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My Native County Clare
Nora Cleary
The Hand, near Miltown Malbay

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Nora Cleary

The time has come when I must go and bid my last farewell,
My many friends and neighbours and the cailín I love so well.
My tears are falling like the rain for my ship is in the quay,
To carry me to Amerikay far away from County Clare.

And when on board my thoughts come back of those lovely hills so rare.
When on a lovely afternoon we’d hunt the fleeting hare.
By Mount Callan’s side with my comrades dear, and not a single care,
Near that town called Miltown Malbay, in my native County Clare.

And now I must go in search of wealth like many have done before.
To toil and sweat and earn my bread, all in a foreign shore.
But I being poor, I have to stray, in God’s own loving care,
Until that day I’ll come back again to my native County Clare.

My loving friends around me stood to bid a last farewell.
And my darling Kathleen McMahon, that cailín I love so well,
Saying, ‘A stór mo chroí, God send you back, to those who really care,
To those loving ones you are leaving behind, in your native County Clare.’

Now the big ship has anchored here at last, all in a foreign shore.
And no kind friends to greet me here, so far, far away from my home.
But now that I’m here sure there’s nothing for Pat, only work and toil all day,
To earn a fortune and one day come back, to my dear old County Clare.

This foreign land is great and grand with its steepled church and all.
The buildings here may reach the sky, they are so awful tall.
There’s no beauty here to touch my heart and there’s nothing half so rare,
As those lovely hills and valleys of my native County Clare.

And now that I’m settled down to work and earn a very good pay.
But I often recall my dear old friends, many thousand miles away.
And my loving Kathleen by their side, with her none can compare,
Sure it breaks my heart, when I think of her, away back in County Clare.

And now to conclude and finish those lines, as I have nothing more to say.
My fortune I’ve made and now I’m going back, to my mother so feeble and grey.
And I’ll marry my Kathleen now that I can, in our little church so gay,
And we’ll live contented for ever more, in my native County Clare.

Come all you Banner County men wherever you may be.
I hope you’ll pay attention now and listen unto me.
But if you are the roving kind and may be led astray,
Don’t forget that birthplace of your youth, your native County Clare.


“I think this local song may have been composed by Nora; I can find no other trace of it.”
Jim Carroll

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