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Sweet Inniscarra
(Roud 12492)
Siney Crotty
Ross, Kilbaha
Recorded in London, date unknown

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Siney Crotty

I have wandered in exile amid cold-hearted strangers,
Far, far from my home, by the banks of the Lee.
I have suffered alone amid hardships and dangers,
I have braved every storm by land and by sea.
Through Columbia's pine forests and India’s spicy bowers,
O’er the great orange river whose sands are of gold.
I sigh for thee still, among the birds and the flowers,
I love thee and will until this heart will grow cold.

I have roamed with fair maidens, dark, fair and courageous,
And sweet loving eyes that shone only on me.
But I think with regret of the smiles and caresses
Of the fair-haired young maiden who dwells by the Lee.
I have called back again but she's not in her tower,
Where the river flows fast in its small tiny waves,
I have called her again, from that ivy-crowned tower,
Where sweet Inniscarra o'ershadows her grave.

Now the home of my childhood to ruin it has fallen,
And the fond ones that loved me will guide me no more.
When I think of the past, dearest visions recalling,
And the grass it grows green on the step by the door.
I will sleep there again, with the shamrock above me,
Never more from my own native Cork shall I roam,
Until I'm laid in the grave with the dear ones that love me,
And in death they will welcome the wanderer home.


“This was written by Cork poet John Fitzgerald, also known as ‘The Bard of the Lee’ (1825–1910); he is probably best remembered as the composer of the song 'The Green Hills of Cork', or, as it is more popularly known, 'Beautiful City'. Fitzgerald was born in Cork City, where he plied his trade as a cabinet maker and woodcarver but he was also known as a writer, poet and antiquarian. In 1898 he published a commemorative book on the 1798 rebellion. The song was collected from singer and whistle-player Paddy Breen of Kilmihil, shortly before his death in 1966 in London, where he was working in the building trade; Paddy’s seems to be the source version of it.”
Jim Carroll

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