Official Website of the Co. Tyrone Mail List
Poems and Songs of Tyrone


CoTyroneHeadstone_logo (5K)
Click banner to submit/search the Project!

Poems and Songs of Tyrone


The Emigrant's Farewell
(about the Lough Neagh)

Fare ye well my native green clad hills
Fare ye well my shamrock plain
Ye verdant banks of sweet Lough Neagh
And ye silvery winding streams
Though far from my home in green Tyrone
My Flora first I strayed
I adore you Killcolpy
Where I spent my boyhood days.

Shall I ever see the grand old plains
Where in boyhood days I roved
Or wander through those grand old woods
With the girl I dearly loved
Shall I ever more by Lough Neagh's shore
E're pass the summer day.
Or hear again the larks sweet strain
Or hear the blackbirds pysomes play.

Shall I ever rove by Belmonts grove
Or Cranan's lofty hills
Or hear again the fairy tale
Of the rath behind the mill
Will the nightingale that charms the vale
By me be heard no more
As I watched at eve the wild drake leave
For the bogs of sweet Dromore.

Shall my oars e're rest on your wild wave crest
Or again see the salmon play
While sailing o'er from Tyrone's green shore
Bound for Antrim Bay
Or an autumn gale e're fill my sail
With a dim declining moon
See me tempest toss on the shores of Doss
Or the raging Bay of Toome.

Shall I ne'er behold Shane's Castle bold
Or gaze on Mazzereene
Shall my cot e're land on the banks of Bann
Coney Island or Roskeen.
Shall I ever stray by the Washingbay
The weary trout to coy
Or set my line on an evening fine
Round the shores of green Mountjoy.

All for you Ardboe my tears do flow
When I think and call to mind
My parents dear and friends sincere
And comrades true and kind
But I hope to graze on your flowery braes
E're seven long years come round
And hands to clasp in friendships grasp
Of those I left behind.

My friends out here in America
Have all that there hearts desire
My pockets filled with dollar bills
I am dressed in the grand attire
I would give it all for one country ball
At home by the old hearth stone
In a cabin near Lough Neagh so dear
In my own dear native home.

Now hence, also long years have passed
And I'll toast that beautiful isle,
That soon and long o'er that land of song
A star of peace may smile
May plenty bloom from the Bann to Toome
And the shamrock verdant grow
Green o'er my grave by Lough Neagh's wave
Near the Old Cross of Ardboe.

-------------------------------------------------------

THE LILY OF LOUGH NEAGH
by Moses Teggart, Poet of the Boglands
Springfield Mass. Oct. 1898

Do I remember Daisy Tennyson?
Well! To be sure, I do!
Her hair was black as the clouds of night,
Her eyes as heaven blue.
Her sweet face was the envy
Of all the Milltown girls,
And when she laughed - then, you could see
Her mouth was full of pearls.
A dear light-hearted Daisy
In kirtle green and gray;
The colleen they were wont to call
The Lily of Lough Neagh.

Her dad in Californy
Had dug so hard for gold,
When he came home he had as much
As Daisy's lap would hold.
Rich enough for a princess,
She might have wed an Earl,
But Daisy loved a fish-lad,
And he adored the girl.
On Lough neagh's banks at sunset
Oft would these lovers stray -
Soft kisses were the dews that fed
The Lily of Lough Neagh.

No useless shoes or stockings
Would lovely Daisy wear,
Her feet were white as buttermilk,
Her shapely ankles bare.
Her namesakes in the dewy grass
And on the rampers brown,
Outdone by Daisy's soft white feet,
Their rosy heads hung down.
But like herself in snowy white -
On Daisy's weddin' day
They bloomed and blushed wherever went
The Lily of Lough Neagh.

Do I remember Daisy Tennyson?
Indeed, indeed I do!
Her hair was black as the clouds of night,
Her eyes as heaven blue.
A daughter of Hibernia,
Sweet lass! I see her still, -
No purtier colleen ever walked
The wilds of Columbkill.
If in them parts you ever meet
A grand old man and gray,
Just ask him if he ever knew
The Lily of Lough Neagh
**************************************************
BRACKAGH HILL
(a small town in Co. Tyrone near the shores of Lough Neagh)

One night as I lay slumbering in my silent bed alone
Some rakish thoughts came in my head which caused me for to roam
To leave behind me my native town and the wee girl I adore
To take a trip as I saw fit strange countries to explore

The night before I went away I was walking over Brackagh Hill
I met my love upon the road and her eyes with tears did fill
O Johnny dear she said stay here and do not go away
For there'll be none for comfort me when you are o'er the sea

Well I took her by the lily white hand and I held her long and fast
My darling girl I must away for our ship lies in Belfast
But if you'll prove constant I'll prove true for you know I am well inclined
So we kissed shook hands and parted and I left my girl behind

And it's when we landed in Greenock sure the people all gathered round
They said I was a rakish lad come to cut their harvest down
They told me to return home and to never more be seen
So that very night I took my flight back to Erin's lovely green

And when Mary heard her Johnny was home her heart it did leap with joy
So three herself all in his arms saying yo're my darling boy
O Johnny dear I'm glad you're here for you I have thought long
So let them all say as they will our wedding will go on

And Brackagh Hill is a lovely place with fine wee girls therein
You'd swear they were the nightingale when they sit down and sing
Where the Salmon Trout do sport about round Lough Neagh's verdant shore
So let them all say as they will you are mine forever


Sung by Patrick Street on "Irish Times"
**************************************

FLOWER OF SWEET STRABANE
 If I were King of Ireland's Isle
And had all things at my will
I'd roam for recreation
 And I'd seek for comfort still T
he comfort I would ask for
So that you may understand
Is to win the heart of Martha
The Flower of Sweet Strabane

Her cheeks they are a ruby red
 Her hair a lovely brown
And o'er her milk white shoulders
It carelessly hangs down
She is the fairest creature
 And the pride of all her clan
And my heart is captivated
By the flower of Sweet Strabane

Well I've been in the Phoenix Park
And in Killarney fair
The lovely glens of Antrim
And the winding banks of Clare
In all my earthly travels
I never yet met one
That could compare, I do declare
With the Flower of Sweet Strabane

But since I cannot gain her love
No joy there is for me
And I must seek forgetfulness
In lands across the sea
Unless she cares to follow me
I swear by my right hand
 McKenna's face you'll ne'er more see
My Flower of Sweet Strabane

So it's farewell to sweet Derry Quay
New Mills and Waterside
 I'll sail out o'er the ocean
Whatever may betide
I'll sail away from Derry Quay
Out by the Isle of Man A
nd I'll bid farewell to Martha
The Flower of Sweet Strabane
**************************************
PRETTY LITTLE GIRL FROM OMAGH
Way up in the north of Tyrone
There's a pretty little girl I called my own
 The sweetest rose Ireland ever known
And it's true as the moon and stars above
I falling head over heels in love with
 the pretty little girl from Omagh
 In the county of Tyrone

There's cut little girls in old Strabane
 There's just as pretty in Monaghan
 Same as any other place I've known
But I guess that I've be out of bounds
For there between those northern town
 Is the pretty little girl from Omagh
In the county of Tyrone

She wears my ring and tells her friend
She's gonna marry me
And best of all, she tells them all
 She happy as can be, oh, lucky me, well
I don't know what she done to me
There's nothing else my eyes can see
But the pretty little girl from Omagh
In the county of Tyrone

Way down in the south of old Tyrone
I recall that yellow dress she wore
 As she stood there on the shore there all alone
 And I know it was my lucky day
She came there on holiday
The pretty little girl from Omagh
In the county from Tyrone

There's cut little girls in old Strabane
There's just as pretty in Monaghan
Same as any other place I've known
But I guess that I've be out of bounds
 For there between those northern town
Is the pretty little girl from Omagh
In the county of Tyrone

She wears my ring and tells her friend
She's gonna marry me
And best of all, she tells them all
She happy as can be, oh, lucky me, well
I don't know what she done to me
 There's nothing else my eyes can see
 But the pretty little girl from Omagh
 In the county of Tyrone
By Daniel O'DONNELL
*****************************************



Return to County Tyrone's Home Page