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The Cliffs of Dooneen
(Roud 9236)
Mikey Kelleher
Quilty and Depford, London

Recorded in London, 1977
Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Mikey Kelleher

So I’ve travelled far, far from my dear native home.
Far over the mountain, far away over the foam.
I’ve been many places and grand sights I have seen,
But there's none to compare with the Cliffs of Dooneen.

It’s a grand place to be, in a fine Summer's day.
And to see the grand ? that won’t ever decay.
Where the hares and the rabbits, they are plain to be seen,
Digging holes for their young, ‘round the Cliffs of Dooneen.

You can view ‘cross the Shannon, grand sights you'll see there.
And the high lofty mountains ‘round the west coast of Clare.
Where the town of Kilrush, and Kilkee can be seen,
From the high rocky slopes ‘round the Cliffs of Dooneen.

I stood on my footsteps, that’s as precious as gold.
And the green hills and ? where love stories are told.
Where I walked down the lane with my pretty cailín,
Down the high rocky slopes ‘round the Cliffs of Dooneen.

Fare thee well sweet Dooneen, fare thee well for a while.
And to all my kind friends that I'm leaving behind.
May my soul never rest, until I’m laid on the green,
Down the high rocky slope, ‘round the Cliffs of Dooneen.


"Dooneen Point is on the Kerry Coast, between Ballylongford and Ballybunnion at the mouth of the River Shannon, giving excellent views of the South West of Clare, though it should be said that it is not possible to see Kilrush and Kilkee from this point as stated in verse two. This has been explained by suggesting that the song was originally located in Moveen, a few miles south west of Kilkee in Clare. The song was first recorded in Dublin in the 1960s, sung by Siney Crotty who came from Kilbaha, which is on the Clare side of the Shannon. Since its first appearance it has gained enormous popularity. The Irish Traditional Music Archive has around one hundred and ninety commercial recordings of it."
Jim Carroll


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