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Barney McCoy
(Roud 2094)
Tom Lenihan
Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay
Recorded 1977

Carroll Mackenzie Collection


Tom Lenihan

“I am going far away, Nora darling,
And leaving such an angel far behind;
And it breaks my heart in two, which I fondly gave to you,
And no other one so loving, kind, and true.

Chorus:
Come into my arms, Nora darling,
Bid your friends in old Ireland goodbye,
And tis happy we will be, in the dear land of the free,
Living happy with you, Barney McCoy.”

“I would go with you, Barney, my darling,
If my mother and the rest of them agree;
But ‘twould break my mother's heart, if from her I had to part,
And go roving with you, Barney McCoy."

“I am going far away, Nora darling,
Just as sure as there’s a God that I adore.
And remember what I say, not until the Judgement Day,
You won’t ever see your Barney anymore.”

Chorus:
Come into my arms, Nora darling,
Bid your friends in old Ireland goodbye,
And tis happy we will be, in the dear land of the free,
Living happy with you, Barney McCoy.”

“I will go with you, Barney, my darling,
If my mother and the rest of them agree;
For I know we would be blessed, in the dear land of the west,
Living happy with you, Barney McCoy.”

Chorus:
Come into my arms, Nora darling,
Bid your friends in old Ireland goodbye,
And tis happy we will be, in the dear land of the free,
Living happy with you, Barney McCoy.”

“I am going far away, Nora darling,
And the ship is now anchored in the bay;
And before tomorrow's sun, you will hear the signal gun,
So, be ready, it will carry us away.”

Chorus:
Come into my arms, Nora darling,
Bid your friends in old Ireland goodbye,
And tis happy we will be, in the dear land of the free,
Living happy with you, Barney McCoy.”


"This song almost certainly originated in the United States; it was claimed by Ozark singers to have been popular in the 1870s but was copyrighted in 1881. It was used as a ‘play party song’ (game song) in Indiana and was recorded by American Country singers like Uncle Eck Dunford and Ernest Stoneman. Reports of the song are almost exclusively from the United States and Canada, with the exception of one found in Australia. Tom Lenihan learned a number of songs from a large published collection of Irish songs sent from America. 'Barney' was included in ‘Six Hundred and Seventeen Irish Songs and Ballads' [NY c1898], perhaps this was the book."

Jim Carroll

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