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The Girl from Clahandine
(Roud 18474)
Martin Howley
Fanore, north west Clare
Recorded in singer's home, summer 1975

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Martin Howley

My blessings be on you Derry* it’s the land where I was born,
And when I think of those fears and words it often makes me mourn.
It nearly breaks my heart and it leaves me in troubled mind,
When I think on dear old Derry and the girl from Clahandine.

I was born near St Bridget’s Well between its hills and streams,
And when I picture in my mind, its memory, thoughts and dreams.
And when I think of the charming girl, I often called her mine,
It’s no wonder that my heart would break for the girl in Clahandine.

As I rode down to Liscannor, for to bid my friends adieu,
I stood awhile at Birchfield Gate, the country for to view.
I viewed along the seashores where I spent many a time,
It’s no wonder that my heart would break for the girl I was leaving behind.

So it’s early then next morning with a sad and broken heart,
I told my comrades all around that from them I should part.
With my girl’s arms around my neck, and my eyes with tears were blind,
When I stole out from her arms on the road to Clahandine.

I went along through Clare and Cork till I went to Queenstown Quay.
It’s there I took a steamer bound for Amerikay.
She ploughed the deep Atlantic into a foreign clime,
And it’s no wonder that my heart would break for the girl that I had left behind.

So it’s now I am in Amerikay, strange faces to me are shown.
There is no one half so dear to me as my own poor girl at home.
When I’ll have pockets of shining gold I’ll return and make her mine,
And we both shall live happy in our home in Ballaghaline!

* Martin refers to Derry rather than to Derreen


"According to the singer Michael Flanagan this was composed locally by Tom Flanagan, a policeman, but it has obviously been re-written from the popular ‘The Girl I Left Behind’ to place its location around North Clare. Saint Bridget's Well is at Liscannor a few miles south of Luogh."
Jim Carroll

See also:
The Girl from Clahandine sung by Michael Flanagan

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