Familiar Songs - Their Authors & Histories

300 traditional songs, inc sheet music with full piano accompaniment & lyrics.

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There came to the beach a poor exile of Erin,
The dew on his thin robe was heavy and chill, For his country he sighed when at twilight re­pairing,
To wander alone by the wind-beaten hill: But the day-star attracted his eye's sad devotion,
For it rose o'er his own native isle of the ocean, Where once in the fire of his youthful emotion,
He sang the bold anthem of Erin go bragh.
"Oh! sad is my fate! *' said the heart-broken stranger, " The wild deer and wolf to a covert can flee; But I have no refuge from famine and danger,
A home and a country remain not for me; Ah ! never again in the green shady bowers, Where my forefathers lived, shall I spend the sweet hours, Or cover my harp with the wild woven flowers, And strike the sweet numbers of Erin go bragh.
" Oh ! Erin, my country' tho' sad and forsaken, In dreams I revisit thy sea-beaten shore ;
But, alas ! in a far foreign land I awaken, And sigh for the friends who can meet me no more.
Ah ! cruel fate ! will thou never replace me In a mansion of peace, where no perils can chase me ?
Ah ! never again shall my brothers embrace me I They died to defend me or live to deplore.
"Oh! where is my cabin door, fast by the wild-wood? Sisters and sires, did you weep for its fall? Oh ! where is the mother that looked on my child­hood ? And where is the bosom friend dearer than all ? Ah, my sad heart! long abandoned by pleasure, Why didst thou doat on a fast fading treas­ure ? Tears like the rain-drop may fall without meas­ure, But rapture and beauty they cannot recall!
" But yet, all its sad recollections suppressing,
One dying wish my lone bosom shall draw, Oh! Erin! an exile bequeaths thee his blessing!
Dear land of my forefathers, Erin go bragh ! Oh! buried and cold, when my heart stills its motion,
Green be thy fields, sweetest isle of the ocean, And thy harp-striking bards sing aloud with de­votion,
Oh ! Erin, mavourneen! Erin go bragh!"
The words of this favorite of years were written by Thomas Haynes Bayly, the English writer of so many singable poems. The music was composed by Thomas A. Eawlings, who was the son of an eminent Enghsh musician, and was born in 1775. He became distinguished as a composer, and as performer upon various instruments, and died about 1833.