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The Foggy Dew
Martin Junior Crehan
Bonavilla, Mullagh
Recorded in the singer’s home, September 1992

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Martin Junior Crehan
Oh, the sun shone on high, when I bade my love good bye,
As she went forth in exile to a far-off land.
And I smiled for her sake, though my heart fit to break
Sank in dark, doom despair as I clasped her hand.

Then I sighed for the rain, against the window pane,
And the cold dark blast of the wintry wind.
Through the long silent years of my hopes and my fears,
For the blue sky would bring my sad grief to mind.

But when twilight falls, oft’ I’d dream that she calls,
And the rich, soft music of the voice I love
Makes the dusk grow bright, and the dark haze night
Glow with heavenly light like the stars above.

And when I wandered through, the dimmed foggy dew
That falls o’er the hills when the sunbeams wane.
Sure I know that at last, when the mists are all past,
That we’ll meet to be parted ne’er again.

Conversation between Junior Crehan, Pat Macklenzie and Jim Carroll:
Before the song:
Pat: You mentioned ‘The Foggy Dew’ the other night. Do you have it all?
Junior: I haven’t the one about Dublin, but I have a small, shorter ‘Foggy Dew’.
After the song:
Jim: Lovely. Where did you have that from?
Junior: Oh, I heard that and I going to school.
Jim: I never heard that.
Junior: Didn’t you? It’s called ‘The Foggy Dew’ but there’s another one:
High over Dublin Town, they hung out the flag of war,
Better to die ‘neath an Irish sky than at Suvla or Sud-El-Bar.

“This song was written by Alfred Percival Graves and published in ‘Irish Songs and Ballads’ in 1880. Junior says he learned it when he was at school. It has nothing whatever to do with the erotic English song of the same name nor the Irish song celebrating Easter Week 1916. It is highly likely that the attributed author of the Easter Week ‘Foggy Dew’, Canon Charles O'Neill (1887-1963), borrowed ‘Graves’ evocative title as a ‘calm before the storm’ scene-setter. The English title is said to be a corruption of ‘bugaboo’, the old term for the ghost that the gullible young woman is invited to hide from, under the young man’s blankets.”
Jim Carroll


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