Clare County Library
Songs of Clare
Home | Library Catalogue | Music of Clare | Forums | Foto | Maps | Folklore | Genealogy | History | Museum | Search this Website | Copyright | What's New

The Queen of Connemara
Mikey Kelleher
Quilty and Depford, London

Recorded in London, 1977

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Mikey Kelleher

Oh my boat can safely float against the sheets of wind and weather,
Outrace the fastest hooker between Galway and Kinsale.
The black fish of the ocean and the wild foam rush together,
She rides on her pride, like a seagull through a gale.

She's neat, oh she's sweet
She's a beauty every line,
She’s the Queen of Connemara
That bouncing boat of mine.

Though she's loaded down with fish until the water lips her gunnel,
Not a drop she takes on board of her would only fly away.
From the fleet she steals out swipping like a greyhound from its kennel,
Till she'll land that silvery store like first at old Kinvara quay.

She's neat, oh she's sweet
She's a beauty every line,
She’s the Queen of Connemara
She’s that bouncing boat of mine.

There's a light shines out so far, and it keeps us from dismaying,
The sky is ink above us and the sea roll white with foam.
In a cot in Connemara there's a wife and wee one hoping
The One who crossed the water once would bring him safely home.

She's neat, oh she's sweet
She's a beauty every line,
She’s the Queen of Connemara
That bouncing boat of mine.


“Written by Francis Fahy (1854-1935), this was popularised by Delia Murphy in 1961; she was known as ‘The Queen of Connemara’. The song refers to a Galway hooker, one of the magnificent sail-driven cargo boats which once carried small cargoes around the coast of Galway; nowadays they can been seen in all their glory in the annual hooker race which is takes place in August, setting out from Kinvara. Before gas and electricity came to Kinvara, turf was the main fuel used for cooking and heating. The Galway hookers sailed from Connemara laden with this fuel as the local area has no bogs. Kinvara in turn filled the hookers with grain and produce for their return journey. A strong trade developed between the two regions using these great old cargo boats.”
Jim Carroll


<< Songs of Clare