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The Galway Shawl
(Roud 2737)
Micho Murrihy
Mount Scott, Mullagh
Recorded 1960s
Near Oranmore in the County Galway,

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Near Oranmore in the County Galway
On morning early in the month of May,
I spied a cailín both fair and handsome,
Who nearly stole my heart away.

She wore no gems, no costly diamonds,
No paint, no powder did she use at all,
But she wore a bonnet with roses on it,
And round her shoulders was a Galway shawl.

We got talking and we went walking,
Until her cottage came into view,
Says she, ‘Come in and see my father,
And to please him play him ‘The Foggy Dew’.’

I went in and sat beside her,
For most her father who was six feet tall.
When soon her mother had the kettle singing,
But I was watching the Galway shawl.

I played ‘The Blackbird’, ‘The Stack of Barley’,
‘Rodney’s Glory’, and ‘The Foggy Dew’.
She sang each note like an Irish linnet,
Whilst the tears ran down from her eyes of blue.

I started out early next morning,
To welt the road to old Donegal.
My heart near broke as she cried and kissed me,
And since then I’m thinking of the Galway shawl.

“Referred to everywhere as ‘Irish traditional’, there is little information to be had on this song. The first known version was collected by Sam Henry from Bridget Kealey in Dungiven in 1936; it has since been popular both as a song and a waltz.”
Jim Carroll


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