Irish Emigration Ballad by Dolores Keane & John Faulkner

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Comment by Ryan O'Rourke on October 29, 2014 at 9:09am

Lyrics:

"As I was walkin' one morning all in the month of May
To view all your mountains and valleys so gay,
I was thinking on the flowers all going to decay
That bloom around ye, bonny, bonny Slieve Galleon Braes.

Full of times I have wandered with my dog and my gun,
I'd ramble these mountains and your valleys for fun,
But those days they now all over and I can no longer stay
So farewell unto you bonny, bonny, Slieve Galleon Braes.

How oft in the evening with the sun all in the west
I walked hand in hand with the one I love best
But the hopes of youth are ended and I am far away
So farewell unto you bonny bonny Slieve Galleon Braes

'tis not for the want of employment at home
That causes the son of ould Ireland to roam,
But the rates were gettin' higher and I could no longer stay
So farewell unto you bonny, bonny, Slieve Galleon Braes.

Our isle it will be green and our cottages be gay
Our children will be clothed and our wives will drink strong tea
Oh you tyrannising landlords - I will no longer stay
So farewell unto to you bonny bonny Slieve Galleon Braes."

Comment by Mary Egan on October 29, 2014 at 1:19pm

Beautiful! And thank you for the lyrics. Can you tell me what Slieve Galleon Braes means?

I often think that those of you who's ancestors were able to stay in Ireland were the lucky ones. One set of my Irish ancestors had such a sad life here that I'm sure they wished that they had taken their chances in Ireland.

Comment by Ryan O'Rourke on October 29, 2014 at 2:37pm

Mary ... I  believe "brae" signifies a steep bank or hillside.   Slieve Gallion (Sliabh gCallann) is a particular mountain of the Sperrin mountain range in County Derry.  So it's a reference to the steep slopes of this Sliabh gCallann mountain.  Here's a photo of the mountain itself:

Comment by Mary Egan on October 29, 2014 at 2:45pm

Oh wow! It's great to put a "face" on this beautiful song. Thanks

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