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The Shamrock (MacEdward Leach)

Kind friends, won't you help out a poor weary stranger,
Who's footsore and weary, and feeble the while;
Got nothing to give, but an orphan will bless you,
If you help a poor boy from the dear Emerald's isle.

Just a year ago sure, I was smiling and happy,
Not a care on my mind, and my heart free from guile,
In a dear little cabin near the foot of the mountain,
That reared it's proud head o'er the dear Emerald's isle.

At length, my poor father took head of a fever,
From toiling so hard on the black barren soil;
Although my poor mother was careful and tending,
He died and he lies near the dear Emerald's isle.

The sheriff then came with a bunch of them ruffians,
To turn out a child and its mother so grey;
And, deaf to our pleading, they tore down our cabin,
At the point of the bayonet they turned us away.

But hunger and sorrow soon told on my mother,
Like a flower she bloomed and she faded away;
And with her last blessing, her poor boy caressing,
She died and she lies near the dear Emerald's isle.

But if ever the Father do look down with pity,
And cast off the shackles that Ireland beguile,
Then I'll turn home to the land of my childhood,
I'll pluck a green shamrock from the dear Emerald's Isle.

####.... Variant of The Dear Emerald Isle by George W York to the tune I Always Shall Speak of Old Ireland With Pride published on page 108 of Six Hundred and Seventeen Irish Songs and Ballads by Wehman Bros, New York ....####

Collected in 1951 from John Connors [1890-1971] of Placentia, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).


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