the dew that wets sweet Anner's verdant side

The Foggy Dew

A traditional air

Text by E.H. Milligan (Songs Of The Irish Harpers, 1910)

Ah, down the hill I went one morn,
A lovely maid I spied.
Her hair was bright as the dew that wets
Sweet Anner's verdant side.

"And where go ye, sweet maid?" said I.
She raised her eyes of blue,
And smiled, and said, "The boy I wed,
I'm to meet in the foggy dew."

Go hide your blooms, ye roses red,
And droop, ye lilies rare;
For you must pale for very shame,
Before a maid so fair.

Said I, "Dear maid, will you be my bride?"
She raised eyes of blue,
And smiled, and said, "The boy I wed,
I'm to meet in the foggy dew."

Ah, down the hill I went one morn,
A-singing I did go.
Ah, down the hill I went one morn.
She answered sweet and low,

"Yes, I will be your own dear bride,
And I know that you'll be true!"
Then sighed in my arms, and all her charms
Were hidden in the foggy dew.

Recorded by John McCormack on 1913.01.03, at RCA Victor's studio in Camden, New Jersey, accompanied by Spenser Clay on the piano (Victor Matrix B-12767):

The Foggy Dew

Text by Charles O'Neill (Freemason and Anglican priest), post-1919

'Twas down the glen one Easter morn
To a city fair rode I.
When Ireland's line of marching men
In squadrons passed me by.

No pipe did hum, no battle drum
Did sound its dread tattoo
But the Angelus bell o'er the Liffey's swell
Rang out in the foggy dew.

Right proudly high over Dublin town
They hung out a flag of war.
'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky
Than at Suvla or Sud el Bar.

And from the plains of Royal Meath
Strong men came hurrying through;
While Brittania's Huns with their long-range guns
Sailed in from the foggy dew.

'Twas England bade our Wild Geese go
That small nations might be free.
Their lonely graves are by Suvla's waves
On the fringe of the grey North Sea.

But had they died by Pearse's side
Or fought with Valera true,
Their graves we'd keep where the Fenians sleep
'Neath the hills of the foggy dew.

The bravest fell, and the solemn bell
Rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide
In the springing of the year.

And the world did gaze in deep amaze
At those fearless men and true
Who bore the fight, that freedom's light
Might shine through the foggy dew.

The world's best singer singing the world's best song?

The Moorlough Shore

(An Traigh Múghdhorna)

1886 or earlier

Your hills and dales and flowery vales that lie near the Moorlough Shore,
Your vines that blow by Bordon's Grove, will I ever see you more?
Where the primrose blows and the violet grows,
Where the trout and salmon play,
With my line and hook, delight I took to spend my youthful days.

Last night I went to see my love and to hear what she might say,
To see if she'd take pity on me, lest I might go away.
She said, "I loved an Irish lad and he was my only joy,
And ever since I saw his face, I've loved that soldier boy."

"Perhaps your soldier lad is lost, sailing over the sea of main,
Or perhaps he's gone with some other one. You may never see him again."
"Well, if my Irish lad is lost, he's the one I do adore,
And seven years I will wait for him by the banks of the Moorlough Shore."

Farewell to Sinclair's Castle ground, farewell to the foggy hill
Where the linen webs lie bleaching silk and the bawdeen stream runs still.
Near there I spent my youthful days, but alas, they are no more,
For cruelty has banished me far away from the Moorlough Shore.

Studio Musicians:
  • Sinéad O'Connor: vocals
  • Abdullah Chhadeh: quanun
  • Nick Coplowe: Hammond
  • Pete Lockett: percussion
  • Dónal Lunny: acoustic guitar, bouzouki, keyboard, bodhrán, bodhrán bass
  • Kieran Kelly: whistle
  • Skip McDonald: electric guitar
  • Rob Ó Géibheannaigh: flute, strings
  • Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie: drums, bass, piano
  • Bernard O'Neill: acoustic bass
  • Professor Stretch: drum programming, bass programming
  • Sharon Shannon: accordion
  • Steve Wickham: fiddle, mandolin, banjo

The Maid of Mourne Shore

Ye hills and dales and flowery vales that lie around Mourne shore
Ye winds that blow over Martin's Hills will I ever hear you more
Where the primrose grows and the violet blows and the sporting trout there plays
With line and hook delight I took to spend my youthful days.

Last night I went to see my love, to hear what she would say;
Thinking she would pity me lest I should go away.
She said: "I love a sailor; he's the lad that I adore;
And seven years I'll wait on him; so trouble me no more."

"Perhaps your sailor may be lost when crossing o'er the main,
Or otherwise has fixed his mind upon some comely dame."
"Well, if the sea proves false to me, no other I'll enjoy;
For ever since I saw his face I loved my sailor boy."

Farewell now to Lord Edmund's groves, likewise the Bleaching Green,
Where the linen webs lie clean and white, pure flows the crystal stream
Where many's the happy day I spent; but, now, alas! they're o'er,
Since the lass I loved has banished me, far, far from Mourne Shore.

Our ship she lies off Warren's Point, just ready to set sail,
May all Goodness now protect her with a sweet and pleasant gale,
Had I ten thousand pounds in gold, or had I ten times more,
I would freely share with the girl I love - the Maid of Mourne Shore.

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