Seosamh Ó hÉanaí, Joe Heaney Archive, Joe Éinniú


Joe Éinniú
Féile Chomórtha
Breis staidéir




Moon Behind the Hill, The

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Moon Behind the Hill, TheI watched last night the rising moon upon the foreign strand
Til memory came, like flowers in June, of home and fatherland
I dreamt I was a child once more beside the rippling rill
When first I saw in days of yore the moon behind the hill.


‘The Moon Behind the Hill’ was composed by T. Brigham Bishop (1835-1905), an American composer of the Civil War era and later; the song was published in 1858.

Joe sang this stanza for Lucy to demonstrate the air, which he thought would work well with the text of O’Reilly the Fisherman. It seems likely that he would have known the remainder of the text, as this appears to have been a popular song among the Irish. Interestingly, the air Joe associated with ‘The Moon Behind the Hill’ is not the same as the one used by some other singers (whose performances can be heard on YouTube). Without having sight of Bishop’s sheet-music, it is impossible to say if the air Joe sings is the one Bishop composed or not.



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