1. Donal Kenny

From the recording Fare Ye Well

A song I learned from Thomas McCarthy, a singer based in London and a member of the Travelling community. www.thomasmaccarthyfolk.com


Come piper play the “Shaskeen Reel” or else “The Lassies on the Heather”
Come Mary lay aside your wheel, we will dance once more together
At the fair, the patterns of before, the reels, the jigs we tripped full many
Ne’er again this loved old floor will feel the foot of Donal Kenny

Softly she rose and took his hand, and softly glided through the measure
While clustering round, the village band watched half in sorrow, half in pleasure
Warm blessings flow from every lip that sees the dancers every motion
“O Blessed Virgin guide the ship that bears bold Dónal o’er the ocean”

“O, God be with you all,” he sighs, as down his face the bright tears streaming
“God guard you well, a rún,” they cry, “upon the strange path you are going“
So full his breast, he scarce could speak, the burning grasp, the stretched hands taking
He pressed a kiss on every cheek, and sobbed as though his heart was breaking

“Boys, don’t forget me when I’m gone, for sake of the the days passed over
The days you spent on heath and bawn, with Dónal Rúa, the rattling rover”
“Mary, a grá, your soft brown eyes willed my fate,” he whispered lowly
"Another has your heart, goodbye, heaven grant you both its blessings holy"

A kiss upon her brow of snow, and a rush across the moonlit meadows
Whose bloom-clad hazels trembled slow, o’er the mossy boreens wrapped in shadows
Away o'er Tully's bounding rill and far beyond the Inny river
One cheer on Carrick's rocky hill, and Dónal Kenny's gone forever

A full wind rustles through the sails, o'er Galway Bay the ship was heaving
And smothered groans and bursting wails told all the grief and pain of leaving
One form among that exiled band of parting sorrow gave no token
Still was his breast and cold his hand, Dónal Kenny's heart was broken