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Farewell to Miltown Malbay
(Roud 5228)
Kitty Hayes
Shanaway, Miltown Malbay
Recorded in singer's home, June 2004

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Kitty Hayes

Farewell to Miltown Malbay,
A long and sad farewell,
The sorrow in my heart today
No words of mine can tell,
I'm parting from my dear old friends
And the scenes I fondly love,
May happiness attend them all
And blessings from above.

A bright and pleasant youth was mine
Among the good folk there,
No kinder hearts could e'er be found
Than those that throb in Clare,
And oh how sad and crushed I feel,
My tears they fall like rain,
As I look my last upon the place
I'll never see again.

From Barr na Baol up to the Square
I often took a stroll,
And rambled out the Ennis Road,
Where Robert's* was my goal,
To play a game of outs and combs,
For to pass the time away,
While listening to traditions old
And legions of Mal Bay.

And oft times too, we sought Pat Burke's,
Where we had many a spree,
Where Garrett Barry, with his pipes,
Filled our young hearts with glee,
And with young and old out dancing sets
Upon the kitchen floor,
The joy and fun that I had there
I never will have more.

The sea is gemmed with twinkling stars,
The sun shines bright today.
The rocky shore is fringed with foam
From Spanish Point to Freagh,
The virgin fields go rolling down
From Ballard to the sea,
Oh! what a soul-entrancing sight
Is spread out there for me.

The Angelus its melody
Is ringing in the air,
Men bare their heads and silently
To Mary breathe a prayer.
If e'er I find this act devout
Across the ocean foam,
'Twill bring to memory my last day
I spent in my old home.

Farewell to Miltown Malbay,
Farewell to one and all.
The sights I've seen, the joys I've had,
I often will recall;
For with my heart I love that spot
Where I was born and nursed,
And where, upon those sun-kissed flags,
I crawled about at first.

* Robert's was the house of a widower named Robert Cummins
where the neighbours used to gather for a quiet game of cards.

Sin é (That's it)


"This was composed by Miltown Malbay poet Tomás Ó hAodha (Thomas Hayes, 1866-1935), and included in a collection of his poems, ‘The Hills of Clare’, which was published in 1922. Like another of his compositions, ‘Going to the Fair’, usually known as ‘Nora Daly’, it caught the imagination of singers from the area, where it is still to be found in the local song repertoire.
Robert's was the house of a widower named Robert Cummins where the neighbours used to gather for a game of cards. Garrett Barry was a blind itinerant piper who had a strong influence on the local music tradition.
Other recordings: Tom Lenihan, ‘Mount Callan Garland’, Comhairle Bhéaloideas Éireann, 1994."

The above commentary, lyrics and recording are taken from ‘Around the Hills of Clare: Songs and Recitations from the Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie Collection’ (2004) Musical Traditions Records MTCD331-2/Góilín Records 005-6.

See also
Farewell to Miltown Malbay sung by Nora Cleary
Farewell to Miltown Malbay sung by Tom Lenihan

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