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Sweet Kingwilliamstown
John Lyons
Carroll Mackenzie Collection

John Lyons

My bonnie boat flies light and free
Across the raging foam.
It takes me far from Innisfail
To seek a foreign home.
A lonely exile driven 'neath
Misfortune's cruel frown.
Far from my home, and the friends I leave
In sweet Kingwilliamstown.

While here upon a deck I stand
And view the surging foam.
Kind thoughts arise all in my mind
For friends I'll ne'er see more.
Of happy hours and childhood days,
How fast the tears roll down.
When I think of home and friends so dear,
In sweet Kingwilliamstown.

Shall I no more gaze on that shore,
Or view those mountains high.
Or stroll along Blackwater's side,
When first I was a boy.
Or view the sun on Knocknabar,
Light up the heather brown.
Before she flings her farewell beams,
On sweet Kingwilliamstown.


“This song was composed by Daniel Buckley, who was a 3rd class passenger on board the Titanic; he was a native of Kingwilliamstown (now Ballydesmond) in Cork. He boarded at Queenstown and travelled steerage. As the ship began to founder, Buckley was the one who smashed the gates separating the steerage passengers from rescue, allowing them to go up on deck to try to be saved. Buckley managed to get to a lifeboat and was rescued and made his way to the U.S. He enlisted in the army and, tragically, was the last soldier from America to be killed on the last day of World War I.”
Jim Carroll

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