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The Home I Left Behind
(Roud 5235)
Tom Lenihan
Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay
Recorded in singer's home, August 1984

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Tom Lenihan

An Irish lady sat alone by Susquehanna shore,
Reposing on the weary miles she lately wandered o’er.
So sadly, sweetly, low she sang, while falling tears did blind,
But still the burden of her woe was the home she left behind.

Now summer smiles in Erin’s Isle in hills and valleys gay,
Where my contented playmates all together sport and play.
The milkmaid’s song now floats along its perfume-laden wind,
And woodbines blow and daisies grow round the home I’ve left behind.

Next Sunday at the crossroad dance will lads and lassies throng,
Then homeward ramble hand in hand, the weary lanes among.
But I can’t join their sports no more, nor ever, ever, find
My heart at rest in some fond breast in the home I’ve left behind.

It was a dreary winter day, the snow lay on the moor,
When landlord, bailiff and police broke in our cottage door.
They drove my widowed mother forth, but death to her was kind.
She sleeps beside my father near the home I’ve left behind.

And now I wander sad and lone among these prairies wild,
Still dreaming o’er each happy scene that blessed me when a child.
Cold strangers, heedless, mark my tears, but never can I find
That friendly smile of my mother dear in the home I’ve left behind.

Conversation after the song between Tom Lenihan, Pat Mackenzie and Jim Carroll:
Jim: Lovely, Tom. Have you had that long?
Tom: I have that long too and I don’t think that, that… no one ever taped that song before from me.


"Though there are numerous examples of present-day singers performing this beautiful emigration song, there are no readily available printed versions and its origins appear to be untraceable."
Jim Carroll

See also
The Home I Left Behind sung by Ollie Conway

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