Kilnamartrya Exile

Track 7 (Traditional, Arranged Niamh Parsons and Graham Dunne).

I am a lonely exile, who left my own dear nation,

To seek a situation in a land beyond the foam;

I have travelled o’er the ocean, amidst hardship and through dangers,

And for years I’ve been a stranger, from my own dear native home.

Once I lived contentedly, with friends I loved surrounding me.

Care nor grief ne’er troubled me, nor made my heart feel sore,

But when my days are over and I’m parted from my country,

And Kilnamartyra’s homely face, my eyes shall see no more.

It was there my heart felt happy, before I took a notion,

To sail across the ocean, from the land that gave me birth;

Though dark and dismal clouds have cast their shadows o’er me,

And I knew but pleasure only when I stood on Irish earth.

And though the money tempted me, far from my cabin home to flee,

And sail across the stormy sea, in search of gold and store;

I sailed away from Erin, far from the land that bore me,

And bade my friends in Ireland are well for ever more.

I have travelled through Columbia, all toil and danger storming,

From its farthest eastern borders, to the westward and the deep;

From its broad extending cotton fields on the plains of Alabama,

To the coal mines of Montana midst the Rockies wild and steep.

I hunted for prosperity but still it has eluded me,

And bleak misfortune followed me, no matter where I’d roam,

And often in my anguish, I cursed the fate that took me,

From the comrades of my boyhood and the land I loved so dear.

Sweet boyhood recollections shall ever fondly bind me,

To the friends I left behind me, across the raging main;

And to you, sweet Kilnamartyra, where one time I resided,

But now I am divided by the ocean waves from thee.

Now age is overtaking me and youth is fast forsaking me,

And friends that once delighted me, perhaps I’ll see no more,

And when my days are over and death has come and taken me,

I fondly will remember thee – dear land that I adore.

An extra verse which I don’t sing – it would go as verse three

Twelve long and weary winters have come and have departed,

Since I sailed across the ocean from where my father lies,

But still this loving heart of mine is ever fondly yearning,

For the home that I was born in and where I long to die.

The friends that once delighted me, in fancy’s dreams, I still can see,

Around the cabin fire with me, when our daily toil was o’er,

The songs and merry voices come rushing to my memory,

In my heart I’m sadly thinking, I shall never see them more.

Copyright Niamh Parsons 2021

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