Play recording: Glenswilly

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  • Teideal (Title): Glenswilly.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 853918.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 5087.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): Song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Lucy Simpson.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): late 1980 or 1981.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): Private.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): Unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

‘Twas on a summer’s morning by the dawning of the day
I left my peaceful residence to wander far away
And as I left, those lovely hills perhaps no more to see
I surely thought my heart would break when leaving Glenswilly.

Come listen awhile, my countrymen, and hear my latest news
Although my song is sorrowful, I hope you’ll me excuse
I left my peaceful residence some foreign land to see
I bid farewell to Donegal, likewise to Glenswilly.

Brave stalwart men around me stood, each comrade fond and true
And as I clasped each well-known hand to bid my last adieu
I said, ‘My fellow countrymen, I hope you’ll soon be free
And we’ll raise the green flag proudly over the hills of Glenswilly.’

No more I’ll see the sycamore, or hear the blackbird sing
No more to me the blithe cuckoo will welcome back the spring
No more I’ll plow your fertile fields, a chuisle geal mo chroí
On foreign soil I mean to toil, far far from Glenswilly.

May peace and plenty reign supreme upon Lough Swilly’s shore
May discord never enter our Irish homes no more
And may the time soon come to pass when I’ll return to thee
And live as my forefathers lived, and died in Glenswilly.


Joe told Lucy that he heard this song at home – that just about everybody had it. The air also appears in Joe’s repertoire in connection with ‘Captain Wedderburn’s Courtship’ and ‘The Holly and Ivy Girl.’