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Beautiful Ireland
(Roud 5225)
Tom Lenihan
Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay
Recorded in singer's home, August 1987

Carroll Mackenzie Collection


Tom Lenihan

I’ll speak of a land that a stranger
Can build up a free and happy home.
Tis a home never crossed by a spoiler
Far o’er the wide ocean foam.

Chorus:
Oh, beautiful, beautiful, Ireland,
Ireland the gem of the sea.
I would long for a home in old Ireland.
Ireland, then I wish you were all free.

Now show me a land can compare her,
With mountains and valleys so grand.
You would travel the wide world over
For to find a more beautiful land.

Chorus:
Oh, beautiful, beautiful, Ireland,
Ireland the gem of the sea.
I would long for a home in old Ireland.
Ireland, then I wish you were all free.

Now I must go from old Éireann,
And the ship is now anchored in the bay.
But when I will return with my true love
It is then you may be sure I’ll stay.

Chorus:
Oh, beautiful, beautiful, Ireland,
Ireland the gem of the sea.
I would long for a home in old Ireland.
Ireland, then I wish you were all free.

Spoken after song:
Tom: That’s a song I picked up from my mother and that’s a hell of along time since, by hell it is!


"Tom seems to be the sole source of this; the origins appear to be untraceable. He said he got it from his mother who was said to have sung and whistled it constantly around the house and while working. A similar song based on this version has been written by singer Francie Brolly from Derry, a former member of the Irish Assembly, using the same title. The note to Francie’s song rightly states:

'Listening to the song you get the feeling that it's much older than it really is, it's certainly up there with the classics such as Galway Bay as a nostalgic song', though you might quibble with the Galway Bay comparison; Tom’s is far superior and far less trite."

Jim Carroll


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