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Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore

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“Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore ” is a traditional Irish song originally from Donegal, of which several textual versions have been written for a single melody.

TUNE: Erin Shore

A typically Irish tune spread among travellers already at the end of 1700, today it is known with different titles: Shamrock shore, Erin Shore (LISTEN instrumental version of the Irish group The Corrs from Forgiven, Not Forgotten 1995), Lough Erin Shore (LISTEN to the version always instrumental of the Corrs from Unpluggesd 1999), Gleanntáin Ghlas’ Ghaoth Dobhair, Gleanntan Glas Gaoith Dobhair or The Green Glens Of Gweedor (with text written by Francie Mooney)

Standard version: Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore

The common Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore was first sung on an EFDSS LP(1969) by Packie Manus Byrne, now over 80 and living in Ardara Co Donegal*. He was born at Corkermore between there and Killybegs. It was taken up by Paul Brady and subsequently. However, there are longer and more local (to north Derry, Donegal) versions in Sam Henry’s Songs of the People and in Jimmy McBride’s The Flower of Dunaff Hill.” (in Mudcats ) and Sam Henry writes “Another version has been received from the Articlave district, where the song was first sung in 1827 by an Inishowen ploughman.”
The recording made by Sean Davies at Cecil Sharp House dates back to 1969 and again in the sound archives of the ITMA we find the recording sung by Corney McDaid at McFeeley’s Bar, Clonmany, Co. Donegal in 1987 (see) and also Paul Brady recorded it many times.
Kevin Conneff recorded it with the Chieftains in 1992, “Another Country” (I, II, IV, V, II)

Amelia Hogan from “Transplants: From the Old World to the New.”

Liam Ó Maonlai & Donal Lunny ( I, IV, V, II)

Dolores Keane & Paul Brady live 1988 (I, II, IV, V)

Come Irishmen all, who hear my song, your fate is a mournful tale
When your rents are behind and you’re being taxed blind and your crops have grown sickly and failed
You’ll abandon your lands,
and you’ll wash your hands of all that has come before and you’ll take to the sea to a new count-a-ree, far from the green Shamrock shore.
From Derry quay we sailed away
On the twenty-third of May
We were boarded by a pleasant crew
Bound for Amerikay
Fresh water then we did take on
Five thousand gallons or more
In case we’d run short going to New York
Far away from the shamrock shore
II (Chorus)
Then fare thee well, sweet Liza dear
And likewise to Derry town
And twice farewell to my comrades bold (boys)
That dwell on that sainted ground
If fame or fortune shall favour me
And I to have money in store
I’ll come back and I’ll wed the wee lassie I left
On Paddy’s green shamrock shore
At twelve o’clock we came in sight
Of famous Mullin Head
And Innistrochlin to the right stood out On the ocean’s bed
A grander sight ne’er met my eyes
Than e’er I saw before
Than the sun going down ‘twixt sea and sky
Far away from the shamrock shore
We sailed three days (weeks), we were all seasick
Not a man on board was free
We were all confined unto our bunks
And no-one to pity poor me
No mother dear nor father kind
To lift (hold) up my head, which was sore
Which made me think more on the lassie I left
On Paddy’s green shamrock shore
Well we safely reached the other side
in three (fifteen) and twenty days
We were taken as passengers by a man(1)
and led round in six different ways,
We each of us drank a parting glass
in case we might never meet more,
And we drank a health to Old Ireland
and Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore

*additional first verse by Garrison White
1) It refers to the reception of immigrants who were inspected and held for bureaucratic formalities, but the sentence is not very clear. Ellis Island was used as an entry point for immigrants only in 1892. Prior to that, for approximately 35 years, New York State had 8 million immigrants transit through the Castle Garden Immigration Depot in Lower Manhattan.


This text was written by Patrick Brian Warfield, singer and multi-instrumentalist of the Irish group The Wolfe Tones. In his version the point of landing is not New York but Baltimore.
Young Dubliners

The Wolfe Tones from Across the Broad Atlantic 2005 

Lyrics: Patrick Brian Warfield 
Oh, fare thee well to Ireland
My own dear native land
It’s breaking my heart to see friends part
For it’s then that the tears do fall
I’m on my way to Americae
Will I e’er see home once more
For now I leave my own true love
And Paddy’s green shamrock shore
Our ship she lies at anchor
She’s standing by the quay
May fortune bright shine down each night
As we sail across the sea
Many ships have been lost, many lives it cost
On this journey that lies before
With a tear in my eye I’ll say goodbye
To Paddy’s green shamrock shore
So fare thee well my own true love
I’ll think of you night and day
And a place in my mind you surely will find
Although we’ll be far, far away
Though I’ll be alone far away from home
I’ll think of the good times once more
Until the day I can make my way
Back home to the shamrock shore
And now our ship is on the way
May heaven protect us all
With the winds and the sail we surely can’t fail
On this voyage to Baltimore
But my parents and friends did wave to the end
‘Til I could see them no more
I then took a chance with one last glance
At Paddy’s green shamrock shore

This version takes up the 3rd stanza of the previous version as a chorus
The High Kings

So fare thee well, my own true love
I’ll think of you night and day
Farewell to old Ireland
Good-bye to you, Bannastrant(1)
No time to look back
Facing the wind, fighting the waves
May heaven protect us all
From cold, hunger and angry squalls
Pray I won’t be lost
Wind in the sails, carry me safe
So fare thee well, my own true love
I’ll think of you night and day
A place in my mind you will surely find
Although I am so far away
And when I’m alone far away from home
I’ll think of the good times once more
Until I can make it back someday here
To Paddy’s green shamrock shore.
Out now on the ocean deep
Ship’s noise makes it hard to sleep
Tears fill up my eyes
The image of you won’t go away
New York is in sight at last
My heart, it is pounding fast
Trying to be brave
Wishing you near
By my side, a stór (2)
Until I can make it back someday here
To Paddy’s green shamrock shore

1) Banna Strand , Banna Beach, is situated in Tralee Bay County Kerry
2) my love

Shamrock shore


Pubblicato da Cattia Salto

folklorista delle Terre Celtiche

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