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My Nora
Nora Cleary
The Hand, near Miltown Malbay

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Nora Cleary

Away in the corners of Galway, away in that bright rocky shore,
There stands a fisherman’s cabin, where visitors came by the score.
For to the gaze on my beautiful Nora, the pride of the western wild,
A maid of seventeen summers, as mild and as mute as a child.

The children, they’re calling for Nora, they misses her beautiful face.
Ah where and oh where is my Nora, or why did she leave this place?
Her beautiful waist was her downfall, her love it was only a sham.
Oh where, oh where, is my Nora, oh where and oh where is she gone?

She has casting the wide world over, her beautiful face is a con,
Oh where, oh where, is my Nora, oh where in the where is she gone?
The lap-dog is calling for Nora, he misses her beautiful face.
Oh where and oh where is my Nora, oh why did she leave this place?

Her beautiful waist was her downfall, her love it was only a sham,
Oh where and oh where is my Nora, oh where in the where is she gone?

“The only other version of this seems to be this one, as sung by Donegal singer Packie Manus Byrne of Corkemore, County Donegal:

Far away on the north coast of Ireland far away on the wild rocky shore
There stands a fisherman’s cabin where visitors came by the score
To see my beautiful Nora a star from the heavens above
A maiden of seventeen summers as pure and as fair as the dove.

But a sad change came over my cailín and it blighted the rose on her cheek
A stranger came out from the city what changes he made in a week
He praised and he flattered my Nora poor creature she thought him sincere
He took her away to the city and he left her in less than a year.

Where oh where is my Nora where in the world can she be
She’s out there alone among strangers will she ever return back to me
Her beautiful face was her downfall and lonely without her I am
Where oh where is my Nora a wolf-dog has stolen my lamb.

Her brother poor boy he is silent an angry fire burns in his eyes
He stays at home in the evening and he never goes out with the boys
The children are asking for a sister a candle at night they do burn
They think she is lost in the mountain and they’re waiting for her to return.

Where oh where is my Nora where in the world can she be
She’s out there alone among strangers will she ever return back to me
Her beautiful face was her downfall and lonely without her I am
Where oh where is my Nora a wolf-dog has stolen my lamb.”

Jim Carroll


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