Galway Shawl, The

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  • Teideal (Title): Galway Shawl, The.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 860204.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 2737.
  • 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): Mary E. Johnson.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 10/10/1980.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): San Francisco, California, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): Larry Lynch’s Céilí.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): Unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

Now, in the olden times – and you still see it in the Aran Islands – feiceann sibh go minic é in Oileáin Arainn faoi láthair, tá na mná ag caitheamh an rud céanna a bhíodar ag caitheamh blianta ó shin – in the Aran Islands off the west coast of Galway, and even back in the side of Conamara and Carraroe, the old women still wear the petticoats, or the long coat with three rows of black velvet at the bottom. And they have a shawl, where they call a ‘cross-over’ under the shawl. In the olden times, women were never supposed to reveal their ankles. Maybe today it’d be a good job if some of them didn’t do it yet! But anyway, they do it now. But that was a… terrible, mortal sin to reveal the ankles. And they used to wear what they call the Galway shawl – beautiful knitted, crocheted shawl, with all the frills you wanted on the bottom – and they still wear that in the Aran Islands.

In Oranmore, in the County Galway
One pleasant evening, in the month of May
I spied a colleen so fair and handsome
Her beauty stole my heart away.

She wore no jewels, no costly diamonds
No paint, no powder, no, none at all
She wore a bonnet with a ribbon on it
And o’er her shoulders the Galway shawl.

As we were walking we still kept talking
‘Till her father’s cabin came into view;
She said, ‘Come in and meet my father
And please and play him ‘The Foggy Dew.’

She sat me down beside the fire
Beside her father who was six foot tall
And very soon she had the kettle boiling
But all I could think of was my Galway shawl.

I played ‘The Blackbird,’ ‘The Stack o’ Barley’
‘Rodney’s Glory’ and ‘The Foggy Dew.’
She danced each note like an Irish linnet
While tears ran down her eyes so blue.

I started off early next morning
To hit the road for Donegal
She sighed and kissed me, and then she left me
She stole my heart in her Galway shawl.