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The Well of Spring Water
(Roud 5215)
Micho Rusell
Doonagore, Doolin

Recorded in Doolin, c. 1977
Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Micho Russell

One morning in May as I happened to stray
By the banks of a river, in sweet recreation.
A lass I spied with a can by her side,
She at once took my best admiration.
A picture was she with her hair flowing free,
Her footsteps, the best could not fault her.
As she sang the gay song as she trippled along
On her way to the well of spring water.

To be honest and fair, the truth I declare,
I requested her name and her station.
And in my request found it hard to impress,
’Twould please to be her relation.
’Twas not for the wealth, or the bright huge of health,
Or the grace that the fairies had taught her.
She gave me a frown, ah, sez I: ‘I’m let down.’
And she went on for her can of spring water.

I swore ’twas the truth that my love, like her youth,
Was as fresh and as fair as the stream, sure.
My houses and land they were at her command,
And myself would be ever the same, sure.
The look in her eyes and the glances so shy
Told me ’twas not in vain that I sought her.
With a look and a smile that a saint would beguile,
She stooped for her can of spring water.

She lifted the can, once more I began,
The storm in my heart could not smother.
‘Twas ready to melt with the love that I felt,
For I thought more of her than my mother!
Her lips barely stirred yet I caught not a word;
Her tongue and her step seems to falter.
The can was upset and the two of us wet,
We fell into that well of spring water.

The rest that was said, it could never be read,
‘Tis true that we both dis-remembered.
We settled it all and with three Sundays called,
We were married the tenth of September.
No man and his wife had so happy a life -
She repeated again to her daughter -
Oh, little Maureen, as she trips over the green,
On her way to that well for spring water.

“Singer Tom Lenihan learned this from his sister who had picked it up while she was living in America. He passed it on to Micho Russell, who later recorded it. Tom Munnelly also heard it sung in Wexford. A seven verse broadsheet text appears in one of James N. Healy’s anthologies of street ballads, which clearly demonstrates the country singers’ practice of dispensing with unnecessary verses, or of broadside hacks taking an economically-made country song and stuffing it with over-literate verbiage, as was their practice.”
Jim Carroll

See also
The Well of Spring Water sung by Tom Lenihan


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