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Dan O'Hara

Delia Murphy
Languages: English, Irish



Another popular famine song is ‘Dan O’Hara’, whose chorus is a deceptively joyful and rhyming ‘A Cuisle Geal Mo Chroí / Won’t you buy a box from me’, where ‘Geal Mo Chroí’ is also a clichéd exclamation meaning ‘brightness of my heart’ or ‘my beautiful sweetheart’. The underlying grief is, once again, only perceived when the ‘sceal’ of the song is told: although the song was probably written by Delia Murphy from Claremorris in 1951, Dan O’Hara was a real tenant farmer from Clifden, Connemara, who was evicted from his farm and forced to emigrate to America as he couldn’t pay the rent. Unfortunately, no official figures are available for evictions before 1849, when 90,000 thousand of them were recorded by the constabulary, the figure rising to 100,000 in 1850.
http://rfcb.revues.org

Sung by Finbar Fureys, Rory Gallagher, Brendan Nolan, the Blackthorn
It's here I am today God gave and took away
And left without a home for Dan O'Hara
With these matches in my hand in the frost and snow I stand
But here I am today your broken hearted

In the year of sixty four we had acres by the score
The grandest land a man could pull a plough through
But the landlord came you know and he laid our home to low
And here I am today your broken-hearted

Cushla gra mo craoi
won't you buy a box from me
And have the prayers of Dan from Connemara.
Sure I'll sell them cheap and low
buy a box before you go
from the broken-hearted farmer Dan O'Hara.

And for twenty years or more did misfortune cross our door
My poor old wife and I were sadly parted
We were scattered far and wide and our children starved and died
But here I am today your broken-hearted

Cushla gra mo craoi
won't you buy a box from me
and have the prayers of Dan from Connemara.
Sure I'll sell them cheap and low
buy a box before you go
from the broken-hearted farmer Dan O'Hara.

Tho' in frost and snow I stand beneath the shadow of God's hand
It lies warm from the brow of Dan O'Hara
And so soon with God above I will meet the ones I love
And find the live I lost in Connemara

Cushla gra mo craoi
won't you buy a box from me
and have the prayers of Dan from Connemara.
Sure I'll sell them cheap and low
buy a box before you go
from the broken-hearted farmer Dan O'Hara.

Contributed by dq82 - 2015/11/11 - 12:54



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