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Nora Daly
(Roud 8002)
Micho Rusell
Doonagore, Doolin

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Micho Russell

It was down near Miltown Malbay, not a thousand miles from Galway,
When I was young and merry, in the breezy hills of Clare.
That I spied a cailín comely, with winsome ways and homely,
And she driving a donkey-cart, and she going to the fair.

It was mild and pleasant weather, with the bloom of furze and heather,
Filled my soul with gladness in the wild and balmy air.
And my spirits felt far lighter, and my life seems ten times brighter
Since I met that little cailín and she going to the fair.

Says she, ‘I’m Nora Daly from the parish of Kilmaley,
My father, he’s a farmer and the crossest man in Clare.
If he saw you here beside me, I’m afraid that he would chide me,
So if you please get down and walk a bit before we reach the fair.’

I reluctantly obeyed her, for I could not have gainsaid her,
Had visions of her father bright with a fierce and angry glare.
So before I quickly started, from her I gladly parted,
But I treasured her sweet memories till we reached Miltown Malbay.

At the Four-Mile Stone I met her and within my heart I set her,
I searched for health or tidings of my wonder everywhere,
Her heart was in a flutter as she feared her eggs and butter,
They’d be scattered in the roadside, and she going to the fair.

After years abroad sojourning, and my love still brightly burning,
I sought for her and married her and settled down in Clare.
And I oftimes did remind her of that dame I left behind her
Since I met her in the donkey-cart and she going to the fair.

I have told my little story, though aged now and hoary,
It makes me feel quite young again and puts to flight dull care,
And of all the facts I’ve told you, one more secret I’ll unfold you,
That you never met more loving hearts than those in County Clare.


“Another poem turned into a song by Miltown Malbay schoolteacher, playwright, poet, and Gaelic scholar Tomás Ó hAodha (Thomas Hayes, 1866-1935). It was published, with his other composition, ‘Farewell to Miltown Malbay’, in his collection of poems, ‘The Hills of Clare’ (c 1922); both remain hugely popular with local singers.”
Jim Carroll

See also
Nora Daly sung by Tom Lenihan

Nora Daly sung by Peggy McMahon

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