Isolde’s Chapel (air: Skibbereen)

Sung by Jerry O’Reilly

image of Jerry O’Reilly

sung by
Jerry O’Reilly
(Cullerlie 2007)

image of CD cover of Jerry O’Reilly

CDs available

Near to Isolde’s Chapel where the River Liffey flows
a blackbird perched upon a tree, calls out to friends and foes
to the east and west I’ve flown, north and south also
I seek a gallant man of song, pray tell me where to go
I’ve searched Dublin City fair, from daybreak till candle’s end
Alongside the river’s edge, by a weeping willow tree
a Summer breeze calls out in vain, where oh, where can he be
I was but a youth myself, when first your voice I heard
the old songs captivated me, my soul at once ensnared
You made us laugh, you made us sigh, your keys opened the door
unto the vaults of history and the treasures of folklore.
To hear how Larry’s neck, was stretched upon the gallows tree
of the Ragmen and the ball they held, in Dublin’s Liberties
how Johnny Doyle, on the high sea, forgot his lover’s fate
while the Spanish lady broke the heart of a young man, ‘rambling late’
To hear the Songs of ’98, from the ashes once more rise
through Paris, Moscow, Waterloo, to St. Helena’s quay
In truth you were a patriot, you loved the Shamrock shore
your heart and soul in Ireland’s cause, that her rights be restored
of wars and famine we endured, indignities and wrongs
Those in power write the history, those who suffer write the songs
The blackbird once again called out, a sad and plaintive cry
as mourners we assembled in the chapel yard nearby
We’ll never see your like again, nor hear you called upon
We’ll miss you at each gathering, where we poor singers throng
As dusk it fell on that Friday eve, the sad news had far spread
The boatman waits to ferry you to the eternal Land of Song

(A tribute to the late Frank Harte)

Copyright Pat “the Verse” Burke 2005

Living Ghosts

Richard Broderick celebrates
This winter’s first and only fall of snow
With a midnight rendering
Of the Bonny Bunch of Roses O
And Paddy Dineen is rising
With On Top of the Old Stone Wall.
His closed eyes respect the song.
His minds a festival.
And now Romona lights the lips
Of swaying Davy Shea.
In a world of possibilities
This is the only way.
His face a summer morning
When the sun decides to smile
Tom Keane touches enchantment
With Charming Carrig Isle.
I’ve seen men in their innocence
Untroubled by right and wrong.
I close my eyes and see them
Becoming song.
All the songs are living ghosts
and long for a living voice
O may another fall of snow
Bid Broderick rejoice!

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Folk Leads Publications 2008