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My Eileen
Peggy McMahon
Cloonlaheen, Miltown Malbay

Recorded in singer’s home, October 2002
Carroll Mackenzie Collection


When I was a young lad and scarcely eighteen,
I loved a young maiden her name was Eileen.
She was the sweetest sweet cailín the pride of my heart,
And ’twas a sad day when we had to part.

My parents they knew that I loved this young maid,
They said that for love I wasn’t of age.
They ordered our friendship to stop from that day,
I then packed my bags and from home went away.

For eight years I travelled, ‘twas eight years of pain,
The fortune I dreamt of, it never came.
I faced the world, I faced it alone,
And all through my travels I thought of my home.

I thought of my Eileen, that married she’d be,
Although she had promised she’d wait long for me.
So after eight years I returned to my home,
My parents rejoiced that their lost son had come.

But Eileen had waited with a heart good and true,
And now we are married and happy we two.
So never again the world I will roam,
For now I realise there is no place like home.

So come all ye young fellows with hearts young and free,
Never leave home and ‘tis happy you’ll be.
The day it will come and the world you must face,
When youth will disappear and old age take its place.


“A nice example of a locally made (I suspect) song on the effect of emigration on personal relationships. We have not been able to find another example of this particular one; Peggy seems to have had the only version. It has the intimate sensitivity of a song that it was locally made out of personal experience.”
Jim Carroll

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