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Micho’s Dozen: Traditional Songs from the Repertoire of Micho Russell, Doolin, Co. Clare

6: The Well of Spring Water

Although Micho’s neighbour, Thomas Conole, used sing this song, he actually learned it from the great and much missed singer from Knockbrack, Miltown Malbay, the late Tom Lenihan.

Micho’s Dozen: Traditional Songs from the Repertoire of Micho Russell: The Well of Spring Water Musical Notes

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 flowing hair free,
Her footsteps, the best could not fault her.
She sang a gay song as she tripled 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 me to be her relation.
’Twas not for the wealth or the bright hue 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, I caught not a word.
Her tongue and her step seemed to falter.
The can was upset and the two of us wet.
We fell in to that well of spring water.

The rest that was said, it could never be read,
’Tis true that we both dis-remember.
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’s repeated again in her daughter -
Our little Maureen, as she trips over the green
On her way to that well for spring water.

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7. John Philip Holland