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Local Songs

Clahane Doimhin

Contributed by Mrs Maureen Rynne, Ennistymon.

Saint Brigid’s Well (Daigh Bhríde) above Liscannor still attracts crowds on February 1st each year, the saint’s Feast Day. However, today’s congregations are as nothing compared to the throngs which used gather at the well for Garland Sunday in July until recent times. Birchfield Gate still stands though the elegant seat of ‘Corny’ O’Brien to which it leads is now only a rookery.

This popular lament of a departing emigrant is still popular in West Clare. The structure of the verses is similar to the more widely known ‘Home I left Behind’ and the tune is the same. I have been told by several singers that ‘Clahane Doimhin’ is the older of the two songs; I make no judgement in the matter but merely pass on what I was told. As the song implies, the townland of Clahane Doimhin is contiguous to Saint Brigid’s Well, (spelt Cloghaundine on the Ordnance Survey map, it is normally pronounced “Clahandine”).

I was born near St. Brigid’s Well
Beneath the wood and stream
Its memory often pictures in my mind
Its pleasure, thoughts and dreams.
’Twas there I first met the girl I love,
I often times call her mine
No wonder that my heart did break
In leaving Clahane Doimhin.

I wandered down to Liscannnor
To bid my friends adieu
I stood awhile at Birchfield Gate
The country for to view
I viewed around that sea shore
Where I spent many a time
No wonder that my heart did break
In leaving Clahane Doimhin.

I travelled down through Clare and Cork
Till I reached Queenstown Quay,
’Twas there I boarded a steamer
Bound for America.
She ploughed the wild Atlantic
Unto a foreign chime
No wonder that my heart did break
In leaving Clahane Doimhin.

When I landed in America
Strange faces to me were known
But of all the faces I’d rather that
Of mine own girl at home.
With pockets full of shining gold
I’ll return and make her mine
And we’ll live happily together
In our home in Clahane Doimhin.

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Ennistymon in the County Clare