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Monday, June 6, 2011

An Emigrant's Daughter - Irish Traditional/Folk Song Midi and Lyrics

An Emigrant's Daughter
Irish Traditional/Folk Song
Lyrics

Oh please ne'er forget me though waves now lie o'er me
I was once young and pretty and my spirit ran free
But destiny tore me from country and loved ones
And from the new land I was never to see.
A poor emigrant's daughter too frightened to know
I was leaving forever the land of my soul
Amid struggle and fear my parents did pray
To place courage to leave o'er the longing to stay.
They spoke of a new land far away 'cross the sea
And of peace and good fortune for my brothers and me
So we parted from townland with much weeping and pain
'Kissed the loved ones and the friends we would ne'er see again.
The vessel was crowded with disquieted folk
The escape from past hardship sustaining their hope
But as the last glimpse of Ireland faded into the mist
Each one fought back tears and felt strangely alone.

The seas roared in anger, making desperate our plight
And a fever came o'er me that worsened next night
Then delirium possessed me and clouded my mind
And I, for a moment, saw that land left behind.
I could hear in the distance my dear mother's wailing
And the prayers of three brothers that I'd see no more
And I felt father's tears as he begged for forgiveness
For seeking a new life on the still distant shore.

Oh please ne'er forget me though waves now lie o'er me
I was once young and pretty and my spirit ran free
But destiny tore me from country and loved ones
And from the new land I was never to see.

Researching my family history for the past thirty years has been both a rewarding hobby and a passion. Occasionally I uncover ancestral stories that really tug at my emotions. Such is the story of my Irish roots. In 1842 my gr gr gr grandfather Samuel Huston, his wife Elizabeth and his four children left County Tyrone Ireland to emigrate to Canada. Their only daughter, also named Elizabeth and whom I believe to have been in her early teens, died during that voyage. I have often thought of how dreadful that journey must have been for them, and it prompted me to write a poem in memory of that young girl to include with my family history notes. More recently, in the course of searching for new traditional tunes for my tunebook and web site, I found a melody that matched both the mood and meter of that poem. The tune is a derivative of an old English song The Grenadier and the Lady; the lyrics are new; the story is Ireland in the 1840's.
Barry Taylor, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 1998


An Emigrant's Daughter - Irish Traditional/Folk Song Free Midi Download
Midi files sequenced by Barry Taylor

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