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May Morning Dew
(Roud 5405)
Peggy McMahon
Cloonlaheen, Miltown Malbay
Recorded in singer’s home, date unknown
Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

How pleasant in winter to sit by the hob,
Listening to the bark and the howls of the dog.
Or in summer to wander the green valleys through,
And to pluck the wild flowers in the May morning dew.

Summer is coming, oh summer is here,
With the leaves all so green and the skies bright and clear.
And the birds they are singing their loved ones to coo,
And the flowers they are springing in the May morning dew.

I climbed up the mountain to view all around,
The place seemed deserted no comrade I found.
I cursed the cruel tyrants that bid me adieu,
And my tear drops were mingled in the May morning dew.

God be with the old folk who are now dead and gone,
And likewise my brothers, young Denis and John.
As they tripped through the heather the hare to pursue,
And the wild deer they hunted in the May morning dew.

The house I was reared in has not a stick or a stone,
And all round the garden the weeds are all grown.
And all the kind neighbours that I ever once knew,
Like the red rose, they withered in the May morning dew.


"This song, evoking old age and the passing of time, while being popular in West Clare, does not seem to have been often recorded from traditional singers elsewhere; the only other two versions listed by Roud being from Ann Jane Kelly of Keady, Armagh, in 1952 and Paddy Tunney of Beleek, Fermanagh, in 1965. The Keane sisters of Caherlistrane, Co Galway, also have a version of it."
Jim Carroll

See also
May Morning Dew sung by Ollie Conway
May Morning Dew sung by Kitty Hayes
May Morning Dew sung by John Lyons

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