The only other version was recorded by Tom Munnelly from another West Clare singer, the late Joe Mikey McMahon of Creevagh, near Doolough. Tom's tune is the one usually associated with ‘The Magpie's Nest’."

The above commentary, lyrics and recording are taken from ‘Around the Hills of Clare: Songs and Recitations from the Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie Collection’, Musicial Traditions Records MTCD331-2/Góilín Records 005-6


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