Galway Bay

Play recording: Galway Bay

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  • Teideal (Title): Galway Bay.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 840107.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 9306.
  • 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): unavailable.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 18/10/1983.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): evening class.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

It’s far away I am today from scenes I roamed as a boy
And long ago the hour I know when I first saw Illinois
No time or tide of waters wide can win my heart away
Forever true it flies to you, my own dear Galway Bay.

My chosen bride is by my side, her brown hair is silvery gray
Her daughter Rose, just like her grows as April dawns today
Our only boy, his mother’s joy, his father’s pride and stay
With scenes like these I’d live at ease beside you, Galway Bay.

The blessings of a poor old man, be with you night and day
The blessings of a lonely man whose bones will soon decay
And one request I ask my God upon my dying day
My soul to sow for evermore beside you, Galway Bay.


Joe is careful to tell the class that this is ‘the old Galway Bay, not ‘the mushy-mush Galway Bay‘ that contains the line ‘Someday I’ll go back again to Ireland.’

The air is the one Joe uses with Skibbereen.