'Tis pretty to be in Ballinderry,
Pretty to be in Aucholee*
'Tis prettier to be on bonny Ram's Island
A-sitting forever beneath a tree.
For often I sailed to bonny Ram's Island,
Arm in arm with Phelim, my demon.**
He would whistle and I would sing,
And we would make the whole island ring.
"I'm going," he said, "from bonny Ram's Island
Out and across the deep blue sea,
And if in your heart you love me, Mary,
Open your arms at last to me."
'Twas pretty to be in Ballinderry
But now it's as sad as sad can be,
For the ship that sailed with Phelim, my demon,
Is sunk forever beneath the sea.
* No one can seem to agree on the name of this place. My sources
give "Aucholee," "Aghalee," and "Ahalee."
** Or perhaps "Phelim, my diamond." Another text reads simply
"Phelim, my love."
Recorded by the Clancy Brothers, by John Langstaff on "Let's Make
Music" (omitting the third verse), and by Bok/Trickett/Muir on
"The Language of the Heart" (with an admission that they didn't
know the correct words). RW