Star of Donegal, The

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  • Teideal (Title): Star of Donegal, The.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 853920.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 2996.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): 221.
  • 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): 18/06/1981.
  • 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.

The Star of Donegal was a… beautiful girl from Donegal, and that’s all I can say about it. He was going away, and she was heart-broken – genuinely so – and finally she talked him out of going away, so he stayed at home.

One evening fair, to take the air, alone I chanced to stray
Down by a lucid, silvery stream that ran along my way
I spied two lovers talking, seated by a ruined wall
The fair one’s name was Mary, or the Star of Donegal.

He took her hand, and thus began: ‘My darling, I must go
Unto the land of Stars and Stripes, where peace and plenty flow.
I want your faithful promise that you’ll wed none at all
Until I do return again to my home in Donegal.

She blushed and sighed, and thus replied, ‘It grieves my heart full sore
To think that you’re compelled to go and leave your native shore
Here is my hand; you have my heart – I own the gift(?) was small
So stay at home and do not roam from your ownsome (?) Donegal.’

This young man said, ‘My charming maid, at home I cannot stay
For the Californian gold-fields I’m bound to cross the sea
To accumulate a fortune and build a splendid hall
To elevate the rank and state of my Star of Donegal.’

She raised her lily hand and said, ‘This castle and estate
With all its plains and large domains from the Lifford to the sea
Belonged to my ancestors with many a pleasant hall
And if my father had his rights, he’d be lord of Donegal.’

This young man said, ‘My charming maid, the time is drawing near
When the Irish will return after a long career
Our holy land, by God’s command the fairest of them all,
And heaven will see old Ireland free, my Star of Donegal.’

He took her in his arms, and ‘My darling,’ he did say,
‘You know I love you dearly, although I’m going away
Let us get wed without fear or dread, and put an end to all
And then I’ll have my darling girl, my Pride of Donegal.’

She gave consent, and off they went to the house of Father Hugh
He joined their hands in wedlock bands without any more ado
They sailed away from Derry quay and bid farewell to all
And now they’re in Americay, far far from Donegal.