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Erin’s Green Shore
(Laws Q27; Roud 280)
Tom Lenihan
Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay
Recorded 1976

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Tom Lenihan

One evening so late as I rambled,
On the banks of a clear purling stream.
I saw down on a bed of primroses
And so gently fell into a dream.
I dreamt I beheld a fair female
Her equals I ne’er saw before.
And she sighing for the wrongs of her country
As she strays around Erin’s green shore.

I quickly addressed this fair female;
‘My jewel, come tell me your name.
In this country I know you’re a stranger
Or I would not have asked you the same.’
She resembled the goddess of liberty
And green was the mantle she wore,
And she sighed for the wrongs of her country
As she strays around Erin’s green shore.

Her eyes were like two sparkling diamonds
Or the stars of a cold frosty night.
Her cheeks were like two blooming roses
And her teeth of the ivory so white.
She resembled the goddess of freedom,
And freedom the mantle she wore,
And she sighed for the wrongs of her country
As she strays around Erin’s green shore.

‘I know you’re a true son to Gráinne
And my secrets to you, well I’ll unfold.
For here in the midst of all dangers,
Not knowing my friends from my foes.
I’m a daughter to Daniel O’Connell
And from England I’ve lately came o’er.
I have come to awaken my brethren
That slumber round Erin’s green shore.

In transport of joy I awoke and
I found I had been on a dream.
For this beautiful damsel had fled me
And I longed for to slumber again.
May the heavens above be her guardian,
For I know I won’t see her no more.
May the sunbeams of glory shine o’er her
As she strays around Erin’s green shore.


"Another Aisling (see Josie Baker’s Kilrush) Tom learned this from his sisters. His air is 'Cailín Deas Crúite na mBó'. The song was widely found in the United States and was reported to have been circulated on English and Irish broadsides. Two versions were found in Virginian, aptly titled ‘The Irish Dream Song' and 'The Irishman’s Dream'. Zimmermann dates it to the first half of the 19th Century."

Reference:
Folk-Songs of the South, John Harrington Cox, Harvard University Press, 1925.
Songs of Irish Rebellion, Georges-Denis Zimmermann, Dublin 1967.

Jim Carroll

See also
Erin's Green Shore sung by Michael 'Straighty' Flanagan


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