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The Parting Way of Time
Peggy McMahon
Cloonlaheen, Doolough

Recorded in singer's home, January 2002

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

It’s the parting way of time, oh where the martyrs’ swing.
Adieu the Maid of Érin, where the small birds sweetly sing.
I cannot see the shamrock, that plant so dear to me,
They grow it all in Érin in our own country.

Then why did I leave my home and why did I cross the seas?
And why left I the land where my forefathers sleep?
I sighed for Érin’s shore, as I gazed across the seas,
But could not get one glimpse of lovely Érin or thee.

I cannot hear the Sabbath bell, to awake the Sabbath morn.
I cannot see the reapers in their golden fields of corn.
For a tyrant voice to hear in a distant country,
Oh I am longing to be home in my own country.

Then why did I leave my home and why did I cross the seas?
And why left I the land where my forefathers sleep?
I sighed for Érin’s shore, as I gazed across the seas,
But could not get one glimpse of lovely Érin or thee.

It’s the noble and the brave, that are parted from our shores,
And gone to a foreign country,
Where cannons they do rattle and bullets they do roar,
And soldiers they do fall, amidst the falling tempest of a great cannon ball.

Then why did I leave my home and why did I cross the seas?
And why left I the land, where my forefathers sleep?
I sighed for Érin’s shore as I gazed across the sea,
But could not get one glimpse of lovely Érin or thee.

"We can find no reference to this, but it appears to be from the same source as a song entitled 'The Hills of Kerry' performed by popular Kerry singer Danny Doyle - chicken or egg?

The Hills of Kerry
Oh the palm trees wave on high all along that fertile shore,
Adieu, you hills of Kerry, I never will see you more.
Oh, why did I leave my home, and why did I cross the sea?
And leave the small birds singing around you sweet Tralee.

The noble and the brave have departed from your shore,
They´ve gone, they've gone to fight the war where the mighty cannons roar.
Will they ever again return to see old Ireland free,
And hear the small birds singing around you sweet Tralee.

Will I ever see the shamrock, that sprig so fine and grand,
Or hear the curlew flying high o'er lowly Banna Strand.
As I stand on this foreign shore and think on what might be,
Will I ever more return again to see you sweet Tralee.

No more I'll see the sunbeams on that precious harvest morn,
Or hear our reaper singing in a field of golden corn.
There´s an end for every woe and a cure for every pain,
But the laughing eyes of my darling girl I never will see again.

Oh the palm trees wave on high all along that fertile shore,
Adieu, you hills of Kerry, I never will see you more.
Oh, why did I leave my home, and why did I cross the sea?
And leave the small birds singing around you sweet Tralee,
And leave the small birds singing around you sweet Tralee.
Jim Carroll

See also
The Parting Way of Time sung by Tom Lenihan

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