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Poems and Traditional Song Lyrics

Poems and Traditional Song Lyrics

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Sheep Crook and Black Dog
Traditional

I'll lay o'er the green branches although I am young
How dearly I loved my love how sweetly she sang
Was there ever a young man in such a sorry state
As me with my Flora my laurel of late

All to my dear Flora these words I did say
Tomorrow we'll be married love tomorrow is our day
Oh no dearest William my age it is too young
One day to our wedding is one day too soon

For I'll go into service if the day ain't too late
I'll be apprenticed to a fine lady it is my intent
And when into service for a year or two bound
It's then we'll get married love and I'll settle down

But a little while after a letter was wrote
All a-saying that Flora had changed her mind
And she said that she lived such a contrary life
She'd never be she couldn't ever be a young shepherd's wife

Here's me black dog here's me sheep crook I'll will give unto you
Here's me bag and me budget I will bid 'em all adieu
Here's me black dog and me sheep crook I'll will leave 'em all behind
Since Flora my laurel you've proved so unkind

Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
(W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)
The Wind Among the Reeds. 1899.

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

A Bunch of Thyme
(Traditional)
A simple song about the loss of innocence.

Come all ye maidens young and fair
all you that are blooming in your prime
and always beware to keep your garden fair
let no man steal away your thyme

For thyme it is a precious thing
and thyme brings all things to my mind
Thyme with all its flavours,
along with all its joys
Thyme brings all things to my mind

Once I had a bunch of thyme
I thought it never would decay
Then came a lusty sailor
who chanced to pass my way
and stole my bunch of thyme away

The sailor gave to me a rose
A rose that never would decay
He gave it to me to keep me reminded
Of when he stole my thyme away

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A Man You Don't Meet Every Day

Oh my name is Jock Stewart I'm a canny gun man
And a roving young fellow I've been
So be easy and free when you're drinking with me
I'm a man you don't meet every day

I have acres of land I have men at command
I have always a shilling to spare
So be easy and free when you're drinking with me
I'm a man you don't meet every day

So come fill up your glasses with brandy and wine
Whatever it costs I will pay
So be easy and free when you're drinking with me
I'm a man you don't meet every day

Well I took out my dog and him I did shoot
All down in the County Kildare
So be easy and free when you're drinking with me
I'm a man you don't meet every day

So come fill up your glasses with brandy and wine
Whatever it costs I will pay
So be easy and free when you're drinking with me
I'm a man you don't meet every day
So be easy and free when you're drinking with me
I'm a man you don't meet every day

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All Through the Night
(Traditional)

Sleep, my child, and peace attend thee
All through the night
Guardian angels God will send thee
All through the night
Soft the drowsy hours are creeping
Hill and dale in slumber sleeping
I my loving vigil keeping
All through the night

While the moon her watch is keeping
All through the night
While the weary world is sleeping
All through the night
O'er thy spirit gently stealing
Visions of delight revealing
Breathes a pure and holy feeling
All through the night

Though I roam a minstrel lonely
All through the night
My true harp shall praise sing only
All through the night
Love's young dream, alas, is over
Yet my strains of love shall hover
Near the presence of my lover
All through the night

Hark, a solemn bell is ringing
Clear through the night
Thou, my love, art heavenward winging
Home through the night
Earthly dust from off thee shaken
Soul immortal shalt thou awaken
With thy last dim journey taken
Home through the night


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At Twenty-One
(Traditional)

At twenty-one I first begun
To court my neighbor's child
We both being young and full of fun
Bright Phoebus on us smiled
We both being young and full of fun
Right well we did agree
'Twas well I knew she would prove true
And loyal unto me.

At twenty-two no man could view
All the beauty that this maid possessed
Her curling hair in ringlets fair
Hung down her snow white breast
The picture of her two blue eyes
My pencil cannot tell
Her effigy no hand could draw
Nor paint her parallel
At twenty-four I did adore
This beautiful young fair maid
When she gave her hand
To a rich young man
Alas but I was poor
They sailed away across the sea
And left me here to mourn
That bright May day she sailed away
Never more for to return

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Donal Óg
(Anonymous; 8th Century Irish ballad; translated by Lady Augusta Gregory) Donal Óg means Young Donald

If you go across the sea,
bring myself with you and do not forget it;
and you will have a sweetheart for fair days and market days,
and the daughter of the King of Greece beside you at night.

It is late last night the dog was speaking of you;
the snipe was speaking of you in her deep marsh.
It is you are the lonely bird through the woods;
and that you may be without a mate until you find me.

You promised me, and you said a lie to me,
that you would be before me where the sheep are flocked;
I gave a whistle and three hundred cries to you,
and I found nothing there but a bleating lamb.

You promised me a thing that was hard got for you,
a ship of gold under a silver mast;
twelve towns with a market in all of them,
and a fine white court by the side of the sea.

You promised me a thing that is not possible,
that you would give me gloves of the skin of a fish;
that you would give me shoes of the skin of a bird;
and a suit of the dearest silk in Ireland.

My mother said to me not to be talking with you today,
or tomorrow, or on the Sunday;
it was a bad time she took for telling me that;
it was shutting the door after the house was robbed.

My heart is as black as the blackness of the sloe,
or as the black coal that is on the smith's forge;
or as the sole of a shoe left in white halls;
it was you that put that darkness over my life.

You have taken the east from me; you have taken the west from me;
you have taken what is before me and what is behind me;
you have taken the moon, you have taken the sun from me;
and my fear is great that you have taken God from me!

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Garryowen
(Traditional)
Official marching tune of Custer's Seventh Cavalry.

Let Bacchus' sons be not dismayed
But join with me, each jovial blade
Come, drink and sing and lend your aid
To help me with the chorus:

cho: Instead of spa, we'll drink brown ale
And pay the reckoning on the nail;
No man for debt shall go to jail
From Garryowen in glory.

We'll beat the bailiffs out of fun,
We'll make the mayor and sheriffs run
We are the boys no man dares dun
If he regards a whole skin.

Our hearts so stout have got no fame
For soon 'tis known from whence we came
Where'er we go they fear the name
Of Garryowen in glory.

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Love Is Pleasing
(Traditional)

I wish I was a youth again
But a youth again I can never be
Till apples grow on an ivy tree

I left me father, I left me mother
I left all my sisters and brothers too
I left all my friends and my own religion
I left them all for to follow you

And love is pleasin' and love is teasin'
And love is a pleasure when first it's new
But as it grows older sure the love grows colder
And it fades away like the morning dew

And the sweetest apple is the soonest rotten
And the hottest love is the soonest cold
And what can't be cured love must be endured love
But my own true love I will ne'er more behold

For love and porter makes a young man older
And love and whiskey makes him old and grey
And what can't be cured love must be endured love
And now I am bound for Americay

Oh, love is pleasin' and love is teasin'
And love is a pleasure when first it's new
But as it grows older sure the love grows colder
And it fades away like the morning dew

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Mairi's Wedding
(Traditional)
Step we gaily on we go,
Heel for heel and toe for toe,
Arm in arm and on we go,
All for Mairi´s wedding

Over hillways up and down,
Myrtle green and bracken brown
Past the sheiling through the town,
All for sake of Mairi

Plenty hearing, plenty meal
Plenty peat to feel her creel
Plenty bonny bairns as wheel
That´s the toast for Mairi

Cheeks as bright as rowans are
Brighter far than any star
Fairest of them all by far
Is our darling Mairi

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Slievenamon
(Charles J. Kickham (1828-1882)

Slievenamon (Sliabh na mBan), one of the sacred mountains in ancient Ireland, is located in the heart of County Tipperary, Ireland. Fionn Mac Cumhaill was one of the legendary heroes closely associated with Slievenamon and the name derives from the fairy women of Feimheinn; the title translated means, "Woman of the Mountain".

Alone, all alone, by the wave-washed strand
All alone in the crowded hall
The hall it is gay and the waves they are grand
But my heart is not there at all,
It flies far away, by night and by day
To the times and the joys that are gone
But I never can forget the sweet maiden I met
In the valley of Slievenamon.

It was not the grace of her queenly air
Nor the cheeks of the roses glow
Her soft dark eyes or her curly hair,
Nor was it her lily white brow.
Twas the soul of truth and of melting ruth,
And a smile like the summer's day.
That stole my heart away on that bright summer's day
In the valley of sweet Slievenamon.


In the festive ball and the wave-washed shore
My restless spirit cries -
My land, oh my land, shall I never see you more,
My country will you never uprise.
By night and by day I will ever, ever pray,
As darkly my life it rolls on,
To see our flag unrolled and my true love unfold
In the valley near Slievenamon.

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Tara's Harp
(Thomas Moore 1779-1852)

The harp that once through Tara's Hall the soul of music shed
Now hangs as mute on Tara's wall as if that soul were fled
So sleeps the pride of former days so glory's thrill is o'er
And hearts that once beat high for praise now feel that pulse no more

No more to chiefs and ladies bright, the harp of Tara swells
The chord alone, that breaks at night, its tale of ruin tells
This freedom now so seldom wakes, the only throb she gives
Is when some heart indignant breaks, to show that still she lives

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Too-A-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral That's An Irish Lullaby
(J.R. Shannon)

Over in Killarney
Many years ago,
Me Mither sang a song to me
In tones so sweet and low.
Just a simple little ditty,
In her good ould Irish way,
And l'd give the world if she could sing
That song to me this day.

Chorus: "Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, hush now, don't you cry!
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li,
Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, that's an Irish lullaby."

Oft in dreams I wander
To that cot again,
I feel her arms a-huggin' me
As when she held me then.
And I hear her voice a -hummin'
To me as in days of yore,
When she used to rock me fast asleep
Outside the cabin door.

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What shall I say about the Irish?
(Author Unknown)

What shall I say about the Irish?
The utterly impractical, never predictable
Something irascible, quite inexplicable Irish.
Strange blend of shyness, pride and conceit,
And stubborn refusal to bow in defeat.
He's spoiling and ready to argue and fight,
Yet the smile of a child fills his soul with delight.
His eyes are the quickest to well up in tears,
Yet his strength is the strongest to banish your fears.
His faith is as fierce as his devotion is grand,
And there's no middle ground on which he will stand.
He's wild and he's gentle.
He's good and he's bad.
He's proud and he's humble.
He's happy and he's sad.
He's in love with the ocean, the earth and the skies.
He's enamored with beauty wherever it lies.
He's victor and victim, a star and a clod,
But mostly he's Irish in love with his God.

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