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Banks of Sullane
(Roud 9718)
John Lyons
Newmarket-on-Fergus
Carroll Mackenzie Collection



John Lyons

It was early one fine summer’s morning
I strolled through the banks of Sullane,
To gaze on the beauties of nature
That graced every woodland and lawn.
My prospects were surely enchanting,
As gay lassies in juvenile bloom
Promenaded by the banks of that river,
That flows near the town of Macroom.

I being airy and fond of recreation
To this river I ventured to go,
Until weary of my wandering and roving
I sat myself down by a grove.
I sat there some time meditating
Till the sun its bright rays had withdrawn,
And a damsel of queenly appearance
Came down by the banks of Sullane.

We talked and we walked on together,
Inhaling the bright pleasant air,
Till at length in a voice most enchanting,
She said, ‘My father lives there’.
‘Were I ruler of France or of Russia
Sure, it’s with you I’d soon wear the crown,
And I’d join you in wedlock, oh my darling;
You’re the beauty of sweet Masseytown.’

Ah but now I’m retired from my roving
With a heart full of sorrow and grief.
There is no one on earth to console me
Or give me the slightest relief.
I will roam through the African desert
Till death calls me to my tomb,
For the sake of my charming fair Helen
That I met near the town of Macroom.

"This is said to be one of the most popular English ballads of the Ballyvourney and Coolea area in West Cork. Elizabeth Cronin’s son Sean wrote about the song, ‘The poet Aherne from Clondruhid composed this, I think’.

Reference:
Down Erin’s Lovely Lee; Songs of Cork, Tomás Ó Canainn (ed.), Gilbert Dalton, 1978.
Jim Carroll

See also:
Banks of Sullane sung by Ollie Conway


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