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Galway Bay
Mikey Kelleher
Quilty and Depford, London

Recorded in London, 1977
Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Mikey Kelleher

If you ever go across the sea to Ireland,
And maybe at the closing of your day.
You can sit and watch the moon rise over Claddagh,
And see the sun going down by Galway Bay.

You watch again the ripples of a trout stream,
The women on the meadows making hay.
You can sit beside a turf fire in a cabin,
And watch the barefoot gossoons at their play.

The breeze that flies across the bogs of Ireland,
Bring the perfume from the heather as it blow.
And the women in the uplands picking praties,
Speak a language that the strangers do not know.

And yet the strangers came and tried to teach us their way,
And scorn us for bein’ what we are.
But they might as well go try and fetch a moonbeam,
Or light a penny candle from the star.

They say there’s going to be a life hereafter,
By which I am sure there’s goin’ to be.
And I’ll ask my God to let me make my heaven,
In that little dear old land across the sea.

“This, the more well-known 'Galway Bay', was composed by Arthur Nicholas Whistler Colahan (1884–1952), an Irish doctor, British Army officer and songwriter. Born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Colahan moved with his family to Galway, where he grew up. His most famous work is 'Galway Bay', which was popularised by Bing Crosby and was the biggest selling record of all time at one stage. Theories abound as to where the song was written or where it was first heard. Some say it was in the home of Dr Morris at 1 Montpelier Terrace, while others believe it was in The Vicars Croft on Taylor's Hill, from where one could see Galway Bay. The song’s most famous outing was for the soundtrack of the John Ford film, 'The Quiet Man' in 1952. Other songs written by Colahan include 'Maccushla Mine', 'Asthoreen Bawn', 'Until God's Day', 'The Kylemore Pass' and 'The Claddagh Ring'.”
Jim Carroll

See also
Galway Bay sung by Peggy McMahon


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