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The Hills of Glenswilly
(Roud 5087)
Unnamed singer
Mount Scott
Recorded in the 1960s

Carroll Mackenzie Collection


Come listen awhile my countrymen, and hear my latest news.
Although my song is sorrowful, I hope you'll me excuse.
I left my peaceful residence a foreign land to see,
And I bid goodbye to Donegal, likewise to Glenswilly.

Great stalwart men all around me stood, each comrade kind and true.
And as I clasped each well-known hand to bid my last adieu,
I said to my fellow countrymen, I hope we’ll soon be free;
And we’ll proudly wave the green flag o’er the hills of Glenswilly

No more amongst the sycamore I'll hear the blackbird sing.
No more to meet the blithe cuckoo will welcome back the spring.
No more I'll roam your fertile fields, a chuisle geal mo chroí.
On a foreign soil I mean to toil far from you Glenswilly.

God bless you dark old Donegal, my own my native land.
In dreams I oft time seen your hills and towering mountains grand.
But alas three thousand miles that lie between your hills and me,
I'm a poorful, lonely exile cast far from you Glenswilly.

May peace and plenty reign supreme around Lough Swilly’s shore.
May dis[content] never enter into our Irish homes no more.
And may the times soon come around when I’ll return to thee,
And I’ll live as my forefathers lived and died in Glenswilly.


“This was written by Michael McGinley from Donegal, who was also the composer of ‘An Emigrant's Farewell’ and ‘The Drumboe Martyrs’. 'The Hills of Glenswilly' is said to have been written as he travelled on the ship ‘Invercardill’ to New Zealand in 1878. He was the older brother of Peadar Toner Mac Fhionnlaoich, an Irish language writer, known as Cú Uladh, ‘The Hound of Ulster’.
Jim Carroll

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